Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016- The Year of Acceptance, GIFs and More

I'd love to say that 2016 was the year that I figured everything out--the whole work life balance, parenthood, marriage, getting everyone everywhere they need to be, streaming and watching all the shows on my "want to watch" list, money, what I want to be when I grow up, how to let my kids grow up,  accepting my aging skin and body, my anxiety, my mother, and how to afford Hamilton tickets. But that's not what happened in 2016. Nope. My anxiety was worse than ever, my candidate lost and I never caught up on Gilmore Girls OR Homeland in time for the new seasons.

BUT I did figure out a little bit this year. I figured out that I will never figure some of this shit out and I think I feel more okay with that than ever before. This year I started accepting the realness of ups and downs and highs and lows and holding onto the joy of the good moments and trying to learn something, anything, from the low moments. 

This year I accepted and kind of embraced the fact that JT's ADHD is directly passed down from me and that mine is getting worse with perimenopausal hormones. Some days that felt paralyzing and other days I felt inspired to embrace new ways of thinking and coping and helping JT, and me.  

This year I accepted football is a part of my life. My boys love football. I want to support them and I did. It felt good.

This year I said yes to opportunities to use my voice. It led me to Washington D.C. and Chicago to speak to Senators and protest near the Capitol and testify in front of the EPA. It was empowering to use my voice and show my kids that we can all be a part of THE process and work to help create change in the world. I got to be a part of a storytellling podcast hosted by my creative mentor/mother-angel and use my voice to hopefully help people suffering or loving someone with mental illness. 

This year I watched my son start high school and become this man-child going to the homecoming dance and being captain of his football team. I also watched him rehab and fight to get stronger from two surgeries on his leg over the last year. He made good choices and stupid ones, he bounced back, he regained trust, he inspired us and challenged us. We talked politics and religion this year more than ever before. We talk about college a lot because um, it's only three years away. Yup, man-child. 

This year I watched Lucy become more teenage girl than tween. I never knew/know where I stand with her. From what I have read, this is normal-ish. We have found a fun way to communicate however...texting each other GIFS. I am not kidding, there is nothing like a Tina Fey 30 Rock eye roll GIF to express how the both of us are feeling. It's been such a breakthrough for us. Thank you technology!

This year Wade, our sweet homebody, became a pretty confident reader and played tackle football. This year, like other years, Tim and I vowed to make more time for each other and go on more dates. We weren't wildly successful but we did try and that's good right?

This year I accepted we would never grow grass in our backyard (where we killed it with a homemade ice rink during the Polar Vortex of 2013). Instead we built a fire pit area with pea gravel. It has provided us with so much joy in all the seasons.

This year we listened and became obsessed with Hamilton. And while I accepted that I may never be able to afford tickets to see the show, it doesn't stop us from LOVING the music and the message.

This year I messed up so many times. I stressed about deadlines. I had a panic attack in public for the first time ever. I was pretty devastated by the election and I worry about what the future will look like. I was one of those people that cried when I found out Prince, David Bowie AND Carrie Fisher died this year. 

BUT this year all the moments full of love and time spent with my family and at back yard bonfires and volunteering and using my voice and meeting new people and memorizing and singing the songs of Hamilton give me so much god damn hope and gratitude. 

2016 was a year full of saying yes, accepting hard truths, embracing new ways of thinking, finding and feeling compassion, GIFs, a shit ton of my kids' games and races and tournaments, all the Hamilton songs on repeat, a couple dates with my husband, renewed interest in politics and running, a new found love of boxing and bonfires.  

Here are a few memories/pictures from our year:

Here's a video recap of our year to a song from Hamilton, of course:

Year in Review 2016 from Jumping With My Fingers Crossed on Vimeo.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas LOVE 2016

I didn't want to say good night or even turn off the football game on TV last night, because I didn't want the day to end. It was one of my most favorite Christmas days ever. Not because we were on a tropical vacation. Not even because everyone got along 100 percent of the day (because duh, I have four kids that never, ever happens, lol). Nope, it was my favorite because the kids got along for most of the day and they seemed happy and grateful and the dogs were happy and we stayed in our pajamas all day and we went on a nature walk and no one worried about being anywhere on time or doing anything to do with a deadline and we watched football and one of us danced in the kitchen to her new Aretha Franklin record, we had a lot of candy, we watched cartoons, we laughed, we talked, we napped, we hung out, we laughed some more, we hit the new punching bag in the basement, we visited with grandparents, some of us texted dumb Christmas gifs to family members and we ate frozen pizza. Mostly it was my favorite day because it was full of simple, sweet love. LOVE!

Tim surprised me with one of the sweetest and most meaningful gifts of my life. Here's a quick backstory...years ago when Peyton and Lucy were babies, Tim and I were broke. I mean broker than broke. Just like out of an early 20th century novel, we sold our wedding rings to pay the bills. We were living on love, literally. Fancy rings were never our thing anyway. I mean we just wanted to provide for our family and make up for financial mistakes we had made. Over the years things got better financially (a little, lol), but we never replaced our rings. It wasn't a big deal. We knew we were committed and our love was real and we didn't need rings. BUT Christmas morning, Tim gave me a new ring and I loved it. The way he gave it to me was so sweet and cheesy and out of a movie and by god it mattered to me. I was surprised how good it felt to be loved like that and receive a gift from Tim that represented our history and our future and oh my god, I cried and cried. I didn't know how much I needed to feel that. It felt so good.

Here's a few pics from Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

Christmas Eve pre chruch pics are a tradition.

Seeing my family take up half a huge pew in church makes me giggle.

This scene ALWAYS makes me tear up.

Lucy letting me hold her hand during church is a serious Christmas Eve miracle.

Christmas Eve at Grandma's is getting crowded.Lol. Just how I remember it at my grandma's house.

Waiting for the fun to begin. I still think it's a bit wild that Tim has an identical twin and that they both like sweater vests. Ha!


My favorite picture maybe of all time of Tim and I. Our niece took it while we watched Wade read the Christmas story in front of the family for the first time. Baby Wade reading! I think this picture captures all the hope and pride the encouragement and the love of parenthood. 

Back at the house....

Nobody plays foosball which bums me out completely but it's a great stocking holder!

Morning mayhem/magic!!!!

Our elf's last note this year.

I LOVE my new hat!!!!!!

Grandma and Bubba stop by for a visit and to see what the kids got every Christmas afternoon.

Watching dumb YouTube videos because why not.

Oh my god!!!!! New vinyl. I'm in heaven.

Blurry picture but look at these two! This was right before they punched each other. Lol.

Nature walk in pjs!

Snuggling with Wade and his new giraffe he named Connor. I didn't want to say good night...I didn't want the day to end.