Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014: A year in review

This year was full of so many changes. I have sensed a theme since I have been doing my year in reviews-a lot a lot a lot of change. Perhaps my life will not slow down until each of my kids is in college. That is exhilaratingly tiring to imagine. :)

It was cold. So cold. Like -30 wind chill cold. We played in the snow for, like, 5 minutes after taking close to 20 to get dressed. The boys and I started a tradition, unbeknownst at the time, of going bowling on the 1st. Andrew saw his very first movie, Frozen, and he became a crazed fan. And we got our first glimpse of baby #4.

The boys went to their first minor league hockey game and Andrew was enthralled. All of his favorite things in one game: fighting yelling and speed. I also battled all day nausea. It was worth every bit of it once we found out we were having a girl. I jumped, laughed, cried, and thanked God for knowing the desire of my heart. 

Jake registered for Kindergarten, and I was told I was to register the kids from there on out. :) The boys got green eggs and ham for Dr Seuss and we met up with old friends.

We celebrated Easter, my belly popped out seemingly over night and we enjoyed the sun. 

Jake turned 5. He got his Power Ranger Super Megaforce phone and couldn't have been more excited.  He also graduated to yellow belt and graduated Pre K. Tears were shed. I was so very proud of him. Our chickens grew and enjoyed being outside more. 

Andrew turned 3 this month and inwardly I grimaced. I hate 3. He's lived up to the full potential and has firmly established himself as my most spirited boy. We also found out the family was going to grow by 2-twins were on their way!

In July we went swimming to honor Daniel. We viewed fireworks as a family. It was a slightly less disaster then the previous year. The boys love the colors but hate the noise. VBS started and so did the boys obsession with Peppa Pig. 

Jake started school. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I really only got teary eyed when he stepped onto the bus and again when I was driving Andrew to daycare. August also marked a period of unrest for Missouri. Nightly I worried over Ryan, and over my impending delivery hoping he would actually get to be there. Blessedly, God kept both him and Emma safely tucked away. Sadly, it did puncture my bubble of naivety in Ryan's job and I pray over that man's safety more so then ever. We didn't leave August without the best excitement of the year, however. Emma arrived and it was one of my most precious experiences. I've had a bond unlike anything else with that baby and she certainly tugs at your heart strings. All the Metz girls also got together for a family reunion of sorts and we got all those babies in for a photo op.

Four generations of women were captured when Grandma came to visit. She was a big help and Andrew took to her quickly. He still differentiates the Grandma's as "old Grandma" and "young Grandma". Jake had some growing pains in school and that was a struggle. Andrew took to Emma quickly which shocked us all. We also got the chance to pick apples for the first time. 

October is always bittersweet for me. It marks one of my favorite times of the year, fall, but always have a period of sadness accompany it. Next to Daniel's birthday, I tend to miss him the most at this time and it really hurts deep. Thankfully, the stirring winds play with the leaves as well as my heart and the pain is fleeting and by the end of October I am back to "normal". Per tradition, we do our yearly visit to the pumpkin patch and it was made better with a great family picture. 

For whatever reason, Andrew took to "sneaking" into Jake's room at night to sleep. He's about as quiet as an 18 wheeler driving down 79. (a truck did just pass and I heard it. It's loud) Honestly, I think he feels displaced at the moment and feels vey much like the middle child. It's been a big lesson in patience for me. A lesson I am still learning. Family got together once more and then we got to celebrate baby number 2 for the year when Kennedy was born. 

Daniel turned 7 this month and it was a big issue for me. I still don't really feel right but I am working on it. Jacob had his first Christmas concert and it was so cute. Christmas was a bit rearranged this year based on everyone's schedule but we all made it work and got to celebrate Christ's birth with a candle lit service. It was a beautiful moment. Emma also got her first cold and it about broke my heart to here her cough. (It didn't stop her from rolling over for the first time, however.)Andrew quite possibly had the flu and I quite possibly am exhausted :) 

This next year is shaping up to be just as eventful with the last 2 babies to be born, first trips and first birthday's coming in. Oh, and two 30th birthdays :) I hope to be more energetic this next year and more focused. I want to love more, play more and enjoy the littles as they grow up. And not so patiently count down until Andrew turns 4 ;)  I want my heart to grow in faith and I want to continue connecting with my husband. I am eager to see what 2015 will be and hope to look back with the same fondness that dotted 2014.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


This is the birthday you would have turned 7 on. This year, it's harder for me to wrap my head around. Very much out of the toddler stage, you would be a gangly school aged boy. I look at Jake and think you would be taller then him, and the two of you would be sharing in stories and homework and learning school games. I look at Andrew and think he resembles you so very much at 3.5. The two of you would probably have gotten along so well as I know he would have been your shadow. I look at Emma and my heart beats for her and you. She is my life link to you and my beautiful present from God. I look at your Daddy and know that you are etched in his heart in such a deep way. And that he holds tight to the memories he has of you and those govern the way he makes new memories with your brothers and sister. 
We all miss you every single day. For me this year, I miss knowing how you would be as a boy and not a baby. I have been so busy this last part of the year that my guilt over not being able to take care of you in the ways I can here are weighing heavy on me. Then again, I hear Jake and Andrew talk about sending balloons up to you and knowing your birthday is here and that when I draw a heart on the calendar for the 22nd and Jake recognizes it is for you, I guess I have been doing what I set out to do first and foremost, and that is keeping you present in our family. I will even talk about you to Emma.
This year, God gave us glimpses of you. In Andrew picking a dandelion. In my dream where you talked of playing with puzzles and sharing you know about your cousin, Mason, and that Rayna was having a girl. My memory was also refreshed with time hop. In having shared about you on Facebook, I get to remember those thoughts.
This year we all get to be together to remember you and celebrate Christmas. While it worried me at first, I look forward to being able to share your birthday and Christmas together. After all, you get to also celebrate your birth and Christ's birth as well. We plan on eating Oreos and releasing balloons and your brothers will be leaving gifts at your spot. We will carry about our normal and wear you in our hearts. I will kiss your brothers and sisters and send it up to you. I will hug your Daddy and linger a bit longer.  I will let myself feel the ache of not having you here.  And through it all, I will continue to thank God that you are safely tucked away for me.
I love you, Daniel Robert, always and forever my sweet boy you will be.