January Download

I've said it here before and I'll say it again I love the new year.  Resolutions.  Reflecting.  Dreaming and planning.  Remembering and charting new paths.  Looking ahead and widening the scope.  Then narrowing in.  It is my jam.  Although this dawning of new year has been lacking.  We returned from our Cali Christmas tour on the second of January and I just haven't got my groove back.  Maybe I should ask Stella?  Ooh, bad movie joke. 
I love sitting with the screen staring back at me and reviewing the past year's post.  This space is my online journal more often than not.  A place where moments are logged and photos spark my memory.  I did that just recently and that is when I realized I have not completed my posting for 2014.  There hasn't been a December recap of all the Advent traditions, Christmas light scavenger hunts, baking and friends gathering.  No birthday party post.  Nope, not even a telling of stories from Cali, through New Year's Eve.  Not a word of the year post, things I've learned, favorite photos.  Nada.  Zilch.  Don't fret.  I will post all those things.  My inner people pleaser, OCD self will not allow me to be let off the hook with those.  We must be orderly and on task here people.  And yes, one day when I print these posts and have them bound for keepsake I want my Things to look and be able to remember too.  And maybe see themselves and our world from my perspective even if just for a moment.  They are pretty wonderful and so is our life together.  At least from where I'm sitting. 
Thus far January is off to quite the start.  Two Things have been under the weather, missing school and various activities.  Thing 2 had her wisdom teeth removed and has been confined to the  house for the last four days.  There has been an abundance of jello, pudding, ice-cream and applesauce.  Not to mention movie marathons and Netflix watching.  All in all not so bad.  Although you Mamas out there know, it is not easy to see your children in pain, young or old, anywhere in between.  Early morning wake up calls with tears are not for the weary.   Yet that is how our January is being defined this year of 2015.  All this down time has provided ample game playing, long discussions around the table and sharing with the Things goals and dreams and plans for the year ahead. 
Our model has evolved over the years for these conversations.  When they were younger we kept it simple.  Something they learned last year, their favorite book, or memory and a new skill they were hoping to master in the year ahead, maybe a new food, etc.  An activity they wanted to participate in or try for the first time.  As they've matured so have our New Year sessions.  My favorite is to hear them "name" their last year.  One to three words that define the previous 365 days.  I have found that the words they choose tell me so much about their hearts.  We talk about mistakes made, missed opportunities and goals that weren't achieved.  Those times mold us, help us grow and have the ability to teach us, if we allow.  Then we dream.  Plan.  Choose a character trait to work on, pray big prayers and give bigger thanks.  And we look ahead.  Let me pause for a bit of transparency here.  This "conversation", takes some time.  As in we are going on day three and still haven't finished.  First, the questions and reflecting require thought and we give space for that.  Second, anytime the six of us are around the table there are side conversations, whispers, laughing and interruptions.  Always with the interruptions and randomness.  Husband Jared and I have resigned ourselves to the imperfect nature of our clan and we love it just the way it is.  Never boring.  Usually not a lack of words or opinions or feelings.  We are learning just as the Things are and when we give a little grace for that to happen the rewards far out weigh the inconvenience and chaos.  The hope that is in all the messiness that these four carry the lessons with them into their adult lives, separate from us.  That within these walls they have learned to find value in analytical thinking, reflecting, failing and being loved through it all. 
Near the end of our discussion I share my word for the year.  Transitioning into my focus for the next 300 plus days.  A guiding principle, if you will.  This year has been no different than any other, I did not choose my word, it chose me, so to speak.  BRAVE.  Not just in the new but in the old, the unknown, the hidden.  All of the above kind of daily grind and beyond.  Having courage to connect heart and mind.  To process and share.  In being vulnerable and crashing down walls.  Brave to listen and not speak.  Brave to share the messy and dark.  Brave to celebrate with joy and brave in gratitude for both the easy and the hard. 
There you have it.  A download from my mind to the page.  Unedited.  Here we go January!  Shh, don't tell that we're almost halfway through with you.  

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