Blog, dear blog…how I have neglected you so! No, I promise I’m not dead, the Christmas holiday just out did itself on the Eberspacher family this year. Once I can get all my pictures and thoughts from the last couple of weeks organized, hopefully I will get a post together recapping our time celebrating Jesus’s birth.
I have been following Janet over at Love Is Blonde for some time now. I immediately connected with her since she EPed with her twins for 9 months just like I did with Nora. Her blog is so sweet and she posted earlier today about her 2013 and I loved the layout of her questions, so I thought I would tag along and link up with her. So here we go with my 2013!
1. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 27 this year (somehow 27 felt WAY older than 26 this year. Yikes!). We kept things simple this year. My birthday is May 2nd and instead of a warm spring day, we got a few inches of snow this year. We were planning on going to Friends Sushi, but the weather was too yucky, so we went to Houllihan’s and finished the night off playing old school Nintendo.
2. What are your strongest memories from this year and why?
I remember a lot of things about Nora. There are so many milestones that first year, and I look back and feel so much pride about all the things she has accomplished in her little life. I am so incredibly proud of this child!! I mean, crawling those first steps and her first words are a big deal folks! Eric and I spent a lot of time outside this summer and fall around our fire pit and those long talks that went into the wee hours of the night stand out very vividly. I also really struggled with head aches this past year. I remember being fearful that it could be something really bad, but then being relieved to find out it wasn’t. I am happy to say that I don’t struggle with them as often as I used to.
3. What did you do this year that you’ve never done?
Oh boy….went through the process of selling our house. Everything from purging and cleaning, fixing things, crying over the memories we have made in our house, trying to sell it FSBO, finally getting a relator (best decision we have ever made), finally selling it and going through the negotiations process. It’s enough to make anyone pass out. But along with that stress came the excitement of creating a custom build for our dream farm house. I can’t even tell you all how excited we are to build in Nebraska! I also started this blog earlier in the year and have really enjoyed it. I love capturing our families little life and have found that I really enjoy writing and that it can be used to minister to and encourage others in a way I didn’t know it could.
4. What did you want and get?
Big deal, friends. BIG. DEAL. I wished so hard for my first pair of Lululemons and got a pair for my birthday. My life (or my thighs) have never been the same since. I also wanted the blue prints for my dream house. And together with Webster Architects, we have just that. I can hardly even wait to begin the building process. You can read about our decision to move back to the farm here.
5. What did you want and not get?
I was supposed to go back to work PRN one day a week at the clinic and they ended up not needing me. At first I was so sad and worried, but it ended up being the biggest blessing. I LOVE more than anything being home with Nora ever single day. After this first year at home, I know that she is where I’m meant to be. You can read about my decision to be a SAHM here.
6. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year?
We didn’t have a consistent church attendance this year. Between trying to find a new church home, Eric working sometimes 6 days a week and being out of town making plans to move, we weren’t able to go to church every Sunday. My heart aches for community and persistence. I (we) are so looking forward to that again!
7. Did you keep any new years resolutions and do you plan to make any for this year?
My goal this year was to do some sort of work out routine consistently and stay at or below my pre-Nora weight. Sadly, I went in spurts of working out. I did Jillian Michaels for a while, I ran for a while, I walked A LOT, but it wasn’t the consistency that I was looking for. Alas, I was able to get at and stay below my pre-Nora weight. I will admit, I felt so much better when I was exercising. Hopefully this year I can do a better job. But my main goal this year is to simply survive the move and building process. Prayers my way appreciated 🙂
8. What was your biggest achievement this year?
I EPed (exclusively pumped) for Nora for 9 months. 9 MONTHS with that annoying pump noise in my ear, people! I am so proud that I was able to do this, you have no idea. This was not my plan, nor was it ideal, but it was what worked for us. And I can honestly say that I am “raising the roof” as I type these words. Go me! I also got into a really good routine at home that I am proud of. With the Flylady and the grace of God, I have made our house into a happy home and fairly stress free, saving us a lot of money along the way. It took me a little while to get the hang of things, but I have been so happy at home this past year.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I got no tan this summer. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Whoa is me.
10. What did you rely on when you were stressed?
Honestly, my husband and music. Eric is my rock, my calm in the storm, the voice of reason in my life. I am so blessed that he is my husband. Whenever I have had a rough day or am overwhelmed, he has a presence and the words to completely turn my heart around. I’m so grateful for his gentle heart and witty personality. He makes me laugh when I want to cry and is so patient with my raging emotions (he likes to say that I’m “spirited” haha). This past year, having a lot of time at home alone with Nora, I have really found myself finding comfort and encouragement in music. Sometimes it’s Christian, sometimes it’s country, but let’s be honest…most of the time it’s Christmas music. Don’t judge.
11. What are your strongest recommendations for entertainment from this year? (books, television, movies, music, etc).
I am obsessed with Bones and NCIS. But this year, something strange happened….I became a closet Reba addict. Oh my, I love that Hart family! Other than that, Eric and I’s entertainment is little Nora and lots of gorgeous nights sitting around the fire pit in our backyard. Goodness, I’m going to miss that when we move.
12. What song will remind you of this year?
Oh, gracious….I have no clue. Probably something Christmas-ish.
13. . Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year).
Matt Maher’s Lord I need you seemed to be on my mind quite a bit this year:
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, you’re my hope and stay
14. What was your most enjoyable purchase?
Our house blueprints. DEFINITLEY our house blueprints.
15. Did you travel? If so, where?
We did get to do lots of traveling this year! Eric and I stole away for a camping weekend to Branson for our 4th anniversary, we went to Colorado with Eric’s family for a week, went to Canada with my family for a week to celebrate my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary and made lots of trips to Nebraska to see Eric’s folks and make moving plans. Lots of traveling and we have come to the conclusion that Nora is not the best traveler. What, she had to have some imperfection, right?
16. What did you wish you had done more of?
Sleeping. Not that there was really that much time for it, but it would have been nice. Oh, and laying out and getting a tan.
17. What did you wish you had done less of?
Eating cheese and crackers at night. Whoops 🙂
18. Compared to this time last year, how are you different?
I am a lot more confident in myself as a mom and a wife this year. This past year was very humbling, full of learning, growing and a great realization of the importance of my role as a mommy. And I am so grateful that God has given me so many opportunities to change in Him for the better. I also was able to fully give over my anger to the Lord that I had been carrying around for the past few years. It happened the week that our precious friends lost their baby boy, Grant. But through Grant’s short life, I was able to get closure and restoration that I needed with some people before we moved. This closure was something that I never thought was possible. And for Grant’s life, I am so grateful!
19. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same?
I still have the HOTTS for my husband, except times 10. We celebrated 4 awesome years of marriage together this past June. He really is the best and I’m crazy about him. And I still have an odd obsession with the Harry Potter movies.
20. What’s a life lesson you learned this year?
When you feel the Holy Spirit calling you to do something, do it. There is a reason that God puts things on your heart. There is a reason that you feel the spirit calling you to do something you aren’t comfortable with. There is a reason for my life – and it’s to share the gospel and love others with everything that is in me. And when I feel that nudge (yes, you know what that feels like) it’s my responsibility and JOY to act on that calling. I also learned that if you realize half way through baking your first tray of cookies that you FORGOT the baking soda, you can still add it to the remaining mixture and your cookies will not suffer the consequences. Aren’t you glad you know now?
So that was our year. It has been one of the best, most exciting and hardest years of my life. But I can say that I have absolutely no regrets in 2013. This blog is going to probably be changing some this next year – lots of house building posts, asking you to pray for rain or for the rain to stop, DIY how to’s, picking paints, floors, cabinets and light fixtures. And of course, LOTS of Eleanor Sue (as if you questioned that, bah!). I am excited to share our house updates with you as they come, and I can’t wait to see what the big move of 2014 brings to our family. Here’s to God’s biggest blessings on our family this year!
How fun! What a great recap post! Can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for your sweet family!
Nicole A. says
I can't WAIT to read house stuff!! I might or might not be stalking your Pinterest… 🙂
Gina Stauffer says
I love this post Lauren! 🙂
Thank you so much for the really kind words. That's really sweet of you. We have so much in common this year, the biggest thing of course being the EPing. Congrats, mama! Also, I have a new niece named Nora — I love her and her name so much.
Cheers to a really wonderful 2014 and continuing to grow as a mom and wife. xoxoxo