My friend Beth is doing a series on her blog called "Chapter 2017" that really speaks to what I said in my last post about wanting to get back to the basics here. While I won't be able to keep up with daily posts, like she does, I can certainly commit to doing something weekly to just kind of sit down and record the little things that I would otherwise forget. Her 2017 series is written as a chapter in her life, where she is writing a page a day. I love that! For mine, since I can't keep up with daily, I will just write weekly chapters in the story of this particular year. (Actually I will likely write random thoughts and bullet lists... nothing resembling a chapter, but you get the point.) I DO, however, hope to have daily photos! So far so good as of the end of this week. We will see how far I make it!
2017 - Chapter 1/52
There is always this sense of expectation when a new year begins. I am always excited to see what lies ahead, but this can also lead to me struggling with being patient with the process of life. I get caught up in thinking about how I want certain things to look at the end of the year... but forget that it will take 365 days of effort to get there. This is a continuing theme in my life, and something I hope I am getting better at addressing with each passing year. Clearly I am not done maturing, though... because I started this year once again trying to get ahead of myself.
A few years ago, I started a project 365 (one photo each day for a year) like I often do in January. I have yet to actually complete one of these challenges, but the years when I at least try in earnest I usually at least have a great collection of photos to look back on from the first few months of the year. Anyhow, I started on January 1 with a photo of then-3-year-old Aiden looking out our bedroom window... something he could often be found doing. He had a messy little face and his big beautiful eyes and I just loved that photo. Each year since then I have taken a photo at that window. However, in 2016 we moved! So this year we needed a new window... and I kind of love that. (You can find a collage of all 4 yearly photos here.)
I love that the tradition continues, but the exact location will differ as our life changes. It reminds me that I need to keep my focus on what matters - my relationship with my Heavenly Father and what that brings to my relationships with the people I have in my life (including myself) - instead of getting too caught up in the details. It sounds great in theory. It is one of those things that needs to be committed to again each day, though. Some days that happens, some days not so much. It is those not-so-much days that are where grace plays such an important part in the process.
Learning to extend grace to myself, or rather acknowledge and appreciate the grace I have been given through Christ Jesus, without giving up because I failed to be perfect... that is the lesson I continue to work through learning. Like a child who needs consistent training and discipline, I find myself constantly being brought back to this. The more I grow in my relationship with God, the more I think of myself in terms of being a child. I may have more earthly responsibility and the age to make me an adult, but in so many ways I am still just a stubborn kid refusing to do what is best. I am sure this season of parenting has contributed to this as well... having a child to parent teaches me amazing things about my relationship with my Heavenly Parent!
So anyhow, this first week has been a wild ride. There have been some great days, and one or two where disappointment and despair threatened to crush me completely. It honestly feels like the past 7 days have been more like a month. The concept of time can get so skewed when you are a stay-at-home mom who has been on vacation for too long. Between Matt having 11 days off over Christmas and then me and Aiden having an additional week off from babysitting I barely know what day it is! Add to that the fact that Matt worked part of the day Saturday and it is even more confusing. Here are a few little things from this week that are worth noting:
- The most significant thing this week was painting our kitchen! This was quite the process with first removing stubborn wallpaper and then having color conundrums to deal with. Once I get it decorated I will share more!
- On New Year's Day my oldest sister visited. It was her birthday, but she brought ME a gift! I finally have a kitchen aid mixer! I mentioned on instagram that I finally feel like an adult in the kitchen now, ha!
- I worked on my goal of having Aiden cook more by letting him help me make dinner one night and then his own breakfast of toast and eggs (with no help from me!) one morning.
- We got enough snow to be worth noting. Aiden was thrilled, and made a snow angel.
- I did my first freezer meal prep day of the new year, and am working to put a lot more veggies into what I make.
- Aiden spent some time with Grandma this week while I ran errands. It had been a while since we have done that. I liked it!
I will be trying to share my project 365 photos in an album over on facebook as the year goes. Just a note about facebook - I get the occasional friend request there, but I only use facebook for my blog page. I don't accept any friend requests... not even from my husband! Ha! I have no desire to return to personal facebook, so don't feel bad if you have sent a request and it has been ignored.
Here are photos 1-7: