2014 + a little slideshow ;)

This past year saw Henry rapidly and heartbreakingly [but also relievedly? ohhh the mixed emotions of motherhood] outgrow babyhood.  He left the bassinet next to my bed for the crib in Will's room at the beginning of this year; sat, crawled, walked, and started getting into real mischief this year; he said his first words; he had his first ride in a swing - his little arm up like a confident pro the whole time; he experienced his first Carolina spring from his bouncy seat in the orange BOB, as his mama pounded out her stress through miles and miles behind him, in our hilly, dogwood covered neighborhood; this year he weaned himself over the summer, to my mix-bag emotions (again)... I went from weeping and mourning to rejoicing and singin' "Freeedommm!"; he had his first roll in the sand at the beach, and his first experience of ocean spray in his face; he went on his first bike ride; his first car-cart ride at the grocery store (he tried to commandeer Will's steering wheel as well as his own, which should tell you a lot about his personality); his first birthday party - which was really all Will's thing, he "decorated" for it and everything... this year, my baby Henry went from being a chubby bystander on the sidelines to jumping in for everything. 
2014 gave us a huge snow storm - the biggest I have actually ever experienced, I think. The morning that the snow came down, we were in the doctor's office for a double ear infection for Will, and we literally had to race into the CVS for the antibiotic, with barely enough time to drive home safely. I thanked every saint in heaven that Jason had stayed back from work and gone to the doctor's with us, because I would have absolutely ended up abandoning our Buick on the side of the road, we were bombarded with so much snow in the last 10 minutes of our drive. 
This past spring took the longest to arrive. I remember this because I escaped to Charleston for a weekend to visit my pregnant, tired, and single-parenting friend Sarah (whose husband was deployed) in March, and, though I had hoped to get a taste of spring FINALLY, it was unreasonably cold for the low country. We had a cozy, chatty weekend anyway. 
Last spring also brought Will's first failed foray into swim lessons. He did not take to them kindly, and after two sessions, I decided to wait til the scarring memory had faded before trying again. Maybe very soon...
This past summer saw three beach vacations... one (chilly) week with my family at the beginning of summer in the wild solitude of the Outer Banks, one week with Jason's family in the sleepy muggy coziness of Edisto for the 4th of July, and one 4 day weekend for trick or treating and drinking cosmopolitans and roaming a deserted Edisto Beach in October. 
It saw a few trips to the zoo. A few trips to the mountains with my family, one wonderful and exhausting [and triply documented ;)] adventure to Charleston for the blog friends. It saw us forge that friendship! A friendship that blesses me literally daily - the three of us all stepped a little out of our comfort zones to start a group text and I can't imagine my long, sometimes lonely days without it. This year saw afternoons at the sunshiny SouthPark Mall for coffee or frozen yogurt with just me and my little boys. It saw hot Saturdays with Jason getting a bite to eat at one of our top 5 burger joints (my favorite food, I think). It saw Will grow from being a cute semi-burden to an actual buddy. He has tagged along with me all day every day for the last year, and I think I have become as attached to his company as he has to mine. 
This year I fell in love with the Foster the People album "Supermodel" in the spring, and Taylor Swift's new album (oh yes. I did) in the fall. They were the soundtracks to my feet on the pavement, and my desperate dancing with little melting down toddlers in the kitchen before dinner. These albums made me feel like flying when I was running, and smiling when I was cleaning. 
This year saw me turn a freelance thing into a [very] part time job. Its been a nice challenge but it also has reminded me that there is a season for everything in life; nothing is set in stone. I like the work but I am not attached to it. Every month I fantasize quitting. I don't get to write as much as you might think with it. At least, it is all marketing writing so its limiting how creative and well-crafted it can be. 
This year saw my brother Moses move back in with us after his stint at adult apartment life with a no-good roommate. We got to be first-hand witnesses of him saving for a ring, and planning his beautiful proposal to his adorable fiancĂ©. We have loved his presence upstairs and hanging out randomly in the kitchen with us... and will miss him dearly when he inevitably moves out this coming spring. Henry asks for "Mmmm-OH?!" every day. One of the things we will miss the most is, admittedly, the free last-minute babysitting. We never have tried to take advantage of him on a weekend night, but Mon-Thurs has been fair game. I doubt Jason and I would've made it through the MBA without those life-saving cheap dates, just the two of us getting a breath of fresh air, a strong drink, and that high of uninterrupted adult conversation. There's a great little place 4 miles up the road with a movie theater and nice restaurants, and trees lit up with little white lights at night - we tended to get drinks and fresh spring rolls from P.F.Changs then walk over to catch a movie together and let the alcohol subside;)... or we just got stuck talking. 
THE MBA! this year saw us finish it with a bang. The last break before Jason's last semester was the first break that we didn't get in a fight. MIRACLE. We saw it coming (huge fights every other school break, y'all. huge.), and planned accordingly. Jason walked on eggshells and I checked myself before I wrecked myself. ;) 
We are still a little dazed in the aftermath. It hasn't quite sunk in yet that its actually over. We got up early this morning and sipped our coffee while we prayed and talked about our plans for the year. We have some big hopes and dreams. Please keep our family in your prayers. I can feel the change about the erupt, I just don't know how or when. Its like the calm before the storm. But in a good way! I want a year that challenges and excites us; a year of adventure and growth. FAMOUS LAST WORDS.