My top ten list – 2014 in review:

#10. New Experiences: I tried something new and totally outside of my comfort zone. I became a CAbi fashion consultant. It was educational and hard and fun. I absolutely loved it. It was also too much for me at this particular season of life. No regrets – I met fabulous women, found out about a really amazing company, and learned a lot about fashion. I also got an incredible wardrobe out of it ;).

#9. Health Hurdles: I had the most challenging health year ever. Debilitating fatigue, ongoing nausea, and a long list of odd and seemingly unrelated symptoms meant that all of my energy was spent at my job and I had nothing left for anyone or anything (hence the silent blog). While everything is not fixed, we have made great progress and I’m entering the new year hopeful.

#8. Whistle while ya work: Greg and I entered a new phase of life – he went back to work while the kids are in school. It’s been really good and interesting. It was the first time since I became a mom that I was home alone during the day. I have to keep the TV on so I can hear chatter outside my office :). I forget how odd our situation is with me working from home and Greg as a stay at home dad. I often wonder what our kids will think when they look back on their childhood. I wonder when it will hit them how incredibly fortunate they were to have so much time. I can count on one hand the number of times they have been woken up in the morning before they naturally awoke. How amazing.

#7. Meow: We got a cat! In keeping with our even year additions to the family – ’06: Married, ’08: Grace, ’10: Elijah, ’12: Honey Bear the pup, ’14: Charlie the cat. ’16: (insert awesome name) the Sheltie (fair warning babe)

#6. Grounded: It was my slowest travel year in the nine years that I’ve been in Missouri. With my health being as it was, this was an unexpected and much needed blessing. I’m looking forward to getting back on the road at a more regular pace in 2015 – but the break came at just the right time, as these things tend to do.

#5. Captured: It was my busiest year yet with photography. I can’t explain what that meant to me this year. While I felt like I was drowning at times, it was such a fun and rewarding time! The seniors were awesome – I mean great, great kids. Then the new little addition to our extended family – Mr. Jack was so fun. Lots of new families. It was just a fun fall. I’ve been inspired to grow and learn It has infused me with a new passion and energy for photography (especially now with a 3 week break under my belt :).

#4. The Merge: Our church. Oh, our church. We merged with another church and our faith family expanded and changed and I love it. We met new people and we witnessed a beauty and gentleness that I think Jesus envisioned when He was here walking around and teaching. We aren’t perfect, but we are perfect for our family. Greg has an avenue to share his musical talent, and we have so many amazing musicians. There is a sense of shared responsibility among the members, it is just a beautiful thing and my faith has never been so alive.

#3. The Littles: Grace finished kindergarten and started first grade. I realized how quickly a school year passes, and how few of them you get to have. Elijah entered pre-school three days a week. We completed a parenting course that will prove to be a turning point in our parenting for the rest of our lives. Such good tools (must be used consistently). The kids have made me laugh, and amazed me; made me cry and devastated me – all the roller coaster that is parenting. I think one of my favorite things in the world is that shared look I have with Greg when they say or do something that amazes us. It might be something sweet, it might be something silly – but we will look for one another and share a smile and we just know that all is right in the world at that moment because there is such a shared love for each other and for these amazing littles.

#2. My man: Greg and I celebrated 8 years of marriage. It has been such an amazing 8 years and with every year I find some new thing about him that makes me love him more. He is steady in all the ways you want a spouse to be steady and he is surprising in all the ways I need someone to be surprising. He is the best decision I ever made. He is a gift. Greg makes me feel secure in the world and also incredibly brave.

#1. Freedom: 2014 will forever be a monumental year in my life because it was the year that I let go of my biggest shame and walked forward. It is the year that my God revealed himself to me in a way that I didn’t even know was possible. It was a big year.

And now – forward into 2015. I love the new year – I love resolutions and choosing a word of the year. I love starting new healthy habits. I love the hopefulness and the fresh start arbitrarily inserted into life by a date. I love the hope, the renewal, and the potential.

The new year is infused with such beautiful sacred potential. I, no doubt, will squander some of it, but I will not squander all of it. And that is enough.

Next week: Top 10 for 2015!


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