2018 was a special year for our family. It included lots of waiting and trusting in God’s perfect timing, too. Between waiting patiently for our sweet little boy to join our family this past August and waiting for our home to be wrapped up to settle in to… I would mark 2018 as a year of waiting. Patience is something I find myself continually praying for wisdom to show more of towards my husband, my children, myself… others, my circumstances, you name it. That made parts of this year at times very tough for me. Things I longed for that weren’t happening in my timing. I’m grateful that this year God has continued to show me that His sovereignty and perfect will is best. Best for me, my family, my circumstances. Period.
2018 was also a year of transition. We transitioned to moving in with my in-laws at the end of 2018 and lived with them for most of 2018 (which was such a blessing in many ways!), then I transitioned quite literally as we got pregnant last November and spent most of the year growing our sweet Tommy inside me! We transitioned when he finally arrived on August 14th to a family of four (five + our fur baby, Scouty!)… which transformed our family as Collins transitioned to big sister, Dakota and I transitioned to being the parents of a little girl AND little boy, and Scouty transitioned to having another little one to sniff for and keep track of. She was much less timid with our Tommy boy this time around :). With our biggest transition behind us, the last transition we made was moving into our home! This was a huge and exciting transition that felt like a huge sigh of relief too!
For those just following along, we started renovating my husband’s grandparents farmhouse last November after we moved up here from the Twin Cities and were officially “in” this past September. Totally daunting at times when the process seemed slower than molasses… but totally worth it too. I’m so happy for my husband now that the process is over, haha! He did SO much… so much throughout the entire process of this renovation, so it makes my heart so happy to watch him finally enjoy himself and breathe a sigh of relief to be home rather than a sigh of needing to make decision after decision. I love seeing him relax and do things he loves around the property, like making walking trails for us to go on family nature walks through, putting the feed out for the birds and animals, mowing the property, building sledding trails now in the winter… it makes me smile to see him doing these things as Scout runs along side him and follows him here and there like his little shadow.
So, 2018 has been marked in my mind as a year of waiting and transition. Lots of changes, but the most comforting thing I’ve thought about is that we serve the same God, no matter how much changes in a year. He’s the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever. He is the constant. I’m grateful for that. Below is a list of my top 10 memories from 2018, although there are so many more I could have included. The ones that came to mind first were the ones I stuck with, so here goes!
- Thomas being born! Praise God for a healthy delivery via c-section again.
- Moving into our home and seeing it come to completion!
- Learning and studying more of who our great God is through His word this past year. Between Dakota and I we combined studied through the books of Joshua, parts of the Psalms, parts of Matthew, 1 + 2 Timothy, Romans, James, and I’m certain there are a few others. Praise God for the resources and community He’s provided for us through our church in order to grow more in 2018!
- Celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary on August 1st. This was one of our last big date nights before Tommy was born. It was special to have this together just before our family changed from 3 to 4!
- Going on a few trips…to the waterpark for a few staycations throughout the year and a hunting trip to Idaho for Dakota! It was so sweet to see C’s face light up as we played and watched the big bucket “tip me over and pour me out!” Dakota was fortunate to go on his first bigger hunt this year with his dad elk hunting in Idaho. It was a definite highlight for him, so I’m including it in mine, because I’m thankful he was able to go experience something he loves to do so much with his dad. They are a lot alike and have a lot of common interests, so I know this was a special trip, even though they got skunked with no elk! Must mean they’ll have to go back and try again ;). It was definitely hard for me to not see him for 10 days… the longest I’ve gone without seeing him since I met him in 2013, but I had plenty of help from his mom and grandma being close by and my parents making a long weekend visit to help me, too. I am so grateful for our families and the precious time we have gotten to spend with them both this year!
- Thomas starting to roll! This just happened a few weeks ago now. It’s fun to see his personality starting to come out more and more now too. He has from the beginning been a very easy going, happy little guy, though. He is such a sweetheart! I love this 5-9 month age just before they start to get moving fully. I love all of the baby stages though, really, even the tough newborn stage. But, this is definitely a fun developmental time for him he’s approaching!
- Seeing Collins find her big girl bed after Dakota had set it up prior to us moving into our home. She was so excited, and it made getting ready to move in that much more sweet seeing her hop up into it with the biggest smile on her face… then hopping off to start sprinting everywhere in her excitement in the play area… exactly how we imagined the kids being in that space! 🙂
- Working at the RV Park for another summer. This is always a highlight of the year for us. It is a privilege to be able to work for Dakota’s parents, and we really do enjoy the time we get to spend working at the RV park and enjoying the beauty of Minnesota summers on the lake. We are proud to serve and honor his parents in this way of learning and growing to know the family business each summer. It’s also fun to see Collins enjoy the lake and “going for a round” on the golf cart or helping “organize” the shelves in the store. It will be even more fun (and busy!) this summer for us having two little cherubs to help us “run” the park. Maybe I’ll get to learn how to mow with the big riding mower too if Dakota lets me haha! 😉
- Joining/finding a women’s bible study. Both Dakota and I were able to find a bible study within our church that worked for each of our schedules and my needs with two little ones. This was definitely an answered prayer, and I’m so thankful for the women I’ve gotten to know and grow in God’s word with this past fall. I’m excited to start up again for the 2nd semester next week as we study the OT- Judges!
- Quality time in our home with Dakota. Being able to relax and spend time together after the kids go to bed is one of my favorite memories since we moved into our home. Quality time is both our top love language, and it is so special to get to do that now either early in the morning (which we’ve lacked at lately!) reading the word together or at night relaxing downstairs on the couch together watching a game or a favorite show of ours. Simple things, really that mean a lot to me.
So there it is. My prayer for 2019 is that God would continue to use me for my good and His glory to carry out the purposes He’s already set before me and my family. I pray that I and we (as a couple) would desire to grow in God’s word more in 2019 and that we would build some new and maintain the current habits in doing that. I pray that my children would grow this year in 2019 both physically, and also spiritually, and that the HS would continue to work in both of their hearts. We pray for family members and friends who aren’t saved and that this year, they would be. We praise God for another year He’s given us and pray that His will would be done in 2019. Amen!