Happy Birthday – Family, Faith and a bit of Humor

A year ago I started something way out of my comfort zone, this blog.  I wanted to create a space to share with others our ways in which we were shaping our family culture, to slow down, to be intentional and to pour into our family, but was so nervous and a bit scared. Read my first post here.  

  I have gone through all the feelings with this blog, as I think a parent does with a child.  I have been excited and can’t wait to blog, then exhausted not knowing how to continue and then frustrated and wanting to stop.  But as the year has come full circle on me starting to share a piece of our family with you, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the things I have learned and am grateful for.  

Gratitude

My word of the year was Grateful, I have written a few posts about this, and my social media is overflowing with this theme as I am fully embracing gratitude this year.  But if you are new here, read my word of the year post, it is a common theme throughout this year and I know has changed my attitude for the better. I am truly grateful from the bottom of my heart for everyone who has read my blog, who has asked me about, and who has supported me, thank you!  I started with what I thought was going to be a platform to share with others what our family has learned, but what I have found this year is how amazing this community of support has been. I have been so thankful to hear that other people have the same struggles, to have the same sense of humor and to know that we are all honestly flawed but working daily to be better.  I have cherished everyone’s feedback, comment and like this past year, you all have supported me and I am eternally grateful for you.

Family Culture

Build it and they will come, I think we all know this, but to see it come true is amazing.  When we started out with the idea of creating a stronger family culture, it was very loose in definition, we wanted to have less stress, less chaos, and more quality family time but other than that we did not define our family culture.  The past two years we have spent time with family, we have traveled, we have eaten meals and we have made tons of memories, these are priceless and we cherish these memories. But it is the simple things that I think capture our family culture even better, the simple daily tasks that we as the four person family we are every day.  The family trips, the cousins playing and amazing memories are wonderful but are not the core of our daily family life. We have started sitting down to dinner more nights of the week than we don’t, we ask each other how our day was, and truly care, we close out the night with prayers and with what we are grateful/thankful for. If I had to tell you what I wanted my family to be known for, I would say warm and welcoming.  I want our kids to know that our home is always a place of welcoming, inclusion and support for them, forever. It is a very simple practice that we sit down for dinner, that we talk about our days, but these simple tasks at age 5 and 2 are creating a foundation for our kids and our expectations as parents of them in our family. 

I know these have become part of our kids because each night when I get home from work I am greeted by the sweetest little voice asking how my day was.  Each night as we are tucking in our kids, our oldest will remind us if we forget to share what we are thankful for. It is these two simple things, that confirm we are building it and they are following, they are becoming two active members of our family.  I had no idea in the beginning what I wanted our family culture to be, but I know I want us to be welcoming.  

Slowing Down

 I chuckle thinking about slowing down, in all honesty this has been one of the busiest years of our lives, but we have driven the bus, we have not let the bus drive us.  Slowing down and being intentional with our time is key to making our family less stressed and less chaotic. This doesn’t mean we don’t do things, I believe we have been out of town more weekends this year that we have been in town, but we have planned for these and have created such amazing, fun and priceless memories with friends and family, not to mention our kids have learned so much.  I don’t think doing less or more is a bad thing, I believe it is what you are doing to fill up your life is what matters. This looks different for each person, so a personal decision to find the content of what you spend your time doing. With this year being fuller than other years, I am also less stressed, a better mom, friend and wife because of what we have chosen to do. We have picked the things that spark joy in our lives!  Life is not always easy, not always happy and not always fun, but in all things there is a form of gratefulness.  

A huge thank you for following along, I am so thankful for your presence here and I am excited to start another year sharing our family’s journey with you. Whatever you are wanting to try or do, go ahead start it, take the leap, make it happen!  I was so very nervous to start this blog, but I am so very grateful I did. I have met so many new friends and have had so many wonderful conversations this past year.

Much love to you and thank you!

-Amy