As I sit here this morning, New Year’s Eve creeping up on me with each passing moment. I wanted to take a moment and be thankful for all that has happened in 2011. It’s been a huge year for us, we moved from the warmth and closeness of our family in Alberta and started over. The island is lovely, we love it here – we are building some beautiful friendships and feel a closeness in our ward that is truly special. I’m back in Young Women’s – a calling in our ward that I love! I enjoy so much being with the youth of the church and sharing in the extra special moments with them when so much is on the horizon for these girls. It’s such a privilege.
I feel so blessed, it’s not been the most easy of years. We’ve been challenged, we’ve struggled, prayed, cried, and kept moving. We have worried about our children, who their friends are and who they shouldn’t be friends with. We’ve tried to be more diligent about focusing inward to our little family circle, and building our relationships stronger. We’ve read The Book of Mormon as a family, but slacked far too often at having regular Family Home Evening. We took family trips and took every opportunity to plan and execute “memory building” events that would last.
I have learned alot about myself this year, I know myself better. I know what I can take, and I must say that truly I can take alot. I have. There’s nothing like “sheer worry” for months and months on end for a loved one that will test your faith and your inner strength. I don’t always know what to do, or how to get through the walls of the teenage mind, but my love for my children has increased substantially this year as has my desire to steer my children in righteous and noble paths. I am Thankful for the progress we have made, I hope to make more. As my darling husband reminds me, with children it’s slow and steady, consistent, and small corrections – though wouldn’t it be wonderful to just dive in and have things improve in “MY” ideal timeframe? I always thought I knew my heart well, but worrying for a child makes you learn so much more about your heart and how far it can stretch, and how encompassing love can be.
The reunion was a true highlight of our year, sharing several days together in a huge house and having the cousins bond through constant play was awesome. Thanks to Nathan’s Mom and Dad we were able to give our family a wonderful memory of castles, kings, queens, and how far their Nana’s love goes for them. Every amazing detail was incredible. Then we had the added bonus of snagging a few days with Mom and Dad camping in the Portland area (and by that I mean far from humanity and civilization down the most winding road I’ve ever got car sick on). The epic water balloon fight of 2011 in the campground, as well as the snake have been talked about many many times since.
We have had the pleasure of several visits from our extended family. I loved the chance to show my own parents around The Island, acting as their official tour guide. We had alot of fun checking out the roadside markets for fruits and jams, the docks, the cute little town of Sidney and the sea wall together. It was not a long enough visit, and they need to come back for more fun – I have made a point of discovering and keeping a wishlist of things to see and do so we can enjoy it when they come back. It’s nice to know that the plane ride is only an hour and 10 minutes away.
Our family vacation to Mexico was the crowning jewel of our year! 14 days of bliss, togetherness, beauty, heat and sand. Oh it was a dream come true, and worth every penny and every day of missed classes in order to make it happen. We needed that family getaway – it was perfect.
Now the Christmas gear is starting to be packed away, the bills are surely in the mail, and life is heading towards it’s normal routine after an indulgent few weeks of holiday time. All that’s left of 2011 is a few hours to clean the house, shop for some food for tonight, and party like it’s 1999!
Thanks 2011 for all you have brought to our lives, taught me and filled me with. My real thanks however is to God, for the blessings of having my children and husband around me, and knowing where the source of all of the goodness, laughter and the lessons come from. Thank you Heavenly Father, my heart is full.