Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

2011 will forever live in my memory as the year we left Richmond, moved back to Northern Virginia, and lived with Clif's parents. Back in January I was sure this year would be the end of me. I spent the first few months of the year feeling down and sorry for myself. Not my best moments.

Though I'm not sad to see this year go, looking back I realize how much we've accomplished in the last 12 months.

We've gotten 2 houses rented (yes that means the Fredericksburg house is rented, they moved in yesterday actually).

We've learned to live in limited space and with most of our belongings in storage. Maybe we never needed all those things anyway.

We've revamped our finances and learned to survive on a tighter budget. This has made bill paying and spending money way less stressful.

We've started paying down debt and for the first time in 3 years we have a savings account...with money in it!

This may have been the hardest year of marriage for me and Clif thus far, and really it wasn't that bad and we're stronger for it.

My kids have been able to spend the last year really getting to know their grandparents. What a blessing.

All in all this year hasn't been the disaster I was sure it would be. But I am looking forward to 2012 and everything it has in store for us.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2011

According to Ainsley - Conversations with God

Ainsley: Mommy, when you have a baby in your belly can you get two baby durl twins in your belly?
Me: Well...maybe...but I don't get to decide that.  We've talked about it, mommies and daddies don't get to decide if they are having a boy or a girl in their belly and they don't get to decide if they have twins or not.
Ainsley: Why?
Me: Well God decides that for us.  He decided that first I needed a baby girl and then I needed a baby boy.  That's why he gave me you and Freddie.
Ainsley: But I really want two baby durl twins so I can have two baby durl sisters.
Me: Well, you'll  have to talk to God about that.

Ainsley (hands folded and looking up at the sky): Dod...hi, it's Ainsley.  Please but a baby in my mommy's belly.  But please put two baby durl twins in my mommy's belly.  I want to have two baby durl sisters because I already have a baby boy brover.  Otay Dod?

Ainsley: Mommy!!!!
Me: Yes?
Ainsley: I just asked God to give me two baby durl sisters in your belly and he said yes!
Me: Well, that's exciting.
Ainsley: High five Mommy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Little Comfort Goes A Long Way

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This past year has not been our most comfortable or the easiest to get through.  After 18 months of unemployment, then 7 months of living separately due to job locations, Clif and I moved our family into his parents' house.  That was 11 months ago.

It has been 11 months of living out of boxes.  Eleven months of missing items that are probably in the back of our storage room.  Eleven months of sleeping on someone else's bed, eating with someone else's silverware, showering in someone else's bathroom.

It's not been easy for us or his parents.  It's hard to call it home, because it's not really.  We know it's temporary, but just not sure how temporary.  It's this weird little space of limbo.  Limbo is hard and awkward and stressful...for me at least.

So as the holidays approached, I wondered how we'd keep our own family traditions in place.  Would we be able to eat chili for Christmas Eve dinner?  Could we put up our own tree with our own ornaments?  Would we find our stockings among our unpacked boxes?  Would we go on our own tacky light tour in our Christmas jammies?

I knew that some of it would have to change.  We're living with someone else and spending the holidays with them.  Some of our traditions would have to be put aside for theirs.

But a couple of weeks ago, we did put up our own tree.  And even though it's in the basement of a house that's not mine, that's filled with furniture and framed pictures that aren't mine, we continued one of our own traditions.

We told stories about each ornament.

We munched on beer bread with homemade jam and sipped our special hot chocolate.

We stood back as Ainsley saturated only a few branches with as many ornaments as they could bear.

We watched Freddie awe at the lights.

And for the afternoon, surrounded by my husband and kids, doing what we do every Christmas, it was comfortable and cozy and our basement really did feel like home.  Now, if only I could find our stockings...


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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fall Fun

Most people assume that I hate the Fall.  I don't hate the Fall.  Most people assume this because I hate the Winter.  I REALLY dislike Winter.  Winter is cold and dead and bleak and dreary and it snows and you have to wear a coat, I despise coats...but actually, I love the Fall.  I love the colors and the smells and the weather and everyone being out and about.  I love the Fall holidays and the start of a new school year.  I love light sweaters and jeans and boots.  I love everything about Fall, except that it happens right before Winter.

But that's not what this post is about.  Since I've been a slack blogger lately, I'm going to go ahead and dump all of our fall activities into this post.  One big ball of Fall, if you will.  Enjoy...

We went to fall festivals and pumpkin patches.

We got our faces painted

and painted

and really painted!

We painted pumpkins.

We caught up with old friends,

and made new ones.

We cheered on the matter how bad they played.

We enjoyed the awesome weather.

We ran races.

We spent Thanksgiving with family.

It was a great Fall.  A busy Fall.  We loved every minute of it.

Now, through the long, barren winter we go...but Spring is just on the other side.  And I love Spring.
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