This year has been about pulling in and focusing my efforts on the home front.
In years past, I felt I have flung myself into people’s lives, into their schedules, and into the rhythms of their families. This year, I flung myself into mine. At least for me, having one kid made me feel someone with one foot in motherhood and the other still trying to tromp the world. But since Judah was born and especially as he is now mobile and nearly talking, I feel as though I have both feet firmly planted in motherhood.
I like it, but I’m very aware of my personal pursuits as well, and I don’t want to forget who I am because I’m constantly giving my kids what they need. I want balance. I want to carve out that space for me–even if it’s in a back room somewhere or underneath covers or behind closed doors. Even if I’m not creating things that ever get seen or admired. Even if no one knows, I’ll know. I want to keep a part of myself for me.
I saw a group of college girls walking into Target. They seemed so light their feet barely hit the pavement. They were laughing and flipping their hair and huddling together the way younger girls do before they become women and become so guarded.
And I yearned to be back there. To make my own shirts that say ridiculous things from iron-on letters from Hobby Lobby. To go to sushi with friends and stay out as late as I want because I know I’ll be able to sleep in the next day.
But I had those carefree days. I had the luxury of my teens and early 20s. And lord knows I’ve filled my sleep-in quota for at least two lifetimes. So I put my head down and get through the tantrums and the throwing the spaghetti on the floor and the urine spraying all over the bathroom, and I learn to find the beauty in the hard. And I press in. Because that’s what I am learning to do. When things are hard, press into them. Embrace discomfort and even pain.
I know that someday, I’ll be able to go on a camping trip and not have to spend it making sure my child doesn’t toddle into the river and drown. I just have to be patient. And, while I struggle with many different things, I got patience.
This year has been the most exciting year for Hoptocopter. This year, we hired four new employees because the business is exploding, and we can’t keep up with demand. I transitioned into social media girl and then in December, transitioning out of doing it (because I’m horrible at social media). I still do script writing and voice over work. You can read more about what we’ve done this year here.
- We arrived home from visiting Seth’s brother and sister-in-law in Louisiana for two weeks, immediately threw our stuff in black trash bags, and moved away form our dear little house on the hill to a three bedroom two bathroom 1,600 square foot castle (to us) in town. We miss our little house on the hill, but a garage and a second bathroom is nice. We feel like royalty. I immediately started painting the entire living space in the house from a weird 1994 light tan/pink to a lovely greige.
- Judah got to where he could sit up without needing a pillow behind him.
- Kept working on the house, hung shelving, painted (oh, lord, the painting)
- A few of my good friends and I started a monthly girls night tradition of going out to dinner, talking about basically everything, and then shutting the place down. It may not seem like a big deal, but these meetings feed my soul when I feel worn out and depleted.
- We started our film club–when one of your employees is a film expert, it would be irresponsible not to!
- I started attending the first of several Financial Peace University classes which eventually changed everything about how we run our finances.
- Judah started sleeping through the night, and our lives got exponentially better.
- Celebrated Easter with the family–had an Easter egg hunt in the back yard. Elliott was beside himself with excitement.
- Seth started organizing his garage. The results were surprisingly beautiful.
- I started budgeting our personal finances, and it has made all the difference.
- Seth bought me a road bike, and I LOVE it!
- Hoptocopter went through some personnel changes, and, long story short, I took over the finances in the interim. And I had a series of panic attacks. Because I should never be doing business finances.
- We took a family/work trip to Denver. Before that, I hadn’t been to Denver in almost two years. Weird. We went to the zoo and the aquarium. Elliott was traumatized by an animatronic orangutan.
- A family of birds took up residence in the walls at work. Loud baby birds+production studio = no. The owner of the building was going to “deal with them,” but Seth ran home, built a makeshift bird house out of scrap wood, and rescued the birds. I still think it’s one of the cutest things ever.
- I started up Season 2 of Honestly Dear Listener. I got four episodes in, and then life happened. #2017goals
- I started a long-ish project for a local production company in town doing long-form narration for a medical product. The material was dry and boring, but the recording was SO fun!
- Judah turned 1, and Elliott turned 3. We celebrated with homemade cake. Judah was…well, the picture says it all really.
- I turned 32 and celebrated by going out to dinner with our friends Landon and Jackie.
- We and a group of our friends camped on the Green River at Riverpalooza, our annual summer river camping tradition. #rpal4.0 Camping with kids isn’t for the faint of heart. There is no relaxation (until after the kids finally konk out in the camper and I immediately find a PBR so I can relax for once. This is a tradition that I haven’t been able to be fully a part of since its inception. I was glad my kids were finally old enough to go.
- Seth and I said goodbye to the Honda CRV and hello to our new (to us) Honda Passport, commencing the summer of 4 wheeling out in the desert. We even found Carpenter, Colorado, a ghost town a few miles from our town that practically no one knows about!
- We spent the 4th of July with our friends in Ouray (the start of a new yearly tradition). We “camped” in our camper in an RV park, sang worship songs around the campfire, and made memories.
- Seth and I celebrated 9 years of marriage! 2017 will be 10!
- A group of four friends and I sailed the Colorado River from Palisade to Corn Lake. It’s hard to communicate how meaningful this hangout was–we connected over life experiences, first impressions of each other, and alcohol, and we lived to tell the tale. #carne
- My book club celebrated one year of meeting.
- My living room was transformed into 2016 Summer Olympics central. I got so excited running to watch gymnastics that I banged my pinky toe on the couch and broke it.
- Elliott and I painted a bunch of paintings on the back porch.
- I realized that school would start soon and that Elliott couldn’t go to school unless he was potty training, and I DESPERATELY NEEDED ELLIOTT TO GO TO SCHOOL, so I kindly but insistently started potty training Elliott. In two weeks, I had that kid wearing big boy underwear and going on the potty like a champ. And he has never (yet) had an accident at school. Whew!
- Ell Baby started school, and he loves it.
- My parents sold my childhood home of 23 years–a very bittersweet moment.
- The boys and I got to go to Farmer’s Market on the last night of the season. Elliott loves Farmer’s Market and walking around downtown.
- I attended my very first Chautauqua at Cross Orchards. I got to argue slavery with Jefferson Davis.
- Seth and I got into Stranger Things. I am a little obsessed with Eleven–probably because I think she looks like Judah.
- Judah started walking!
- I stopped breastfeeding. I made it 17 months, a month longer than with Elliott. It was the first time that I wasn’t either growing a person or feeding a person with my body.
- We bought BMX bikes and accompanied Elliott (who is proficient at his Strider bike) to the Fruita bike park.
- I made the most beautiful pie ever and was actually very proud of my efforts. It only took me three hours (just the top crust).
- We trick-or-treated with the Behrens in our neighborhood. Elliott lost his mind over Halloween. He pretty much lives for holidays.
- Well, we voted. #whatamess
- I got to interview three gentlemen for two days about how they used to go Barn Storming in the 70s. I loved it!
- We bought a TV. We haven’t had one since 2008. So it’s a big deal.
- I singlehandedly (with a little YouTube & dad coaching) winterized our swamp cooler. It felt dang good.
- Seth got more into woodworking. You can follow his learning process here.
- We celebrated Thanksgiving up at Seth’s mom’s house and then, the next day, at our house with my whole family.
- Seth turned 33. We celebrated with sushi and a drive to look at Christmas lights and talk about our dreams for the future.
- My friend Brian and I emceed the Parade of Lights. I only wish people could hear us better and that it could have been broadcasted up and down Main Street. And on the radio. And to all of Grand Junction.
- I finished up my 15 book read goal for the year by finishing 21 books! It feels really good to have read that many books despite being in the thick of motherhood. See what I read this year.
- We had our Hoptocopter Christmas party at our house for the third time! Such fun! (an oh so much work)
- Seth’s brother and sister-in-law and fam flew in from Louisiana to spend a week with us over Christmas. They cooked Louisianan food and played games with us until we were all bleary-eyed. We will go visit them in Louisiana for Mardi Gras (Feb/March). We can’t wait!
Another year has crept by while we were busy doing life, and I’m happy to say that I am finally starting to become the person I have always wanted to be–self-assured and self-confident. I don’t have to fake it anymore. Sometimes it feels like personal change can’t come fast enough and that I’m left making teeny tiny corrections. I feel like I’m looking back and seeing how the ship is turning around and that all those tiny little corrections I’ve made are adding up into a huge course change. And this is one of the most encouraging thing of all.
Dear reader, if you have made it this far, congratulations. I hope your year is full of personal change for the good and that you see these little corrections turning into one big one.
Happy New Year!