Wednesday, January 9, 2013

moving on to a new year.

WOW. What a year. Like many of you, I posted on Facebook on New Years Day a very short list of some of the major events that have happened in 2012. Jordan and I both feel like 2011 & 2012 have been years of intense happenings and transitions for us. We met in January of 2011, so we have come to see a lot of old things pass and a lot of new things begin. This year though, was by far the most eventful, the most challenging, and the most fruitful. I'm going to try and recap some of those major moments :)

Some happenings this year:

  • I spent the first few months planning our wedding... which was entirely too stressful to do from TX. I had an awesome wedding planner and very involved mother who made it a little easier, thank God!
  • I traveled with my girl friends down to Destin, FL for my bachelorette trip! It was probably one of the most fun weekends of my life. to have most of my best friends in one place was just heaven. I'll never forget it.
  • we welcomed one of my most beloved treasures into the world... our niece, Ella Juliet, was born. I was devastated because we were in GA when she was born... our flight left the day after. I couldn't stand the fact that I missed the birth and her first few moments of life. But to hold her the second we got back to Texas... I can't explain it. She was then and still is what I call my "angel baby." I'm enamored by her and she has me whipped already!
  • The stress of wedding planning was out of control as it was literally happening in a few days & you know that phrase "when it rains it pours..." yes. My dad and stepmom were expecting twins, but they weren't to be born until the end of July/beginning of August. the week of our wedding, my stepmom's water broke with one of the twins, causing both of them to have to be delivered. We were all worried for the twins because they were born at 29 weeks, and also worried about my stepmom. My dad had a lot on his plate preparing to give his oldest away, his wife had just undergone major surgery and was recovering, and he had 2 twin babies in the NICU. But WHAT LITTLE BLESSINGS those babies are. Jefferson Pierce "JP" & Maura Cate were born and I don't think any of us knew just how much they would bring into our lives right from the start. The two sweetest, most cuddly babies in the world who are constantly smiling and laughing. They brought out a side of my daddy that I hadn't seen in a long time. They softened a part of my heart as well. They are perfect and we are blessed.
  • late Spring also brought the wedding, obviously! Hands down the most perfect day in the whole world. All the days being Jordan's wife have been the most joy-filled, happiest, most humbling days of my life thus far. Marriage is a far greater blessing than I ever imagined it could be. It was a day full of love, the Lord's blessings, dancing, eating, and drinking with friends and family, and HUMIDITY. but it could not have been a better day
  • we found out that we were expecting a third member of our family. What a day that was. so many emotions were felt. I think of that time as a time of extreme highs and lows. I was terrified. Obviously all of that has changed. I am nearing the end of my pregnancy and getting ready to welcome this boy into my arms with his daddy by my side. We are not afraid, but antsy to see his sweet face.
  • JP & Jennifer (Jordan's brother and his wife) moved with Jackson & Ella to a new city about 3 hours away. They were gone when we came back from our honeymoon. It was a really hard transition for all of us to get used to them being gone & for them to settle into a new place. They are our closest friends in TX & so we missed them so much. it was a little bit of a shock to ease into a season of them being gone.
  • The remaining half of the year has been really focused on the pregnancy & balancing this with being newlyweds. I was very sick until about 15 weeks. (I found out when I was 2 weeks along... that's a long time to be sick!). I have been put on bed rest I think 4 times now due to some pregnancy complications. My roles as a wife have been challenged and I had to put my pride aside and let Jordan help me out in some of my "wifely duties," things that I love doing for my husband but that he would instead be selfless enough to do for us. Jordan is such a trooper... such a good man. He has been patient and servant hearted through these last several months. I have been super unpleasant some days and he has never gotten frustrated with me. So I have been focusing on keeping myself and this baby healthy, making it to the end of the pregnancy, and soaking up all my one-on-one time with my husband.
  • due to bed rest, I had to quit my job. It was a really hard and drastic transition. We went from having 2 incomes to only having 1. with a baby on the way? that was extremely difficult. thankfully- my hubby is the king of budgeting and saving money (I am the exact opposite), so we have made it work and found ourselves extremely blessed. we have not gone without and neither has the baby. It was also hard to spend what I wasn't contributing. I had some pride issues with that that I had to get over. not to mention, I was absolutely bored to death at home and haven't NOT worked since I was about 13.
  • we went home to Atlanta for Thanksgiving. I had my first baby shower with all my besties and some people I hadn't seen in a long time. It was perfect and we were showered with so much encouragement, gifts, and just LIFE from the people who are so dear to my heart. We also went to Savannah to see my family for Thanksgiving, which is always fun. 
  • At the end of the year, we have kind of taken it easy. We've been rearranging our apartment to make room for baby things. I have been on a cleaning FRENZY trying to make sure the apartment is spotless all the time. (my oh my how marriage has changed things for this previously DISASTER of a woman). we have started our house hunting in order to be able to move sometime in the early spring. I had my first Christmas away from home! We spent Christmas in TX this year with Jordan's family. It was awesome... very different from how my family does things, but still wonderful and joyful. New Years Eve we had a very low key night with my in-law's house church... my husband was prayed over and blessed by the men in the church. All of the women laid hands on me and my belly and prayed blessings over our family, our birth, and our baby. We left 2012 behind with a lot of peace in our hearts.

This was a year of challenges, no doubt. So many blessings, but challenges as well. I am thankful for every single bit.

2013 is going to be an amazing year, we just know it. We're welcoming our baby boy, *fingers crossed* hopefully buying our first house, we have lots of trips planned for friends who are getting married, and lots of precious people from GA are coming to visit us! I think it is a year of new beginnings, new challenges, new seasons... it has already proven to be that way and we are only 9 days in.

I'm not one to make "resolutions," partially because I haven't been disciplined enough to keep them in the past and partially because I thought they were pointless and I would probably fail anyway. BUT, this year I made individual "Goals." There are things I want to strive for... they aren't like "lose weight" and "take x amount of trips" or "only going out dancing 2x a week." hahaha. like they used to be. those things just aren't relevant to my life anymore. So I made a list of goals and also dreams for 2013. more about the kind of woman I want to be. I really want to be intentional this year. Part of that has to do with my roles of being a wife and a mom, I feel more responsibility and more motivation.

As we slowly come into this new year, I am already overwhelmed with how many changes will be taking place. I have prayed for months for the Lord to prepare me as a mother. I can read as many books as I want, ask my midwife as many questions as I want, get as much advice from other mother's as I want... but in the end, this is our baby. I feel kind of like I did when I was leaving for YWAM- How do you prepare for something for which you have no idea what to expect?

I feel like the Lord has been tugging away at my pride during this pregnancy. I have never felt more physically unattractive in my life- but I just move on and refuse to dwell on it or let it steal the joy from my day. I won't have many days to feel all that lovely right after the baby is born anyway. But I know with a newborn in my arms, all of the rest will fade into the background. Pregnancy prepares moms to step out of the spotlight and put their children's needs above their own. I wrestle with selfishness... as a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter... sometimes it's hard not to think about what is most beneficial for you. Being pregnant has been anything but a time of being able to be selfish. There are a lot of days where I eat too much ice cream (so kill me) or don't drink enough water or where I haven't taken care of my body like I should. There are days I get impatient and angry and irritated that this whole process takes so daggum long. There are my really selfish days where I wanted him to come out WAY too early because I wanted to meet him so badly, even though he would have been highly premature.

My midwife really puts things in perspective for me when I see her... she is a very spirit-led, very sensitive, prayer warrior, & Godly woman and I absolutely love her. At my appt yesterday, as I was feeling really uncomfortable and huge, and so ready to just be done with this whole thing... she gently reminds me what a blessing it is to have made it this far in my pregnancy. how some women try forever to be in my position and either can't have babies or can't carry them to term. women who would be thankful... instead, I was complaining. she reminds me how the longer the baby is in there, the more developed and ready they are to enter this world. she reminds me that I will miss this time of being pregnant. that when I get into my fleshly mindset that I should take time to really get myself back into my spirit mindset. you know what? she prayed grace over me, followed by "in Jesus's name." I left feeling more at peace than I have in a long time and so thankful that she is the woman delivering my baby. She was absolutely right in everything that she said... so today I woke up with a new reassurance and a new peace. even though my back pain is through the roofs this morning ;)

so after all that and going off on a tangent, I say all this to reiterate that I think 2013 is going to be an amazing year. I am so excited for what's to come. I am hopeful, I am grateful, and we are blessed.

Happy New Year, dear friends. 

**I leave you with pictures from this past year**

Jordan's first NYC trip! we had SO much fun. one of our most memorable times together!

Our friends threw us a "stock the bar" engagement party. we had to buy a bar cart just to hold it all!

My Bachelorette Trip to FL with 10 of my girlfriends. SO MUCH FUN.

Baby Ella, my niece, the first time I met her.

One of our bff's from YWAM, Chello, came to visit us from ENGLAND a couple weeks before our wedding!

My baby siblings, JP & Maura Cate were born... precious little muffins.

Our first dance as husband and wife :)

how handsome is my husband? so hot.

my MOH's: carly, holly, and lark

Our reception was AMAZING. Danced all night!!

Honeymooners! We went to Jamaica and had a BLAST.

we went to New Orleans right after our wedding for another friend's wedding. I'd never been! Thats the Mississippi River

yay!! (progression of the bump on earlier posts)

so excited to meet our little man (excuse horrible photo)

My besties and my mama threw me an amazing baby shower back around Thanksgiving! so blessed.

Christmas fun with the Gray's! up top: my sister Jenn, my MIL Janet, & my sister Shannon

our first married Christmas tree! Tree was too tall for the picture.

maternity shots! taken by Tara at sugarmaple photography