Another year has come and gone. When I was little I remember the years felt like forever to come to a close, that time was barely moving. Now, I wish things would slow down. How can another year have whooshed by us with such speed?
2014 was definitely a much better year for our family. A crazy year with lots of changes, but still a much better year than 2013.
There was a lot of growth on many different levels.
Our children have grown and changed physically, but also have transitioned into other areas of growth. I think back to a year ago today and Gibby had just started to take his first steps. Now he walks, he talks, he runs with so much gusto and vivacity that its almost as though he were rushing to catch up to all that he's missed. He is a beautiful miracle who brings a blast of sunshine and giggles with each new day. Caderyn has grown as a student. He is smart, that one. He has to have an explanation, an understanding for everything. You look at him and see the wheels in his brain turning and the enjoyment he gets from learning. That one is going to change the world.
And then there's Jeff and I. We have grown both individually in different ways, but also as a couple, our relationship has undergone immense development.
Separation, for whatever reason, really forces you to look at each other and what you have. It puts the issues right in front of you face. These issues need to be talked about, the can opened--especially during a separation--in order to ensure the stability of your relationship. I am thankful Jeff was the one to step forward and initiate the conversations. I was too afraid, too proud, too...whatever you want to call it...to really sit down and talk to him. It's like we'd been going a million miles a minute for the last three years, and now was the time to slow down and evaluate our needs as a couple, to look at the tools needed for our relationship. Jeff was the one who recognized that. I did not. I will admit that. Because of this, we are in a good place. If I may be so bold as to say, a great place, despite him currently being in South Korea for the next few months. We've really been able to open up to one another and be honest. It has led to a huge upswing in our marriage. I love that man to the very depth of my soul. Being away from him for so long has left me feeling, at times, so empty, but I know that because of our conversations throughout this year and the next year to come, we will come out of this deployment stronger individually and as a couple. We are looking forward to having him home in 2015 and moving on to another great adventure!
We said goodbye to friends whom we miss terribly (Montana people! Come and visit me PLEASE), and have been welcoming new friends into our lives.
That's the nice thing about years past and years to come. So many wonderful memories of people, of places, of events, and the exciting anticipation of more to come.
And here is our year in review. If you want to read more about any of these highlights, just click on the pretty blue links I've provided for you.
January started with Gabriel walking. Like literally a year ago on New Years Eve he decided to walk. It was such a wonderful moment and still such a beautiful memory. We bought a car and sent Jeff of to Virginia for BOLC until May. We found out that Jeff was going to be sent to South Korea in June...and let that sink in a little...and then we started thinking about the next steps in our lives.
February was a month of adjustment and taking everything in. We made a decision to move the boys and I down to Phoenix and I informed my boss that I would be leaving my position in June. It was also ridiculously cold in Montana.
In March the boys got incredibly sick that first week (and on my birthday). We celebrated birthdays. Threw a fantastic 5th birthday party for Caderyn, and entertained my mom for a wonderful visit.
April brought a trip to Phoenix for Easter and to get the kids and I all set up with school and daycare for our pending move. Work was insanely busy. We officially let people know about our family's intentions for the next year. Jeff and I had many long talks about our relationship and where we saw it going this next year of separation. Oh and I had whooping cough.
May saw me powering through work to try and get everything ready for the upcoming transition. I also flew to Virginia for Jeff's graduation. We went to D.C and then began the long drive home to Montana.
June was a tough month. Jeff left for South Korea after a wonderful three weeks with us. It was so difficult to let him go. I finished my last day on the job and began packing up the house in anticipation of our move. We did take some time for enjoyment. Gabriel turned two. Jeff's brother got married and that celebration was a blast. We took little trips here and there to the cabin, Missoula, and Great Falls. We started working with a nanny WE LOVED. She made a huge difference in our summer (shout out to Elly if she reads this!). My parents made their arrival.
July involved a vacation at the family cabin. Still more little trips to Great Falls and Missoula. Time with family, time with friends. Lots of packing. A trip to Seattle. And packing and packing. A meltdown about packing. And more packing. And then we were done.
August found us in Missoula enjoying the town and NOT packing. I enjoyed time with the boys and went to my FIRST EVER rodeo. Loved it. August also brought M-Day. M for Move. We packed everything we would need for the next year into a U-Haul and moved down to sunny and boiling Arizona. There was some down time and then Caderyn was registered and officially ready for Kidnergarten and I was preparing to transition into a new job and home role. School started for Caderyn and I started working at his school and spending two days home with Gibby.
September was still incredibly hot and a month of transition. Lots of adjusting to a new schedule and figuring out new budgets.
October took us to California for our first ever visit to LEGOLAND. Jeff's parents came to visit. Caderyn lost his first tooth. We had a crazy but fun Halloween.
November saw me take my first international trip to visit Jeff in South Korea. It was a whirlwind, but such a wonderful time seeing Jeff. I got home, I was incredibly sick for about a week. And then it was Thanksgiving.
December was just as busy as October and November. Lots of pre-Christmas F-U-N! And then it was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Just like that!
Thank you for sharing in out year, family and friends. We love you all!