2012- A Year of Dreams

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2012 has been the best year of my life.

In the last year, I have stood in the trenches at Flanders fields. I rode a cog train to the top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps. I have been served a 4 course meal on the river Seine, and sampled the “Best Beer in the World” in Belgium. I’ve had a car break down in the French country side, I’ve been lost on the German autobahn, and I’ve butchered every European language I have tried to speak.

2012 has been the year of dreams. I remember sitting in French class in high school and thinking learning French was a total waste because there is no way I would ever get to Paris. I’ve daydreamed my way into this life more times than I can count, but somehow this year, I was able to live all those big dreams.

More importantly, I have the family of my dreams. I have an amazing husband- the kind of man women dream about. He is an amazing cook, and more often than not, he is the one serving us dinner each night. He is caring and compassionate, and cleans more than his fair share of messes. More importantly, he is a man I can count on. In the past year, I have felt my relationship with my husband strengthen and get better and better. Being so far from “home” is difficult, but has taught Hubby and I to lean on each other more, and be more compassionate. We have become much better friends.

My Children have also been a huge highlight of the last year. I never thought I would be one of those “crazy homeschoolers”…. But the last year has been one full of books and curriculum, projects and field trips, learning and fun, and dare I say, sometimes tears. I’ve learned that my children make fantastic companions, and that teaching them is not only rewarding, but FUN.

Bug has been devouring everything I put in front of him, and I have spent way too much time trying to plan lessons for him, only to discover he already figured out what I wanted him to learn on his own. He is learning to enjoy a challenge, and becoming more independent every day. This year, he learned to read instructions on his own so he can build Legos alone. He’s found a love of stories, and a strong sense of curiosity.

Mr. Man has been full of his own kind of challenges. Parts of this year were spent with me in tears wondering how I will ever survive his preschool years. I reached a point where I wasn’t sure we would make it, between trying to fly and being stubborn and imagining a million different ways to get in trouble. We went to doctors, and even a pediatric psychiatrist before realizing that maybe, what the kid really needed, was some sort of challenge. At the end of 2012, he started to read, and we have reached a point where there are more good days than challenging days. We are starting to see the light at the end tunnel, and it feels so good to see him smile more, and grump less.

Missy has gone from a little mush baby, to a walking, talking, fiery little girl. She is the sugar and spice and joy of our home. If anyone is feeling down, I send them to play with Baby. I’ve never known such an easy baby, and I am enjoying every second with her. I still sometimes feel like I need to pinch myself…. After years of boys and boogers, I have a little lovey girl, and all the bows and ruffles and baby dolls that come with it.

On a personal level, I feel like I really came into my own in 2012. I second guess myself less. I am saying “No” more. I’m learning to choose between the good and the great for myself and my family. I feel more confident, better-rounded, and more like the person I want to be. I’m not as worried about what people think of me. I have been a good mother. I have been present with my family, I have had fun, and I haven’t been afraid to do the things I want to do. I am happy. This year, I have been overwhelmingly, unbelievably happy.

2012 was not a year of new babies, or big moves, or weddings, or any one *big* event. But this has been an amazing year, full of little things that have made our life one of dreams. When the clock strikes midnight tonight, I am going to be watching the fireworks with all my loves, and know that this last year is full of memories our family will cherish. Next year is going to be even better!

Thanks for sticking with me in 2012!

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