This year saw a lot of change for me, not just in my personal life, but reflected here on the blog as well. Honestly, this year was one of the hardest times of my life that I can remember, and I can sense a large change in the way I wrote in 2014 verse the way I wrote this past year, in 2015 - much of it to do with things happening in my personal life. For one thing, I just didn't have the time I used to. Time is becoming available again as the kids are *mostly* on the same schedule, but between the move, home renovation, colicky baby and a toddler that nearly stopped napping for a time because of change, I just didn't have the time or energy to give here like I used to - and wished to.
But also, I found myself using the little time I had to write with more purpose and depth. As my world started to fall apart, I needed to hear truth - and so I wrote it to myself here. I became much more gospel-centric here than I ever have before, and I know many of you noticed! My faith in God has always been the most important thing in my life, and this year I found my faith in his goodness and plan for me tested. I will write more on this later, but I can honestly say that though there are still many hard things (Some that I can't even share here on the blog or with my friends), I have found him gracious and true. I can finally say I am on the other side of the pain and wandering that 2015 was so full of.
I also found I wrote more safely - in a way. I steered away from more "hot-button mommy war topics" than I used to. Part of me is just tired of the chatter and debate around everything and part of me just couldn't take any extra criticism in my life - and another part of me just wonders how much it's all worth it to even say anything at all on these topics. I still have (super strong) opinions about many things, but there's an element there of wondering, "How much does a blog post you read on the internet matter?" You know?
I also wrote lots and lots and lots about the joys and sheer confusion of raising a toddler and a baby. While Colette technically came in 2014 (New Year's Eve!) I usually put her in the mix of all the changes 2015 brought and that girl is BY FAR the best one. Spirited, joyful, dramatic and sweet, she is ALL THE THINGS and I love her so much my heart just might explode.
And of course, I want to take a few minutes to thank all of you for sticking with me this year. I know posting was more sporadic and less than I'd like, but I so appreciate all of you loyally checking in, sending emails or messages and even just silently reading. You all are what makes me keep sharing and I am so thankful to have such an amazing group of mommas reading. THANK YOU!
Okay, let's take a look at the top posts of the year, shall we?
Having a toddler and a baby in the house is pretty much complete crazy. But there are these moments, every once in a while that just stop you in your tracks and you catch glimpses of what life might be like when they're older and can make their own dinner or put on their own clothes. The chaos of two under two can be stressful, but it is so worth it.
How To Survive The First Few Weeks With A Newborn
By far the top post of the year, this is a "loose" take on what it's like to bring a newborn home. Read it and find solidarity, ladies.
The One Thing I Hope My Children Learn From Me
When you're strung out by all there is to do as a mom - all the expectations, responsibilities and needs to meet, just remember this: Give them Jesus. This is honestly, truly, deeply the one and only thing I really want my children to learn from me.
The Mediocre Mom
With the Internet these days, it can be hard to not feel like a lame mom when you're not throwing Pinterest-perfect parties, making reindeer pancakes on Christmas, or even just remembering to bring hats on a walk. But in real life, none of us are measuring up to that perfect standard we set for ourselves - we're all just pretty mediocre. And honestly? That's exactly what I want to be.
To The Moms Who's Husbands Work Long Hours
I struck a chord among many of you with husbands that travel or work long hours. It is so hard to single parent much of the time, but there is a way to do it with grace while still wishing it would change. These are the top lessons I've learned in the five years of being married to a man that works A LOT.
At The Base Of The Mountain: When Motherhood Feels Overwhelming
This was written during my lowest of low points this year. For all of you mommas who just can't understand why or what you're going through, who can't see the light, who don't know what to do next - read this. It won't solve anything, but hopefully it will encourage you as you wait for a new season of healing to come.
The Tug And Pull of Baby Number Two
Everyone says the second child is so much different than the first. And I've found that to be so true - not just in their personality, but also in my experience of the newborn phase. For all of struggling to know how to balance that second child, this one's for you.
Hey Moms, Look Up
As moms, we so often find ourselves looking down - at our coffee, the laundry, toys, but we also look down on others and on ourselves. This is a charge for all moms to "look up." To get our heads and our hearts out of ourselves and up to the cross.
Colette's Birth Story
When I think back to Colette's birth experience (nearly one year ago!) I have nothing but good memories. Pretty sure it was the epidural. Scratch that - definitely sure.
DIY No-Sew Nylon Headbands
The Pinterest-hit of the year. So easy. So cute. Make 'em today. Or tomorrow. Or never. You choose.
Hope For The Mom With A Toddler And A Baby
I wrote this when I was about eight months away from the day my world turned upside down with a toddler AND a baby. And it took the full eight months to finally feel like I had my feet under me again (mostly). For the mommas struggling with a needy toddler and helpless newborn, this was written to you - you will survive. You will thrive. You can do this.