As 2015 draws to a close, I can’t help but acknowledge what a tremendous year this has been. I feel cheesy talking about being blessed, since it’s becoming such a cliche. But as my friend Brigitte says, “it’s not like your favorite kombucha is on sale and you feel blessed… your mom is alive and you have these amazing children.” Well said, Brigitte.
Some of you may recall that my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer a couple years ago. They told us the average life expectancy was less than a year when we learned her cancer had metastasized to her brain.
That was 18 months ago. Since then she has held my hand next to the birthing tub as I birthed baby River. She comes over twice a week to help watch the kids. We treated her to high tea during the holidays and made Christmas cookies together. Some day cancer may catch up with her at last (and we still have rocky patches with her health), but what a gift this year has been.
Baby River is teaching me so much every day. I’m giving up more and more control over how orderly my life is and I’m just adapting. I’m not getting nearly enough sleep, but he makes up for it all and then some with his easy-going nature. Have you ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch? His cheeks feel just like that dough.
Juniper grows an inch a day, but she’s forever my baby. Her three-year old tantrums push me to the brink of sanity, but her cuddles and goofy nature make me forget all those trying times. She’s a loving, supportive big sister. This little girl is a chicken-tamer, berry-gobbler and adventure-lover. She’s a force of nature and one hell of a sous chef.
I spent the better part of this year designing nature playgrounds for Learning Landscapes Design. I’m consulting for an ecological design firm, a high-end residential firm and still doing my own projects. I get to say yes to projects that interest me and still maintain the flexibility I need. It’s pretty dreamy.
Jay and I celebrated our ten year anniversary this year. Can you believe it? We’ve made it through rocky patches, eight years of combined graduate school, two children, thousands of miles of roadtrips and too many garden projects to count. Yet we still love the heck out of each other.
This year had taught me to stop planning. Juggling kids, homesteading and design work has forced me to just roll with it. I have some dreams for next year: more fun design projects, bigger harvests, expanding the homestead. It’s been a beautiful ride so far and I can’t wait to see what’s in store in the year ahead.