Monday, December 31, 2012

Good-bye 2012, Hello 2013!!

It's nearly 6pm on New Year's Eve. My family is nestled in their beds napping before tonight's festivities. I'm sitting on the couch enjoying the lights on the Christmas tree, probably for the last time this season. As I'm sitting here, I have many thoughts running through my head. 2012 was definitely a year of ups and downs. I could say this has been probably the most difficult year of my life. I could focus on just the negative things that have happened this year, and there have been many. But you know? Through it all, I have been blessed. I've been given an amazing family. Notice I didn't say a perfect family, but amazing. We've been through a lot of hard times this year. In the end, I think we've come out a closer knit unit, for the most part. We're learning to communicate a lot more, which is something we have lacked. We've spent a lot of time doing things together, and a lot of time doing things for others. We made an effort this year to do a lot of giving throughout the holiday season in particular, and the kids LOVED it! Through all of the hard times, God has given me an amazing husband. Even though sometimes the hard times have been a result of a problem in our marriage (I'll be transparent and admit that), he has been amazing. Our marriage easily could have ended this year. But, it didn't. Instead, we're taking steps to make it flourish, mostly because of the steps Mike has taken and the changes I've seen in him. I am blessed. God has given me some AMAZING friends. Without them, I never would have made it through the rough times this year. They've prayed for me, encouraged me, just let me be if that's what I needed, even given me advice if necessary. I used to say that I didn't need friends. As long as I had my family, that was all I needed. I guess that means the friends I have now are like family. God blessed us and gave us some amazing vacations this year! We were able to take a few days and travel to Valdez with my parents and brother. Even though some of us were sick for that trip, it was still an enjoyable time. Shortly after that we took the kids and went on a 10 day vacation to Anchorage/Seward. We had a lot of fun on that trip. I'm thankful the Lord provided a camper for us to use. Close quarters, yes. Sometimes that's the best way to spend time together though. I'm hoping we have the opportunity to do something similar to this trip next summer. We'll see how it all plays out. I should mention a very big blessing that occurred in 2012...Mike returned home from Afghanistan. This deployment was very difficult on our family, so I sure was glad it was over. I would like to say he will never deploy again, but that is likely not the case. However, I try not to think about it. Even though we faced a lot of trials this year, I do have much to be thankful for. God has given me so much more than I deserve. I am looking forward to 2013. I've got some changes I need to make in my own personal life. Now is the time to do it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Knitting

Ok, so it's not really knitting...crocheting would be the appropriate term. Mikayla made these scarfs for her friends. She picked each color based on what she thought each girl would like. Mikayla has such a tender heart. I am thankful for her! By the way, the pattern is the Chain Loop Scarf. You can find it on Ravelry. The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun. A bulky yarn would work fine too!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All Things Christmas

I've been consumed with the busy stuff. Knitting Christmas gifts, baking cookies to give away, etc. We are truly enjoying the Christmas season, even though it is busy. We are attempting to teach our kids that its better to give than to receive. Yesterday, Mike pointed out to me that I melted my spendy winter jacket while putting wood in the stove. I was very sad, as we had just spent a lot of money at the post office mailing gifts. Quite a bit more than I had anticipated. Double what I had anticipated. So, to come home and realize I would have to purchase another jacket, I may have over reacted a wee bit in the tears department. As Mike and I were browsing jackets at landsend, Benjamin brought over a $20 bill, and Katie offered a donation as well. Of course we didn't really need it, we didn't take it, but it warned my heart and made me cry even more. Generosity in kids is a hard thing to find these days. We are definitely blessed.

Christmas knitting? I have more in the works, but these two scarfs needed to be mailed. They are ruffle scarves using KP Swish Worsted. I love that yarn. I will try and post a link later when I can actually get on my laptop again. A certain puppy chewed my charging cord. Good thing she's cute.