Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review

2013 has been a cRaZy year full of many ups and downs, curves, bumps, the works! But hey, we made it! We all survived! God is good!

We started off 2013 in January with my surgery. Yes, thyroid cancer is one of the first things I think of when I reflect on this past year. So many challenges were faced that I never imagined I would have to face at 24-25 years old. But looking back, I can also see the faithfulness of God. The journey continues, and that is what I must remember; it's a journey. 

Another huge event was when Perry left for North Dakota in March. He was gone for 7 months. That alone was such a challenging time for our family, and personally a trying time for me as I had just started my 12-week detox. Emotions were running wild for everyone in the Robinson family. This decision ultimately lead to our big move in October. (Get back to me later in 2014 on how I really feel about that! LOL!) 

When I think 2013, I also think Thrive: 

"Your marriage is what you make it, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer.
So, how are you doing?

Every marriage has room to grow, and we all can benefit from a deeper relationship with our spouses. Yet, we never seem to have time to just work on our marriages. No matter how long you have been married, Thrive will help you understand God's plan for your marriage and discover new insights about your relationship with your spouse."
It kind of sucked having to go through that without Perry as he left for N.D. just a couple weeks into it, but ultimately I think the separation may have been a life saver at that particular moment in our marriage. 
Perry and I also celebrated 6 years of marriage in June.
2013 also brought our kids their first trip to the beach! We took them to Myrtle Beach for a couple days in May and they loved it. I think Asher may very well be my beach bum child. He still asks to go back. ;-) 
2013 is/was Zeke's last year of being a single digit in age. Asher's first year of school. And in 2013, Macie developed some real attitude personality. ;-) Everyone is growing up and growing into their own little people! Exciting and challenging! I need to sing to myself as I have sung to Perry, "you're going to miss this... you're going to want this back... you're going to wish these days hadn't gone by so fast". 
I also discovered Lysa TerKeurst, Priscilla Shirer, Jen Hatmaker, and fell more in love with Ann Voskamp. All incredibly godly women who I have learned from either through their Bible studies, blogs, books, and/or following them on Facebook. Their words of encouragement have helped encourage me many a times this past year. 
I read some good books this year - the few that stick out the most being Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Captivating by Stasi Eldredge, and Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. (I also want to make a note that I still believe two of the best books anyone could ever read are Grace Walk and The DNA of Relationships. Just felt the need to add that.) 
Continuing the theme of 2012, I believe 2013 also carried with it an underlying theme of forgiveness and reunification. 
In November, my eldest sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This arises so many questions on so many different levels for me, personally, as I'm sure for her as well. BUT, she is a very smart and strong woman - whom I admire so much. And her husband is very calm, rational, and supportive. She has switched doctors and has an appointment in January and will know more then. 
November also makes me think of Kotah, our dog. We had to part ways as he became increasingly aggressive with the kids and I. He eventually bit and so Perry had to find him another home. Maybe we will try getting another dog again sometime later down the road, but as of right now, we are in no hurry.  

Oh! Something I'm very excited about that is also a "new" this last year - THE HONEST COMPANY. Check it out! I just ordered their diaper/wipe bundle and am very pleased! Since it seems we are in no hurry to potty train, and I try to buy the most "natural" and "green" diapers for Macie anyway, this has been so cool because you get to pick the diaper patterns! A portion of the money is also donated to those in need. Seriously, just go check it out. Super cool stuff.

2013 theme song for me (says friends) but also as I think about it, for my family, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8VoUYtx0kw Mandisa "Overcomer"

Lastly, 2013 brought a new hobby and love - knitting! I am new to it and have only completed one project; a scarf for Macie. It is highly addicting and so therapeutic. I thoroughly enjoy it. I could totally stay curled up on the couch and knit away all day while overlooking our snow covered yard. ;-)

Macie's scarf.

Oh, me oh my, Asher has grown up so much this year. 
He's learning more about himself and the world around him. He's coming into his own self. 

This has been a big year for Zeke! 
In GA, he was put into the advanced content classes at school. In ND, he continues to excel in his classes and impress his teacher. Most importantly, 2013 is the year he became baptized! 

Still need to write about this conference I went to in September.
It. messed. me. up. bad.

"Please, daddy." 
Can you guess what his answer was?

Long, straight ND road.

Baby babywearing!

Christmas day.

Tea with little sis.

Tea time with daddy!

Asher helping Macie feed her baby.

The guys. <3 

The first snowman.

...This spoke so much to me this year.

Christmas 2013

Wednesday December 25th, 2013

This was our first Christmas truly being on our own. In a far away state, far from family and friends. Both exciting and new for us. We got our white Christmas =) A very white Christmas, at that. About 5-6 days before, Asher came down with the stomach bug. At first I didn't think much of it because he is my child who will randomly get a "bug" but no one else will. Then I got it, and within 8 hours of me getting sick, so did Zeke and Macie. And they started at the same. exact. time. if you can even believe the chances of that happening. Thankfully, once I told Perry I was sick, he was able to wrap things up at work and made it home shortly after the other two became sick. We spent the weekend before Christmas vegging out, mostly sleeping. Perry eventually got sick too, but I am just thankful we were all better by Christmas! 

Christmas Eve we got up early and went into the city because I had to have blood taken - "fasting lab work". This was for my thyroid. We then got breakfast and did some last minute shopping. Oh, and we also saw the movie "Frozen" on Sunday, which I really enjoyed. I'm not one for Disney movies or even kid movies (they just are usually boring to me, sorry y'all) but I really liked this one. The kids did too. Christmas Eve evening we let each kid open one present each and we read John 1:14:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I saw this on Facebook, this reading plan. It's just a couple verses a day from Dec. 1st-24th. Some of the verses are in John, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Luke, Matthew, and Micah - all in regards to Jesus' birth. It was something simple and fun I've been doing with the boys leading up to Christmas. 

We still aren't doing Santa since I told them the truth a couple years ago. This year was kind of hard because  Asher received a letter from Santa at school and is now convinced he is real. And Perry feels bad that we ever told them the truth - he claims we have robbed them of their childhood somehow. And Macie being just two, goes around saying yes Santa is real, but I don't think she really understands. I usually take them to have their picture taken with Santa regardless just because it's fun. However, we did not this year just because it's a new state and I don't know, I guess that's become my excuse for everything lately. (Honestly, things just aren't as convenient to us as they once were.) Macie took a super long nap on Christmas Eve and would not go to bed that night, so she helped me wrap presents til about 1 am. 

Asher sleeping peacefully Christmas Eve.

Zeke sleeping peacefully Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve.

The boys were up at 5:30 am ready to open presents but we didn't start til 6:30. Perry made breakfast (which is the best gift for this mom). It was just a nice day full of playing with new toys, playing in snow, watching a Christmas Story (or other Christmas shows). We baked cookies and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Perry shoveled the driveway and I think he completed it in record time. Truly, I was impressed. We had a very simple, peaceful, and blessed Christmas. :)

The day after Christmas we had some more errands to finish up before Perry would need to leave back for work. When all that was finished, we went to the science museum in the city; my sister and brother-in-law had bought us a family membership as a Christmas gift! We spent several hours there and had so much fun! The kids did not want to leave! I'm thinking we will head back over there again before school break is over. 

Zeke loved it there!

Asher was totally impressed with the heart pump thing.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas program

There's my sweet Asher in his camo pants and brown shirt.

Thumbs up!

Macie chillin' with her daddy. 
This was actually Perry's first time at their school and he really liked it!

Zeke during his solo!

Zeke w/ his class. 
(Zeke was a "snirt" - dirty snow flake - while some kids were "flakes".)

Both my boys did great! They sang their hearts out in front of the entire school/community! So very proud of them!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Thursday November 28th, 2013

Thanksgiving morning.

Macie and daddy dancing, per Macie's request.

I totally slacked taking pictures of all things turkey-related this year. Perry came home the day before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving morning he made his traditional country breakfast that we haven't had in forever. We spent the morning snuggled on the couch watching the Macy's parade. For Thanksgiving lunch/dinner, we had turkey, I made my awesome mashed potatoes, macaroni, peas and gravy (Perry thing), stuffing. It was pretty simple. For desert, I had bought organic brownie mix that we threw together. (My kids don't like pies - I know, I know, cray-cray, right?!) We went around the table saying what we are thankful for and talked about the first Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving Day craft that's completely Christmas oriented ;-)

Macie and Asher coloring.

I caught Macie w/ scissors trying to cut her hair. This was her best defense.

Friday, we went out and bought our 5-6 footish Fraser Fir from Lowe's. It's actually quite funny because it was the fastest, easiest time we ever spent "tree hunting". 'Cause we in North Dakota now. And it's so. flippin'. cold. So we all seemed to agree on a tree pretty quick and without objection. I giggled.

So we jumped into all things Christmas head on Friday. Ahh, Christmas, I love you. I love the warm fuzzy feeling you give off. I love the meaning. I love the smell, the colors, the food, the company, I love everything about Christmas. This year, I'm feeling a bit more in the Christmas spirit than I have in previous years. This I am fully embracing and credit partially to the cold and snow, as well as my constant Christmas music playing on Pandora.

This year we got new stockings. We had been using the same stockings since Zeke's first Christmas, and then when A and M came along, we tried finding ones like ours but they never were fully like ours so we finally bought new ones. I was out voted again on Christmas lights and we have colored again this year. Instead of an angel or star, we have a bow this year which I actually like. We also bought two small trees (fake ones, of course), one for the boys play room and one for Macie's. I've always wanted to do that for them. My sweet Mace-Mace picked out pink decorations of course, as the boys picked out blue and silver. 

When shopping for Christmas decorations, Macie showed us the bike and 
helmet she wants for Christmas. 

The Nativity scene.

Though we know the truth about Santa, he's still a fun dude to have around.

Merry Christmas!