Saturday, December 29, 2012

3 Things I'm So Proud of Me:

It's been a tough year.  We've had some ups and downs, and I had a bit of a hard time resigning myself to the year not turning out the way I had hoped and planned.  But even though there are a few ways I was disappointed, there are a few things I've done this year that I'm quite proud of:

1. Learning to cook.  I've always been a laughable cook, incapable of even cooking edible meals from a box.  One evening, about a year before we were married, I made Chris dinner:  I was making cheesy shells from a box (from a box!!), accidentally forgot about them, burned them, but thought if I just stirred it all together it wouldn't be noticeable.  Yup...Chris manfully swallowed his portion so as not to hurt my feelings!  But this year I made up my mind to learn to be a better cook. Truly, this is the first year I've felt I had the time to really explore the kitchen and practice, which has made all the difference.  I love finding delicious new recipes and I love being able to eat a homemade family dinner at the table every night.  It's a nightly state of pride and accomplishment.

2. Starting a (sorta) photography business. One of the best parts of being a stay at home mom (for me) is the predictability of my daily life.  Every day is pretty much the same, no big surprises or crazy kinks thrown my way.  I play and read with Cole, I unload and load the dishwasher, I sweep, mop, vacuum, make beds, do laundry, cook...and then do the same thing all over again.  Most days, this is comforting and wonderful to me - but every once in a while I get bit tired of it.  More than once I've complained to Chris: "Just once I'd like to do something and have it stay DONE, not have to do it all over again the next day!"  Such is the life of a mom, but I love it anyway. 

          But a lot of my hobbies have to do with creating something, just so that I have that sense of accomplishment to have something FINISHED and staying that way!  Photography is one of those things, for me.  I love creating something beautiful, I love the challenge it gives me to learn and improve.  I love having so many photo memories of my loved ones and I love the pride I feel when I take a really excellent photo.  So this summer when I realized I was going to need to keep busy for a few months, Chris suggested I do some photography - and I LOVE doing it!  It's so challenging for me to go out and meet new people and put myself out there like that, but I think it's good for me.  And the sense of pride in myself is doubled when I take a good photo and get to share it with my clients, who share it with their loved ones.

3. Being resilient. 

         There's something so empowering about making up my mind to change something or do something and making it happen. 

         When the ultrasound tech told me our baby didn't have a heartbeat and that it was possibly a partial molar pregnancy, I was beyond heartbroken.  I knew I would need time to grieve and be sad.  I knew it would be a long healing process.  But I also knew that I had some control over the process - that I could choose to be depressed and sad, or I could choose to be sad for a while and then count my blessings.  I could make a conscious choice and effort to find and do what brings me joy; to take time to be truly thankful for the family that we have; and to focus on helping others through our sadness.  I handled myself and the situation in the way I would want Cole to handle any obstacles and difficulties that might come his way in his lifetime.

           It's such a great reminder that even if certain things are out of my control (baby, moving, etc) there are SO MANY things that ARE in my control, that I can make improvements upon. 

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