Well hello, 2016.
My lack of blogging begs the age-old question: if a mommy-blogger type doesn’t blog, does that mean nothing happened?
But with three small-ish children, that’s unlikely.
What I want to tell you is that I spent 2016 becoming a student of life. I want to say to my three readers, one of whom is my mom, “Guys, I didn’t blog because I was soaking in all the things that make life rich and full and meaningful.”
And while I do feel like there was a lot of soaking and learning and experiencing this year, the truth is, I just had a terrible case of over-sharer’s writers block.
See, I told all of this stuff about my marriage and my life in late 2015 that I kind of felt like if I was going to write something down, it better be something my kids are going to be shocked and appalled by.
“Uh, mom, you wrote about your marriage issues on a public blog? Sweet heavens-to-Betsy, have you no sense of dignity?”
Although, I doubt my kids think I have much dignity left to lose, especially considering my horrific dance moves and equally traumatic vocal stylings that are regularly on display.
This year I read some books. One of the books I read was Love Warrior by Glennon Melton and one was Present Over Perfect by Shauna Neiquist. What I learned was this, in summary: Do what you love and breathe deep, full, belly breaths. I’m still working on applying these lessons to my daily life… I’m terrible at breathing.
So anyway. Here are some things from 2016 about our little family:
Frank. Frank is a major source of joy. Also, hilarious stories. But mostly joy. This summer, while we were speeding home from church with the windows down because Annie was vomiting in her car seat and the twins were gagging at the horror-show, I thought, “God, I love Frank. Thank you for Frank.”
Frank is awesome at noticing moments, defining seasons and enjoying them. He also knows when to pull up stakes, pack stuff up and get out of town. We did a little bit of both this year. We soaked up family time at Disney World in February, but in June we hauled tooshie to get home from a nearly disastrous excursion to Dallas where 66.7% of our children vomited at some point in the trip. One of our children scream-vomited into a sick sack in the galley of an airplane on the way home from Dallas. I wasn’t going to name names, but it was Carrigan.
We spent a lot of time on the porch, drinking wine and talking this summer. We also purchased our first season tickets for Great America. And Frank taught me how to drive a pontoon boat. Just doing life stuff.
The Kids. First of all, they have become more fun with each passing year. And more emotionally complicated. The twins can read! And write (ish)! And count! And spell! And ask really challenging questions about life and death and “if God is Jesus’s daddy, then who is God’s daddy?”
We wrapped up preschool for the twins in May and then with no warning whatsoever (aside from all of the letters from the school district, paperwork, school supplies, new shoes, etc), the twins started Kindergarten in August. I cried like an idiot. See – there was this moment in the NICU when I was first meeting Elliana and I looked down at her and despite being quite premature, she opened her blue eyes and looked up at me and I was just hooked. And there was another moment, in the same NICU where I met Carrigan and she gripped Frank’s finger so tightly and we knew she was our ferocious little warrior. And I swear, those moments happened like ten minutes ago.
And then Annie. Good grief. That kid is talking… and talking and talking and talking. Who knows where she got that from? She grabs my face in her tiny, sticky hands and says “Mama, I love you. You’re beau-i-ful. I love your necklace. Did your mama get that for you?” I was worried about how she would do in her two year old preschool Christmas concert, but she strut right up to the stage, took her spot and waved at us before belting out an enthusiastic “Happy Birthday Jesus” with her classmates.
There were so many good moments in 2016. So much sweetness and love and kindness and joy. And there was some sadness and frustration; it was a year like many years.
So that’s it. For now.