January 1, 2013

2012 Year in Review

Happy New Year everyone! I love new beginnings, they give us a chance to start again. I always think it's great to take some time to look back on the last year. It's easier for me to figure out where I want to go next if I take some time to reflect on the journey. 

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

I was able to accomplish a pretty big goal, running a half-marathon on Nov. 11. I'm pretty proud of that, simply because it was something I didn't know that I was capable of doing. 

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
I think the most challenging thing for me has been learning how to balance the needs of my family with my own personal needs. When either gets out of balance then both suffer. Motherhood is both a joy and a challenge. If I don't take care of myself, then motherhood risks becoming a burden instead of a blessing. 

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
I had the chance to attend the MOPS International Convention at the Gaylord hotel in Grapevine, TX. It was a lot of fun and a great time of being refreshed and renewed. 

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
I've had some ups and downs with my health this year. It's been an obstacle trying to discover what was causing some symptoms. Nothing life-threatening, but it has certainly caused some frustrations. Now that we've got some answers, I'm ready to get back to "normal."

5. Pick three words to describe 2012.
Busy. Challenging. Fun.

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2012—don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you. 
Busy. Full. Hectic.

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2012.
Busy. Busy. Busy. (I'm noticing a recurrent theme, here.)

8. What were the best books you read this year?
I've enjoyed Stephen Lawhead's Bright Empires Trilogy. I also got sucked into the Hunger Game books. 

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
My husband, children, and family. 

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I joined the YMCA and started making physical fitness a priority. 

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I'm continuing to learn the importance of balance and self-care. 

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
2012 has been a challenge in many ways. The business of daily life, the frantic pace, the 4:45 AM mornings have often left me worn out. God has taught me that even during this stage of life, he can use me. For whatever reason, He's really put it on my heart to encourage other mothers. Perhaps its because I never realized how challenging motherhood can be (especially for SAHMs of young children) until I was in the throes of it myself.  

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
I started setting physical goals. I ran a half-marathon which is something I never dreamed I was capable of doing. 

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I've had the opportunity to build friendships more, both with the ladies in leadership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and my friends from church. 

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
I love blogging. I may not have the freedom to travel the world, but I love the ability to connect and impact with people from all over the place. It's encouraging to know that God can use you exactly where you are.

On the homefront, I've loved watching my boys grow and develop this year. Ben (age 3) is so smart. I love hearing what comes out of his mouth. Andrew's (19 months) little personality is the cutest thing. I love it when his smile squishes up his entire face. 

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
The most challenging thing for me has been finding a workable schedule. I would love to make time to write, but I have found that if I don't guard my time (or use it well) then a whole day escapes and I've done absolutely nothing productive. . . and my house is still a mess :-) 

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Uh oh. . . it has to be Facebook . . . and Pinterest. I'm pretty sure I spend way to much time on social media, but my smartphone just makes it so dadgum convenient, lol. I could probably have a spotless house and four novels under my belt if I just turned it off, but it's my connection to the "outside world" and to family and friends scattered literally across the globe. 

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
The best way I used my time was probably time spent with family. People beat out things every time. I'm also proud of my blogs http://mommys-minute.blogspot.com and www.lettertoamom.com.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
If you want to run a half-marathon, just keep running. 

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2012 for you.
Never give up. Never surrender. :-) 

The questions were created by Tsh at Simple Mom


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