2019 Wrap Up

I can't believe this year is almost over! I love taking the time to reflect on the year and remember all the ups and downs.

2019 Word of the Year - joy. I chose this word to help guide my priorities and focus on what brings me joy rather than what needs to get done. When I kept this word at the forefront of my mind, I was able to find more joy and let go of some things. However, sometimes the joy got buried in to do lists and "shoulds." Also, one thing I learned in reflecting about the year is that planning ahead often brings me more joy than just trying to go with the flow. Joy doesn't have to mean letting go of obligations, instead I can joyfully plan out the things that matter to me, making sure I prioritize what is most important.

Most exciting trip of 2019 - Arizona. In October Aaron and I took a kid free trip to Arizona for a friend's wedding. It was so nice to get away and take a break from work and parenting. The weather was gorgeous, and we had an amazing time with our friends, riding scooters around Scottsdale, eating, and (my favorite) dancing at the wedding reception.

Books read - 89. See my list of favorites here.

Biggest parenting challenge with Violet - potty training. Overall, this is a win because she is now potty trained. However, with Jona, although he was fairly late to shed the diapers, once he was ready he was ready--accidents were rare. Violet was ready much earlier, but continues to have accidents (only at home--at school she's so good!), mostly when she's playing and doesn't want to stop and go. Sigh.

Biggest parenting challenge with Jona - eye issues. A little over a year ago Jona was diagnosed with amblyopia, or lazy eye. It's not noticeable when you look at him, but the vision in his left eye is far worse than his right. We've been treating it with eye patching for several hours a day, and now we're trying a thin film that goes on one lens of his glasses to mimic the patch (but worn with his glasses all day). We are crossing our fingers his vision will improve, so he does not have to wear an eye patch all day. He has been great in the process; he doesn't complain (much) about the patch or his glasses, and he does everything he is supposed to do. I think that's what breaks my heart even more, I just don't want this sweet kid to have to deal with it any more. I know in the grand scheme of things this is a small problem to have, and I am grateful that his overall health is good, but it has been a challenge for sure.

Favorite new entertainment - Disney Plus. It's been so much fun watching the Disney movies I grew up with and sharing them with the kids. And Jona loves all the Marvel movies of course. I'm also thankful I can watch Moana any time I want. Typically I'm not a big movie watcher, and I'm also not someone who can even watch Disney movies on repeat, but I adore that movie.

Moments my kids impressed me - When Aaron taught Jona about negative numbers. I was quizzing him on subtraction for school, and Aaron asks him, "What's seven minus nine?" Jona goes, "negative two," and I couldn't believe it! I guess that's what you get when your dad is a math teacher--bonus math lessons. With Violet, is was when we were waiting at the doctor's office for her 3 year check-up and she wrote her name on the chalk board there. The letters were huge and some were barely distinguishable (like the "E" with too many lines) but it was her name!

Favorite work trip - Chicago for a conference. I mostly spent time at the hotel where the conference was held, but I got to do a little exploring, which was fun!

Thing I want to remember - our last year with Ellie. Over the summer Ellie started getting sick, and in August we had to say goodbye to her. She lived a long life but was brought down by a tumor that took over her body. She was the best dog and we miss her so much.

{family updates}

Aaron - Aaron is teaching at the same school as last year, and he loves it there. However, he hopes to get a job as a school counselor, so he is looking around for options. He has kept busy at home with multiple home repair projects, from replacing our kitchen faucet to redoing the kids bathtub and shower (still a work in progress). I am thankful he can do many of those things!

Jona - Jona started first grade this year and he loves it! He is excited to go to school every day and talks about it a lot. He still doesn't love to read (although will happily be read to) although I do see him progressing in his reading. He loves science and still can't get enough Lego building. For Christmas he got a ton of Legos but also a "circuit building" set that he has been loving as well. We started reading Harry Potter this year (so far the first two) and that has been really fun. He is such a sweet, helpful kid and still a great big brother to Violet. Watching him grow up brings me so much joy.

Violet - Violet started a new school this year, the same preschool that Jona went to. She loves it and often comes home and pretends she's the teacher in her own classroom. Although she still challenges me constantly, she's grown in a lot of ways this year. She is finally able to sit through picture books beyond her favorite board books, so it's been great reading to her this year. It is never a dull moment with her around, she has a big personality and you never know which side you're going to see. She's sweet one moment and saying something funny, and the next she's shouting "Please stop, I don't like that!" at the top of her lungs.

What are some of your favorite memories from 2019? 

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