Friday, December 28, 2012

Growing Older

I know, I know.  I'm still in the first third of my life, give or take.  But I'm going to say that this growing older thing is the source of my turmoil right now.  I'm not talking about anything physical, parts falling apart, etc.  This is totally the emotional turmoil that's got me all wound up.

I didn't cry this much before I had kids.  I swear.  (Dang hormones.)

But, I see a child that is running around talking, having intelligent conversations, and I know that when we first moved here, that child was in a baby carrier.  Cue watery eyes of nostalgia.  Where had the time gone?

I look at college athletes and think, "Wait.  I'm not their age anymore.  I'm a decade older."  Where has the time gone? Eyes water.

I mention something to my students that happened in 2000, recent history for me.  They weren't even born yet.  What?  How is that possible?

I have friends from high school who already have five or six kids.  Again, how is that possible?  Didn't we just graduate?

I have friends from college who have been married, divorced, and remarried.  Already. Are we even old enough to be married the first time?

I'm on the brink of celebrating a decade of marriage and I still feel like a beginner, you know?  Sometimes I feel like a visitor at the in-laws', even though I know I'm not.

And, I think the thing that makes me most emotional is change.  When people that I know and love move away.  Or when I know that they're going to move.  G&J at church will only be here for another eight months.  My beloved neighbors will also be PCS-ing around the same time.  J&S got married and moved.  My team at work was the same for two years, and has changed each year for the past two (teacher friends have moved).  Every year my heart becomes even more stubborn about accepting different circumstances.  And every year, the Lord is faithful throughout those changes, but it is still a source of growing pains for me .

I got a Christmas card from my best friend from college in the mail.  I read the Christmas letter.  I was sitting on the stairs, I remember, and the kids were eating at the table, and Eli was standing in the kitchen. I just burst into tears.  The kids were confused, and I was confused, and Eli was definitely confused.  I was just so sad.  There was nothing sad in that letter, per se.  But the fact that all those things happened and that I was not a part of it--THAT was sad.  (And I will admit, it brought on a little wave of jealousy of the people who ARE a part of her life.) We live so far away, and we are in such different spots in our lives, and I wonder how it is that we consider each other friends, let alone best friends, after not being a part of each others' lives for so long.

I think about the amazing women at church and then am sad about how we aren't really friends in the way that I once could be friends with other women.  You know, before the husband and the kids came along.  I, of course, would never go back, would never have it any other way, but my heart still mourns for that possibility a little, and that makes me sad.  Getting together with them monthly is a small fix, and I'll take it, but I just wish I could do/have it all.

Many times, I feel like a terrible friend since my life is so me-and-my-family-centered, and I probably am.  But, I have been reassured by other loving older women that this is just a passing phase in my life as the mother of small children.

Man, I hope so.  And maybe someday the hormones will work themselves back out and I won't cry at ridiculous stuff anymore.  Maybe?


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beaver Christmas Decor

We've lived in this house for 2.5 years, and out of three Christmases, this is the first year I've actually put some thought and effort into decorating.  Two years ago, we barely had a tree and stockings hanging from the mantle (but Elsie didn't have a stocking).  Last year, we didn't have a tree, but we had stockings.  The kids' stockings were the generic red ones that I got 50% off (so, $.50 each) after Christmas two years ago.

So, yeah.  This is the year I put on my grown-up decorator pants.  And this is what I came up with--except I forgot to take pictures of the dining room, so I'll have to take care of that tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Debt Update December 2012

Made a hefty payment this month.  We'll pay off this thermometer by the year's end!!

 Second 10K Chunk, started 5/1/12
  fundraising ideas
We had gotten away from reviewing our budget every month, just automatically going off the last month's budget, so this month we plan to get back on track.  So excited for the next debt update posting!