Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Year of Only Subtle Changes

Last year I posted about The Year of Change and as I think back to 2012, it was a year of so many changes for us. I remember when I posted last year I really wanted 2013 to be The Year of Only Subtle Changes, for a lack of better words. And it was that. In 2013 we lived in the same house, added no new children to our brood (although we do now have two fish!), and had no job changes.

All of the big things stayed the same, which was such a blessing. But as stated, we did have The Year of Only Subtle Changes though, as does every family, so I'll give you a little recap, starting with the youngest Dillavou Klan member first.

Walter grew up this year. Well, not completely thank goodness, but he did grow from infant to toddler. This year he went from crawling and nursing breast milk to climbing on top of the island dancing and chanting "Pizza, pizza, pizza" when his favorite food is placed in front of him. He started the year with an in-home nanny, and ended it at the childcare center on my campus. Medically, we had some minor issues with his ears; his eardrums were retracted so he now enjoys tubes in his ears. He has started talking so much since they were placed. He talks and laughs and plays and screams and fights and bites and yells and cuddles and eats and kisses. He is amazing. He will be 2 years old this month. My baby is no longer a baby anymore!

Hazel is my little firecracker. She is stubborn, sweet, and naughty, all rolled into one. She is three-years-old-going-on-13. Hazel is a very well-rounded little lady, often playing football in one moment, and then dressing her babies the next. Yesterday she was wearing her "tough" Chiefs jersey with a beautiful Princess Sofia dress on top. She played on her very first team, a  soccer team, and was enrolled in gymnastics for three months. She seems to be athletic and I am excited to find out what that means for her. She loves to sing and dance, and is a very good helper with her little brother (although sometimes she forgets that he is only one year old). Other than a persistent kidney infection for a month or so this past fall, she was a really healthy little girl this year.

Gus Gus Gus. Man, is he getting old- five already! He started full-day kindergarten this year, played in multiple sports, and even tried his hand at karate for a few months. He isn't quite reading beyond sight words, but I am confident that he will be by the end of the spring. He has come so far academically these last 4 months! Gus likes sports, but loves playing games on the iPad/iPhone, party break-dancing in the living room, and drawing pictures and doing homework. He seems to be more creative than athletic overall (sound familiar?) so I am excited to see what that means for him. Gus was very healthy this year, and his vision prescription really didn't change much. He definitely still really needs his glasses, and I imagine that he will for some time, but overall, no change is good I suppose. He is such a little joker and has a funny personality.

I had a good year. Work is good, family is good, friends are good... life is overall really good.  I was recently hired to contract with Pearson Publishing to rewrite and edit a textbook instructors manual, test bank and PowerPoint lecture slides- which was an awesome opportunity. This past March I started running. If you follow me on Facebook or on this blog you know that already (and you've probably been inundated with MapMyRun updates!). I ran two 5Ks and in November on a 14 degree day I ran my very first half marathon. I plan on running another is April when the weather will hopefully be a little more cooperative. Life is busy for me- I work about 30 hours a week on campus (full time) and am home with the kiddos the rest of the time. It gets a little overwhelming, as most days it feels like I get off one job of teaching and immediately start my other job of mothering, but the kids will only be little for a short time, so I want to try to spend as much time with them as I can.

Josh is great. He really enjoys his job and the company he worked for this year is growing and seems to be prospering. He won some serious street cred and a little cash in his two fantasy football leagues, winning and making it to the "Superbowl." Kind of a big deal in his League World I guess. He is very busy, but always makes time for us. He has coached teams for both Hazel and Gus this year, and always helps me make time for running. He will be embarrassed when he reads this, but he is an amazing father, a loving husband, and great friend. Josh tries really hard to balance everything that is important to him, and with our busy life right now, that is not an easy task. He not only works hard to keep the kids and I happy, but he cares so much about our families and his friends too.

I do have some goals for this year. I figure if I put them in print, and publish them online, there may be a chance that I actually work to accomplish them. Here goes:

1. Pray more. We have done a good job this year of attending Mass more regularly, but praying, remembering why I am here, who I am, and living my life more christian every day is something I want to focus on.
2. Keep running. It is hard- especially this winter when I have to run on the "dreadmill" at the gym most of the time, but I really like running (well- outdoors that is!). I feel great when I do it, and it has shown me that I am stronger than I could have ever thought possible. Running that half marathon, all 13.1 miles with an average speed of 9:01 minute miles, in 14 degree weather, well that was something I never imagined I could do.
3. Save more money. Well obviously, not sure if I know anyone who wouldn't like to save more money, but this is a goal I would really like to accomplish. I don't have a set monetary amount, but I'd like to save more. Hopefully as the year progresses and our daycare and health insurance expenses slowly become more reasonable, saving more money will be possible.
4. Go to Jamaica for our 10 year wedding anniversary. We are planning a little vacation in August. Oh boy do we need a vacation. Eight months and counting...
5. This really should be number one. STOP YELLING at my kids. I have not done very good so far (in my defense the first 5 days of 2014 have come after over two weeks of being home with all three kids all day!) but I am working on it.

There are other goals that I have. Resolutions I suppose. But we will just leave it these five. If I can accomplish these, I'll be happy.

Please don't forget to occasionally check up on us. You can subscribe to updates by entering your email address into the box on the right of this column. Although I only blog about once every week or two these days, I will never stop blogging. I absolutely love being able to look back at our life as a family. I have been blogging since 2008 and although publishing my life for the world can be... interesting sometimes, I hope you enjoy reading about my busy life, awesome family and occasional well-intended soliloquies.

Here's to 2014!

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