2011 is drawing to a close as quickly as it was upon us just 12 short months ago. Looking back, there was so much that happened. Grant and Maria celebrated their first birthday, took their first steps, and said their first words. They had their first round of swim lessons and music classes, took their first trip to the ER, and welcomed a new cousin. Jeremy and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary and I received a nice promotion at work. While much of the year now seems like a blur, I’ve learned so much and cherish the time I get to share with Grant, Maria and Jeremy.

For me, I’ve learned some lessons, as well.

• With courage and a lot of prayer, broken relationships can be mended. As mentioned in my last post, after a 27 year estrangement, my dad’s sister is back in our lives. I give my mom lots of credit for taking that leap of faith in reaching out and Anne credit for responding in kind.
• There will be things in life that happen that are far out of your control and you cannot apply rational thought to an irrational act. I lost two co-workers in a workplace tragedy in July and will be honest that I’m still working through the emotions that resulted.
• Counseling is a wonderful thing. As a result of the workplace tragedy, I sought help through a Christian counselor. She has helped me unpack all that was associated with it and we tapped into some other things I needed to sort through, including our journey through infertility and embryo adoption. It’s a work in progress.
• It’s okay to keep certain people at a distance. As a Christian, I struggled with this because I thought it meant I didn’t love as I should, but through my counseling, came to peace with this … Jesus loved Judas, but he didn’t take him to the garden to pray with him.
• I’ve changed a lot. Being a parent opens you up to a depth of emotion that was not possible before. I have much less patience for people who whine over trivial things, but much more empathy for those with real struggles.
• You can’t do it all. Give yourself grace. As a mom, it’s hard to do all that I need and want to do. When I’m not at work, I want and need to spend my time with Grant, Maria and Jeremy, which means other things that I want to do fall to the side. I’ve recognized that this is a season of life and one day, I will have time for those other things I used to do, like go to the gym every day and participate in a women’s Bible study.

I’m sure 2012 will be a lightning fast year as well. Undoubtedly there will tears and struggles, but I hope it brings more laughter, joy and lessons. From our family to yours, we wish you a bright and blessed 2012.

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