Thursday, January 09, 2014


It's 2014.  The beginning of a "new" year.  Here's how we've spent the beginning of our new year.

I had a lot of fun cooking my version of a New Year's meal.  We had cauliflower bisque, black eyed pea cakes with cranberry-roasted red pepper relish, Brussels sprouts, whole wheat macaroni and cheese and cheddar-jalapeno cornbread.  
If it makes you feel any better, Seth and the children did have a pork chop on their plates.

Seth's grandmother always tells me that whatever I do on the first day of the year is what I'm going to be doing the remaining 364 days of the year.  She doesn't do laundry on January 1.  Well, with a family of five, I can't miss a day of laundry.  Besides, I'll be doing laundry everyday this year anyway!  So besides cooking and laundry, I also spent my day doing this.  
I really do not like to paint.  At all.  After we finally finished painting our house when we built it four years ago, I told everyone they better like the color of their rooms because it wasn't changing.  Ever.  I knew I should not have said that.

When I was pregnant with Ellie, we did not know if we were having a boy or a girl.  So, for that reason, we didn't make any decisions about a room for the baby.  There were too many options, and we didn't really know what we wanted to do.  The baby could share with the bigger kids.  But if we had a boy, was seven years too big of an age difference for a shared room?  Should we put up a wall and a door in the playroom and make another bedroom?  Should we get rid of the formal dining room and make that into another bedroom?  The only thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want to be walking up and down stairs in the middle of the night to nurse a baby.  So we put the cradle and even the crib in our bedroom, and that's where Ellie has slept.

We quickly decided that Hannah Kate and Ellie would share a bedroom.  Not long after Ellie was born, I started thinking about how we were going to arrange the room with a bed and a crib or two beds.  I quickly came to the conclusion that Hannah Kate's room really wasn't the best room to be shared.  Because her room has the balcony, there are a lot of doors in her room and not a lot of wall space.  So furniture options are extremely limited.  Mason's room was the better room to be shared.  But his room was a swampy green.  And Hannah Kate's room was pink.  Mason didn't want a pink room.  And Hannah Kate didn't want green.  So I put off the inevitable and thought I'd paint over the summer.

Summer came, and I quickly found all kinds of reasons to just continue with the sleeping arrangements as they were.  But the main reason was that I didn't want to paint.  So my goal because to get it done by the end of October.  Once school and our crazy scheduled started, I knew there was no way to accomplish such a big project during the school year.  So it was either Christmas break or next summer.  I honestly didn't think it would get done over Christmas break.  But somehow I got inspired.  And I finally started painting.

Hannah Kate decided she didn't want a pink room anymore.  She wanted purple.  I've known this for several months and was trying to find a way around it.  I was even going to go the trendy gray route and accent with purple.  That idea didn't go over very well with Hannah Kate.  I got three paint samples.  Hannah Kate's first choice (the 1st and 4th colors in the picture above) was just too dark and too much purple.  My first choice (the 2nd color in the picture above) wasn't purple enough.  Okay.  So maybe it wasn't really purple at all.  I took that picture with my phone so the color is off anyway.  We compromised on the 3rd color.  Hannah Kate still didn't think it was enough purple, but she was pleasantly surprised after the room was painted.  And so was I.  I actually like it!  

Mason decided he wanted the same swampy green and the same bedding.  So that was easy.  I spent two days painting.  And then it took me two days to get all of the furniture moved and arranged, all of the toys purged and new organizational systems set up.  That proved challenging in the girls' "new" room because that closet is a little smaller than the one in Mason's "new" room.  And with two beds in the room, there wasn't going to be enough space for the night stand, toy box, dress up trunk, vanity AND chest of drawers.  So that means we had to make some changes in the playroom, too.  But I have to say I absolutely love the way everything turned out!  The kids really like it, too.  

Well, except for Ellie.  She wasn't thrilled with her new sleeping arrangements.  And she let us know it!  The first night was a little rough, but she has gotten used to it now, I think.

Besides a new room, Ellie also got something else "new."  I took her last week for her first haircut.  She was even more excited about getting her haircut that she was her new room!  I took her to the fancy schmancy kids' salon for her first haircut.  You can see just how excited she is!
Ellie was so excited to get her very first haircut that she screamed. the. entire. time.  And then she tried to crawl out of the chair!  And all the while the cute little blond is trimming away.  
After all of that commotion, I had no idea what in the world this haircut was going to look like.  It was all I could do to keep her in the chair long enough to have her picture made.  Even with me all cuddled up next to her, she would have none of it!
It seemed like two hours, but this all happened in a span of about two minutes.  And look at that cute little bob!
I wish I had a "before" picture, but there was no time for that.  I was afraid she was going to come out of that chair and on top of her head so I wasn't able to take anymore pictures than the two posted above.  But once I got her down, she was fine!
And then, all too soon, the fun was over with.  Mason and Hannah Kate went back to school on Monday.  Several of the area schools had "winter weather days" on Tuesday.  I was hopeful.  But not us.  The winter weather was just really cold that Louisianians aren't used to.  It was also back to therapy and dance and homework and 5:00am starts to the day.

I have to admit . . . I'm not a big fan of this time of the year.  January and February are my two least favorite months.  It's cold.  Although I really am enjoying the cold this year!  And after the excitement of football and fall and Thanksgiving and Christmas, I guess January and February just don't have much to offer.  And the past two years, these months have been the most difficult for Mason in school.  So it was honestly with a lot of dread that this week began.

I can also say that I'm so glad 2013 is over!  As a matter of fact, don't let the door hit you in the behind on the way out!  It was such a difficult year, such an emotional year.  It was a HARD year for our little family.  I have no idea what 2014 holds for us.  I really don't.  But here's my Word of HOPE:

Do not remember the former things, not consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing.  Now it shall spring forth.  Shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  ~Isaiah 43:18-19

In 2014, I am looking for the road and the rivers!  I can't help but wonder what new things await us.

I knew this time last year that 2013 was going to be a difficult season.  I knew what we were facing.  And it brought me to my knees quick.  Most nights I went to sleep thinking that I could not wake up and do it all over again.  But, not only is January 1 a time for new beginnings and hopes and dreams and goals.  Every DAY is a time for new beginnings and hopes and dreams and goals.  Every MOMENT.

Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed.  Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!"  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.  It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  ~Lamentations 3:22-26

The Lord's mercies and compassions are soothing balm for the weariest of souls.  I learned a lot last year about the Lord's mercy and grace.  I experienced it!  In 2014, I want to share and show that same mercy and grace to others.

I've been studying the book of Matthew since September.  I just finished Matthew 13.  At Bible study on Tuesday, we spent a lot of time talking about treasure.  I know Jesus is my treasure . . . but there's a truth that I've never really wanted to accept before, never been able to wrap my head around.  Nothing matters more to Jesus than a personal relationship with me.  I am a great treasure to the One person who matters most.  I am a treasured possession to Him.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  ~2 Corinthians 5:17

In 2014, I want to rest in the Lord.  I want to LIVE in the newness of life that is mine through Him.  When I look at myself, I see all of the ugly and the bad and the sin and the shame.  But I want to look at myself and see me like He does: forgiven, redeemed, set free, clothes in robes of His righteousness.

As I began studying Matthew, I became overwhelmed by the pure love of Jesus Christ for all of those around him.  Just LOVE.  

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  ~John 13:34

In 2014, I want to see others like Jesus sees them.  I no longer want to see others through self-righteous, boastful eyes.  I've been walking around knocking people out with my plank for far too long (Matthew 7:1-5).  I want to love others with the love of Christ.  Because people need Jesus!


Harriette Connell said...

Please post pics of the girls' bedroom!! You absolutely amaze me at how much you do!!!! Enjoyed the blog! Love you all!!!

Janice Kelley said...

Love this blog as well as all the others. Keep them going.