i cannot believe this is the THIRD year end post since starting our blog...or that it took me three days into february to get last year's wrap up posted...sheesh!
just like previous years, 2011 was pretty good to us. although there were less "major" events as a family for us, watching brice master all her developmental milestones was pretty amazing. seeing as how i post EVERYTHING about her on facebook (and sometimes the blog) i will save you all the monotony of going through the first time she rolled over, sat up, crawled, walked...shook those precious little bun buns...you know, things like that:)
we took our first major mommy-daddy vacation to see two of our FAVORITE people, liz and mitch, tie the knot in napa. we were gone for ten days...and towards the last part of the trip we were both so ready to see our little love bug it was all we could hardly stand! early on in our marriage, bryce and i made the commitment that we will ALWAYS have a mommy-daddy only trip. even if it's only a weekend getaway, we think it is EXTREMELY important to remember that we are - in fact - still bryce and kristen...not only mommy and daddy:)
moose escaped...and then we found him after a week of anguish. definitely NOT a highlight of the year!
miss priss turned one and being able to share such a fun milestone with our family was fantastic!
we also found out that our family would be growing! when i first found out i was pregnant with bt2, i was TERRIFIED. and that is not an understatement. how in the world am i going to love another child as much as i love brice? am i robbing time with her, short changing her in any way? again, the Lord showed His grace and mercy by preparing my heart for the arrival of our new baby boy this spring...and i cannot wait to kiss his fat little cheeks and snuggle him! the thing i am most excited about is watching these children with my husband. i know he acts like a hard ass, but he is the most amazing and tender-hearted father i have ever seen. he is not afraid to be gentle and loving, but will lay down the law when needed. i know without a doubt he is my perfect match. his strengths are my weaknesses and he builds me up, encourages me and loves me unconditionally...especially through the miserable pregnant mood-swings (also known as nine months of grouchy!). to tell our family and closest friends we were expecting, my sweet husband made the most precious dvd of brice's first year and ended the slideshow telling everyone she is going to be a big sister! (although it didn't happen in 2011, finding out we are having a little boy was so exciting!)
i would have to say the biggest event in our lives this year was definitely the move back to oklahoma. i truly struggle putting into words how amazing it is to be HOME. there is a feeling we have when we're in oklahoma and there are no words to describe the feeling of home...
looking back, the "theme" of our family for 2011 is grateful. trying to wrap my head around how the Lord loves us and cares for us is nearly impossible, and we are so grateful for our blessings.
over the past year, we have gained wisdom and are really learning how to be a fruitful family unit. the first few years of marriage can be difficult and throwing a baby into the mix (joyfully!) creates new demands and obstacles that we as a husband and wife have had to learn to manage. we have really mastered becoming a team and are setting healthy boundaries so we can manage our family as we feel led.
over the last months of 2011, i truly felt the conviction to be completely TRANSPARENT in my walk with the Lord, in motherhood, in womanhood...in my life in general, so i'm sure there are those of you out there that think i share everything and that nothing in my life is private (although that is not true!). i have truly felt the conviction that there are other women and young mommies out there that are struggling with the same things i am. if i share my walk - my struggles, my triumphs - it may just be a tool God uses as encouragement or wisdom for someone else who may need to hear what the Lord has put on my heart. i want to rejoice with my friends, cry with them, build them up, and hold them accountable...and i am so thankful the Lord has blessed me with women who do the same for me.
2011 brought me a deeper understanding of what it's like to have freedom in the Lord, and i am working on a daily basis to focus on the big picture. my eternal footprint on someone's spirit is much more important than mopped floors or the perfect dinner party...
so, there you have it. 2011 was pretty fantastic and i know this next year will not disappoint: our first niece, madeline anne, just arrived and my cousin kevin is getting married this summer. our family is growing and i know 2012 will be full of love, laughter...and diapers. LOTS of diapers:)
i'll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from 2011:
|nine months...after my mamarazzi class!|
i hope you all stop and thank the Lord for the blessings in your life and actively invest in the future of your family. live - and love - with intent.