Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reflections on 2008

It's hard to believe another year is coming to a close. They seem to go a little faster with every passing year. :) This year was in many ways, a challenging year. Here is a bit of my reflections on the 12 months of the year.

- worst flu Andrew and I have had in years (maybe ever!)
- a master bedroom facelift
- boys move out of cribs

- first weekend getaway since having kids

- our 6th anniversary
- Grandma F. unexpectedly passed away
- trip to IA to celebrate her life

- the sad loss of Grandpa F. - a mere 3 weeks after Grandma
- Andrew headed back to IA
- Calvin turned 3 with a Monster's Inc. family party
- 1 year since the passing of my Grandpa J.

- kicked and screamed our way to a new-to-us minivan
- Calvin began weekly speech therapy at Riley hospital

- I celebrated my last birthday before 30
- trip to Chicago for Kazapalooza
- serious (and scary) pain, swelling, and numbness for me
- Uncle Merle is killed in a tragic motorcycle accident

- the call came from our former agency out of the blue
- one week later we met C. and she asked us to parent the baby boy she was carrying
- 9 days in Michigan for vacation
- Patrick turned 3 with a Cars family party

- hosted two bridal showers in one day
- decided it was time to cut back my working more permanently and said a sad goodbye to a practice I'd been with for 7 years
- Baby Titus was born 2 weeks early
- on our way to meet him we received a call that we would likely not be bringing this baby home
- we tried to guard our hearts but fell in love anyway
- a difficult and extremely emotional 2 weeks later, we were amazed to come home with Titus Paul
- Calvin & Patrick started school

- adjusted to having a newborn
- adjusted to being a family of 5
- participated in and celebrated Steph & Jeremy's wedding

- celebrated 2nd adoption day for Calvin & Patrick
- Elliot & Ashley's beautiful wedding
- Andrew turned another year older
- a fun weekend with cousins

- Titus' final adoption day
- Open House Celebration for Ty
- back to work 5 hours a week
- Thanksgiving with a trip to the ER
- 5 celebrations
- enjoyed a visit with friends from highschool

- many trips to the doctor for Ty's respiratory issues
- Andrew worked many, many hours
- Titus' baptism
- annual Christmas open house
- a quiet and wonderful Christmas with our 3 boys
- celebrations with family
- unfortunate news that a nebulizer will be necessary for the remainder of the winter
- tremendous monthly costs for neb medicine for the remainder of the winter
- transmission problems with our Jeep

It's been a year. I'm thankful to be doing better physically - after talk of potential surgery on my right arm, I was quite concerned. Things started to settle down in July and a few months off work helped, too. So surgery is on hold (and hopefully won't be necessary!) until another major flare-up.

After much unexpected loss during the first part of the year, we are thankful for a better second half of the year.

Titus truly was the highlight of the year. We marvel at God's choosing him to be in our family. We certainly did not expect a new baby in 2008. His big brothers adore him and we can't imagine life without him. We are so incredibly thankful for God's sustaining grace during the difficult two weeks in KY when we wondered day to day if we would actually get to be Titus' parents. And we are thankful for his final adoption being completed making him forever ours.

In many ways, this December has been one of the most difficult months that I remember but even through the many doctor's appointments and many hours of Andrew's work, we have clearly seen God's hand. We have been so blessed and no matter the circumstances that come our way, we know God's ways our higher than our ways.

I'm ready for 2009! A few things we are looking forward to: a weekend getaway, Kazapalooza, vacation, camping, seeing Andrew more, and spending time as a family. I'm hoping to get back into couponing and saving more effectively (this was pretty difficult to keep up with especially after Aug.), to spend more time reading and in Bible study, to cultivate friendships (for myself and my kids - I feel like I haven't gotten back in the groove since Ty and I'm feeling a bit lonely), and to work on editing and publishing a couple of cookbooks (one for our extended family and perhaps a personal one - we'll see). I'm sure there are many more things like making memories with my boys and continuing to work on their books. :)

Mostly, I just feel thankful as I reflect on God's gracious goodness to us in 2008.


Heather L. said...

Great post! It's been a very full year for your family - -many wonderful blessings, but many trials as well. We do pray for God's blessings on you in the new year! And I'm looking forward to your cookbooks. We enjoyed your chili recipe last night -- terrific!

Monica said...

Wow- what a year! God has been so good to you through the ups and downs. You're life is a testimony of His grace and goodness. I have to second the chili comment from Heather. It was the hit of our chili cookoff.