Family Update,  My Life

2014 Year In Review

This is usually my favorite post to write. Turns out that 2014 was filled with a lot of hurt and frustration that overshadowed the entire year. I sat down and attempted to write this post on 2 or 3 (okay about 5) occasions. Each time, I found myself pounding away at the keys with tears streaming down my face, so I would close my laptop and just deal with the fact that the task still loomed over me. I told myself that I didn’t have to write it but that didn’t take away the urge to do so. I chronicle my year. It’s a habit. One that matters in the long run. And one day I’ll look back and be glad I didn’t skip it just because it was hard. So, I am choosing to focus on the good from 2014 because, despite the bad, a lot of great things happened! Here goes…

I remember making the decision to homeschool. I think I always knew that we would. It just took a little time for me to process it. I remember being amazed at how much easier it was than what I had expected. I remember the relief I felt of not being put into the public school box any more. Both her as a student and me as a parent. It was really freeing. I remember being surprised countless times at just how bright my child really is.

I remember rearranging our entire upstairs to accommodate the changes that homeschool would bring. I still think our Family Bedroom is quite possibly one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.

I remember sending an invitation to Linden, TN and planning a Family Valentine’s Party with Skylar. It was complete with homemade decorations, gifts and yummy heart-shaped foods. And origami hearts. She was obsessed with origami for a while.

I remember weekly themed dinner nights with our friends where my house filled with 12 girls. We chatted and played and ate. Good times!

I remember dress shopping so that Skylar could be a flower girl. She latched onto a sparkly belt and that sealed the deal. Yeah, that little beaded ensemble was almost $70 but, because the Little Princess liked it, we bought it. Basically, we would have paid anything so long as my favorite tom boy found a dress that she would wear.

I remember Lil Sista’s wedding. She was beautiful and radiant and told Skylar that she could dance her way out of the church after the ceremony. Therefore, my child did “the sprinkler” all.the.way down the aisle. Y’all have no idea how much she loves to dance.

I remember my first FaceTime doula baby. Born on his due date of all things, in 3 hours from start to finish. His mama is my Dallas bestie and she’s a rockstar! I got to snuggle that sweet boy a few weeks later and it was much needed. Babies really are good for the soul!

I remember the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool conference. It was so nice to be among like-minded people all reminding me to relax and make this homeschool journey my own. Hopefully next year I can master the vendor hall. That sucker was overwhelming!

I remember doing Easter at home. Again, another one of my great ideas. This year, I really have learned more and more about not fitting into other people’s boxes.

Starting with… if you are going to have shrubs, they might as well be useful. I remember (ex)Neighbor Wade coming over to help us pull out all of our bushes with his truck so that we could put in berry bushes. I also have a very fond memory of seeing him and Mike sitting on the back of the truck and just chatting afterwards. A sign of a successful mission between friends!

I remember reading at bedtime with Skylar. We finished Charlotte’s Web, Because of Winn Dixie and several Little House on the Prairie books. The best part was hearing her ask for more!

I remember that Skylar made me a waterfall house in Minecraft for Mother’s Day. That was about as special as it gets.

I remember another School’s Out for Summer trip to the beach. I remember squirt gun fights on the beach, sneaking over to the hotel next door for movies by the pool, and watching my fearless girl teach herself to swim. A few weeks later she swam for 5 hours straight at a friend’s house.

I remember feeling a strong conviction to be baptized. It felt awkward to do it as an adult. In the end, I decided I would much rather please God than people. It was a wonderful experience and I hope I encouraged others to also follow the prompting of the Lord.

Speaking of, I specifically remember the Lord asking me to go to Uganda. This homebody did NOT want to go. I also remember the sweet freedom that came from being obedient and saying “yes”. Turns out, this trip was one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.

I will never forget Uganda. Touching those bellies. Teaching those women. Listening to the little swooshing heartbeats. And the privilege of traveling half way around the world with my Birmingham Bestie, the person who introduced me to this little piece of Africa through Pearl. I remember other things, like bats. One day that will be funny but not quite yet.

I remember tending to my little redneck garden. There is something really therapeutic about gardening. It’s always exciting to see what’s new each day. Like a heart-shaped tomato. I tried pumpkins for the first time and they took over my back yard. They also literally helped me explain the birds and the bees, even though it was a little earlier than I would have liked to.

I remember our neighborhood buddy LeDarrin hanging out here quite a bit. He is such a good friend for Skylar. He even helped her learn to ride her bike after countless attempts from me and Mike.

I fondly remember art camp because the Clay Lady is simply amazing but mostly because Skylar asked Jesus to be her Savior in the parking lot on July 17th.

I remember spending 2 weeks at the Cabin to close out the summer. I was hiding, really. I wasn’t sure why at the time but it was greatly needed. It recharged me and gave me some perspective. Plus, it gave my kid some good ole fashioned summer fun.

I remember my first train trip. It was very unique and a great way to celebrate our 9th anniversary. We discovered DelMonaco Winery on that trip. I never thought I would like blackberry wine but theirs is amazing.


I remember my Daddy picking me a bumper crop of elderberry. He speaks my love language. Well, he does when he’s not busy still trying to convince me to move back to Alabama. But I do have a soft spot for how he always pursues me.

I remember going gluten-free and it not being near as bad as I thought it would be.

I remember that Dr. Enuf, my village, YouTube (for the kiddo), and wine got me through conference season this year. And cute little Ruby nose scrunches to brighten my day. What would I do without them?

I remember being deeply hurt. After hiding under the covers for a few days I also remember wanting to clean all.the.things because that’s my coping mechanism.

I remember that this Halloween will go down in history as the year I wore a box on my head for the sake of my child. Minecraft has been all the rage around here for the last year.

There are really no words to describe how much I rely on Pinterest, Etsy, Amazon & Siri. They complete me.

I remember finger knitting with my Mom at the kitchen table. It was during a time when I was processing a lot in my life. She just let me knit and read and play in her scrapbook room. And she always made sure I had a glass of wine. It was the perfect combination of space & a safe place.

I remember that anticipation really is the best part of traveling. I remember Wednesday nights spent day dreaming over Disney details. I remember going to the happiest place on Earth at the most wonderful time of year with my favorite people. It was indeed a magical trip that I will never forget!

I remember Skylar watching Dolphin Tale and telling us she is going to work there when she grows up. So, we went to see Winter in real life. I also remember that my kiddo still holds her title as World’s Best Traveler!

I remember ringing in the New Year with Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Settlers of Catan.

In conclusion, I’m thankful for a new-found Nashville friendship that really blossomed over this last year. I’m not quite sure how I would have made it without her. I’m thankful for my kiddo and homeschooling and the amount of time that we get to be together. I’m thankful that I’m learning more and more how to be comfortable in my own skin. How to own my thoughts and emotions and not take on responsibility and guilt for other people’s actions. It’s becoming easier to not worry about what other people think of me. My only goal is to truly embrace the Lord’s will for my life. To know that every bump in the road is for a purpose and to trust Him. To praise Him and be obedient, always. Well, to try my best.

2014 was really quite spectacular in the grand scheme of things and that’s how I want to remember it. Just like this.

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