1. BACK TO TEACHING! This was by far the biggest thing that happened to our family this year. I was a miserable stay-at-home mom and I am so much happier now that I'm back in the classroom. The school I am teaching at is awesome, the kids are awesome, the commute is awesome, and my colleagues are awesome. I am more fulfilled as an individual, which makes it easier to be a better wife and mother. It's been a win for everyone, I think.
2. CONNOR STARTS SCHOOL. Okay, I guess he technically started school in 2013, but going for a few hours two mornings a week is nothing compared to the full-time preschool he is in now. He has adjusted well (with a few rough, tiring days, but that's to be expected), and I'm so proud of how well he is doing. He's a leader in his class, and has so much enthusiasm for learning. I hope he doesn't lose that. He also really started reading in 2014, and I am obnoxiously proud of what a little reader he has become. You really take being able to read for granted until you see how much more of the world opens up for your child when he/she starts reading.
4. BAUER MOVES TO OMAHA. We said good-bye (kinda) to our dog, Bauer in February. With Mike's travel schedule, I just wasn't able to handle everything. Bauer was neglected, and it was a lot of work for me--especially because I was still working evenings and weekends at Cub. He is much happier with the large fenced-in backyard and walks that he gets with Molly and Brett. I'm not so sure they don't regret the decision at times, but I am grateful for the new situation. It was hard for the boys (especially Mike) to say goodbye to our sweet doggie.
5. CONNOR PLAYS SOCCER. This past summer, Connor played a team sport for the first time. It was definitely....interesting. We're hoping for improvement this summer, and I fully expect that he will be much better with a year under his belt. He's finally showing a bit more interest in sports, and I think 2015 will bring us T-ball AND soccer.
6. EASTER IN OMAHA. We decided to head down to Molly and Brett's house in Omaha for Easter. It was the first holiday I had ever spent out of town, and it was really nice. The weather was beautiful, and it was nice to have more than a rushed two-day weekend down there.
7. QUICK TRIPS TO DULUTH AND FLORIDA. It was only about 24 hours total, but we had a nice family getaway to Duluth in July. Since becoming parents, Mike and I have taken advantage of our few chances to go on vacation withOUT the kids. It's just not really a vacation with little kids....especially when they're so young they won't remember or appreciate it. Because of this, Connor appreciates any little trip he gets to take. Now that he is getting older, we will try to include the kids on more vacations, but thus far, I'm proud of how much he appreciates the little things! Mike and I also managed to sneak away to Jacksonville, FL for a weekend in December and it was great to have some quality time together. Very relaxing!
8. BRYCE GETS ORTHOTICS. You wouldn't think this would be a highlight, but Bryce's orthotics have helped his large motor skills tremendously. He is two and a half and still isn't walking. Since getting his cute little braces, he is showing so much more confidence, is bending his knees while walking and getting down from a standing position, and can walk holding just one of our hands. He has also started showing more interest in walking (and frustration in not being able to), so I'm hopeful it will be soon. He's getting awfully heavy to carry around!
9. MIKE'S CRAZY TRAVEL SCHEDULE. With something like 35 flights totalling 64,000 miles, Mike's work travel schedule really picked up in 2014. It seemed like he was going to Panama every two months (and during every snow storm last winter) last year! And of course, the two dreaded Philippines trips were the worst. We have all gotten better at handling things while he's gone, and getting back on a regular day time work schedule has helped tremendously. 2015 should be even better because.....
10. MIKE GETS A PROMOTION AT WORK! Just in the last month, Mike has started a new position at work. It is on the same team, and he is still dealing with call center vendors, but he now has a manager position. He will still be traveling (and still has the Philippines account), but they will hopefully be shorter trips....and mostly domestic. No more Panama....and hopefully shorter Philippines trips. He worked hard for this promotion, and I am very proud of him. The raise doesn't hurt either :)
It is nice to start a new year without the usual "funk". 2015 will be another big one....my "babies" will turn three and six. Connor will start kindergarten, and Bryce will start preschool. I feel like I officially won't have a baby anymore! I am so looking forward to a summer without working evenings and weekends and hopefully being a little more comfortable financially. Things are looking good for a great new year.
I hope 2015 brings nothing but good things to all of you, my friends! Cheers!