Every year my mom prints off my blog from the previous year for one of my birthday presents. And the book I received this year was tiny, like itty bitty. Granted last year was the year with the absolute most change in our lives, so we were busy. But I was a little saddened that I didn't celebrate some of those changes more.
I remember my math teacher telling me once "If you don't use it, you'll lose it." Well, referring to most math, I have lost it :) But I think the same is true for anything in life. For me, I haven't been using my voice on this platform, and it was easy for me to lose it. I love looking back at those books from previous years to see what my kids did or said, or special memories we made. I love writing and sharing our story with anyone who will listen or read it. I get so worried about content that I end up shelving all my post ideas.
I now have lost almost 2 months of this year so far, but I am reclaiming 2015 as my year of blogging memories, funny stories, what I am learning, and anything that I darn well please. So excuse me if some of my posts in the next couple weeks are from 2014, I want to be able to look back and remember some of the fun things we did, and also be able to answer my kids questions about trips and holidays.
Right now I want to just write about my family. My family is my heart and I love them so much.
Eric- Eric is busy with leading our church, Movement. He has a pretty stressful job but he is so good at it. I am excited that our girls have a pastor as their dad, or maybe I should say a dad as a pastor. Either way, our kids are learning so much from him. How he handles people, situations, adversity, and life. Eric pretty much never misses an event or activity that they have, and if he does he sits down to explain to them why he might be missing it, and why it's important he meets with this person or attends this meeting. He spent the last 8 weeks as dance dad. Molly and Lucy had activities at the same time, so he took Lucy every Thursday to dance. In about a month he will take on his role as Molly's soccer coach for the 5th season. Molly loves that Eric wants to be her coach, and working with 7/8 year old girls helps grow his patience his level, ha! Watching Eric go from a groups pastor to the lead pastor has been challenging and like a roller coaster. We have learned a lot, tried a lot, failed a lot, and grown a lot. But I truly wouldn't want to do it with anyone else.
Molly- Molly is the most sensitive, empathetic little kid I have ever met. As much as I appreciate her sensitivity (it all comes from me) I am also trying to find the balance of empowering her with some more confidence. Since Molly does struggle with high anxiety, not having a lot of self confidence makes for some long days. Molly has excelled in school so much this year. She has always done well in school, and she loves school, but for some reason 2nd grade is where she has just taken off. Molly is reading at a very high level, so our school district has paired her in some high achievement groups which she loves. I lead a group that Molly gets to participate in with some of her classmates, and it's so much fun. We are learning all about critical thinking and how to not jump to conclusions. It's been a good lesson for me to re-learn each week, too! Molly is currently participating in Upwards cheerleading, and playing indoor soccer. Cheerleading is new for her, and she loves it. She's not the most coordinated kid, but she tries 110% every single time. What I love most about Molly is that she tries hard at everything she does. She is intense in everything- she loves her friends fiercely, she watches out for Lucy all the time, she works super hard in speech and school. We still have lots of ups and downs with Molly as far confidence and anxiety goes, but she's really an awesome kid.
Lucy- What to say about Lucy?! She is hilarious, her jokes, facial expressions, and little things she does, she is always cracking us up. Lucy was the perfect edition to our family. Lucy loves breaking the ice with someone or breaking the silence in the room by saying something way too mature for a 4 year old, or saying something that involves bathroom talk! One thing she loves to say is "that was awkward." And she usually uses it in the right context too! Lucy picks up on things super quick, she only has to hear it once and she keeps it locked in her brain. So we have to be super careful with TV shows/commercials, and music! Not that we watch or listen to anything bad, but her brain is a sponge. Lucy has been attending a preschool 3 mornings a week this school year, and it has been a great introduction to school for her. Next school year she is going to a preschool/4K program that our school district offers. It will be 5 mornings a week, and it will prepare her for kindergarten the following year. I am super excited about the change in schools for her. I think the school preschool will fit her a little bit better, and the real Lucy can shine each day at school. Lucy is starting tennis this week and secretly, okay not so secretly I am excited to see her in a little tennis skirt! She has never played tennis before, but we needed a break from gymnastics and dance. Then in a month she will play indoor soccer. Which will also be fun to watch. We think she will enjoy sports, but we don't really know.
Then there is me...
I am currently long term subbing for a guidance counselor on maternity leave. I work at one of our middle schools 3 days a week, and then I still work for our church on Tuesday's. Then every other Thursday I volunteer at Molly's school. It's been a big transition for me to go from possibly subbing 1 or 2 days a week to permanently being somewhere 3 days a week, all day long. Eric is a rockstar and has added so much to his plate while I sub long term. I am not sure if I will be here another month or until the end of the school year. It's still up in the air a little bit. I always thought I would love to be a school counselor, and I loved the year I spent interning with an elementary school counselor, but honestly this subbing position has solidified my dreams of being a teacher. When I entered college I debated between counseling and teaching. I have always wanted to be a teacher, but for some reason God took me down the counseling path. I am grateful for all the experiences that I have had in counseling, and grateful for this experience right now at the middle school, but my heart really feels pulled towards teaching. So much so I am looking at going back to school to get my license to teach. I actually have an appointment next week with our local university to see what I need to do to make my dreams come true. Teaching for me is a calling, just like ministry is for Eric (and me). I know education across the board is going through lots of ups and downs, and people are getting out of teaching. And right now I have my rose colored glasses on, but none of that discourages me, at least not right now. I have LOVED subbing this year. I love the kids, and the bad days and good days, and fun that each class has when doing an activity. I look back and see who was the most influential in my life, and most people were teachers. I feel like I am doing what I am called to do every single time I step foot into a school. And maybe some of those feelings will go away over time, but right now I am at a point where I need to pursue this. I am tired of saying what-if and I am ready to say okay, let's do this.
And for good measure I will throw Movement in...she's like part of our family, too...
Movement is going well. We are 4 months in and still rocking it each week. This winter has been brutal on our attendance, just like every other church in America. What's hard for us is that we are reaching people who are not used to coming to church each week, so when it's below zero outside, why would they make church a priority? Sickness has also hurt us this winter. I have missed church more in the last 4 months than I have in the last 10 years, it's crazy! Everything of course hits Saturday night or Sunday morning. I am so so so thankful we have family here to help out, and who don't mind hanging with a puking kid, or a kid with pink eye. I seriously could not imagine planting Movement without help from family. Our volunteers show up each week and work hard. I am still overseeing the kids ministry which is going well. I feel like the kids love coming and are learning. My kids volunteers are awesome, so I am super happy with that! We are always looking for ways to connect in the community, and let people know we are here for the long haul. We are very much looking forward to spring and summer to get back out in the community and be visible again. Winter is hard, but it's almost over!
That's us in a nutshell right now. Every day is a new day to make a difference and impact some one's life. I pray we never miss an opportunity to extend kindness or make someone feel important.