Archive for December 2012

Looking back on 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's time for my 20 Questions for 2012. It was a good year of growth, celebration and making memories.  I love looking back and seeing how God has stretched me, provided for me and never stopped challenging me  to trust, love and embrace this life he has blessed me with.  Here's to 2013!!

1.) What did you do in 2012 that you had never done before?
Drove Hwy 101 through Northern California

2.) Did you keep any New Year's resolutions and will you make more this year?
Yes, to let go of the past and focus on the future. For the coming year it is to be kind to myself.

3.) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, Emily Miley and her husband welcomed Henri in February.  I babysat Emily when I was in high school and their family lived next door.  We have stayed in touch all these years. Also, my cousin Natalie and her husband Todd welcomed their daughter, Phoebe Lynn on December 15th.

4.) Did anyone close to you die?

5.) What places did you visit?
Alta Lake, WA; Greenville, SC; Charlotte, NC;  Crescent City, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz & San Francisco, CA; Denver & Boulder, CO

6.) What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

7.) What date from 2012 will remain etched in your memory and why?
Two dates: August 1st-our 20th anniversary & September 16th-moving day

8.) What was your biggest achievement this year and why?
Surviving spring quarter: 16 credits, 3 kids in 3 schools in 3 sports and a traveling husband.

9.) Did you suffer illness or injury?
A little bout with stomach pain in August that resulted in no diagnosis.

10.) What was the best thing you bought?
Our new old home.

11.) Where did most of your money go?
Car repairs!

12.) What song will always remind you of 2011?
Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe

13.) What do you wish you would have done more of?
All of those ideas I posted on Pinterest.

14.) What do you wish you would have done less of?
Stewed over stupid stuff.

15.) What was your favorite TV program?
Dancing with the Stars

16.) What was the best book you read?
Loving by Karen Kingsbury

17.) What was your favorite film of the year?
Trouble with the Curve—Clint Eastwood & Amy Adams. I love baseball movies.

18.) What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Had 8 of my wonderful girlfriends over who make me laugh and celebrated together with food, drink and a super fun board game.  I turned 45.

19.) What national/world event stirred you the most?
Presidential election—and not in a good way.

20.) Who was the best new person you met?
Tracy Olney.  A football mom who I spent a lot of time with in the fall making team dinners.  I enjoyed her company immensely and was impressed with her organization skills and passion and dedication to our high school community.


A Snowy Escape

Thursday, December 27, 2012

As December was closing in on us and the pressure of Christmas began ramping up, we decided that instead of checking off items on the never-ending "to do list", we would run away from it all with just 10 shopping days left. Our family was in desperate need of unplugging from the demands of the world and reconnect with each other and nature.  Fortunately, we have some friends who were generous enough to let us escape to their cozy cabin in the mountains for 3 days.  It was absolute heaven and just what the doctor ordered.  Although their "cabin" was really a house--and one I would gladly live in. 

We had no cell reception, no computers, no cable and no contact with the outside world:  a mother's dream and a teenager's worst nightmare. After the teenagers pushed through their initial withdrawal, they realized that they really did enjoy spending time with each other after all.  We played games, watched Christmas movies, took long naps, read books and magazines, sipped coffee and hot chocolate beside the fireplace and played in the snow. Every morning we woke to at least another foot of the white fluffy stuff on the ground.  Because of the record snowfall, the day after we left, the highway was closed down for 3 days due to 100 fallen trees. We were kind of wishing we had been stranded up there in our own little paradise for 72 more hours.  But the  72 hours we had were heavenly and gave us the extra energy we needed to power through the last week.   

I never grew tired of this view.

Love seeing my husband relaxed.  He is reading a book on his phone not texting.

The first morning.

Getting ready to hit the mountain on our last day.

So happy to be in the snow.


The road in.  Thankful for our trusty old Landcruiser.

The view from above was so inviting too.

Wishing this "cabin" was ours.

Last picture before we returned to reality.  Don't we look relaxed?


The choice is theirs

Sunday, December 2, 2012

When writing my last post, I was in a place of disappointment and sadness over the choices made by my children that directly opposed what they have been taught.  As I've had time to reflect and process, my emotions have gone from shock to sadness to anger to grief to acceptance.  Although it isn't the path I had hoped to walk as part of my parenting days, I've realized it certainly isn't the end of the world.  And I've also been convicted that, in many ways, I expected close to perfection from my children.  I think that subconsciously I felt that if given all the right tools, they would stay on the straight and narrow and have a way better head start in life than I had at their age. They would be honor roll, law abiding, God-fearing, example setting individuals.  This has proven to be not only a naive outlook but one filled with pride too.  Obviously one can never have too much humility.

Last week I dug out a book I remember reading a couple years ago that addressed some of the issues I am facing right now: "5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son" by Vicki Courtney.  The author gave a beautiful example of how to not live in condemnation over your kids' choices. "As mothers, we like to think there is a tried and true formula that if applied consistently will bear out a positive end result.  The truth is, we can apply a formula or effective principles but in the end we can not control the outcome."  This was good for me to hear/read.  She goes on to say that no matter what path her sons choose, she will have fulfilled her assigned role."I have taken advantage of teachable moments when we sit at home, walk along the road, lie down, and get up. (Deut 6:7). Should they decide to forgo God's best in spite of my teaching and instruction, I will not shrug my shoulders and say, "Where did I go wrong?"  I will rest knowing I did all I could and continue to pray that their hearts would be sensitive and ripe to God's teaching." Although there is always room for improvement, as an older and wiser mom once told me, "Don't be so quick to take credit for their accomplishments nor blame for their failures."

Another reality that God showed me when I was in a place of anger was that I have no idea what it is like to be an American high school teenage boy in today's world. And I happen to have one who is in "the pressure cooker" as I call it.  The circle with the most influence but the one that rarely uses it the way you hope.   The enormous amount of pressure these boys endure everyday to do the right thing requires an excessive amount of self-control.  Everything that can cause them to take a wrong path is in front of them at every turn.  Pondering this gave me an immense amount of compassion for all of my sons and the battles they are faced with in a typical day. My expectations are really unrealistic if viewed through this lens.  And if we are honest with ourselves about our parenting culture, is it really any wonder our kids consider engaging in risky behavior?  Not only are they living in the pressure cooker at school, they are living under the microscope everywhere else.  Parents put their kids on pedestal and cater to their every whim. Their daily lives are so micromanaged and parents' lives revolve around their children to the point that life becomes all about the children.  There is no balance.  The kids instinctively can feel that they have the power to make or break their parents by their grades, their athletic performance and social skills.  This is way too much power for any adolescent to carry and many of them snap to cope with the pressure.  I'm not saying I haven't been guilty of this by any means just that it might do all of us well to take an inventory of this parenting trend that has now become a commonly accepted lifestyle.  I know that I don't want to give my kids that power or that vibe and I'm re-evaluating how I have caved to the culture myself.

So the 3-week social restriction has been lifted and a new chapter begins.  Praying that the lessons learned in this past chapter with serve all of us well in the new one.

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