Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Rewind

Though these posts may not be among this blog's most popular, they are one of my favorites to write each year.  Thank you for indulging me as I take a trip down memory lane...

JAN:  2014 was a year of many, many changes for our family.  Two new jobs for me, quite a change for someone previously in the same career for 16 years.  And, the ending of a 30 year fire career for my hubby.  Both were unplanned and caused quite an uncertain start to our year.  It led us to truly search out who we are, not what we do.  Timely that I chose "Assured" as my word for the next 365 days!

Noah would turn 14, the same age as Austin when we lost him.  This mom found it more difficult than she imagined.  Yet, as always, sweet signs from above helped me through.

FEB:  We experienced our first KCDO dance competition and watched our girl bring home many awards.

I took the #100happydays challenge and found much JOY in capturing daily photos.

With Tim recovering from an injury, it added an extra challenge to our new year.  Our marriage has been full of them but in every battle, I try to see the blessing.  One day and one simple question gave us a great opportunity to share with our teens what a true fairy tale marriage is.

MARCH:  I was in my first of two wrecks for the year, both no fault of my own.  Thankfully they were both fender-benders, unluckily they were in two separate vehicles!

The hopeful season of spring arrived!

APRIL: I surprised Noah with a bread-making class in a real restaurant with a real chef.  One of our best "Mom & Noah" days yet!

We enjoyed a hodge-podge spring break of mini trips and fun.  It was my last hurrah before starting my new job.

MAY: My dream of being published came true with not one, but two books.  Bittersweet that child loss had to be the topic of my first contributions, but I'll gladly share this milestone with Austin.

My sweet Grandma turns 85 and we surprise her with a party!

And my baby graduated middle school, complete with purchasing his first real tie.

JUNE:  Ah, lazy days of summer... Or, not?  A new handy dandy chore chart entered this house.

Tim and I celebrated 21 years, on the 21st at the beautiful wedding of a friend.  We got a small taste of having an empty nest, as the kids are away at church camp.  And we experienced our first family mission trip, two hours from home but a world away from our reality.
JULY: We shared goosebumps at the ballpark, remembering Austin on his birthday.  Our family enjoyed many days on the river, revisiting tech free time, saying goodbye to a beloved pet and welcoming a new member into our home.

AUG: My baby started high school.  Sigh, that still seems unreal.

Having a very awkward food experience led me to share my food bucket list.  

And with all trainings under my belt, I truly dig into my new career and find an unexpected love.  It inspires me to write this post about motherhood.

SEPT:  Such a busy time but the beginning of fall, my favoritest of seasons!  I learn what a joy it is to be on the road this time of year and am reminded again how thankful I am for my job.

It brings me views like this...

And then I shared one of my most controversial posts, about not going to church.

OCT: As the days turn darker and November looms, I accept another photo challenge, to capture my grief for the month.  I found it a much deeper journey than anticipated, as I search out what it means to heal, to forgive, and to get support.

A sermon speaks soothing into my soul on something I've struggled greatly with since losing Austin.

NOV: A month of gratitude, of remembering, of giving back.  Our Random Acts of Kindness begins with favorite traditions and new opportunities.  I dedicate the blog to needy charities all month long.

We receive more feedback and heaven-sent hugs from our RAKs than ever before.

And we spend Thanksgiving by feeding those in need.

DEC:  This December came harder than some years past.  It slowed me down, which isn't necessarily a bad thing this time of year.  Instead, I focus in on the reason for the season and dwell over peace, joy and love.

2014 wasn't a banner year.  It had valleys we didn't see coming, yet we came out stronger after every mountain climbed.  We are still in uncharted territory but becoming more comfortable with our new roles each passing day.

My wish, my prayer, for the coming year is that it is one filled, of course, with JOY but also of health, of togetherness, and of a closer walk with God.  If we're granted all of these, we will be more than blessed.  And it is my prayer for each of you...


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