I hope you had a wonderful holiday and a fun new year celebration!
I opted to try something new for 2011 and rung it in with my first cookie swap. We were small in number but full of high spirits, and I'm really glad we did it. To those of you who participated, thank you! Let's do it again.
What's with the title? Well, I guess I don't think of a new year as anything really different. I figure most people use New Year's Eve as an excuse to party, but that's about it. I always waver as to the idea of creating new year resolutions too. While I'm sure it's a good thing to set goals and work toward them, I try to do that all the time. Maybe it works for some. I just find that time brings with it some very unpredictable events, and I need to be able to adjust my routines accordingly, without feeling like a failure just because I had to change my plans.
2009 was a great example of that; it brought on a resolution disaster for me, but as hard of a year as it was in some ways, it was also full of wonderful, life-changing miracles like that of Logan's birth and of finally finding our first home.
On the flip side, I did most of the things I set out to do in 2010, but 2010 was harsh. I always try to focus on the positive and avoid dwelling on pain and trouble, but I expect I will always look back on last year with a certain amount of sorrow. It's difficult to know how to turn pain into laughter when your sister's worst nightmare has come true. She and my nieces and nephews are amazing, still counting their blessings and carrying on together, but I know her pain is indescribable, and everything I have ever cared about has been put back into perspective since Billy passed away.
Sadly, Jessi wasn't the only one who suffered such a loss; for a while I felt as though I was watching amazing friend after amazing friend lose a close loved one this year. These events all seemed to happen to the best of the best; those people you want to strive to be like. That made it all even harder to stomach. On top of it all, there were other painful, heartbreaking events which I can't go into.
There were, of course, great times too; our wonderful July vacation, camping in New Hampshire with my sisters and brother, the daily joys of watching Tom, Gabe, and Logan grow and play, making memory upon memory with the best friends a girl could have, soaking up Brian's unconditional love even when I know I was a bear to be around after some particularly challenging days as a stay-at-home-mom, and so, so much more. I am very grateful for all of those things and for every day I am given.
Back to this year, though, there is really only one new thing I am setting out to do, and I'm admittedly excited about it. After years of (albeit lazy) searching, Brian and I believe we have finally found a church where we feel right at home, and our pastor has challenged anyone interested to read through the Bible before the year is over. Brian and I are participating together, which I think will really motivate me to finish this time. (I have set out to read the Bible in a year before, but that was completely on my own, and while I happen to have read many verses over the years, especially in certain books of the Bible, overall, I never made it very far.) We're only a week into it so far, but I feel great about it already and am confident that reading it will benefit both myself and my family, both now and in the future (no matter how far I make it, though I am very set on finishing this time).
So, whatever may be coming your way for 2011, I hope it is filled with life, love, and spiritual growth. May you have a very blessed new year!
And a very belated Merry Christmas to all. :)