2014 in a Jar

Like many years, 2014 has been filled with ups and downs. We have experienced pain, strength, sorrow, joy, excitement, and many other emotions.

This year, Jeffrey and I decided to keep a jar of Blessings, Answered Prayers, Can't Forget Moments, and Anything Else Worth Remembering. We kept our jar (a large mason jar with a cute sticky note describing what the jar is for) on the corner of our fireplace, so we would see it daily, and we and everyone in our home could watch it grow. We have found in past years that difficult times such as the ending of this year, we easily forgot some of the great moments that had happened because they were overshadowed by something devastating and negative. We knew we wanted to end looking at 2014 on a positive note whether it felt positive or not. Unfortunately, this hasn't been an ending we would really want to remember, but thankfully we have many reminders that these last few weeks are not the summary of the year as a whole. Today, we pulled out our strips of paper and read what 2014 looked like for our family in quick snapshots from our jar. Here are some of the things that made it in the jar for 2014 in no particular order:
  • Boating and Fishing with Dad and Leah
  • CJ mowed our lawn! 
  • Raised close to $3,500 at our trivia night!
  • Ethiopian Government NOT CLOSING!
  • Sunday afternoons at mom and dad's-Free food, relaxing, and family time
  • Attended the Empower to Connect Conference for adopting parents
  • WHAT A GREAT WEEKEND- Pappy's with Brent and Erica, WinterJam, Movies (Bookthief), Dinner with Gary and Meghan, Dinner with CJ and Myrah
  • Awesome 4th of July-Movies, BBQ, Fireworks, Friends and Family
  • Jeffrey got a snow day with me! January 6th!
  • The release of Citilights first EP "We are Citilights"
  • I did it! I hit my reading goal for 2014! 25 books in one year!
  • Camping in our living room for 2 weeks due to a bed malfunction
  • Cards game with family (Dad's 1st game in the "new" stadium)
  • Celebrated Eric and Leah's birthday at Ruiz
  • Bonfire with friends
  • Leah surprised me with STARBUCKS!
  • Celebrated Mother's Day with both our moms. So glad we can spend time with both our families at the same time!
  • Rachel had a dream of us in Ethiopia and we met our baby. I believe it was confirmation that we are still doing the right thing.
  • Attending the Deeper Unconference with my dad in Texas
  • CANCUN!
  • Fun Drive-in date with Pete and Camilla from Norway! Getting to know Camilla!
  • Rach's birthday at Hendrick's
  • Awesome time at our 1st Blues game! Mary gave us tickets with Amazing seats!
  • Rainy Date at the Muny, but Jeffrey made it in time from the airport
  • Celebrated 6 Years of Marriage!
  • Reminded of our awesome support system through Jeffrey's sickle cell crisis
  • Mom helped me redo the countertops in the kitchen. They look so much better!
  • I somehow pulled out an A in my grad class this semester

These are just some of the items that were in our 2014 jar. They may not seem big or too exciting for you, but they were worth something to us since we took the time and put them in our jar. Sometimes it is easy to just focus on the huge, the dramatic, and the life changing, but going back and looking at the things that made you smile and made your day, can give you a better picture of the year as a whole.

After looking over our list, I can easily and confidently say that despite our challenges and disappointments, we are blessed people and have much to be thankful for in 2014! We pray that as 2015 approaches we will have many more jar worthy moments. We pray the same for you and your family as well!

May 2015 be a year of laughter, prosperity, and adventure!

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