I took these 2008 reflection questions from simplemom.
1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year
Moving back to Minnesota into our lovely house.
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Moving. We were living in California and we had two weeks to pack all of our belongings (including 1 full pod and 2 cars), clean our old place, and move to Minnesota. This involved being stranded in the San Francisco Airport with 2 dogs, a cat, and a five-month-old, taking a crazy drive in the middle of the night to San Jose Airport so we could finally board a flight to MN. We lived with my parents for 2 months before moving into our current house. That was far too long to be living out of boxes!
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Finding our house. Seriously, we looked at a ka-jillion houses and they were all more expensive and way crappier than our current house. Our house is perfect for us for so many reasons and we can somehow afford to live here even though I am not working. This is totally something I didn’t expect (we thought we’d end up living in the ghetto), and it is so joyful to be able to be here with my hubby and boy!
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Our driveway. Seriously, that sucker slopes down toward our house and it is slick ice right now. It takes a good several tries to get out of our driveway on bad days. You have to leave from the garage and kind of gun it and very strategically steer the car. And that’s just to get onto the crazy street, which is also on a hill and covered in ice. I watched the mail lady try to get up the hill like 6 or 7 times before she finally made it. Yes, we are shoveling, icing, sanding and all that!
5. Pick three words to describe 2008.
Boys, Move, Fix,
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2008 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
Only I cheated and actually asked Josh. He said: Arrival, Refocus, Challenge
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2008 (again, without asking).
Only I cheated on this one too and asked Josh. He said: Stress, Web
8. What were the best books you read this year?
I read a ton of books this year, but clearly the best is all of the Harry Potter books (I know, I’m late in the reading, but they were really good!). I also enjoyed True Woman by Susan Hunt.
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
For sure, Josh and Caleb. We have grown so much this year in fantastic ways. I would also say with both the Whiting families and the Lewis/Peterson families. When we lived in California, we only came back to visit for holidays or weddings. Now, we get to do the fun, “Want to come over and hang out?” time that are way more relaxed. I’m also really loving spending more time with my nieces and nephews, going swimming with them, going to parks with them, and other fun times like that. I really enjoy being able to be with my family in a more relaxed manner.
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
Moving across the country. But I would also say getting used to being a homemaker, Caleb shifting from baby to boy, and the new responsibilities of being a homeowner.
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
The most significant way that I have grown emotionally is in my strength as a parent. I feel a lot more confident, comfortable, and able than I did before. I know I will never be the perfect, bionic parent, but even recognizing that and moving forward has been an important step for me.
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I had many moments where I struggled with not being able to identify myself as being an art teacher or designer anymore. It was hard to shift from the working world to being a homemaker; I had to let go of so many things that I enjoyed and thrived on before. I had to revisit many basics of my faith to help me really understand that my identity is in Christ. It really stripped away at my self-pride (of which I had an enormous amount) and humbled me because I didn’t have any things to brag about anymore. I have also grown a lot through the memorization of scripture and by praying the scriptures regularly. I hope and pray that God’s word will continue to penetrate the dark parts of my heart and that my life will glorify Him.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
My weight has been a concern this year for the first time in my life. Around Caleb’s 1st birthday (September), I was finally able to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans comfortably, and that was fantastic. But, I’m still not at my pre-pregnancy weight. I figure I’m going to have to really focus to do this. I’m looking forward to the snow melting so I can use my new bike for some wonderful rides and exercise. I sometimes feel frustrated that my body just doesn’t look the way it used to. Actually, it kind of looks a little like I was attacked by Wolverine. But, I suppose I’ll just have to get continue trying my best to be healthy, while also realizing that my body will inevitably decline until I breathe my final breath (I’m shooting to make it into my nineties!).
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
Um… read number 9.
15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home?
Getting all the stuff put away and fixed! Seriously, my house is totally functional and baby-proofed and that makes me love it here.
16. What was your most challenging area of home management?
Probably disagreeing with Josh about the rate at which things should be unpacked and fixed. We moved here in April and we had everything unpacked, put away, baby proofed, and repaired by September. That’s just how I roll. Josh thought we went too fast and I’m pretty sure I drove him nuts. But hey, we’re relaxing now!
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Little House on the Prairie. I love that show and have decided to watch the whole series starting with the pilot. I’m currently on season 6. There is so much I love about this show, but I won’t go into all of that here!
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Loving my family. I gave a lot of attention trying to learn how to be excellent at my job as homemaker. I want to be an excellent wife and an excellent mother and an excellent me. Time spent learning from others, reading, playing, teaching, fixing, cooking, cleaning, organizing, and other things that directly made my family more relaxed, joyful, and focused on the Lord are definitely my best spent hours.
19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
To delight in the law of the Lord and to meditate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2). I also learned that happiness and joy is hard work. You have to want it and seek it out and choose to make it a part of your day. My attitude and demeanor has so much of an effect on my family and I hope that I will continue to fervently pursue happiness and joy for the rest of my life.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2008 for you.
Started with a crazy pack-n-move, but ended with a happy, relaxed, love-infested home; always striving toward knowing Christ more.
I took these 2008 reflection questions from simplemom.