Ah, 2014. I think it was a good year. It was often uneventful, but challenging. I had some failures, and some accomplishments, and hopefully, they balanced each other out.
2014 was the year I sent another kid off to school all day, every day, when Essie went to kindergarten, and ended up with one at home all day every day (for one more year, at least). Erv and I struggled sometimes. He challenged me, for sure, but we had fun and went out and started a new job together, and I think finally, FINALLY, we’ve gotten into a routine of sorts. Henry went to a new wing of the school for third grade, and the reality of that hit me when we realized that he no longer participates in Polar Express day (and it was Ivy’s last one, in second grade). Both Ivy and Henry developed or strengthened a love of reading and discovered favorite new series like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Junie B. Jones.
I started a new job in August, working with the local community college, as sort of a middle-woman between the college and the high schools in my area. Again, it’s not without its challenges (hello, lots of balls in the air all of the sudden), but I hope I’ve proven to be able to rise to the occasion and not make them regret hiring me. My brain is being used much more regularly now for things other than “is there a bottom I need to wipe?” and while that definitely takes some getting used to, I’m learning (slowly) to juggle it all. It definitely helps that I can do a lot of it from home, and take Erv along with me for half of the stuff I can’t do from home.
2014 was the year I started reading again. Seriously. Since, probably, giving birth to my second child, reading had been put on the backburner and replaced by TV and movies and the occasional magazine (although those are now rarely even opened). But this past year, I got involved with MomsReading, a Facebook-based book chat, and started looking forward to those discussions every month. I even started going to the book chats at our local library, too. I spent the summer reading more than I had in years, and just kept doing it. For the first time ever, I’ve made a reading goal for myself of 25 books in 2015.
Speaking of goals, I failed. In 2013, I ran 640 miles, blowing my 500 miles in 2013 goal out of the water and surprising myself. I ran the Disney half marathon in January of 2014 and had a blast, immediately starting to train for another half in the spring. But a funeral the weekend of the half took the wind completely out of my running sails and I never really got it back. I went on to try all kinds of different workouts, like Rockin’ Body, PiYo, Zumba, and more of the Turbo Fire that I had done before, and got in better shape than I’ve been in probably ever, but this fall, I lost my mojo and have yet to get it back. If you find it, please….let me know. My jeans have gotten snug again.
In this blog-world, 2014 was a bit of a roller coaster. I got burned out and started posting only twice a week usually, until I decided to try Nablopomo. I succeeded at that (!!) but went right back to not writing again on December 1. I miss it…I had fun in November, looking for things to write about and stretching my writing muscles a few times. My Listen To Your Mother essay was also selected for the upcoming anthology, and let me tell ya, that made my whole year. Seeing my name in print come April is going to be amazing. AH-MAZING. I succeeded at our first Through the Lens Thursday year and grew as a (hobby) photographer, but I also ended my run as #iPPP host, essentially ending it altogether (and still miss it sometimes).
I traveled more in 2014 than I have in my whole adult life. I started the year at Disney World for my LLS run. I went to California twice, once for my very first BlogHer conference where I met so many of my best blogging friends, and once for the very first Shiftcon conference where I learned a lot about reducing chemicals in our home and food. I also went to Sandusky, Ohio for the first time for another blog conference and met (or saw again) a few more of my best blogging and mamavation friends.
I solo parented A LOT again this year, with my husband traveling for work often weeks at a time. Towards the end of the year and the onset of winter and holiday stress, I realized I couldn’t handle it on my own anymore and went back to my doctor.
2014 will go down in history as the year one of my children (I won’t name names but she knows who she is) became so very helpful that she learned to make us coffee (start to finish), made supper and/or lunch for the first time (first of many times), and learned to change the toilet paper roll (and is still excited about doing it!). I feel like I’ve won the lottery, y’all.
But one of my very favorite things about 2014, and possibly the direct result of my kids getting older and the reality of no more babies in our family, was the addition of my #geezlouise. Louise, the puppy we brought home shortly before Labor Day has attached her tiny little self to me and we’ve bonded….hard. She’s ornery and sometimes doesn’t listen, but she’s so very sweet and I love the little girl so much.
Whew. So, 2014. Things happened, things didn’t happen. I worked, I read, I didn’t run. My kids grew older, which means I guess I did too.