Gratitude

Looking Back & Ahead

December 30, 2014

Tomorrow is the very last day of 2014.  It is unbelievable how quickly 365 days can pass in our busy lives.  I find myself flying through life, barely able to remember what I did the day before.  I love doing a year-end post because it makes me actually stop and think about all that blessings I have been given this year, but also see how I have come through the difficulties.  The blessings are wonderful and sweeten life just that much more, but looking back on the not-so-good things, in a way, is a blessing too.  It means that I have come through a storm.  I have a new perspective, perhaps a more sympathetic heart and often a renewed faith.

What’s great for our family is that this lil’ blog also serves as my scrapbook for each year.  This is amazing for me, as the thought of even crafting up one year in a scrapbook sounds absolutely miserable to my non-crafty self.  So here’s my clifnotes version of 2014 in review.

In January, we endured insanely freezing temperatures, feet of snow and managed to sell our house.  I briefly escaped winter in February, flying solo with Elena while seven months pregnant to visit my parents in Arizona.  I survived it and was able to thaw out in the sun for a week.  On March 1st, we found ourselves new residents of the ‘burbs and began settling into our newly remodeled home.  This promptly sent me into panic mode having less than two months before baby #2 arrived.  In April we died over the cuteness of watching Elena ride her horse in hippotherapy, savored our last moments as a family of three and celebrated the biggest moment of our year!  Our 9lb 7oz Calvin Merrick arrived on April 26th!  May, I don’t remember.  I had a newborn, a three year old, a busy schedule and little sleep.  June brought slower schedules, a little more sleep but painful reminders as we watched Cal grow and develop, remembering the short time we had with the old Elena.  In July, we received another great boost from Elena’s doctor in Pittsburgh, celebrated her three years of life and my thirtieth birthday.  August was a happy one.  We traveled to Charlevoix, Michigan then turned around and flew to Amelia Island, Florida for vacation with Chad’s family.  And somewhere in between Chad and I celebrated our five years of marriage and Elena’s first day of preschool.  We giggled our way through September, watching Cal lose his “scowl” and start to develop his sweet little personality.  In October the temperatures begin to dip and so did our hearts.  I spent the month stressing over Elena’s looming surgery and all the preparations that came with traveling half way across the country for it.  November began celebrating our beloved Ronald McDonald House and a perfectly timed “calm-before-the-storm” getaway to Arizona.  This, of course, was followed by Elena’s hip surgery and lots of stressful days and nights.  And finally, December.  It’s been the hardest month this year.  It has challenged me as a Mom, a wife and as a human being.  It’s been rough and I’m so looking forward to a new month and a new year.

Whew.  It all seems so compact and tidy, but I know otherwise.  It’s life.  It’s messy, complicated, emotional, blessed, beautiful and happy.  Most of all, it’s temporary.  Every difficulty, every tear, every high and every low will pass.  It’s definitely not always quick and easy but I know the sun always come back out.

As for the new year, my resolution for 2015, is to savor each day I am gifted, reflect more and to attempt to keep the chaos of it all from consuming me.  I want to give thanks more than I complain and cry happy tears more than sad.  I want to be a better wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend.  I want to be a better Emmalee.  And more realistically, (ha!) I want to write more.  Writing is very cathartic for me.  I hope to journal more for myself and blog more for all you who are so supportive of our family.

I hope each of you has had more highs this year than lows and that 2015 will bring the same!  Thank you for continuing to love and support our family…we love you all!

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals