Every year is full of ups and downs. There have been studies that show that people who concentrate on the positive or are more optimistic are happier and more grateful. Everyone has things in their lives they wish they could change and we all have days that are better than others. Yet every day is a blessing from God and a reason to celebrate. Even when it doesn't necessarily feel like the day was great or those (hopefully rare) days that you wish you could forget.
In honor of 2012 here is a list of our highlights (in no particular order).
1) Matthew graduated from 4K. Finally our days of paying full-time child care for an infant, toddler or preschooler are over. Matthew did great in 4K.
2) Jacob made swim team. This was a huge accomplishment. He could barely swim the length of the pool in August and worked extremely hard to improve his swimming ability so that he could make the team in September. I have never seen him work so hard or try to hard as he did during tryouts. He made the team and can now swim many laps without stopping.
3) Matthew was promoted to 6 year old swimming lessons. He showed great improvement in December and was moved up to the "big kid" lessons. This was not only due to his improved swimming abilities but also improved behavior and maturity during lessons.
4) Jacob and Matthew learned how to ice skate and got the chance to participate in hockey lessons. This will be a one year only experience since hockey is expensive and the kids have other sports they like just as much.
5) Matthew got to play t-ball after watching his brother play t-ball for the past 3 years. He loved it and was doing really well by the end of the season. He is already looking forward to playing again next year.
6) I got the chance to coach Jacob and Matthew in soccer. I have very limited experience in soccer but I don't need much at this age level.
7) Matthew was accepted into a dual language charter school and loves it. He speaks Spanish most of the day and has been learning a lot.
8) I received a Master's Degree in Social Work. This was a major accomplishment. I thought about quitting several times over the past 3 years but was able to finish it. I now have a social work degree that I can use in my current job or in any other state if I ever want to move or change jobs.
9) Jacob and Matthew have had a great start to kindergarten and 1st grade. Matthew has had a few difficulties over the past few weeks but overall has done very well. Both kids are ahead of grade level in Math and are doing very well academically which is most important to me.
10) We made it through the year healthy. We had a few ups and downs health wise. I made my first trip to the ER as a parent when Jacob was poked in the eye and it was scratched enough to bleed. It was an accident but still pretty traumatic. Matthew was sent home from school early after putting a hood over his head and then walking into a wall trying to be silly. He ended up biting through his lip. No stitches but lots of blood and a very fat lip that is still healing. No broken bones, serious injuries, serious illness and no stitches yet so I call this year a huge success. With my boys, every day without a broken bone is a day to celebrate.