Happy New Year, everyone!
2015 was a whirlwind at our house. I spent the first part of the year feeling tremendously sick with pregnancy, the next part waiting for our 3rd baby, and the last part being a crazy lady committing to too much shortly after having said baby. But there were a few other notable happenings that came along the way, like these:
- J turned 5 and started kindergarten at home. He’s my thoughtful, cautious, bright little boy. He loves cars, saws, working with Dada, making up songs, poems, and practicing writing.
- V turned 2 and loves joining in (and getting her nose into) whatever activities her brother has going on. She’s my little ham, my daring stunt-girl, singer, dancer, and charmer.
- We welcomed sweet baby I in August, and our family of four turned to five. She’s been the easiest adjustment out of any of our kids. She often reminds us of how quickly time flies.
- My elder daughter was hospitalized last fall with a life-threatening case of croup. While it was a terrifying experience, we are so grateful she got medical help in time and that she made a full recovery.
- This year’s garden had its discouraging moments. The plants got a little out of control, and our preservation rate was much lower than usual. On the upside, we got lots of winter keeper veggies and my hubby planted lots of fruit trees.
- We lost one hen, gained one goat, and bought a pair of breeding rabbits for meat. We also butchered our first turkey.
- Tim rebuilt our porch this summer. It was a huge project for him to undertake, but it looks quite nice now and is much more stable than it was previously.
- My hubby continued teaching at a local private school, and took on summer jobs working for neighbors and a landscaping service.
- I continued teaching private voice lessons, took on a rare doula client, and kept working on the blog (even though it went on the back burner for a couple of busy months).
2015 was a year in which I struggled much emotionally. However, I’ve also had the opportunity to be (slowly) learning important life lessons. Here are two that keep standing out to me:
- I must learn to be at peace despite my feelings or my circumstances. It’s easy for me to get caught up in my own insecurities and self-doubt, particularly in relation to how I’m raising my kids and what we are doing with our lives. My littlest one has been integral to teaching me to accept my circumstances and live with peace- however imperfectly I may be doing it.
- Life is too short to be wasted living half-heartedly. I’ve spent too much time of my life wishing for the next thing and whittling away what precious hours I have in the meantime. Wouldn’t it be better to pour my energy into the way I want to live now instead of waiting around for the right things to happen to me?
Finally, I’ll wrap up the recap by sharing my top 10 blog posts of 2015:
#10- $25 Grocery Challenge– For one month, I limited my family’s grocery budget to only $25/week in order to use up what we had, save money, and eliminate unnecessary junk from our diet. It was fun for a time, but I was definitely ready to be done with it by the end of the month.
#9- Why Bother with Homesteading?– Sometimes we question whether or not all the work put into growing and raising your food is worth it. This post served as my defense for making the effort.
#8- Elderberry or Dogwood?– Elderberry and dogwood plants look surprisingly similar. When you’re trying to forage for elderberry, it can be difficult to tell the difference. Check out this helpful “guest” post from my husband-the real plant guy around here- on differentiating the two.
#7- Look Who’s Here! The announcement and summation of my third baby’s birth. After much ado about nothing, she arrived speedily at home in the water.
#6- Six Natural Immunity Boosters– We all hope to stay healthy when cold and flu season hits. Give your body a head start by trying one of these six natural immunity boosters.
#5–Letter from a Pregnant Mama– For some reason, people have a knack for saying all the wrong things to pregnant women. This post was mostly just for fun. Let no one think I am ungrateful or that I take offense too easily. Has anyone said one of these things to you?
#4- Make Over Your Mornings Review– Who knew a course review would make it into the top 10? Crystal’s e-course was seriously motivating and effective in helping me reform my morning inefficiencies and bad habits. Now I need to do it again since I’m finally out of survival mode!
#3- Tick Bite Prevention (Naturally!)– We get a LOT of ticks- and bites- where we live. Find out tricks we’ve used to prevent bites in the first place, and what we use if we do find one of the little buggers on us.
#2-Managing My Mornings with a Newborn– Ah, the reality of life with young kids, particularly those in the newborn phase. You just don’t get as much done as you would hope. But you can still live intentionally, even when you can’t keep up with everything.
And finally, my most popular post for two years in a row…
#1- Apple Honey Jelly– This post details how to make apple jelly out of only peels, cores, water, and a bit of honey if desired. There’s no refined sugar and no added pectin. Give it a go!
Thanks for sticking around and helping to make 2015 a great year. Here’s to the next one!
You can read up on the 2014 year in review here.