“Make this year a year of finding, of fulfillment, of joy, of peace, and purpose.” -Unknown
“Tomorrow is the first blank of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” -Brad Paisley
“For I am about to do something new.” -Isaiah 43:19
A new year, a new beginning.
I can’t say I had a terrible 2016 by any means. I’m very grateful for the memories, the relationships, and the experiences that came with the year. But, it’s always nice to look forward to a new year with a fresh start.
I like the fact that the new year always starts in the dead of winter. It’s a little ray of hope, a reminder to look up and to move forward during a month that can hold some of the coldest, darkest, and bleakest days of the year.
Our family’s New Year’s Eve celebration did not entail the revelry that often comes with celebrating a fresh start and new beginnings. This was my second New Year’s (since being a child), that I did not stay up until midnight. This mom was in bed and asleep by 9PM.
The best part about the changes that have come with motherhood, is that even though the changes can be hard and require much sacrifice, they are so worth it–
As many “Mom Life” memes on Pinterest and Facebook have reminded me: The days are long, but the years are short. And this is undeniably true.
Even though my son is just over 15 months old, I’m still in disbelief with how quickly the time as gone, and yet how slow some of the days and weeks feel with the labor of love that is motherhood.
The changes that come with motherhood have become a part of who I am, and they remind me of something and someone greater than myself- a sacrifice made on a cross.
This little boy has changed my life forever.
And if you are thinking that being in bed at 9PM on New Year’s Eve sounds super “lame”. I have to tell you it was absolutely not a lame New Year’s Eve for me.
Thanks to the “non-planning” that went into how our family spent our New Year’s Eve, we found ourselves at the grocery store early on New Year’s Eve to do our grocery shopping.
Yes, that probably sounds like a terrible idea (we procrastinated), but to our surprise, there were several young families in the store with their children at the time that we went.
Many families were picking up sparkling juices, ciders and snacks for New Year’s Eve celebrations. It was absolutely adorable to see all the smiling faces and excitement that so many young children had about spending the New Year’s with their family and friends.
I think I saw the most babies and toddlers in Wal-mart that I’ve ever seen in a grocery store visit. It seemed all the young families had the same plan: get in, get out, and get home early. And maybe they even went to bed early like our family.
While we were in the store, my husband had the great idea to do a fondue night. We ended up adding some extra items to our grocery list, finished our shopping, and drove home.
(Side Note) The first memory I have of visiting my husband’s family, when we were both just college swim team friends, was of his parents preparing a fondue night when I stayed at their home. I’m not the biggest fan of cooking and preparing food, but it was definitely a special memory. The whole process of cooking everything together around a table, while socializing and enjoying different vegetables and meats made it a nice communal moment.
My husband and I enjoyed our time together on New Year’s Eve with another special fondue night of cooking and eating together around a table with our son. We had some enjoyable conversation that we often feel too rushed to have at the table. We reflected on the year we were leaving behind, and we shared the hopes of a new year.
Along with the impromptu fondue night, we ended up watching a couple of movies, relaxed and enjoyed being together rather than feeling the need to go somewhere or do something. It was a nice change of pace from the New Year’s celebrations that we have had in the past.
I can’t say I didn’t miss being at a lively party, playing games, and catching up with old and new friends, but there was definitely something special about just time with our small family, embracing the comfort of home, and having some time to relax.
Another priceless and precious moment came to fruition on New Year’s morning. My son, as usual, woke up around 6:30 AM, and was wide awake and ready to go. The morning was so peaceful. The sun was out, it had warmed up outside a bit, and some of the ice had melted on the roads near our house.
No one was out. The quiet and stillness of the morning were both unquestionably refreshing.
It wasn’t much later in the morning, that I decided to take my son on a walk- all bundled up in his stroller. Walks during the winter months don’t come all that often, so I wanted to take advantage of the warmer temperatures while I could.
We shared some special moments on our morning walk. His little face would make eye contact with mine and he’d smile. His two little dimples would quickly appear and his whole face would light up with pure happiness and contentment.
I was able to watch his sweet face look around in wonder as he took in the quiet that surrounded us on our walk. I can’t say I’ve ever seen it so quiet out. And it was beautiful.
2016 had its ups and downs, but I’m thankful to have a fresh start in 2017. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to share in this journey ahead with my loving family and friends.
May you and your family have a blessed New Year!