1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Ainsley was born. Also, I had no ppd this time. Huge.
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Learning to parent 3 kids well - giving each the attention they need, discipline that is appropriate and love that is plentiful - and keep a home that (I believe) is too big for us. It’s a lot of work.
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Breastfeeding. After nursing Jacob for 9 long and often miserable months, I adored most every minute of breastfeeding Ainsley, and was so sad when she quit at 6 months.
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
I have 2 and I can not pick one over the other.
1) Managing with a husband who was home, but not present. We thought we had everything figured out with Nathan working from home, and then this summer he had a huge project he had to work on 12-14+ hours per day, 5 and 6 days a week for about 4 months this year, from the time Ainsley was born until Fall. It was a huge challenge to have him in the house, but unable to help while I was learning to manage our new, larger family.
2) The boys have had really terrible behavior issues and I’ve become angry - yelling at them and even spanking. I hate that part of myself. It has been a huge challenge for me to figure out how to parent them the way they need, teach them, discipline them appropriately and control my anger. Worst of all, I’m nowhere closer to figuring things out than I was 6 months ago. I don’t want to become my mom.
5. Pick three words to describe 2008.
Joy, Learn, Introspect
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2008 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
challenging, happy, and I honestly have no clue for the 3rd!
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2008 (again, without asking).
stressful (work), happy (Ainsley’s birth), fun (we took 2 great vacations)
8. What were the best books you read this year?
These is My Words, and The Holy Secret. I read 32 books this year, which is so little compared to previous years.
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Nathan, my children, friends Heidi and Melanie. My sister, Stacy.
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
The end of the pregnancy was really hard; I had to go back on Prozac for serious anxiety issues. I was sick the entire pregnancy. Since then, my weight - again - has been a major challenge and frustration.
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
Wow. Not enough. I wonder if I did grow emotionally.
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
Again, not enough. I feel like my prayer life and scripture habits have slipped considerably, and that is a huge focus for me right now - getting all of that back on track and where I feel like I need to be and to see how far I can reach.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
Oh, gosh - how about this, I did grow physically. My belly became swollen while growing my baby, and then, after only gaining 8 lbs during my pregnancy, my body has grown to 10 lbs over my delivery day weight. Not good.
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
This is something I really need to focus on next year. I was so inwardly focused this year. I felt like a hermit while sick and cranky and pregnant, and then I’ve not nurtured more than my 3 close friendships past baby. I’ve just survived and tried to take care of my family.
15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home?
We finished our basement. That was huge. I feel like I got a pretty good routine down for menu planning, weekly cleaning, and deep cleaning. They are things I enjoy when they’re in control.
16. What was your most challenging area of home management?
Finishing the basement. Nathan was so slow moving his office from Ainsley’s bedroom to his new office downstairs, and being as it was heavy furniture, it wasn’t something I could step in and do alone. It really screwed up our house for a couple months, and interfered with my routines.
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
The internet. Hands down. Something I’ve been doing well at spending less time on the past month.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Holding my baby. Reading to my children. Snuggling the littles who will not be so little much longer.
19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
To relax about house things. The house does not always have to be totally clean all the time. It will be okay.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2008 for you.
Later, I’m tired.