Hello, dear readers! It has been ages, or so it seems since I have shared anything with you. I decided while enjoying the quiet morning with my coffee that I should post and start thinking about more posts in the future.
I must admit, I am struggling with Christmas this week. I do not feel prepared at all. I have presents to wrap, food to prep, and a house to clean.
But I am reminded of this: nothing has to be perfect, nothing has to be fancy.
This year I am aiming for a simple Christmas. I have found that simple is peaceful (for me, anyway).
This year I did not stress about Christmas cards. I semi-stressed about pictures and cards, and then I just “let it go.”
If you sent us a Christmas card, thank you! I love getting cards and hanging them up. I am going to apologize now and say “we are on baby time,” but I think I can only get away with that for a bit longer…I have friends who do photo cards, a letter to update everyone on their year, and then I thought to myself…”why not do that on the blog?”
2019 was a big year for us. Here’s a little recap.
We were blessed with Edward Oliver James on May 5, 2019. After a very difficult pregnancy, many hospitalizations, a lot of worries that we would not see our angel, he made it. At 34 weeks. He was in NICU for a bit but made great progress. You can read about that here: http://walkingwithmemphis.com/2019/05/nurses/
Kirsten had an amazing softball season in 2019. Most games I watched from my car, and I ended up missing several of them. One of the first games was in Waltonville and K got herself a dinger! That prompted a lot of tears from this Mama. You can also read about that joyous moment here: http://walkingwithmemphis.com/2019/03/joy-2/
Caden began band lessons. He is playing trombone. After a few weeks of school and a few friends who were participating in the band, he decided he would like to try it out. We headed over to Byassee Music & Sound and found the perfect trombone! Caden started private lessons almost a week after picking out his instrument and he will be in the band at school after the holiday break!
After teaching various English courses in a face-to-face setting or an online setting since 2015, I took a leap and started a new job at a new school. I am currently the Perkins and Dual Credit Coordinator at Shawnee Community College. I have been very blessed and fortunate to have a lot of colleagues all over the U.S., and I have learned so much from so many at John A. Logan, but this transition to a new role will allow me to serve students, faculty, staff, and the community in a new way (and I am thrilled about that).
In the chaos that came with a traumatic pregnancy and birth, Sam was a grad student at SIU. The last weekend Oliver spent in the hospital, Sam graduated with his master’s degree in Public Administration. I’m an incredibly proud wife, and admire Sam for his determination.
During this year of joys, we had moments of sadness, moments of anger toward something we battle each and every day and that is PTSD. Most of you know our story by now. Sam is a combat veteran who was paired with a service dog, Memphis is 2016 (another big year). During that time, Sam has had some really great days and some really tough days. Sam chooses to share his story at times on the blog. You can read a few of his posts, and one that really got us in all the feels most recently here: http://walkingwithmemphis.com/2019/11/doing-the-work/ and you can view one of Sam’s posts here: http://walkingwithmemphis.com/2019/03/sams-perspective-life-is-a-journey/
While the holidays tend to add some stress and anxiety in our home (Christmas Day is a “remembrance day” or a day where a mission will forever linger in Sam’s mind and heart), we know that we are not the only ones who struggle with the holiday season. So many endure and cope with loss, grief, stress, missing loved ones, etc., that this time of year may be unbearable. I think in our home we can relate to an extent, we understand that this might not be the “most wonderful time of year,” and we might not always be jolly.
We have one another. We have our good days and our bad days. We have days where things are going really well and days where things are not so great. We try to keep it simple. Nothing fancy, no frills.
This year we experienced a lot of new changes to our home and our lifestyle. I am excited about what 2020 holds. I am excited to see how our children grow and change.
From our home to yours, Happy Holidays. We are sending love your way if this holiday season is tough. We are sending you good vibes if you are nervous about spending time with or away from family. We are sending you so much love. Thank you for joining us on our journey.
Please enjoy some random photos of our kiddos!