New Year's Eve.
2013 got away from me, folks. Somewhere in the middle of laundry, gymnastics, carpool, refereeing children's fights, working too many hours, taekwondo, vacation to Mexico, cooking, crying, laughing, yelling, running, half marathons and school...I lived an amazing year.
January found me starting the second semester of nursing school. I had survived one semester and had high hopes for this one. Clinicals in the hospital, instead of a long term care facility, sounded amazing and I couldn't wait to deliver babies, save lives and just. be. awesome. The kids were excelling in school and their activities. We totaled our minivan, but thankfully not a soul was hurt. Life. Was. Good.
February came and went. I was knee deep in school and somewhat disappointed with clinicals. I hadn't delivered any babies. I hadn't saved any lives. I didn't feel awesome. Avery celebrated her 8th birthday, which I missed, because I was in clinicals/school that day from 6 am to 10 pm. She still loves me, though. ;) Life. Was. Good.
March finally let me see a baby be delivered. One. Guess I shouldn't be greedy, huh? ;) Bek celebrated her 27th birthday, the twins of terror tested for their yellow belts and me...well, I decided it would be a good idea to run 13 miles down a mountain. I had five months to train, what could go wrong, right? Peanut learned how to ride a bike without training wheels, reminding me, yet again, that our time of having babies in the house was quickly diminishing. Life. Was. Good.
April proved to me that maybe I would survive this running craziness. I ran my first five mile run. And my first six miler. Ryleigh made the competition team for gymnastics and the twins both placed well in their taekwondo tournament. I finished my finals and with that, my first year of nursing school was done. Life. Was. Good.
May was a time for chaos and so. much. busy. The children wrapped up their school year and we surprised them with a trip to Mexico! Such an amazing week full of way too much food, sun, sand, laughs and memories that are so incredibly priceless. Our family did the Susan G Komen 5K and had a lot of fun talking about and remembering Mom. Luke celebrated his 7th birthday; where does the time go? Life. Was. Good.
June brought Ryleigh's 10th birthday and her first day of training with her competition team. This month was full of family fun days, Sunday night s'mores, homemade ice-cream and relaxation. Bay went to her first boy/girl party and I realized very quickly how fast my girl is growing up. Josh and I made some decisions and had some hard conversations with many people that we love. Thankfully, for the most part, it went well. Live your life for yourself, my friends. No one else. Life. Was. Good.
July gave us Bailey's 12th birthday. My baby girl is no longer a baby and I'm so impressed with the young woman she is. The 4th of July is my most favorite holiday and it didn't disappoint. I studied and studied and studied for the NCLEX and passed! I was officially a nurse and on the job hunt. I ran my first 8 miler and started to believe that the half marathon might not kill me. Life. Was. Good.
August found me starting a new job! I was finally going to realize my dream of being a nurse and I. was. terrified. The twins had another taekwondo tournament and did amazing. All of the kids and myself were gearing up to go back to school. Josh and I celebrated 12 years of marriage and I left the job that had seen me through the last seven years. I ran my first half marathon and didn't die. Life. Was. Good.
September meant that Peanut started her last year of preschool. I turned 32 and decided to embrace my "old age". I started my third semester of nursing school and it looked like it may kill me. We took the kids to Lagoon and had an amazing day full of laughs, chaos and nausea. (Old age apparently means that Mommy can't spin in circles anymore.) Life. Was. Good.
October was a blur, as I settled into a semester that was determined to ruin me. I realized I was falling in love with my job and my new responsibilities. I loved the amazing people that my new job had brought into my life. My life was changing...and only for the better. The kids annual Halloween party was a success and fall had descended upon us. Life. Was. Good.
November brought Josh's 33rd birthday and Peanut's 5th birthday. We no longer have babies or toddlers in this house. School was killing my will to live. Ryleigh placed really well in her first gymnastics competition and she was all smiles. I lost my first resident and I know without a doubt, that day changed me forever. Thanksgiving came and went, surrounded by love and laughter. Life. Was. Good.
December meant finals and stress and chaos. I eased out of my third semester, tattered, beaten down and exhausted...but it was over. Christmas meant immense feelings of gratitude for all that the last year had given me. Life. Was. Good.
Tomorrow begins another year. Another chance to do better and be better. But really...we get that chance every. single. day. We don't have to wait for a new year to make changes or make decisions. If New Year's resolutions are your thing, by all means, make them. I hope that you find the wisdom, the strength, the love, the endurance and the motivation to achieve them. If, like me, you don't make resolutions for fear of disappointing yourself or because you believe that every day is a chance to change...good luck to you, too.
Either way, make 2014 your year. Stop letting other people hold the pen, as you write your story. Figure out what makes you happy, and do it. Find your passion in life and go after it. To all my friends and family, as the new year rolls in, I offer you the following...something I tell my kids every day..."Be kind. Be helpful. Make good choices. I love you." Life. Is. Good.