Monday, January 20, 2014


The annual reflection. Here are the posts from when I turned 27, 26, and 25.

What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Welcoming Grace into our family!

What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Caring for Grace. Especially those exhausting first months.

What was an unexpected joy this past year?
  • I was originally planning to go solo with law practice, but I sensed a nudge to invite my former law school classmate, Sarah, to join me. Best move ever. I wouldn't have been able to do it without her.
  • Because so many areas of my life overlap, I was able to do a lot in addition to full time parenting this past year. For instance, the college student I'm mentoring is also interning with our law firm and is one of Michael's Intervarsity students. The nonprofit board that I serve on has several ties with my law firm and many of Michael's Intervarsity students volunteer with the nonprofit. Without this kind of overlap, my commitments would have felt disjointed and would have burned me out. Since things are so overlapping and unified, I am able to do a lot without expending loads of energy and time.

What was an unexpected obstacle?
Acid reflux. I knew that the exhaustion of caring for a newborn would throw me for a loop, but then Grace unexpectedly had acid reflux. Those screaming bouts where she arched her whole body just about killed me.

What image best captures this year?

What were the best books you read this year?
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking
  • O, Pioneers!
  • Miss Minimalist
With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Michael and Grace - there's nothing like a selfless husband and a sweet daughter.
And Ingrid - there's nothing like a friend who listens, cares, and shares.

What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

For the first half of the year, I wasted a lot of time on Facebook.

What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Playing with Michael and Grace.

What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?

The art of letting go. 

I love being in control. These days, almost all of my time goes toward things that I can influence, but ultimately cannot completely control, including parenting a baby, starting up a law firm, and discerning the future. I've been in bootcamp, learning to let go and trust God.

What would you like to have this year that you lacked last year?

  • We're in the midst of some pretty major life transitions -- as are practically all people in their 20s. I want guidance on what is next.
  • I would like my law firm to be well-established and consistently profitable.
  • Connection with God throughout the day.
What days will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  • February 26th - The day Grace was born.
  • My first Mother's Day. It was awful.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Giving birth to and caring for a baby.

What was your biggest failure?
Worrying. (i.e. not letting go)

Did you suffer illness or injury?
For the first week after childbirth, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, so I'll count that!

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Everything Grace! Grace's arrival; Grace smiling; Grace laughing; Grace learning to roll over, sit up, say her first words, crawl...

What kept you sane?
My husband's humor and constant willingness to help.

What are you looking forward to the most this year?
Enjoying time as a family.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We're Back!

After three weeks of travel, we are finally home! My little family spent over two weeks in Colorado enjoying loads of family time. Last week, Michael went on to St. Louis for Intervarsity's national staff conference. I stayed in Colorado to avoid being in an empty home with my baby.

So much happened in those three weeks that I'm not even going to try to sum them up here! Instead, let me focus in on three discoveries I made over the last few weeks: a singer/songwriter, a book, and a recipe.

The singer/songwriter, Josh Garrels. His great lyrics, interesting instrumentation, and unusual voice have grabbed me. If you'd like a taste, check out the songs "Farther Along," "Pilot Me," and "Little Blue."

The book, Foreign to Familiar. The author describes the differences between hot climate cultures (relationship oriented, indirect communication, group oriented, etc.) and cold climate cultures (task oriented, direct communication, individual oriented, etc.)

For instance, if you walked into a hardware store in rural Georgia, a hot climate culture, and asked where the nails were, you'd be perceived as rude for not making small talk first. If you walked into a hardware store in Los Angeles, a cold climate culture, and started to ask the employee how they're doing and made a comment about the weather, you'd be perceived as annoying for wasting their time. I thought this book was a great, broad strokes guide to understanding cultural differences. And it's pretty short.

This super easy and really yummy crockpot chili recipe. Sometimes it's relaxing to cook a meal that requires attention to chopping, stirring, watching, and waiting. But, usually I prefer super easy cooking. This recipe is about as easy as it gets - the only work involved is chopping an onion, chopping celery, and dumping things in the crockpot. I had this chili at my brother's house on Friday night. It was the first thing I cooked when I came home on Sunday. Yum!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...