Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Looking back on 2015 (& slideshow!)

2015 is coming to an end!

      I look back and get the feeling that the year was full of little moments that filled up my heart full of gratitude. At the beginning of the year I was just ready for a new phase. I had spent the last Christmas season stressed and more stressed. so I made it a point to change my attitude and seek out things to be grateful for. since Photography is a huge outlet for me I decided to make my Instagram account become my gratitude journal. and every time a moment made me smile or made me feel like if "I don't take this picture I might forget this" I would snap.
      The next couple of months after that really showed me how big my bond is with each of my children. They each have so many special unique talents and personalities that help make up who they are and I just feel so blessed to be the one that gets to witness and cheer them on to be the best they can be. I will forever be their biggest fans. so of course they were the majority of my subjects of the photos.
       Shortly after the last new year, My beloved Grandma was told her cancer had came back and was spreading fast. She so bravely decided that we would leave the remaining time she had left in God's hands. So we spent as much time as we could with her. She taught me so much and has always been such an inspiration and influence in my life. It was hard to say goodbye and I am still catching myself wanting to call her up or plan a lunch date with her. I know she's with me and I am so grateful we had the time to say goodbye and I feel so honored to have had her in my life. 
         My husband and I had always wanted a bigger family and we decided a long time ago that we would do birthdays a little different. We would only throw birthday parties on the bigger milestone birthdays. This was for multiple reasons but a big one was because on money. well little did was know that because of timing we would have 3 milestone birthdays all in one year!! Plus we would have a baptism and 1st holy communion to celebrate also!! so this was the year of throwing parties and I for one am not a fan of hosting. so I am glad my kids were celebrated but I am also glad it's over and if my math is correct there should not be anymore years with this many parties........
         Over the summer I took on extra babysitting children and I do love my job and treasure these children and their parents that trust me with their little ones. But it was a hectic summer and I was excited for school to start and I could have some quieter days. So I cut back a lot on babysitting and right now my schedule is perfect. I feel so blessed to be home with my kids and still help contribute to our household.
          Belle finished up our home school preschool program and started kindergarten. she is doing so well! Her teacher even told us that if she could hand pick a kid to always be in her class she would pick Belle. She is making friends and has really become quite a fashionista. we are almost always running just shy of being late to class everyday because Belle has to make sure her outfit is beautiful. the life of have Girls. Julia is doing better after a rough patch but that is all behind us now and we have taken all the steps to help her succeed. I am so proud of all her hard work and how far she has come and wants to continue.
          Julia collected money and walked for the ALS foundation, all the girls collected almost 100 blankets for babies in Africa and we volunteered to serve elderly on Thanksgiving along with little acts of kindness throughout the year. We plan to do a lot more charity and helping of others next year. this is so extremely important to me to teach my children and it is such a high to give back. I just don't ever want to stop.
           We did have some hard news over the fall. Brian's company had to downsize a bit and since he was a newer hire he was on the list. they do have hopes of bring him back sometime but he is on the look out for something else also. My heart breaks because my husband loved this job so much and he feels a little down about the whole thing. I have made it my job to build him back up and be supportive and positive. we have been through way harder times and we will get through this one also. But I do confess that it has been so nice to have him home with us. we have gotten in so much extra family time and made so many good memories with him there that had he been working he more than likely would have missed out. 
            Our house and yard has had big changes over the year! we got new siding, gutters, we switched the girls rooms around so that Julia is now in her own room, Our garden was growing more than ever, our swing set got a new paint job, We spent so much time outside enjoying the sun. 
             Jerky hasn't changed much except his breaking out and running around the neighborhood has decreased. I think he's reaching old age and losing some energy. he will be 42 in dog years so that's old! Fleas this year has been kicking his butt and we are fighting hard to get rid of them! the Vet said because of the warm weather we have this winter the fleas are not dying and have been really bad around here. 
We did start a new journey and it's been so much fun for me to branch into doing more videos. my youtube channel is full of adventures and field trips we take, tips and tricks I do as a mom, wife, person, fun challenges and lots of super awkward crazy things that only happen to me. come check it out and please subscribe. I post every Tue, Thurs and sometimes during the weekend or just randomly.

   For 2016 we don't have anything big really planned but opened for whats to come and continuing to work on the house and making more memories with the kids. 

             Here is my gratitude photography project all put together in a slideshow:
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Happy New Years!!!

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