2012 – An Ordinary Year

2012 has indeed been characterized mostly by the ordinary, the stable, and the safe – on a graph, it would take the place of flatlines wedged between the dips and the spikes.  Some might also choose the words plain, boring, drab; even mundane.  But life – beautiful, extra-ordinary life – happens, even in the ordinary.

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Speaking of ordinary, I recently finished the first two books of the Divergent trilogy, and came upon this quote, “We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another”.  Depending on context, the ordinary doesn’t seem like such a bad place to be.

If you recall, we went through an incredible season of change last year; that was followed by a year of stability and routine.  In 2012, nearly everything came and went as expected, with few surprises.  Let’s recap.

In January, we celebrated Noelle turning One.  It’s almost hard to believe I survived the first year of motherhood, and my baby came out relatively unscathed – hallelujah!  The more she grows, the more I believe genetics play a HUGE role not only in looks, but also personality, attitude, and outlook.  This girl has a mind of her own, and she is unlike any other.

In February, some dear friends moved back to California permanently!!  It was nice to have the familiar back again.  Then March came round, and I turned 29.  29!!  That’s one number from over-the-hill, but they say 40 is the new 30, right?  I do believe the best is still yet to come.

In April, we made the decision to start trying for #2, and in May, our prayers were answered with a bright pink double line.  Our little family of 3 will soon be 4.

June, July, and August were filled with trips to the pool, the beach, the park.  We took advantage of the California sun and let our girl roam outside as much as possible – she was and is a two-legged walking, running ball of fire!  The rest of those months are a blur as I struggled to be a full-time mom, wife, and employee while battling the first trimester ickies.  Through it all (and throughout my entire pregnancy), it only reconfirmed how right my choice in spouse was.

My husband has always been an incredible, kind, selfless, and generous man, but to see him as a father is something else entirely – he’s amazing, and our children are blessed to have him as their dad.  He took on pretty much all the parenting duties of bathing our daughter and putting her down most nights.  He set limits when I didn’t have the heart or energy to.  On top of that, he’s in a men’s softball league, leading a small group of college-aged students, actively serves on our church’s production team, and is a devoted son and brother.  Acts unseen, unspoken.

September marked a major highlight to our year.  We took our first real vacation as a family of three to Sunny San Diego!  It got off to a rocky start as we had to pull over 3 times to change 3 poopy diapers.  Once we made it on the freeway, everything was smooth sailing.  Noelle was in a great mood the entire weekend.  We took her to the San Diego Zoo (her favorite “animal” was the man dressed up as a panda bear – go figure!), and strolled through beautiful Balboa Park.  She slept through the night in a rickety hotel crib, and zonked out on the car rides there and back.  Thank you for that gift, dear child.

My October began with a trip out to Michigan, where I stood as a bridesmaid for my childhood best friend.  It was incredible watching her walk down the 50-yard line of the University of Michigan football field.  When I returned, we found out BabyChin #2 would be a boy!  I could see the wheels in my husband’s head turning as he started “shooting hoops” in the ultrasound room!  Sorry to burst your bubble, but he’s not going to be a Spurs fan.  Purple & Gold all the way!

October marked another first.  We took Noelle trick-or-treating for the first time ever.  Our munchkins surprised us all with their willingness to scurry up long driveways, and Noelle had her first taste of chocolate in the form of a mini crunch bar.

In November, my husband and I celebrated our third marriage anniversary with an off-the-beaten path trip to Vegas.  Then we played it lowkey the rest of the month, highlighting what matters most – family, friends, and of course, food.

Finally, we arrive at December – and amidst the hustle and bustle of consumer Christmas cheer, we remembered the true reason for the season.  We dusted off our journals and took some time to reflect on our blessings, but most importantly, the great cost.

My husband also managed to secure a new job in the middle of all the holiday madness.  We were ecstatic.  Finally, my December ended with one of my closest college friends getting engaged, and I got to see it unfold before my very eyes.  How did God know to so perfectly orchestrate this year in this way?  Little blessings everywhere, in the expected, in the ordinary.

Noelle_CarouselSomeone once said, “Don’t overlook the wonder of the ordinary”… and it couldn’t have been more true for me this year.  Cheers to you, 2012!

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