Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 a Year in Review

This has been a tradition for the past couple of years. One of my favorite blog posts to write. See previous years: 2013 2014
What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
I became a mom of 2 (making me a mommy of 2 under 2 for a few months), had an out of hospital birth, started my education and journey towards being a Birth Doula
Did you keep your new years’ resolutions? Will you make more in 2016?
I didn't make any, I usually make some version of a goal list on my birthday which is just 4 days after new years. I completed many of the 101 goals I set for myself on my birthday last year.
This year John and I have set some financial resolutions: 
  • To increase our savings account for building our house (we have a specific goal, I'm just not sharing it here for the world to see :) )
  • To eliminate (again...) some of our unsecured debt (medical, credit card). 
I have personally set goals of: 
  • Running a mile without stopping (one of my goals on my 101 list)
  • To improve my language (I don't curse much but I don't want Cora and Ada picking up and saying words like "shut up" "stupid" etc.)
  • I'm giving up cokes entirely (wahhhh!)
  • Cutting back on the paper products we are using in the house and to start recycling again.  
  • To be intentional with the girls. We're planning to do a homeschool preschool program next fall, so I need to start planning that out and getting prepared. We'd like to start having a family devotional together with the girls too.
For my business and blog:
  • Have 4 doula clients by year end
  • To blog more. I haven't decided exactly how to measure this but I wish I had spent more time blogging this year. Mommy of 2 and Doula training has created a bit of a blogging time challenge.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes - me! My good friend Angela had her second and my oldest friend Kimmi had her first! 

Did anyone close to you die?
We lost my Great Uncle Junior recently. He was a WWII Veteran, a wonderful man and he leaves behind a large and loving family. (Uncle Junior in the middle on the left)

          What countries did you visit?
We stayed right in the good ol USA this year. After traveling quite a bit last year, we didn't even leave the state this year. We have a cruise planned for April, hopefully Ada will figure out the bottle/sippy cup so we can actually go! 

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
I look forward to having another vegetable garden! My current contract with the Children's Day out I'm teaching at ends in late May and I'm really looking forward to re-establishing a stay-at-home mom routine. I'll be working full time for my own business but I'm so excited that this job is flexible to my schedule! 

What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory?
July 22, 2015 - Ada Mayme's birth!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I have survived parenting 2 kiddos for 5 months so far. This has by far been the biggest challenge of my life! I'm proud of my work in becoming a Doula and making the leap of faith in going into business for myself! 

What was your biggest failure?
It has really been a good year. Very mellow but lots of changes with pregnancy, birth, parenting two while balancing a new job and school. 
The only thing I look back on and am disappointed with is early in pregnancy while I struggled emotionally I wish I had been more compassionate and loving with Cora. While I really wish I handled that all better, I don't know what I could have done differently, maybe identify the depression sooner? Not really a failure but a remorse. I wish I savored the time with one child and the ease of life in general that goes with that.... Again, not a failure but a life lesson I suppose.

Did you suffer illness or injury in the year?
Right after writing this last year both Cora and I got sick, for almost a whole month! What I thought was a cold with sniffles turned into a full blown lay in bed for days illness. I still look back and cringe. It was awful and I got a great big dose of how hard it is to parent while being sick yourself and the cherry on top was how sick she was too so she was extra clingy and needy when I wanted to be left alone the most. Looking back, that was also the beginning of my perinatal depression which lasted into the spring (about the time I finally got Cora weaned). 

Cora had a Febrile Seizure this past spring. It was really scary but she has had fevers since and has not had another seizure so hopefully she is in the 70 % that doesn't have a second seizure. 

This past October Cora was diagnosed with Juvenile Rhumatoid (or Idiopathic) Arthritis. We're still  wrapping our heads around what this diagnosis will mean for her. As of now it is localized to her right knee. (I've been meaning to get around to blogging about this, maybe I'll actually get it out of my drafts folder and published soon)
What was the best thing you bought?
My daughter! So, I didn't really purchase her but her birth was sure plenty expensive! It is all paid off though so there's that! 

We got an iPad and I love it! I didn't think it would be all that great, I had used a Galaxy Tab for a while in the past and didn't love it and assumed the iPad would be the same. I was wrong, it is wonderful! It's officially a business purchase and will be an essential part of my mobile office and since my personal laptop has seen better days (aka a particular toddler seriously screwed it up) I needed it for studying etc. 

Whose behavior merited celebration?
 I'm proud of how Cora has transitioned to being a big sister. There have been little things here and there that tell me she doesn't love always having to share her mommy's time but her behavior over all has been stellar!
Where did most of your money go?
Medical debt, Pregnancy/Delivery, School, Stuff for Cora & Ada.  

What did you get really excited about?
Ada's birth!
Joshua came home for almost 2 weeks after over a year in Japan!  

What song will always remind you of 2015?
I'm not really up to date on music, or really anything pop culture. I can now sing several of the songs for Little Einsteins and hear the Barney song in my sleep.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? 

Thinner or fatter?
Probably fatter. Breastfeeding hasn't been the miraculous diet it was when I fed Cora.  

Richer or poorer?
Definitely poorer, but very richly blessed!

What do you wish you’d done more of?
I come back to this every year. I miss my friends and wish to be more intentional with seeing them. This has been particularly hard and I haven't seen much of any friends since the end of my pregnancy and then before I was really getting out again I took a new job. You wouldn't think working 2-3 days a week would take up all your time but it does pretty much drain my free time. I've really learned that it's crucial to put things on the calendar! John and I weren't really spontaneous or good at doing last minute things before but now that we have children this is even more the case. 

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Watching TV. It is my biggest time suck and I find that I'm so much more productive when the television is off but I like the "company" and it helps keep me sane without adults to talk to. 

How will you be spending Christmas?
We really worked on establishing family Christmas traditions this year. Christmas Eve we went over to my Dads house and I did some baking (in a toaster and roaster oven because his oven went out the week before...) and food prep. We had a late lunch of finger foods and then went to church for Christmas Eve Services (those were quite memorable as our church as under a bomb threat). We went back to Dads for our traditional dinner of Chicken Noodle Soup and Cornbread. We opened our stockings that we all stuffed for each other (a new tradition so the responsibility didn't all fall to me, yay!) and opened our gifts from the name exchange we did before Thanksgiving. The girls got their gifts from My family & pajamas from John & me.

Christmas Day we got up and the girls got their gifts and stockings from Santa and their Want, Need, Wear, Read gifts from us. After playing some we loaded the girls up with some of their new toys and headed to my Aunt & Uncles house for the day.

The Day after Christmas we went to John's mom & step-fathers apartment to celebrate with them. 

Did you fall in love in 2014?
With my new beautiful daughter!

How many one-night stands?
I looked back to last year to see how I answered it then (no, no adultery here...)
So to quote last year, the same answer applies this year "bahaha... no" 

Who were your best friends?
Angela, Lauren, Kimmi, Kim & Tiffany
What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?
I hope that I am able to do many day to day things that are helpful and meaningful for others. Things that come to mind, co-hosted a baby sprinkle for my friend Angela, a baby shower for Kimmi, I gifted a couple of meals for families with new babies.

What were your favorite TV shows?
Well, we haven't had TV service since May 2014 so I haven't watched much network television. I have watched lots of Netflix and Amazon Prime and Hulu though. Some of the shows I've binge watched through our streaming services - the Walking Dead, Weeds, the West Wing, Jane the Virgin, Blacklist, Fixer Upper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit, Chasing Life (so sad this was cancelled!!), Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, Game of Thrones and probably my favorite from the year, Bloodline.  I've been hit or miss on trying to keep up with streaming some of my favorite network television shows by streaming after they're released, Greys Anatomy, Scandal, The Good Wife, How to Get Away with Murder, Brooklyn 99, Madam Secretary.
Ugh... Refer to the wish I had done less of point...

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope. It's been a mellow, drama free year! I have some people getting on my nerves, getting some distance will be key but hate is too strong a word for that mess.

What was the best book you read in 2014?
In the spring when I was an insomniac I read the whole Sookie Stackhouse series (what True Blood is based on). After that I started reading for my Doula training. I've really enjoyed The Birth Book by Dr & Mrs. Sears but that's not terribly exciting for a non birth junky. So also births bit more mainstream would be Cut, Stapled and Mended by R. Rosewood and Probably my favorite, Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Well, not a particular song but I discovered that I can stream Pandora on our TV. Streaming their Praise & Worship station really helps to keep us happier and less crazy during the evenings surrounding the girls witching hours. 

What did you want and get?
To start Doula training! 

What did you want but did not get?
I have a long list of stuff. Honestly many of them are actual needs. I need to replace most of my shoes. I cleaned out my wardrobe (most of it was worn out anyway) so I need new clothes. The list goes on & on like that but as far as significant things, I can't think of anything.  

What were your favorite films this year?
I can't even remember the last time I went to see a movie...

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My 26th birthday was pretty blah last year. We were all sick. I finally hauled my sick self off the couch at my dads house and dressed in time for dinner at Chuys. It was just John, Cora, John's cousin Drew & myself that went. 

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If we could get more work done on our house. It has a never ending list of things needing to be done and I really really miss entertaining and having friends over. After an overhaul of the bathroom I think we're going to suck it up and call it "good enough" and start having friends over again. Did I mention I miss entertaining?

What kept you sane?
Who says I'm sane?? 
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Celebrity, none really. I go all fan girl and get excited about meeting Doulas and various Birth Workers that are long established and a "big deal" in the birth community both locally and nationally. I've had the pleasure of meeting and corresponding with some ladies who write big deal blogs in the natural birth community and are very influential in the organization I'm certifying through. 

What political issue stirred you the most?
The first thing that comes to mind is the attacks on Paris. I'm just not convinced we are doing enough to stop ISIS but I'm not sure why the answer is. I'm very concerned that America will be the target of another big attack soon. I pray continuously for the world my daughters will be living in as they get older. 
I have been really excited by Ben Carsons campaign for President. My Political Science brain and skepticism kick into play and I'm just not sure he can win, but he has my support! I think it's really cool that he is truly a statesman, a regular person who has made a real go at running for the highest office in our country. Don't get me started on all the ways I dislike Trump & feel like his campaign is hurting the Republican Party. 
I hope to get re-involved with our local Republican Party this spring with the primary elections. 
Who do you miss?
I miss my friends. A lot!
I really miss Joshua being home! I never knew how much I appreciated having him around all the time until he was off doing the Marine thing.  
I miss Jacob & Stephanie and really hope they move closer asap! 

I have missed my mom so, so, so much this year. While transitioning to a mom of 2, dealing with crazy crap with our house and working towards a JRA diagnosis for Cora (read: a sick and hurting 2 year old while I had a newborn needing lots of attention) I missed her more than I ever have before. More than I did on my Wedding Day, more than I did having Cora and becoming a mom for the first time. I grieved for her all over again. Grieving for the loss of having her here with me now. I would never wish her back from her Eternal home with our Father but I am sure sad without her. 

Who are the best new persons you met this year?
I really like my co-workers! I love working in a Christian environment with these Christian ladies. Several of them go to church with us so that's really nice that there are more familiar faces at Church. My boss, Angie, is a real gem. She's so sweet and understanding. She really puts her employees first and has such a heart for God.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Don't plan a vacation while pregnant with a baby and you don't know for sure that they'll take a bottle.
Okay for real though, God has a plan for us. Sometimes the plan is a temporary stop-gap to get you to His ultimate plan and it's okay to have things for the here and now. Not everything has to be forever (jobs, plans, houses etc.)
I also learned to follow my mommy gut and trust my instincts. It would have been really easy to just accept Cora's limp as a part of life, just a weird quirk or injury that would go away. I'm so glad we stuck to our guns and got her to the specialists to get an accurate diagnosis.
Quote that sums up the year:
I just asked John what my response for this should be. He said "be fruitful and multiply". I say that's certainly not a quote for 2016 ;) 
Commit your way to the Lord: trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 
- Psalm 37:5-6

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Life Lately and Thanksgiving

Recently, life has been pretty focused around the fact that my brother is home from Japan for a couple of weeks! 

Last Sunday night I could not get Cora to sleep, no matter what we did. So after about 2 hours of trying, for the first time in my parenting career I resorted to driving around for an hour.

The next morning we got up very early and met my Dad at McDonalds where John took his car on to work because we couldn't find the keys to John's car (found them later in the diaper bag, whoops!). Then Dad, the girls and I went on to the airport to pick up Josh!

A photo posted by Rebekah (@bekah.jane) on

Tuesday was a pretty typical day. Ada had her 4 month well visit with the Pediatrician and I found out I'm going to need to go dairy free. :( :( :( this isn't exactly going well but more on that later.
After the doctor, John and I were going to get a bit of Christmas shopping done but got a call that Cora was running a fever at Grandpa's house. After her febrile seizure in the spring we take even low grade fevers seriously so we rushed home.
(and I have no pics of the day)

Wednesday was the delightful day of food prep! 
For the first time I made my mom's chocolate pie's (with my Dad's help) and they turned out great!!

A photo posted by Rebekah (@bekah.jane) on

Thanksgiving Day we went to my Aunt and Uncle's house and spent the day with their family. It was a great day and I have very few photos to document it. :)

The weekend has been much of the same. Sunday was the last day that we will all be together as a family for at least a year and we did take a picture to document it but of course I don't have it to share so that will have to wait for another day.

I hope you had a fantastic and blessed Thanksgiving!