Thursday, 24 December 2015

On This Day

For the past several months I have been taking a daily look at my Facebook posts using the app entitled "On This Day" which shows me all of the things that I have posted "On This Day" since I joined Facebook.

It's been every bit as good as a personal journal to see all of the things that have happened in my life that I thought were worth sharing or talking about with my Facebook friends.

The boys have grown up right before my eyes.

Traditions have perpetuated.

There have been some laughs.  Some tears.

The fashion styles.  House renovations.  Aging.  <grin>

As the Christmas season started to come closer, in November already, I started to notice a pattern in my posts through the years.

A constant moaning and sighing about Christmas.
The work.
The organization.
The to-do lists

Every year, for years, I've gone on and on, publicly, about how I need to do better at Christmas, how much I want a peaceful celebration, how much I felt that better lists and better efforts at organizing myself would accomplish that for me and my family.

It became embarrassing to read.

This year, I decided to be quiet about Christmas and I decided to take action.  I mean, really.  Really take action.

So, I closed my public mouth.

And opened my private heart to hear what, in the scheme of all things Christmas, needed to stay and what needed to go.

Here's what happened:

  • We spent less money, WAY less money on Christmas gifts
    • Minimalist wish lists have been fun and meaningful and, while I've caught myself thinking that I should just pick up one more thing because I always do that, I find myself thinking that those kinds of gifts really don't mean a thing and become part of the clutter that drags us all down all year long.  Ben, one day, said "Mom, don't bother to buy me _____ because I won't use it anyway" to which I replied "good, I wasn't planning on it anyway and THAT'S WHY OUR LISTS CAN BE SHORTER THIS YEAR!"
    • The flip side of this has been giving gifts that are unanticipated because It.  Is.  Fun.  To. Give.  An.  Unexpected.  Gift.  Amen.
  • I didn't print out photos and send cards and write a Christmas letter and send it in the mail and via an email.
    • But I did print a picture card that had bullet points about our year in review which made it an all-in-one type of Christmas greeting that didn't even necessarily require a signature which was win-win for me and they're been handed out and mailed for a couple of weeks so that's done and utilized the EASY button!
  • Here's a shocker - I DIDN'T DO ANY CHRISTMAS BAKING!!!
    • But today I get to bake my Christmas cinnamon buns for a leisurely Christmas morning breakfast tomorrow.  Guess what?  I didn't miss doing or eating the baking which makes me ponder all of the time and money that I've spent on this tradition other years??  Maybe this will make a comeback next year but apparently Christmas can come without it.  
  • We decorated the house.
    • But not very much which means that I didn't have to box up a bunch of daily decorations to make room for Christmas decorations just so that I could box up the Christmas decorations and bring back the daily decorations......
  • I made specific, and sometimes difficult, decisions about which Christmas events to attend.
    • And only attended (or hosted) events that I REALLY REALLY wanted to attend.  This was a biggie - and the measuring stick that I used was "does this event fill my bucket or empty my bucket?" And if it wasn't a bucket filler, we didn't go.  I have to say that doing things that I really wanted to do with people I really wanted to be with filled my bucket rather nicely.

And so, ON THIS DAY, CHRISTMAS EVE 2015, I am finding myself being at peace with Christmas.  I haven't wrestled an alligator to arrive on this day.  I have arrived with a rested mind and a reasonably rested body.

I've also recognized something - a big part of Christmas for me is the anticipation and the preparation - 
preparing food for guests, 
the house for beauty, 
and gifts for those I love 

fills my bucket.  

Fills my bucket so much that, here we are on Christmas Eve

and I'm done.  

I'm finished.



A couple of days ago, that notion of being "done" made me restless.

Today, ON THIS DAY, it brings me peace.

Because, after all, didn't the scriptures agree - 

"Today (ON THIS DAY) in the city of David, a Savior has been born, He is Christ the Lord."  

It was done.  The years of prophecy and anticipation and waiting for the time of arrival came to pass ONE DAY. And brought us peace.

Merry Christmas, friends.  May the peace of Christ be yours.  

Leave some room for the carols

Jesus, the only Hope for our world

Special letters, salvaged from "The New Way Bookstore" signage - spell something special this Christmas.  Meaningful to the Dynna family!

Memories of a Christmas 2015 party with some amazing people.
The Dynna IV
Christmas IS where THEY are

The Christ Child
Christmas is BECAUSE of HIM

Monday, 30 November 2015

On Turning 50!

I'm 50 years old!

I've thought about this day all year. 

It's felt kinda "big".

I guess it IS kinda big.

I know there are many of you who scoff at the number and say that life begins at 50 and yadda yadda, blah blah, etc., etc.

Please allow me to own my feelings on turning 50.  I'm okay with it.  I'm not okay with it.  Regardless of whether I am or not, I'm still 50! 

So.  Yeah.

A few very quick things that I need to say about turning 50.

1.  We didn't have the opportunity to get away this summer and the chance to travel presented itself when we discovered the boys' week off of school in November so we chose a location and called it our family trip of (a lifetime) the year and co-labelled it the trip to celebrate my 50th birthday.  And we went to New York City and fulfilled many many dreams in one week.

I specifically wanted to do 2 things - I wanted to see The Lion King, which we did and it was magical.  And I wanted to stand on top of the Empire State Building and declare myself 50 - to myself, to my world.

I wanted to do that from the Empire State Building partly because I'm afraid of heights (that's an understatement) and I think turning 50 is partly about conquering fears and facing frights.  I think I'm starting to learn that some fears and anxieties can be managed by choices.  Choose to face them head on or choose to walk away.  Both options acceptable.  Valuable lessons.

And I wanted to celebrate in New York because New York is one of the greatest cities in the world.  THE WORLD!!  And I wanted to see it.  I wanted to be there.  I wanted to see one of the world's greatest places and see all of the things that books and history and movies have told me about.  And I DID!  I saw them for myself.  I needed to do that.  I needed to face something large and bigger than myself and discover this world that "I heard about" and see with my own eyes something magical.

And so we did.  And it was worth all the effort and planning and thinking and wishing.  I will never forget.  For a simple country girl like me, Manhattan loved me and I loved Manhattan.

2.  On being 50 - I've looked around my world, specifically my work place lately, and realize that yeah, I'm one of the senior nurses and with that comes a delightful knowledge of the history of our facility and comes the warmth of long term relationships - and also the burden of responsibility.  You know that saying "I don't want to adult"?  Like it or not, being among the senior nurses, ya just gotta "adult" sometimes.   

The other day I had a situation that I needed to assist with that involved another department and one of our residents.  I felt that the other department had neglected to provide something essential for us to adequately care for our resident so I went to have a discussion with them to try to resolve it.  The department was mostly cooperative and worked to resolve my concern.  Except for one staff member who questioned me in a fairly sarcastic manner as I left.  I decided at that moment that I was going to draw up every inch of my 49 years plus 363 day old self and stand up for what was right.   And so I did.  I drew up my shoulders, squared my back, held my head high and levelled a look at her and asked "what's the concern?"  

I won. 

I won the fight for my resident.

And I think I won a fight for me.

I CAN face hard things.  I CAN face personal challenges.  I CAN surmount things that make me anxious. 

So, I guess I CAN turn 50 with some grace.  And courage. 

And I think I'll need them both.

So look out world!  Here I come!

Friday, 9 October 2015

25 Simple Things I'm Thankful For

Beautiful pumpkins from a friend

It's the Friday of the Thanksgiving weekend and I'm tidying up my house, making buns, getting ready to put the turkey in to share with family this evening.  My head hasn't really been in the game of Thanksgiving yet - I've been working and committed to what feels like a thousand outside expectations and last on my list has been my home, my family, myself even, and I'm desperate for a quiet weekend with the ones I hold dear next to me.  Desperate.

And so I'll do a little cooking and put a few fall things on the table and maybe watch "Dan In Real Life" and pretend that we're going to have a family talent contest around the fireplace when in reality we'll likely not do that at all, seeing that we don't have a fireplace.  ;)

In the interest of both silly and serious, here are a handful of things that have made an impact (both big and small) on my life over the past few months:

1.  Gouda cheese
2.  Pumpkin Spice Lattes
3.  My girl cousins, dad's side - and the days that we have spent together this year.

Day trip to Maureen's house - we're peas in a pod.
Love them, each one

4.  Living Waters Camp
5.  Tomato tarts
6.  Roasted beets

7.  My work family

We as diverse as the sands on the shore, but these people have hearts as big as the ocean.  They know how to serve, love, have fun, cry.....and eat (!).  Love them.

8.  Our music friends who pop in to see us now and then and make us wish they lived closer. 

Yeah, Dean didn't accept that offered kiss.......

9.  Cut flowers from my garden.

Grandma Zuk always grew Zinnias.....
....and so shall I.

10.  Homemade buns.
Can these count as one of life's greatest miracles?

11.  Heart to hearts with my Dixie.

On a beach
Perfect day

12.  The worship band "Rend Collective".  The worship musician "Christy Nockels".  The worship musician "Lauren Daigle".
13.  Music from the 40s.  Never, and I mean, never, gets old.

14.  Borealis Music Festival

I have thought back to this August night a hundred times.
What a night.
We sat in the warm evening air with not a cool breeze to be found.
Favorite people beside us.
The night progressed....and so did the music.
And then.
The full moon rose in the upper left corner of my sight line.
"The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer" belted out some soul tunes.
The crowd swayed and clapped.

15.  The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region - who looked after someone we love through a serious health issue. 
16.  The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region - who looked after me through some health scares that could have turned out to be way scarier than they already were.
17.  The close set of girlfriends who listened to me worry about my health events and prayed for me and rejoiced with me when the news turned out to be good.

18.  Laila Biali  - go buy The Radiance Project.  Seriously.  This music blows me away.
This might be the best concert I've ever attended.
Small crowd - maybe 50 people
My favorite venue - Village Guitar and Amps, Saskatoon
Music - wow.  Just wow.
I've attended a lot of concerts but this one.
I don't know.
My soul came alive.
And then.....AND THEN...she said "come find me on Facebook,
so we can keep in touch."
Okay.  I will.  And I did.
And we are.

19.  Vintage dishes
20.  Journalling - reminders of my blessings
21.  All of the somewhat artsy things that I occasionally get to do that make me breath fresh breaths again.
22.  A husband who cleans the house and buys groceries and smiles and lays out my pajamas on my pillow when he knows I'm coming home from work exhausted.
23.  Fresh coffee
24.  Coming adventures

25.  Rend Collective - "Never Walk Alone" - I've been consciously searching, struggling to hang on to something in these days that haven't always been easy.  I guess sometimes my brain is too busy to receive and react to things that are blatantly there for me to hold on to.  As I've been working around the house and driving to work and just doing life, this song has unintentionally been playing in my brain, almost daily.  I think it's a gift from God to me.  I'll call it my own personal soundtrack for Fall 2015.  Give it a listen.  And then read the post all over again while it's playing.  If you felt like you had nothing to be thankful for before, maybe this song will remind you that you do.


You are my shepherd faithful forever
Your hand is strong where my faith is weak
Close as my heartbeat You won't forsake me
You are the love that will carry me

And I won't be afraid
I will trust Your heart and say

I will never ever ever walk alone
You are with us for us always holding on
Though I wander Your love goes further
You are my hope and future
I will never walk alone

 Questions may haunt us casting a shadow
Still You're the hope and the fire in me
I will not tremble, I will not stumble
You are my courage my bravery

And I won't be afraid
I will trust Your heart and say

 I will never ever ever walk alone
You are with us for us always holding on
Though I wander Your love goes further
You are my hope and future
I will never walk alone

Surely Your goodness and mercy
Will light up the way set before me
Surely Your grace will pursue me
All my days, all my days

 I will never ever ever walk alone
You are with us for us always holding on
Though I wander Your love goes further
You are my hope and future
I will never walk alone


CCLI Song # 7047088
Yeah, in many ways, ways that have just had to stay deep inside of me, not to be shared, the last few months have been hard, challenging, spiritually dry - but when I've trembled, God's calmed me.  When I've stumbled, He didn't let me fall too hard.  I'm never alone. 
And what greater thing to be thankful for. 
Happy Thanksgiving from my heart to yours.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Beautiful Community Of School

Well, it's official.  Our oldest has finished Grade 10 and our youngest is day T-2, ending our 11 year participation at our local public school.  Off to high school in the fall.

I confess.

I've shed a couple of tears.

Just a few.  Quietly.  By myself.

Actually, it's easier to leave the school than it was to start attending the school.  I cried for a full week before Andrew started Kindergarten.  Gosh, that was hard.

Hope I don't do that when they leave home, nevermind, I'm sure I will.

Can I brag just a bit?  Both of our boys received the Character Award in Grade 8.  Speaks volumes to me about what kind of people they are day after day when interesting people like teachers and students are around.  I'm so proud.  Of all the achievements that a parent could aspire to see their kids reach, Character is purdy darn important.

I remember back when we first started attending Parent/Teacher interviews.  The conversations always centered around their level of reading and their ability to do math and other things according to the formulas created for Grade ("fill-in-the-blank") students. I would sit there, patiently listening.  When it was my turn to speak, my question was always, always "but is my boy a nice boy?  Does he get along with others?"  Seems my boys always were and always did and, even if no one else noticed their niceness, the teachers noticed and somehow knowing that my boys were decent human beings led me to believe that they'd succeed in their own way.

We leave elementary school having experienced the effects of community as we've raised our sons.  We only ever had our boys in one school.....which enabled familiarity within the school with so many.  Teachers called us by name, noticed when I got a hair cut, pulled me aside to comment on how much Andrew was growing, emailed pictures of Ben doing fun things in sports events.  Students greeted us with "HI MRS. DYNNA!"  Or (my personal favorite) "HI BEN'S MOM!!".  A few hugs were thrown in once in awhile for good measure, entirely due to our frequent assignment as band trip chaperones (the BEST memories).  And, perhaps my all time favorite was the "coolest mom ever" comment (not from my son!) when I arrived to drive the Boys Grade 7/8 Volleyball team to Kinistino armed with 2 batches of homemade cookies.  The SUV was LOADED with boys that day, telling the same jokes over and over and over all the way to Kinistino and back and it was the best kind of fun.

I think what I'll miss the most is the camaraderie with the parents.  Unique to this Grade 8 class, many of these students have been together since Kindergarten.  They've been close and supportive and have attended endless birthday parties together.  Some of the same parents that bawled our way through their Kindergarten graduation ceremony back in 2006 attended the Grade 8  Farewell last night.  We've sat by each other during sports games and band concerts.  We've met in the hall while waiting for our turn during parent/teacher interviews, sometimes grim-faced, sometimes relieved.  We applauded together as we watched Christmas concerts and Remembrance Day assemblies and Talent nights.  We texted each other for basketball tournament schedules when our forgetful children neglected to bring the right papers home. We noticed each others' kids' growth spurts and quietly watched the beauty and handsomeness deepen.  We dried each others' tears occasionally when our kids felt unloved or left out and then quietly had conversations at home, asking our own kids to be extra nice to others.

And, so, last night, when these gangly 13-14 year olds showed up looking like princes and princesses and with the presence of shirts and ties, dresses and heels, make up, hair gel and big smiles - we smiled too....through happy tears.  They grew up the moment they set foot inside that gym last night, dressed to the 9's - suddenly showing us all that they really. truly. are. young men and women destined for greatness.

WE. DID. IT.!!!  We managed to escort them from K-8!  And now, fly, baby, fly.

I confess.
When he came out in his suit.....
.....I cried.....

So proud. 

Aren't they beautiful!  One part mature, one part Junior High.  Half man, half boy.  More man than boy.  What?  Yes.

These two have been friends and neighbors since they were two years old.  They met through the fence as toddlers.  Friends through thick and thin, they've always been in the same homeroom for the past 9 years.  Exceptional people, both of them.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Just Relax

We had a fantastic long weekend.

Our original plans to go camping fell by the wayside.

We've been too busy.  Too busy to get the trailer ready.  Too busy to make reservations. Too busy to get ourselves ready.

And so we decided to abort the May Long camping plan.

Instead, we found rest and refreshing.

We made an impromptu trip to Saskatoon and ate well, relaxed well and shopped in all sorts of fun spots.

The next evening, we were invited out for supper and had the best night with close friends - laughing, sharing life, spontaneous dancing, sitting by the fire and far too much really good food.

While "life" required me to go to work yesterday, it was okay but today I sit at home again, facing my to-do list.

I've wanted to talk about my to-do list for awhile.  I was going to quietly brag talk about my efficiency.  But I couldn't quite compose a post without it sounding like a commercial.  And so, this list thing of mine has stayed quietly in my head.

I think it's pretty safe to say that I'm a bit of a geek.  Or maybe I should say "Geek" (with a capitol G).  I like lists.  I like making lists and I like crossing things off lists.

Last September I felt like our household needed major help so that we could live with a little less stress when it comes to home responsibilities.  I've tried checklists before but nothing ever stayed successful for more than a month.

Determined to be fully committed to improving my presence at home, I developed a very simple system.  No computer downloads, no online prompts or helps.

Just a simple notebook with a few categories to fill in and live by each week.

Left page - my weekly shopping list
Right page (top) - my weekly menu plan, for 5 days only, leaving the weekends free for spontaneity and/or leftovers.  Menu ideas for school and work lunches.  Menu plans strictly dictate the weekly shopping list.
Right page (bottom) - my weekly to-do list

Pages are pre-dated all the way through 2015.  If there's something that I know I need to do 2 weeks from now, I write it in on that page and forget about it until then.  It's on paper, out of my head.  Win win.

This system is WORKING!

Our grocery expenses are cheaper.  My stress level for cooking has lightened.  Boys are agreeable to weekly meal projections and often add in requests.  My to-do list gets mastered.  Consistently.

There's only ONE. SMALL. PROBLEM.

I'm sick of being told what to do.

Ha ha.

That sounds kind of funny.

But I have noticed a lack of spontaneity and an upswing of the "need" to be list conquering.  Feels kind of "yucky".  Feels like I've taken this organizational project a bit farther than it was meant to be taken.  Granted, it could be "May" talking - you know the month with all of the calendar squares filled to overflowing and the time of year when school schedules start to really suck.  ;)

So I sat down this morning and addressed (Mr./Mrs.) "To Do" in writing, to let him/her know how I feel.

Mind numbing lists.
At the start, they were the key to my sanity.
Truthfully, they still are.
But, once in awhile, these crazy
"to-do" "to-buy" "to consider" lists
Drive me a little bit crazy.
Like I'm a slave to them.
those words, directives, demands
own me
boss me
possess me
My responsible brain
my creative brain even
leans on these words
and submits to their requests
without question
I think that's the point.
But they've been so possessive.
When do I get to live a day
with random spontaneity
Cooking from the freezer without forethought?
I'm taking this far too seriously
Taking life far too seriously
Yet trying so hard to cope
with some measure of grace
with the demands shoved in my face
This isn't what I wanted...
coping methods developed to manage
too many expectations
Being stretched - it's good
Overly taut, like a rubber band -
Not so much
So many things to wrestle with
My family, friends, my job, volunteer responsibilities
Give Give Give
How I sincerely love to do that
But this isn't necessarily
that I want to leave behind...
....a notebook full of lists
neatly crossed off when complete
Not everything that begs for attention
Can be crossed off a list
The growing boys
Teenage bodies of
emotion-laced striving
succeeding and struggling don't cross them off the to-do list as
"done" "complete"
The words on the list fade, their importance fades
when teenaged stories - happy and sad - beg to be spoken
Yet these to-do lists are
mostly about them
- their lives -
- their needs -
Their appetites for food -
physical food
emotional food
mental food
Once in awhile - I get lost
I get overloaded
I get thrown against the wall
Figuratively speaking, of course
The words on these lists crawl off the page
and slither up my body
Threatening to strangle me
Request by request
So maybe, for this week, I'll leave the page fairly blank
As white as possible, really.
Can I stop trying to be so smart
and just start to relax?
I'm trying so hard to get ahead of myself
To own this crazy household
That I've become its' slave
instead of its' master
So,  I've put a pause on it
See ya.
I'll be back
I DO need you.
I WILL jot a few things down
But, Mr./Mrs. To-Do
We are temporarily breaking up

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Signs of Life

I want to blog.

Really, I do.

I just get so busy living that I forget to write.

I've had some days off this week and have been completely consumed with the business of my house and my family.  Yet again.

I have had enough volunteer-related goals to accomplish that I seriously believe that I could be a full time volunteer and still not have enough hours in my day to get the jobs done.

At the end of the day, though, it's back to work for me tomorrow and I'll work right through all of the Holy days of Easter this year.  Instead of lifting my heart to pass praises on Sunday, I will be lifting my hands to pass pills to the tender souls under my care.  I really will try to reflect on the sobriety of Good Friday, but I'm pretty sure that I'll have to work hard at just remembering to cross off all the things on my to-do list during my shift.  It's a "cross" of a different sort.

And so, today, I look around my house and try not to be overwhelmed by the attention that it needs.  As the snow has been melting and giving us hope that new life is on its way, I'm looking around the floor of my house, acknowledging that my family's clutter is a sign of life too.

The mud-caked long board and penny board are a sign that one young man and his Sam hit the streets Sunday night and she learned how to long board in the dusky hours of a March evening.  They came back to the house with rosy cheeks and runny noses and big smiles - adventure is cool.

The oversized stuffed Easter bunny brought out for an Easter display, laying topsy turvy by the front entrance, reminds me of another lad who has always believed that all stuffies were meant to be hugged and it reminds me that you never outgrow giving a stuffy a good stiff hug.

Slippers by the comfy chair point to the man who rises early in the mornings to get to work to provide for his family and who firmly believes that his early rising shouldn't disturb the rest of the family and so he dresses in the living room so as to not wake anyone else unnecessarily.

The towel on the floor by the dining room table?  Brought out to dry the feet of the one who sees no need to wait for a dry cement pad to bounce that basketball a million times on the ground before supper.

Drum sticks in his stick bag that seldom leaves the front entry - probably 20-30 pair - yeah, each set is important, unique, tried and true, tested, well used.  Researched.  Some are just 2 drum sessions away from breaking.  I notice the muted mallets don't show as much wear as I'd like.  I smile.

My photo album from the '70s sits on a chair, waiting to be returned to the shelf, reminding me of my history, my family, and the new fresh relationships that are growing there.  Now that we're all middle aged girls, we're drawn to each other like moths to the light.  Blood matters.

Dirty dishcloths waiting to be washed, endless pairs of shoes waiting to be worn, new pants bought to replace the outgrown ones....

.....if I don't let it overwhelm me as "mess".....
....I think I might find strength in it as .....

Praying that the Easter season brings you reminders of new life

.........of the deepest sort.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Out With The Old, In With the New Old - Resolutions Revised (or not!)

Well.  I guess 2015 is the new thing now.

I've been laid out with the Christmas sick.  You know, whatever virus happens to decide to strike just when I think I've survived Christmas.  I get one every year.  There was a whole lot of Kleenex and sneezing and napping and sore ... everything.

Christmas has been packed up and I'm getting used to the lack of "beautiful" in my space again.  As I decorated this year, there were some things that came together that took my breath away.  It's not that I'm a talented decorator, but some things just struck my heart and caused me to pause with wonder at the beauty and truth of The Birth.  I think I found Christmas in those moments so don't be a hater for me getting carried away in the Christmas prep department.  It's not about the decorating; it's about the meaning and I found it in spades this year.  In unexpected places.  I'm a bit sad to say good-bye to these things for another year but new life must come, right?  New wonder unfolds.

But Christmas is done and the new year is here.

I was sorting through a box last week.  It was a box that had been stored since we renovated our kitchen in 2010, labelled "things from on top of the fridge".  As you can guess, it wasn't very valuable, neither then nor now, if it could be in a box for 4 years and not missed. 

One item that was kinda fun was the paper originating in 2001 entitled "Phone List - Baby #2".  Can't believe that was still hanging around!  The flip side of the paper listed all of the visitors that we had in the hospital when Ben was born.  He was curious as to why we had a phone list and I had to explain that back in those days there were no cell phones and we had to PAY for a phone in our room so that we could call everyone to tell them that Ben was born!  Ha!

The paper from the box that intrigued me on a different level was my New Year's Resolutions from 2006.

Apparently I have not one ounce of creativity. 

Apparently I have not met my New Year's Resolutions for a good 8 - 9  years now.

I could literally rewrite Every.  Single.  Resolution. In.  2015.

Except one.

Hooray!  I have successfully met ONE resolution since 2006! 

<Eyes crossed>


So, here it goes, ladies and gentlemen, my past, present, and probably future New Year's Resolutions, verbatim, from 2006 with an updated progress report, circa January 2015.

1. "I will strive to be physically active in some way, shape or form on a regular basis, making sure it's fun". 

Yup.  Still stands in 2015.  Except now I'm probably (*&%) pounds heavier than I was in 2006.  I DID work out (once) this year but the Christmas sick has spoiled my ability to breathe deeply.  It is not lost on me that my current workout of choice is Richard Simmons "Sweatin' To The Oldies".  (Is that "to the oldies" or "with the oldies"?  I'm not sure.)  Regardless, there ain't no way this middle aged chick can learn all of those fancy dance movies that Richard assumes everyone can do so I ended up jumping around a whole lot, kicking my heels in the air, waving my arms like I just don't care.  I feel the beat, folks.


2.  "We will cut down on our pop".

We DID cut down on our pop.  It wasn't ever all that big of a deal over here but, hey, in 2006, the kids were 5 and 7 and it probably seemed like a wise parental move to eliminate it.  So, we did eliminate it pretty much.  And then.  And then!  HE started working for the local Coca Cola company in fall 2014.  Not that drinking pop is a pre-requisite for his employment but it does seem to find its way to the table a little more frequently now than since between 2006 to 2014. 

Okay.  Seems we have to keep working on this. 

Actually, I'd call that a success for 8 years, with a minor set back from Fall 2014 to present.

3.  "We will eat more healthy snacks".

Hmm.  Not bad, not bad.  Again, progress ebbs and flows.  I've stopped loading the pantry with store bought junk for the most part....does that count as success? 

But mama loves to bake.....

4.  "Family time will include more activities and less tv time".

If this isn't a sign of the changing times I don't know what is.  TV isn't the issue anymore; electronic devices are!  Sometimes these days we're really happy when we all manage to sit together and watch a movie ON TV!

This resolution can stay with the <edit> to read "Family time will include more activities TOGETHER."  Period. 

And board games.

Always more board games.

5.  "I will purposefully make choices that will reduce stress for myself and my family and promote a peaceful atmosphere for us all".

Come to think of it, I think I'm improving!  With age (ahem) comes wisdom (one can hope).

2014 was a noteworthy year for me.  I started my year with my mind firmly set on the Psalm "I have stilled and quieted my soul" and I took that very seriously as the year unfolded.  In spite of the ups and downs of the year, I did find that it is possible to choose what things hold you captive.  I suspect this will always be something that I will wrestle with but it's been a year of learning.  Interesting to note was that 2014 started with the whole "Be Still" mentality and 2014 ended with my favorite Christmas song being "Still Still Still", arrangement Renee Flemming/Kurt Elling.  It wasn't intentional, it just happened that the song captured me completely.  I am captivated by the knowledge that the principle of being still saw me through 2014.  Oh how I needed it.  Stillness.  Still do.  Always will.

6.  "I will search for and find God in a fresh and meaningful way".

I don't ever want to reach this goal.

As in, I don't ever want to find God stale and boring.

This resolution stays.

7.  "I will do what I can to reach for my dream of a trailer".

You have no idea how big of a dream this was.  And four months after I wrote it, we bought our first tent trailer.  Upgraded to a modest travel trailer in 2012.  Sometimes it pays to put your hopes and dreams on paper.  We are blessed.

We are still blessed and not because we have a trailer.

We just are blessed.

As I reflect on 2014, we have been gifted with many things that come in all shapes and forms reflecting opportunities and relationships, successes and failures, memories and adventures. Not every moment has been golden but not every day has had rain either. 

Wanna keep reading?  Cause I think I'll keep writing.