Monday, June 3, 2013

Our Year in Review

 Yesterday morning while I was on my run, I began reflecting on this past 12 months and how much has happened in our lives.  We have certainly been blessed - blessed by friends, loving family, amazing children, safe travels, a successful home remodel, and so much more.

  It has been a long, long time since I've written a blogpost, as I mostly update friends and family with pictures through texting or posting on facebook.  I want to catalog this past year, and figured a blog post would be the best avenue.  I hope you enjoy this update :-)

  This year has truly been life-changing for the better.  After coming to the realization that our family is complete, I decided in February of 2012 that I wanted to get as healthy as possible, so that I can care for our children the best that I can.  I began working out and eating better.  One year ago, at the end of June, I added some natural supplements to complement my exercise and healthy eating.  I have truly been blessed by these supplements: the energy I now have, weight I have lost and friends I have made along the way.  From June to December, I lost 36 pounds and 26 inches.  I now sleep better than ever, have more energy and feel great!  I have improved my overall health and am now able to give it what it truly needs through the food and drink choices I make, as well as the natural supplements I take.  It's still exciting to look at our  before and after picture below.
   Yesterday we celebrated Jacob Thomas turning 3 years old.  He is certainly not a baby anymore.  He is a funny, easy-going, special little man!  His favorite color is orange and he loves to play with cars.  He potty trained himself a few months ago and is growing up way too fast.
 This year on Mother's Day, May 12th, I ran my first Half Marathon!  This is something I certainly never thought was in my life plan.  This coming August marks 3 years since I began running.  I am so thankful for this healthy, freeing, enjoyable activity that I have added to my life.
My precious friend, Danielle, ran the race with me.  Here we are with 7 of our 8 children!
 Abigail Honey received her First Communion on May 4th.  I have so enjoyed experiencing the excitement that she has in receiving the Eucharist every time she goes to mass.
Colby participated in PSIA competition this past February in Mathematics, Number Sense and Maps, Charts and Graphs.  He qualified for State in Number Sense and competed at TCU in April!
   April 13th I turned 35 years old.  I was able to spend the weekend in Orlando with my mom for my birthday.  It truly is hard to believe that I feel as great as I do at 35!! 
    In April, we had a first for our family - Colby fractured his thumb jumping on the trampoline and we got our first cast.  I'm thankful he was able to get it off before summer and swimming began!
    In March, I went with Colby to Honolulu, Hawaii with the boys choir he sings with.  It certainly was a special week, as it's been probably 5 years since I've been able to spend one-on-one time with him for so long!  I'm so proud and thankful that he too has the gift of music and enjoys singing.

Pearl Harbor

St. Andrew's Church
 Last July, Dan began a major remodel of our house.  We removed the walls between our living room, dining room, kitchen and office.  We then re-did those spaces, as well as added on a new office and 2nd story bedroom and bath for Colby.  Our family of 6 lived in a very small portion of our house from July to February!  We even converted Abigail's bedroom into our make-shift kitchen, complete with an oven/stove :-)  Oh, my, a little too much closeness was had, but the end result is certainly worth it.  Our basement flooded in August, so we lost our living space as well.  Thankfully, we just poured concrete to fix the flooding potential, so we will begin redoing this space soon.

  I've been the assistant music director at our church for about 10 years and this Christmas, I co-led a group of musicians from our church to Italy for a pilgrimage.  This was the 3rd Italy pilgrimage I've helped with for our music department.  We were able to take Colby, Abigail and Isaiah with us on the trip.  We saw many beautiful churches and sites as we traveled through the country side.  I am so very thankful for being able to use my gift of music at our church.  Our programs have exploded over the past many years and this past year, thanks to so many volunteers we were able to have 4 children's choirs since we had over 100 kids involved!  I also lead the youth choir and handbell choir.  Here's a link to the write up in the local paper about the trip:

Venice, Italy

Florence, Italy
 And finally, in Rome, where we were able to be in attendance at one of the last papal masses by Pope Benedict at St. Peter's Church on New Year's Day. 
St. Peter's Square, Vatican City
Christmas at home before heading to Italy.
 We celebrated Isaiah Daniel turning 6 years old December 21st.  Isaiah is an amazing little guy.  He is small in size compared to our other 3 children.  He is compassionate and loving, but at other times spirited and stubborn.  I am so excited to see what his future will bring for him.  He loves learning and spouts off facts and knowledge he has many times throughout the day.  He certainly is a blessing in our family.
 Isaiah was St. Isaiah for All Saints Day at their school.
 Dan turned 46 in November.  This was truly an amazing month for him, our family and our future.  After I began getting great results of energy and weight loss from the supplements, I knew that if I told Dan to join me, he would greatly resist my idea.  I began praying daily for him to desire to get healthy and change his life, as I had changed mine.  I asked him a few weeks before his birthday what he'd like and he quickly replied to sign him up!  I was so gratefully surprised!!!  He is now down 60 pounds, sleeps better at night, doesn't snore, is free of knee pain and overall feels better!  I am so proud of the changes he's made and how much more mindful he is of what he puts in his mouth.
November 2012
 I ran my first 10k in Austin with two of my siblings.
In September, we celebrated Colby turning 10 and Abigail turning 8.  Colby Nicholas is an exceptional first born child.  He aims to please those who work with him and never struggles in school.  He is athletic, enjoying golf and now basketball as well.  Abigail Honey is turning into a young lady.  She is a strong, (headed at times), caring (especially for Jacob), determined girl.  She is a wonderful artist and gymnast.  School is a struggle at times for her, but improvements are being seen as time goes by.
 Last August, our family was asked to be in Brigid and Chris' wedding.  It was actually the first time I've ever been a bridesmaid!  Dan sang, Colby was an altar server, Abigail was a flower girl, Isaiah was a bell ringer, and Jacob was a ring bearer.  It was a wonderful family affair and a beautiful experience, for sure!
 We celebrated our 13th anniversary last June.  It's just amazing for me to look at this picture and to think of how far we have come as a family and as a couple.  We have grown in our commitment to a healthy lifestyle and to each other.  We will be celebrating our 14th anniversary in a few short weeks.  I am excited to see what happens in our next 14 years together.  It's hard to believe our kids will then be 24, 22, 20 & 17!!

I am truly grateful for the friends and family we are surrounded by, our four beautiful children that challenge and amaze us daily, the health that we have been blessed with, our children's school that has taught them so much about truly showing God's love to others, Dan's wonderful family construction business, my job serving others with music at church, our whole family's love of music, our church, and the list goes on.

I feel our future is much brighter with the healthier lifestyle we are now leading - able to better care for our children, ourselves, our marriage, serve others, and our families.
March 2013

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