Friday, December 31, 2010

Thoughts on 2010

Our Blocks of Remembrance

Twenty ten just sounds like a monumental year. And for our family it was.
We'll start with the biggest milestone- baby A. The year started with feelings of both excitement and anxiety as I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy. We were thankful for another pregnancy, yet honestly, fearful. Many hours were spent in doctors offices, receiving extra care and monitoring, and many prayers were offered on this sweet baby's behalf. We were again blessed by our family and church family around us with prayers, excitement, and help caring for Hudson during all these appointments. Halfway through the year...a long name discussion took place a few days before a very quick labor for Mom, all with the result of a precious Athan Lane coming into our lives. I felt like Hannah when she said about Samuel, for this child I prayed and the Lord has heard my prayers.
Activities and travel were present as usual. Some hi-lights were: Nashville Hall of Fame induction for Rockey (as usual, Hudson was a champ on that trip!), skiing in Crested Butte with our favorite kids (Jay taught Hudson while Mom and baby in belly were sidelined), a mission trip for Jay days before Athan was born, a hectic but wonderful trip to Colorado to welcome Lauren as Uncle David's bride (we made it!), an Orange Birthday party for H, the annual Pumpkin Party with Pa/Gigi/and crew (wonderful chaos, we call it), Thanksgiving hosted by the Thompsons, and a special Christmas visit to Starkville in December.
As we consider how our prayers were answered this year, Athan's health and development have to top that list. Close behind is how well Hudson has adjusted to the arrival of his baby brother. Aside from a few requests for Athan to be held by Dad in the early days, Hudson has shown nothing but love, excitement, and pride for his brother. He has such a loving heart. He continued to show us how he loves life and having fun. Like most little boys, his play can sometimes get too aggressive, but it is always in the spirit of fun. Some new fears and a sensitive side led to a few rough months being dropped off in the nursery and at preschool, but we ended the year feeling like we overcame most of those issues. Hudson's developmental accomplishments of the year were moving to a toddler bed and then a twin bed, joining playgroups and then starting preschool, and learning to use the potty.
In ministry this was a milestone year as well. We saw a class of seniors graduate that were so special to us. Many of them we knew as middle schoolers, and they have grown to be a part of our family in the past five years. Hudson considers most of them his own friends. It was a bittersweet time as we reflected on the years we have spent together, instructing them in God's word and walking with them through their teen years. Jay and I thanked God for the opportunity to know them. They were a faithful group who we have missed. In this second half of the year, we have enjoyed seeing how the dynamics of our ministry has changed and how younger students have grown.
Personally, my year was marked by prayer and growing in my knowledge of who God is. I thank God for a friend named Mary Herrmann who led me and a few other preschool moms in a prayer group this spring. On the other hand, I also found myself recognizing my fallen, selfish nature many times this year. I was so thankful for Athan's life, yet I struggled with patience when months passed, and we didn't have a good sleep routine with him. I found myself feeling angry about that, and taking it out on others in the family. It was a humbling experience. I've been thankful for the forgiveness I find in Christ and grateful that I get to start every morning with new mercies from God.

A meaningful verse to me this year was from the book of Colossians, when Paul states about God, "for He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." What encouragement I found in remembering my redemption, even when I fall short as a mother. I do belong to the kingdom of His beloved Son and can find victory in that. With that hope in mind, I look forward to 2011...

Athan's Sixth Month

Halfway through the first year. So much to celebrate!

There were not too many changes this month in the ways of scheduling. Athan's sleep routine just continues to get easier, so much so that I actually look forward to those quiet moments with him. I NEVER could have imagined that a few months ago.

Athan did start cereal on Thanksgiving day, and we continued that once a day. To celebrate his half birthday, I offered a small taste of cookie icing right after his first taste of sweet peas. I thought it was a good pairing! (Note: before you judge, this is the only sweet I intend to offer him until his actual birthday)

We enjoyed the many celebrations that come from this time of year. Athan adapted well to all the activity. A great blessing was a new car seat from Pa and Gigi as his infant car seat was just getting a bit snug. That, combined with hanging towels on the car windows, made for much better car trips.

A favorite game we played with rolling the ball with Hudson on the ground. We call the game, "push it back to Huddie."

Happy 1/2 Birthday, A!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why 3 is My Favorite

I was warned about " the 3's." Many mothers told me that you only thought 2 was tough. Just wait until they turn 3. Sure enough, days before his third birthday, Hudson decided to try running away from us in public places. I was shocked. Where did this come from? And then there was the night he told me he wanted another Mommy. Yup, he said that! I was crushed. Remembering what those other mothers had said, I just chalked it up to a difficult year ahead.

What I think some of those mothers forgot to mention was how much good comes from a three year old. Sure, they ask even more questions now, and you spend way more time in a bathroom than you ever would have wanted. But there are so many things that I love about Hudson being three. Here are a few...

1) His sweet, sweet nature. Hudson has always complied when I asked for kisses, but now he really kisses me back. He'll also look me straight in the eyes and tell me he loves me. The best is when he does it without my saying so first.

2) His desire to please. He really does want to make us happy, and it's hard work for a little guy. There are so many temptations out there to do wrong (couldn't we all agree with that?!), and their self control is still developing. So I appreciate it when I see him struggle to choose good. Great example last night at dinner. He took his first bite of tomato soup out of obligation- he's always disliked soup. But then we convinced him that it really tasted good. He tried so hard to be excited about the next few bites Jay shoved in his mouth, but the sour face he made as it went down told us he really, really did not like it. It was priceless. We had to bite our tongues not to laugh.

3) How he wants to help. He is so proud of Athan Lane Felker and wants to be the best big brother possible. I love it! His job is to run and get the burp cloth whenever Athan spits up (that's a busy job!). He also insists on turning out the lights and getting Bailey a treat whenever we leave. It really is helpful.

4) It's even more fun. Christmas has been so special this year watching Hudson take it all in. He LOVES all the lights and is so excited by it. He gets things. We go to football games, and he can understand some of what's going on. He is creative and enjoys things he did not before. Example: pictures of dressing up like a train conductor and painting like "Sue Burm" (an elephant who paints on Curious George).

So, for today, here's to the Terrific Three's!!!