If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know that this has been a rather intense… well, DECADE for our family. We have added a new child every single year since 2011, and even before that (as strangers would tell me almost daily) I had my hands full. There was a good bit of thriving, but on the whole there was a lot of survival mode going on.
A few things have shifted recently. I now have two teenaged daughters who can stay home and even help with babysitting so that we don’t ALL have to go to ALL THE THINGS. Also, (can you believe?) Teddy has been home almost two years, and there is no new adoption in the pipeline. I don’t think I realized how time- and mental-energy-consuming all the adoption processes were until we emerged from them!
Freya’s birth also knocked the wind out of me a bit. I am pleased to say (thanks in part to an herbal supplement called Ivy’s Mukta Vati) that my blood pressure is well under control now, and I am finally off my meds for that.
Our new addition for 2019 will be neither a baby nor an adopted child, but my mom! We are so excited to welcome her into our (new!) home this summer. She has long wanted to be able to help me more than she currently can living a half hour away, and I have long needed the help. We also really like each other, so it’s win-win!. Of course, we realize there will be hard things about sharing space (even a lot of it!), but we are prepared to face them and excited for this to be a positive change for all of us.
It feels like we have now entered a period of stabilization. I’ve been addressing things that had fallen off the radar over the past couple years (Delia finally had a sedated dental exam after years of not cooperating with the dentist, and guess what? Not one cavity!). I’m even beginning to remember things I used to do just for fun. I’ve found some new ones, too!
Here are a few things I’ve been doing lately that make me smile:
1. Crocheting. I had never really stopped doing it, but the projects had gotten progressively smaller and rarer. In February and March, the kids and I participated in a mystery crochet-along to make these beautiful dolls. Just because!
I’ve also embarked on a year long crocheting challenge to make each of the kids a birthday gift that they draw for me. They’ve drawn me some doozies, but it’s been so fun!
2. Photobooking. I discovered Shutterfly right around the time that I accepted the fact I would never be a real scrapbooker. I have always made a first year book this way for each of the babies/kids, but recently I’ve gotten more ambitious with this hobby. I’ve found ways to combine deals to make the books more affordable, and I’ve begun going back into the archives of our photos to make books of all of our many memories. I am pleased to say, after 19 years of marriage, that I finally have a wedding album. Trevor even got a baby book of himself for his 40th birthday!
3. My sister’s wedding. The big girls and I had such fun planning my sister’s surprise shower. Her bridesmaids were wonderful and it was a joy to get together with them to plan and conspire. The big day is in June, which means, next on my agenda: the speech!
4. Reading the Bible. I joined some ladies from church way back in September in a school-year-long journey through the whole Bible. The pace is intense (about six chapters a day with Sundays off and occasional catch-up days), but it’s been so good that I’m already excited to do it again next year. It never ceases to amaze me how you can read the Bible your whole life and always find something new.
5. Reading in general. I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading a tiny bit most nights just before going to sleep. It isn’t much, but over the course of six months or so I managed to get through the whole Anne of Green Gables series for the first time. I felt like they were written just for me, and yet I somehow never discovered them until my forties! Trevor is reading them now that I’m finished. I catch him reading them in bed and alternately giggling and tearing up. I think we’re both getting sappier in our old age!
6. This baby! Oh, what a joy our sweet Freya Poppy is to us each day. She is full of life and smiles and personality. Nine months old already!
I’m dabbling in some other new things, too. I’m just sticking my little toe in the water of some long-needed health changes, and I plan to take up blogging, too, so watch this space!