so teach us to count our days so that we will become wise Psalm 90:9
Today I plan to share some of our family highlights from this past year. 2017 really has been a year of growth for our family in so many ways and I really wanted to have a place to store all these lovely memories down and why not share them with you too!
With Judah having turned One in September this year has witnessed his firsts in everything, from rolling, crawling and now walking he has attempted and succeeded at so many things. His little personality of adventurer has really shone through but he thankfully still loves a cuddle with his Mummy!
Nathanael turned 4 and began nursery. I am still not sure where those years have gone but I am thrilled I was able to spend them all at home with him. He loves nursery school and settled in immediately. On his first day and every day since he just sits on the carpet waiting for his teacher just as if he had done this every day. Luke and I take great comfort that we must of prepared him well and I do believe a lot of the security he feels comes from having had a parent at home.
I turned 30 this year. I didn’t have any outrageous party and kept celebrations low key although Luke has spoilt me rotten this year with a designer handbag, new laptop and various updates to my wardrobe since I lost the baby weight and more. I am still following Slimming World which really helped me when I was breastfeeding Judah, with Nathanael I was constantly hungry all of the time and having a structured plan has really helped. I still plan to stick to Slimming World in 2018 although I have the odd treat here and there.
God has blessed us so much this year with lots of quality family time as well as the finance to go on various trips. Some of the places we visited we just went for the day, while others we were fortunate to stay the night. I thought rather than listing them all out, that I would share some photos of our time there.
We began 2017 with the assumption that any type of house projects would have to be put on hold until the year after and beyond. Well we couldn’t be more deluded as 2017 actually has witnessed more updates to our home than ever before. One of the projects that was completed in January was general maintenance of our guttering and fascias a bit of a boring one to start with.
The next project on my list was to repaint our red feature wall that the previous owners had in our main living area. This feature wall looked great from November to January but as soon as the festive period was over with it really was too much for me. I much prefer neutrals in our home, and having lived with it for 3 years it was time to go. Along with that we replaced the curtains and for a period of time while Judah was crawling and learning to walk we chose to move out our coffee table for the space.
Within our Living Room there are other updates that we would like to make such as replacing our sofas and side tables but these are long term goals and not for 2018.
After the repainting of the lounge we turned our attention to the lighting in our Kitchen. Again a random task but it was so worth while, again the previous owners had installed a light which only faced one side of a rather large kitchen and in the winter months you couldn’t see what you were trying to find in cupboards or when cleaning up. The lights were a major frustration in our kitchen and with the update have made such an impact to our home.
After three years of Nathanael loving his downstairs playroom we decided to repaint the it, the room was a neutral but a shade or two dark for our preference especially when you fill it with very bright children’s toys. When Luke painted this room we opted for Kitchen/Bathroom paint that we can wipe down, as well as installing the very used hack of Ikea spice racks as bookstands for the boys.
One of the rooms in our house that we love is our downstairs home office, it has allowed us to have the use of the 4 bedrooms upstairs as we like. Our boys have separate bedrooms and we initially turned the smaller room into our library/my blogging head quarters. This set up worked really well while Nathanael was small, he didn’t know or care that Daddy was working downstairs and I could if I needed something grab whatever I needed.
As Nathanael grew and Judah was added to the family we found that on the weekends especially Luke’s office became a dumping ground to place things as we came in. Nathanael could hear Luke on conversations and wanted to go and see what was happening.
With all this in my mind I took it upon myself one day in March I believe to switch the rooms over. Luke wasn’t thrilled that I had dragged a piece of heavy furniture downstairs and to be honest it was looking risky there for a minute when I was on the stairs. However we are thrilled with the result, this small change has done a lot for our family dynamics with Luke upstairs he is uninterrupted and Nathanael and Judah are more settled without hearing the door go and wondering what is happening.
2018 will see downstairs Household Headquarters as I am now calling it repainted because Luke did attach things to the walls and it could do with a bit of a refresh.
Our last huge project was installing a new main bathroom. When the previous owners had the house they went for the basic fittings of a new build, didn’t put a shower in, and thoroughly wrecked the space of the room entirely, a rather large bathroom appeared small and cluttered because of the furnishings they chose.
It was a major project and one we have been dreaming for a while, we were fortunate to be able to complete it this year as this is the boys bathroom at their ages they weren’t really impacted by having the work done. I am quite envious its not our en-suite but that dream can be realised another day.
What can I say about how my faith in God has grown and been shaped this year, there is so much to say. I have been so blessed this year by God through my family. We have spent so much quality time with one another, experienced so many things and have treasured our time together.
I do not take for granted the blessings of the family God has given me or how my role of Mum to Nathanael and Judah has been entrusted to me by Him.
Mothering in the trenches of nappies, crawling, teething and then school choices, nursery runs can be hard. When I am short sighted or loose my focus it is easy to look over the fence of those who parent a different way or have other resources that I may not have and to look at my lack rather than how generously God has provided everything I need for our family.
He has taught me this year to rest in Him, that my works, busyness, and inclusion on teams matter little without a heart that is set to serve Him.
He has shown me in so many ways how important it is to have biblical literacy, to spend time in His Word and not just to read it but truly engage with it. He has shown me how life is truly defeated without it, that we are missing the height and breadth of His love by placing His Word as an optional extra on Christian life. No one can read the Bible for you, no sermon, teaching, podcast or blog post is going to measure up to time spent with God in His Word for you.
He is teaching me that whatever situation I am in, in the good and the bad of life he has empowered me enough for the task if I rely on him and surrender to his plan. It is every Christian cliché and truth that God has given me grace enough for today, not searching ahead at what could be, but recognising the abundant blessings he has for me now.
2017 has been joyous but there has been challenging times too, its what I have done with those times that have mattered, there have been times I have complained, grumbled and been ungrateful and I haven’t helped the situation one iota by turning to people. The times I have rested, searched out God’s truth and talked to Him, those are the times when I have not only felt peace but purposed for the situation.
Who knows what 2018 will bring and I am thoroughly glad that I do not know what is around the corner. I am hopeful, expectant at what is to come who knows I might blog more in 2018!