Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I Belong with You: 2015 Year in Review

 So show me family
  All the blood that I would bleed
I don't know where I belong
I don't know where I went wrong
  But I can write a song
I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweet

We started March off with another heavy snow and one of Peyton and Annie's last times to tutor/work on homework at A House on Beekman. One of the most fun things that month (really all Spring!) was a short visit from Cookie and Conrad. We tried to fit in as much as we could and took them to our favorite places. Because of Peyton's weird schedule during the first part of April and because we were shipping our stuff a couple of weeks ahead of our actual move home, we actually started beginning to pack for the move the last week of the month.

April was our last month in the city and it was a truly wonderful one, full of adventure and beauty. The month started with Annie turning six. The kids were actually sick on Easter Sunday, but Holy Week was an amazing experience for me. It finally warmed up, we finished up math, and Graves turned four. We packed the pods, took one last (chilly) trip to Coney Island, and attended the Mockingbird Conference. It was one of the highlights of our year and I am so, so excited that Peyton and I are going back for it this Spring. Peyton took off the last couple of weeks before the move and we packed our last whole week full with trips to the Bronx Zoo, The Hall of Science in Queens, the Museum of the American Indian, a new to us Tibetan restaurant we managed to hit up twice despite it being nowhere near our apartment, and even one last trip to Long Island. We spent our last few days back at our favorites- the Mueseum of Natural History and Fort Greene Park. We left Brooklyn on the last day of April- a Thursday- drove the nineteen hours home (stopping overnight at the very northern tip of Alabama, I believe) and were home in time for beans and rice and to see the first day of May in our new (old) home.


June was a really hard month. Peyton shared how some of his beliefs had changed and I struggled a lot with missing what had come to be another version of home. I experienced deep grief, as a pastor and close friend gave me permission to call it. But there were a lot of joyful times, too- we rejoined Briarwood (the pool where Peyton and I met ten years prior), we took full advantage of our yard, and we soaked up time with grandparents. Peyton and I had a very low key anniversary date and he busted out his old legos for the kids. We attended a couple more weddings and took a quick trip to the Gulf Coast


September was FULL. I started subbing a little, we finished up the first quarter of first grade in both math and English and finally (mostly) finished transforming the master bedroom into a children's room. We got Annie registered as a first grade homeschool student. Graves started blastball and Annie started soccer. We camped in my parents' backyard and Peyton threw me this fabulous surprise birthday party for my 30th birthday (a huge surprise as it was four months after my birthday)! The kids and I visited and immediately began to settle in at Northside and we sort of got our Sunday routine down and I experienced Grace in the face of exhaustion, control seeking, and pride. And we didn't announce it until a bit later, but we found out at the very end of the month we were expecting a third baby. Looking back, it was a really important month in my journey to reestablishing this as home and my journey back to joy.


We started out November with the stomach bug and spent a lot of the month sick. I recorded my Thankfuls and that's always such a wonderful discipline for me. I knocked out my super late graveyard shift style Mistletoe shift and Peyton and I went to the Friday night party. Peyton worked a bunch extra and I subbed a couple of times and I just tried to keep up the bare basics for a lot of the month. We celebrated Thanksgiving and started the big attic purge. November was a really exhausting month between pregnancy sickness, actual sickness, and more commitments than we're used to at one time. I'm glad I gave myself a lot of grace those days and also that I concentrated on being grateful. Annie's disposition in the first photo seems completely apropos, though.

I haven't really blogged about December much at all in detail yet, but it was much more low key and I don't really have a lot to show for it (which is OKAY). Our house was a pretty epic mess due to the purge, but we enjoyed the days leading up to Christmas and loved spending time with our families over the holidays. We read some great books, went for bike rides, checked in on Babykins #3, and Peyton and I even made it to a grown up party. Our Advent was really relaxed and low pressure and I was glad for a break before running head on into the new year.

Whew! What a year it's been. I learned so much during our time in Brooklyn but I'm not sure if I haven't learned even more these past eight months here. It was a very difficult year in a lot of ways, but looking back I have so much to be grateful for. 

I know where I belong. And on the days I do question it, I never question who I belong with. These three people (can't wait to make it four in 2016!) are the most important part of any home on Earth.