This time last year, my family and I were living in Ecru, MS. I specifically remember January for all the snow we had in one month, which was quite unusual for northeast MS. It was the first time we all went outside and built a snowman... or snow woman, not really sure which, seeing as how ours had a big yellow plastic sunflower stuck in the top of the head next to the striped maroon toboggan. The girls also learned how to build a snow fort, which was really pretty cool if you ask me. Jordan got her wish of making a snow angel. I can still see her face as she plunged into a pile of snow and furiously waved her arms and legs. I spent that month doing a lot of thinking, a lot of soul searching, a lot of worry over dear friends going through difficult times, a lot of dreaming, a lot of debating, and I did it all classic Jennifer style... all very quietly and inwardly without really speaking of any of it to much of anyone.
February. Just thinking of that month brings innumerable emotions back to the surface. Moving along.
March. My 10 year anniversary trip to Saint Simons Island, GA. (thanks for the idea, Brittany!!) My husband and I enjoyed a few days on the Georgia coast, including our first tour of a lighthouse (all the way to the top!), incredible food, and a beachfront hotel suite. Who knew that you could have your own little piece of paradise only one day's drive away from MS?
April and May kind of run together in my mind. The biggest thing that happened for us during this time was Rachel graduating from Kindergarten. She had her own special day with just mommy, she got to choose where she wanted to eat lunch (Chili's) with mommy and daddy, she got to go shopping, and then that night was filled with family, fun, and lots of smiles and pictures. Yes, I cried. Twice.
June. My chubby ray of sunshine, my Ellie-Belle, turned one year old. Unreal. Her party was Strawberry Shortcake themed with pinks, greens, blues, and yellows. I'll never forget walking through Walmart battling 10 helium filled balloons, causing all kinds of unwanted attention. Ugh.
July. Ever heard of the phrase "at a fork in the road"? Always makes me think of Kermit and Fozzie singing that song in the Muppet Movie where they come to a literal, huge fork in the road...ha. Anyway, that was me. And, much like the song, "movin' right along".
August. This is where it all got interesting. My husband accepted the call to pastor a small congregation in Greenville, MS at Greater Faith Tabernacle. If you missed reading about this time in our lives, go back to "A new chapter" and "The first week of a new life" in my blog. This month is also when Rachel was filled with the Holy Ghost and was baptized! We packed up our belongings, with the help of Del's parents, without whom we'd NEVER have gotten moved (THANK YOU!!!), we said our goodbyes as best we could manage, and off we went. During this time, the girls were able to start the school year off at Oxford Christian Academy (Jordan's first day!) while everything went underway with the move. I'm ever so thankful for this school and I'm so glad the girls can still be a part of it through fun field trips and activities.
September and October are flurried memories of unpacking, beginning the adventure of homeschooling my girls, starting a new job as a private duty nurse for a 4 year old special little boy with SMA, and of course, starting a brand new role as a pastor's wife. What a whirlwind! It's all just a blur. But I do specifically remember one thing, and it's hilarious in light of all the change in my life. I hung curtains for the first time ever. Haha!
November. I turned 32, Jordan turned 5, Rachel turned 7, and my Mother remained her beautiful, young age of 29. :) I was treated to a delicious dinner at my new favorite restaurant here in the Delta, Posecais. My husband and I also packed up the girls and drove a total of 6 hours in one day to vote on Proposition 26. Oh, and on a side note, I received 110 birthday wishes on Facebook! Wow. In comparison to my 15 the year before, that's quite a difference.
December. We put up our Christmas tree with the girls, and they delighted in hanging pretty ornaments in the oddest places, most of which were clumped together along the bottom. I discovered online shopping!! For those of you who truly know me, you can appreciate that small fact, seeing as how I LOATHE shopping of any kind. But this year, I didn't fight the first crowd or stand in the first line. I simply clicked a mouse. Beautiful. And the girls had a wonderful Christmas, probably the best ever. Amazing things happened at Christmas this year, most of which are personal and private victories. In fact, the biggest events that happened in my life this year are things I will remain silent about.
We ended this year in a special way. We took a quick trip to North Little Rock, AR. Just an overnight, post-holidays getaway. It was fun and relaxing. We brought in the new year in a quiet house, just the two of us. (the girls were on their own vacation with grandparents) It was the most special new year's eve I've ever had. If there was any way I'd want to start a new year, it's not in a crowded room filled with loud, drunk people. It's not even with a small group of family and friends with games and fun conversation. There is no better way to bring in a new year and turn over a new leaf than in the arms of someone you love, that same someone who loves you back. That's the way it should be. That's the way I hope to bring in each new year to come.
I will not make any new resolutions, because, let's face it... who really meets those goals anyway? I will not set myself up for disappointment by making a list of things I can't accomplish. Instead, I'll list a few things I actually DID accomplished this past year, things that were good.
- I started a blog! Yay! A hobby!
- I lost weight, quite a bit, actually. Yes, I gained a few pounds of it back, but that's to be expected. Overall, I have maintained my weight loss very well. I'm quite proud of myself for it.
- I talked my Dad into starting Facebook. Haha!!
- I learned the value of friendship. True friendship.
- I closed a few doors that needed to be closed. Closure is a wonderful thing. It hurts, yes. But it really does help.
- I opened doors.
Here's to a new year. A new beginning. Let's move forward, shall we?