The Year of Change

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So much has changed in a year.

I went from being mama to a baby with chubby wrists…

to mothering a bonafide toddler that plays silly games with the cabinets…

and helps pick out the Christmas tree…

A year ago he had just begun walking. Now he runs, scales furniture, climbs on playgrounds, and hikes nature trails with Daddy.

He was just beginning to connect sounds to objects and now he not only talks but converses saying the funniest things.

Some of our favorite Little Bear quotes are:

“I want some candy next to me.”

“I want to go to Christmas.”

“There were big dinosaurs and there were little dinosaurs. Benjamin is turning the page now. There you go! Good job!” (While reading his favorite dinosaur book to himself)

“I want to put broccoli on the Christmas tree.”

“It’s bright outside. I need some sunglasses. Not Sun Chips. Sunglasses.” (I’m not sure why he felt he needed to clarify but I suppose we should always try to communicate with clarity so well done, Benjamin).

“Votes for women!” (he may be a little obsessed with Mary Poppins and seems to be influenced by Mrs. Banks’ socio-political views)

“Kick peoples? No. Kick doggies? No. Kick dinosaurs? YEP!”

“Benjamin, where does Jesus live?”  “In Florida.”

“Benjamin, what do you want for Christmas?” “A camel and a baby dinosaur.”

“What do you want for breakfast, Benjamin?” “Butter.”

“Benjamin, if Mama has another baby someday, what should we name it?” “One-two-three. Or Dachsund.”

“We’re here to celebrate Jesus!” (very loudly during a quiet part of Christmas Mass)

“Alleluia means Praise God!”

“Benjamin, what music do you want to listen to today?” “Cute banana.” (I am not familiar with this band but perhaps Benjamin is up on the newest hip and obscure albums)

Anyhow, Benjamin’s not the only thing in our lives that has changed in the past twelve months.

I went from working full-time at Baylor to staying at home then working part-time at Baylor then full-time grad school at FSU then quitting grad school after one semester then working part-time for the ballet school/company. Whew, how many switches is that? But I love my job. It really is the best. And I love spending all but 15 to 20 hours a week with Benjamin. I’m so grateful.

The two biggest changes of 2010 were certainly our reception into the Roman Catholic Church on Easter weekend and our move from Texas to Florida. Both have brought us great joy and both have made us feel at home.

We went from renters to homeowners and from sharing a house with 5 housemates to being suddenly all by ourselves. Not surprisingly, living in the same town as both sets of parents and our siblings makes parenting a whole new ball game. An easier, less-stressful, wonderful ball game. Now I only look back in amazement that we survived 18 months of new parenting states away from family while I worked full-time and Daniel was a full-time student (including writing a thesis). Remembering the exhaustion still makes me cringe and I honestly don’t remember huge chunks of that 18 months. And we’re so grateful for my mom’s good health. 12 months ago she was still enduring agonizing chemotherapy and now she swims miles a day with a beautiful head of new hair and has more energy than I do. Praise God.

The transition from having my best friend as one of our housemates to feeling like I had no close friends in Tallahassee was a difficult road for me. Thankfully, we have been blessed with some wonderful new friends and reconnected with some old ones. We shared New Year’s Eve with fantastic people that I’m so glad to call our friends.

It has really been the Year of Transition for us but filled with many blessings, some important lessons learned, and new questions to ponder. But I say goodbye to 2010 with a thankful heart.

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