I suppose it's time i should try and sit down to do a little 2013 recap. 2013 was a great year, it was hard, it was challenging, it was tiring, it was stretching, it was growing, but most of all it was full of so much love.
SO much love from two little boys who adore one another. And I, them.
And there are so many things I don't want to forget about this past year....because in all honesty I feel like I floated by in a dense sleep-deprived fog for most of it.
I don't want to forget the early mornings that began in the dead of night because of a sweet little baby who decided at 4 months that sleep was not his top priority. But tugging deeply at his mama's heart was at every hour, every minute of every day and night.
I don't want to forget those late night snuggles, those moments where I sat in a half-awake trance, listening to the sweet baby breath melodically dancing off my neck, the curls that tickled my nose with each breath, and the never ending nursing that always seemed to calm. We spent a lot of precious time together, just me and my baby.
We still spend a lot of time together in the dead of night. But slowly we are making progress, which makes me not want to forget those long nights even more. I never want to get to a place where I take sleep for granted, ever. I don't ever want to get to a place where I take all the energy, patience, learning, and love that goes into parenting for granted. Each moment has meaning, has impact, has purpose....even if it means dragging your feet out of bed every hour in the dead of night to snuggle up a crying baby.
I don't want to forget the excitement of someone learning how to be mobile, who finally had a way to follow big brother around. And a big brother who loved having a little shadow, who learned how to care and share with him.
Those moments when the scurrying of knees on the hardwood suddenly was replaced by the padded steps of footed pajamas. And a little boy who was so happy that he could officially participate in the countless rounds of tag on foot, and was no longer legging behind because of being on all fours.
The binky smiles. Oh how I love those smiles. Cole never liked a binky, some people despise the binky...but I have loved the relationship this little one has had with his. Not too dependent upon it, but loves it none the less.
When big brother learned to jump and both feet actually left the ground. When he did somersaults and little brother tried to emulate them. There was a lot of looking up to big brother. Watching him and thinking he was pretty great.
Yes, there were many of these sweet smiles as he got to engage with his hero who he looks up to so adoringly.
The trains. Oh, the trains. I know I talk about them a lot, but it's simply because they have been played with countless hours by 4 little hands.
Hands that have learned how to take turns, share, and hold each other when needed. Much of 2013 was consumed with building intricate and expansive
tracks, being ripped apart by the youngest, choo-chooing, bashing and
crashing, and tripping over runaways.
There also may
or may not have been an incident involving a distracted mom, helping one
little boy with his shoes, another little boy with a motorized
train....and my hair. Let's just say, I lost a chunk that day....thanks
Those trains have definitely brought out a special bond between these two. And Cole continued to amaze me in his love and care for his little fan.
(Please don't stare too much at the horrible hack job I did on Cole's hair...that has also been a learning curve for this mama in the past year...no way am I going to plunk down 10-15 bucks a head for their hair to be cut!) For the record, there are no longer weird looking side-burn-taily-things screaming amateur....little by little I am improving. Hopefully 2014 will be the perfecting a technique year. :)
However, there may or may not be one little boy walking around with a rat tail and another one that has an awesome 80's mullet going on right now... it's not even business in front and party in back...more like party all over, thanks to those crazy curls!
But we are talking about 2013 and not the now.
Back to 2013...
I don't want to forget the moment Kyle and I looked at each other and knew we had outgrown our sweet little home in the city, and decided it was time to become Washingtonians.
The hours we spent looking and searching for our next home. The tears, the discouragement, the moment when we fell in love with an old farmhouse, at the same exact time....how our hands shook and sweat as we signed on the lines (or maybe it was just mine).
And then we had to walk away as we realized even with all the charm in the world, it just wasn't what was best for our family right now. Then how God blessed us with our new home, and to be honest, I was a bit heart broken as it didn't compare in the charm department to the old farm house....but together we have learned how to put in our own grunt work, add love, and some charm little by little.
We also learned it can make a 10 minute task turn into a 5 hour one with two little ones wanting to grab nails and hammers....for the record, none were consumed, no one was hurt, and the pictures got hung.
When both boys finally got their own rooms, and then Bennett reverted back to his newborn days, and Cole had night terrors. Sleep. There wasn't much of it this past year. So we did a lot of walks, a lot of park dates, and a lot of swinging to try and shake the cloud of sleepiness that seemed to hover over us.
As you can see, the no sleep had the least amount of effect on those two punkin heads.
I don't want to forget when Cole finally found his words, and all the sweetness that began to pour from those lips. The times he ran into my room (drenched and fresh from the bath) to give baby and I kisses goodnight. When he went bounding out of the room and I called "I love you" after him and I heard "I wub you do" as he disappeared down the hall.
Or when he wore nothing else but my headband all day under his armpits and walked around proudly proclaiming it was his "scarp" (scarf).
The huge, full-blown tantrum and screaming down the freeway when I told him "No, Cole you can't drive the car to Nana's today...."
The "No problem Mama, No problem" when I thanked him for helping me clean up.
I definitely don't want to forget the love of cooking that was better established this past year. Or when Cole would throw fits because he wanted to help make "deener" at 7 in the morning.....
This past year I have found more joy in getting to know my sweet little man and all the thoughts bouncing about his little head.
And speaking of joy, I cannot express the amount of joy that welled in my heart the first time we sat down for dinner, and like usual we told Cole it was time to pray, reached out to hold his hand....and then heard someone hollering his disapproval behind us. I turned to see Bennett clearly upset that he was waiting patiently for someone to hold his precious little hand so that he could also pray with us.
From that moment on, every night, before dinner he holds our hands and waits for the "amen" before he resumes his eating.
And as much as I want to forget the moment that nearly scared the life out of me. I know I can't, and I know 2013 will always be the year when I realized how quickly life can end, the year I got a slight taste of what it would feel like to have to say good-bye to part of my own flesh and bones. The year I I realized I don't ever, not for a moment want to take these little hearts for granted. They are a blessing in every form. They breathe life and joy...even in the early morning. They are my world. My loves.
That moment of holding my nearly one-year-old baby seizing in my arms symbolizes so much of what this year has been about.
Soaking in the moments, all of them. Savoring stages. Kissing soft cheeks, staring in the blues of their eyes. Being still. Being real. Embracing change, welcoming the unknown. But remaining steadfast in the truth that Christ was and is there to guide us through it all. That He gave us this life, these kiddos to be in the moment with.
We have grown a lot in 2013. We have all come out stronger, with more thanksgiving and more love than we thought possible. We have grown in personality, in ability, in closeness, in the reality of life itself.
I am grateful for this life that God has given me, I am excited for all that He has in store for 2014. I know it will be hard, it will be challenging, but I am also confident that it will be better and bigger than we imagine, and that our love will only grow in leaps and bounds.
How can it not with these two?
I mean, seriously. The sweetness.
Bring it 2014, we are ready for you.