Monday, December 29, 2014

Learning to Savor the Now

2014 is coming to an end. I can't quite figure out how I feel about this year. On one hand it has been the absolute hardest of my life and I have found myself questioning time and time again exactly HOW much God expects us to deal with before we completely break. On the other hand, I look back and I think of all the good, amazing things that have happened and I am overwhelmed with a flood of gratitude in my heart.
I've learned in this crazy roller coaster that we call life we have no choice but to accept the good with the bad. It's not always easy. Sometimes it even feels a bit unfair. But in the end it all amounts to be the same thing: life.
This was my first full year navigating my new role of mother, What a ride. I truly feel this is my calling in life and I pray that we will be able to continue to add to our little family, hopefully sooner rather than later. Jon and I have always had a home bursting with life as we have thrown ourselves into our breeding program, but Chase has brought a joy to our home we never even knew was possible.
He has come so far since his traumatic entrance into this world at an itty bitty 2lbs 9oz. As much as I'd love to take credit for his progress, he is undoubtedly his own person. I'm not sure what on Earth I did to deserve this sweet boy in my life but I am immensely and eternally thankful for him. He teaches me every day. Sometimes I feel under-qualified for this role. How can someone as simple as myself possibly teach him all he needs to know and give him all he needs to have? But on a constant basis I am reminded that I am not in this alone. We have an incredible family and support system there every step of the way. He is coming along just fine. He is delayed in some motor skills, as many preemies are. He is almost 15 months old. He is not crawling yet and only recently started army crawling. He is not walking yet but can cruise furniture with the best of them. He does not say words, but it is so very clear that he understands so much about the world around him and is so responsive. He will do all he needs to in his own time. Life is not a race, and he is teaching me how to slow down and just enjoy the ride. Someday he will walk, and talk and I will miss this time to just let him be a baby. Someday he will flash his grin my way and his sweet dimples will be hidden beneath a 5 o'clock shadow and I will wonder where the time went.
I am guilty of being caught up in my own rat race. It's not that I feel I must compete with those around me- I dropped out of that race a long time ago. I am a planner by nature and often times find myself so focused on the future that I lose sight of the now.
Losing Grandpa Albert this year was a blow I could not even fathom before. I have never felt a loss so deeply or had a void so gaping and empty before. He has been a pillar of light and knowledge in my life since the beginning. His influence and example bleed into every corner of my life. I've lost loved ones before, but never someone so present in my life. Every memory, every birthday, Christmas, Summer vacation, baptism, wedding.... everything that ever happened in our family, there he is. Not having him here in the flesh is honestly something that even now, seven months later feels foreign. I believe that this loss is one that we will never truly go back from. Things will never be the same but we are discovering a new normal. I feel his influence so strongly, possibly even stronger than when he was here with us. It has brought a new perspective on death and the eternal plan.
Yes, no doubt 2014 has been a roller coaster. It has brought the highest highs and the lowest lows my life has ever experienced. Through all the pain, the sorrow, the laughter, the smiles, the ache, and the joy one thing has never wavered and that is my love and appreciation for my family. I know everyone thinks their family is just the greatest but mine really is. For real. I look at all we've been through, all the tests and trials and nothing means more to me than not even having to question if I have their love and support. I don't know how people even make it though life without that. I have such a wonderful husband whose patience knows no bounds. We celebrated five years of marriage this month. He's put up with me for FIVE years! But even beyond Jon and Chase, my siblings, my mom, my grandma... they mean the world to me and there's no one I'd rather spend my time with.
So, I'm looking forward to 2015. I have high hopes for the next year. I am sure it will bring with it its own set of trials and triumphs. One thing I know for sure, is who will be standing with me in the end.

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