Thursday, December 31, 2015

Closing the Book on 2015

The time has come to, once again, close the book on another year. Like those that precede it, 2015 was a year of growth for our little family. Wonder Boy literally sprouted up a couple of inches, coming nearly eye-to-eye with his dad as I start this write up. But he grew in some less noticeable ways as well. He is so much more independent and mature. He can cook a few of his favorite meals (in other words, he learned the joy of using a crock pot), he can handle laundry for the whole family, and he discovered there is quite a large world out there waiting for him away from the small pond that is our home town and family.

Wonder Boy handled these leaps in size and maturity with perfect ease. Wonder Dad is also coming to grips with this jolly brown giant that shares our home. But I'll admit to some trepidation on my part. I am SO BEYOND PROUD to see him stand so confidently on his own. But I do not trust the world around him at all. That's my job, right? But I am learning that an even bigger part of my job is trusting in the lessons we have spent the last 14+ years trying to impart. He's ready for these small steps away from the security of home and family. And by taking these small steps now maybe he'll be prepared to help ME get past the BIG steps that loom ever larger on our horizon.

When we were ringing in the start of 2015, I confessed that what I really wanted for the year to come was to step away from my computer and get out there and enjoy a few adventures as a family. I am happy to say, as I close out this year, that we really did it! We made a couple of big trips together, but more than that, we just stepped away from the path of least resistance - that well worn rut that is our daily routine - and tried new things. I enjoyed our trips and am hoping we can fit in a few more in the year to come.

Mas y mas (more and more). That is my goal for 2016. We got off on a good foot in 2015. Let's just push those boundaries a bit further in 2016 and see where it takes us!

Happy New Years Everyone! May your year be blessed beyond measure!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Wrap Up

There was much for our little clan to celebrate as we close out another wonderful year together. We were blessed to see many of our family and friends over the course of this Christmas break. We didn't get the chance to all gather at once, but that just means we got to spread the holiday cheer a bit longer this year.

We started off our holiday tour of Texas with a trip down to Wharton to visit with Nanny and the crew down there. They rolled out the red carpet and welcomed us with open arms and a stuffed table. Our time ended too quickly, but at least we got to spend the afternoon together as a family. Nanny has had a rough year, health-wise, and it was a joy to spend this time with her. I am hoping that our visit helped to bring a bright spot to her day as well.

Just a few days later, the 3 of us enjoyed our traditional-for-us Christmas Eve festivities: an early service, a special dinner, a reading by Wonder Boy, and an always anticipated gift exchange! There were some FUN THINGS under the tree this year. One of the highlights (for me) was watching Wonder Boy open a seriously surprising gift: a melodica. As he unwrapped it, he looked rather confused and it was obvious he just didn't even know how to react to it! But by the time he unboxed it and tried out his first tune, he was hooked! I'm also pleased to say he entertained us throughout our holiday travels with it. NOTHING breaks up a 3 hour car ride like a lively tune from the back seat.

Christmas Day brought the Huntsville family into town. We enjoyed another over stuffed table and another afternoon of catching up with family. The 3 youngest had a great time unwrapping gifts and playing with Wonder Boy. Wonder Dad and I enjoyed having the littles around too. There is just nothing like the holidays with young kids. And while I am in no rush for grand-kids, I do get glimpses of things to come and it warms my heart.

After 3 separate family Christmas celebrations, we were able to prolong our holiday gatherings with trips to see friends in San Antonio and in Katy. It was a great way to wrap up our vacation. And it was our yearly reminder of the things that truly matter in life - precious time with those we love the most. I feel renewed after this time away from the hustle and bustle of life, surrounded by those I love the most, my heart completely full.