Reflections in the Lake: Leaving behind one year, Embracing another

Today is the second day of the new year, and I have finally found a little space to think about the transition into a new season and space in the grand scheme of time. Before I had this little space on the internet I did this privately...in a word document, or scribbled in the worn pages of a journal. Writing brings my soul clarity and closure. It's how I saw farewell, and hello, and allows me to feel that I have put everything in it's place. It brings peace to the jumbled mess that is so often my thought process.

Jane is passed out in my living room right now, sleeping to the sound of Aoife O'Donovans newest release, "Fossils" (I'm telling you all of this because she's just so beautiful and badass and if you don't know who she is, you should), and there's peace and silence in the house. This past year has held so many changes for me and my little family: we lived with our parents for several months (after moving back from WA, and finding that house hunting wasn't as easy as it seemed), bought our first home, did a complete renovation on that home, dealt with chronic sickness, started new jobs, settled into a new life in a new city, and went on our first vacation alone since Dirk and I met. It's a year I wouldn't give anything for, because though it's held it's fare share of tears, and ache, and disappointment, it has also taught me so very much. I can look back and realize that I have grown, and I feel that if that is really the case then we can just call the year a success right now.

I have learned so much about grace, and love, and expectations this year. I've realized that though I've always loved the idea of Grace, I actually have very little of it for myself, or anyone else. And it's taken the people I care about most in the world disappointing me deeply to show me that. To show me that I really only care about them if they can play their role in my epic story. The one I wrote in my head and am expecting them to follow. How terrible would life be if it really worked like that? How shallow and broken and selfish would my story become? Today I am so thankful that people are not always who you want them to be.

I've learned so much about being a mother, and experienced the first aches of a child asking more of me than I want to give. At the same time I have come to love this messy little bundle of joy, and anger, and will, and emotion more than I ever thought possible.

I've rediscovered some parts of myself that I really didn't know what to do with for a while, and learned to accept them, and love them, and cultivate them for what they are. To have grace with myself as I, and everyone else figure out this crazy, beautiful, wild thing called life. This blog was birthed out of that and I can't tell you guys how good it has been for me. Thank you guys so much for encouraging me and interacting. It means the world to me.

And with that, I'm ready to walk into this new year. To jump into whatever it has to offer with open arms, and live it for everything it's worth. I want to make more memories (and do a better job of documenting them!), and enjoy it with everything I've got. I want to give my daughter more time, and less T.V. and more tea parties and less frustration. I want play my mandolin again and sing to myself more often. I want to spend more time enjoying my husband and less time being angry at him for putting his boots on the table. And I want to have grace for myself when I fail at all of those things. And on days like today, when I have only managed to get a shower and put sweat pants right back on I want to say "to hell with it!" more often and go finish eating all of the christmas popcorn with my child. Which is exactly what I'm about to do.