Quick update on the baby front:
We are still sans baby. I think my children are terrified to leave my belly when in actuality they really should be terrified to stay. I mean, I seriously just ate 3 pancakes and I wasn't even that hungry... I also may have accidentally eaten half a pizza for lunch. My sweet husband was the one to notice. Yeah, thanks babe for calling out your large 10 month pregnant wife as if I'm not self-conscience already. You rock.
I'm so uncomfortable. I sit and my body immediately starts to slide down into the seat which means I, then, get stuck and have to have someone come and lift me up. I also have some needy boys in my house who insist on being in my lap. This is getting a little ridiculous as my lap is disappearing. And clothes do not fit at 10 months pregnant. It doesn't matter how big or long you make it, it just doesn't work anymore. I've considered wearing a trash bag. I've also considered just giving up and going naked, but that could get a little awkward...
All in all: I just want this baby out, but, honestly, who doesn't at 40 weeks pregnant??
But enough baby. Let's talk 2012.
Yesterday, Jeremy and I sat down and reflected on the past year. Man... was it a rough one. But it was good for us to look back and talk about what was so hard, how we grew, and what we learned. We used Simple Mom's reflection questionnaire as a guide. I picked some questions out that I thought I'd share with you all.
What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Getting pregnant. Jeremy and I had been trying for a little while, had a miscarriage, decided to take a break and regroup after a few months, and then out of the blue I got knocked up. We realize how fortunate we are that it happened so quickly.
What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Getting pregnant. Ha! Seriously, my pregnancy knocked us both flat on our face. I went from doing all the house stuff to not being able to get out of the bed for about 4 months. Add in a 15 month old. And Jeremy having to take on it all solo... It was so hard. It was the first time in our marriage that we entered survival mode.
What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Parker's semi-turnaround. In June, Parker was diagnosed with a liver disease that basically gave him 10 months to live. He was losing weight fast, unable to control his bladder, throwing up constantly and it just wasn't looking good. Now, Parker is like a child to me so there were a few weeks there where all I could do was cry. On top of it, Jeremy and I had to make the hard decision to manage him at home the best we could until it came time to put him down. Managing him with the vets' help was just out of the question because of the cost to do so. What a hard decision! I felt guilty for days. Anyways. Parker was bad. The week before Christmas, Jeremy asked me to call around and find out about the cost to put him down. He'd begun to whimper and pace non-stop and we just knew this was the time. So I called and found a place to do it. I, then, begged Jeremy to let us wait until after Christmas. Well, that week Parker began to eat again.. and not just eat a little, but eat a lot. He was eating double the amount he'd eaten in the past 6 months. He was gaining weight, controlling his bladder, not whimpering... It really was our little Christmas miracle. We are still holding our breath slightly and he still needs to gain about 4 more pounds before we feel great, but it was our unexpected joy.
What was an unexpected obstacle?
Ha! What wasn't?? We had a lot come up this past year that we just weren't prepared for.
Pick three words to describe this past year.
challenging, exhausting, and sad
With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Jeremy and I are so grateful for the friends and family we have. We were shown so much love, received so many prayers, and had people come and help when we were desperate. From my sister who took on Bradley for a good four months while I struggled to stand to Jeremy's mom who came up to do our laundry, clean, and cook to friends who brought meals and sat with me to my dad who'd come and help Jeremy with house projects to my other sister who put together our entire nursery. We are just so blessed that so many of you love on us and care. Even today, I got a text from a friend who is simply praying Madelyn comes today. What a huge blessing!
What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
My biggest personal change was learning to let things go. I enjoy being organized and in control of my surroundings. I am at peace when things are in place, done, and functioning well. The minute I got pregnant, I had to get over this fast. Laundry did not get done. My house was a disaster and getting worst by the minute. There was one point when Bradley thought dust bunnies were real bugs. And I couldn't physically function to fix anything. I had to learn to be okay with doing little, expecting little, and being okay when all was not perfect. It was such a hard lesson and one that I don't have perfect, but have definitely grown so much. And I really think this lesson was an important and good one for me.
Jeremy's biggest personal change was learning to manage his time better. He really had to take on the role of two parents for most of this year. He had to remember a lot more (which is super hard for him since he has a horrible memory), do a lot more, and all while working full-time. It was not easy on him at all. Bradley and I are a handful add in Parker and him being exhausted from working... I am so grateful that the Lord knew to put us together. Not many men would endure this year with the love and grace he showed us all.
What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Watching Bradley grow and mature. There is so much excitement and joy in seeing Bradley learn new skills, communicate better, and become his own person.
What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Handling Bradley while he grows and matures. We are learning a lot about patience, love, and ourselves.
What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Netflix. We have watched so much Netflix...
What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Jeremy and I worked really hard this year to spend more quality time together as a family. We are both very busy. This usually leads to exhaustion and us choosing laziness over doing things to make memories. So this year, we set out to spend intentional time together as a family. We both feel this is an area we really did well in.
What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
God's provision. He really took care of us this year. It wasn't the best and it wasn't easy, but His presence was near through it all.
And, now, we wait to help a little girl join us. What a great way to start a new year?!