Reflections on Another Year...

Another year, another birthday. The past year has so many things to reflect back on, and I've changed my views on more things than I thought I would. 

First, motherhood is much harder than I ever imagined. Motherhood definitely begins at conception, but most certainly does not get easier once the birth has occurred. One thing I can definitely admit is that being a mother is much harder than I ever expected or anticipated. I expected work to be involved, but not as much as it requires. And, being a mother is so much more than just taking care of every need of this little person. It requires so much on so many levels and in so many facets. I would never have thought my entire life would revolve around a little 10 pound person - but it so does. Until I go back to work my job is taking care of both of my men... my little one and my big one.

Second, referring back to the first, I have a whole new level of respect, love, and appreciation for my mom. I don't know how she managed to take care of two, and then three young children at once. She is amazing. I don't know what we would have done without her here for the first 10 days of Fred's life. She was our lifeline when we needed one most desperately, and she gave us the confidence that we (Steve and I) could handle taking of our new child without completely screwing him up.

I also realize what an incredible husband I have. He has our needs, both immediate and our future, in mind more than I ever thought. He's an incredible father and has an immense amount of love for both Fred and I. Even better, he continually tells me each day that he loves me and that he appreciates me. I am so blessed to have him as my husband.

I don't know if it's Fred's arrival, but family has a whole new importance to me now. I remember driving away from the airport after dropping my mother off after Fred's birth, and bawling. I was so sad that I didn't have any members of my family close that would be able to see Fred's daily or even weekly changes. I really wished I lived closer to my family.  I'm so glad to have two of Steve's siblings living close and I'm grateful that we have the opportunity to set an example for them and help guide them through young adulthood. 

I've started to catch onto the obvious concept that stuff is just that... stuff. There are things we all need in this world, and things we want to have. Most of the things I want to have or have acquired over the years are... you guessed it... stuff. I don't need to have the latest or greatest new crafting tool (though they are fun to own), and I don't need to have brand new furniture (though I really would love a couch that is long enough to lounge and cuddle on). I don't need to own a million t-shirts even though I would wear them all... eventually. Simple and uncluttered is great. Besides, who wants to spend their day doing laundry and keeping up with all of the clutter?

Fitness is important. Eating right is essential. Being aware of what is going into my body is as important or more important than taking care of my home. If I'm not eating well, and if I'm not treating my body well, then I'm not going to feel well or at least I won't feel my best. It is important to take vitamins and nutrients - they're what keeps me going. Sleep is important too. Gone are the days of going days without sleep. (In college I could go 3-4 days without a wink of sleep - what on earth was I thinking?)

I need to be creative. Doing creative things, whether it be crafting or other wise, both calms and invigorates me in ways I would never imagined.  I love the freedom that being creative provides me and the outlet it grants me.

Work is just that... it's work. Gone are the days where I would allow my life to revolve around my job. At the end of the day, it's not my employees, coworkers, or job that will be there to uplift, inspire, and love me. It's my family that will always be there. I realize that I need to put them into their rightful place and it's definitely ahead of my job.

Friends also have an important place in my life. True friends, those who are there to lift me up when I'm down, those who are always willing to give a helping hand when needed, the ones who will give me their honest opinion when asked. My friends are often my lifelines in life - and I need to pay it forward instead of always reaping the benefits. I also need to pay attention to those who are not really my friends and let those relationships go instead of wasting precious time and energies on trying to sustain them.

Faith. Oh faith. I need to have more faith in myself, in my goals, aspirations, dreams, in my Savior and in His plan for me. I need to take action and do the things that I know will make me happy - no matter how difficult they may be. In the end, I know I'll be happiest by paying heed to the things I know are true and right.

So many things to reflect back on and realize the things I'm starting to recognize in myself. I hope that when this time next year rolls around, I will have played a smarter year and will have taken the things into account which I know I should be doing and have put the proper amount of attention into the relationships which will bring me the most amount of happiness.
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