How ISIS, cardiologists, criminals, C.S. Lewis, and bicycles changed our family in 2014.

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In 2013, I sheepishly shared that our Christmas card declared our family was so very merry.

But 2014 wasn’t merry.

In 2014, my mom fought off an attacker who held a knife to her neck.

In 2014, our lovely tandem bike was stolen from our backyard.

In 2014, Nate’s second cousin was beheaded by ISIS.

In 2014, my brother had his car stolen and stripped at a chop shop–even the roof was gone.

In 2014, we found out our youngest daughter will likely need a heart procedure to correct a heart murmur.

These moments from 2014 weigh heavily on me.

But you know what else?

KLT Photos

Photo credit goes to our talented friends at KLT Photography

In 2014, our three-year-old learned how to ride a bike without training wheels.

In 2014, that same three-year-old turned into a four-year-old who learned how to read and how to stop sucking her thumb.

In 2014, our four-year-old fell in love with chapter books.  The characters in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, Heidi, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory now feel like friends.Vacationing in Cancun Mexico with Kids

In 2014, our four-year-old stopped taking naps and started listening to Jack and Annie (The Magic Treehouse series) and Narnia as audiobooks. I now find myself saying things like, “You can’t listen to audiobooks ALL day. You have to go play!”

At the start of 2014, I was still nursing a one-year-old. At the end of 2014, our two-year-old is fully weaned and mostly potty trained.

In 2014, our babbling baby turned into a talkative toddler with her daddy’s charm and charisma.

In 2014, we noticed that this two-year-old has a great musical memory, but hasn’t settled on a dominant hand.Nothing if Not Intentional

In 2014, our “baby” started doing somersaults, loving Llama Llama, using scissors, learning letters, and naming colors.

In 2014, our girls became best friends who spend all day, every day playing together.

In 2014, we met Winnie the Pooh in Disney World, drank smoothies on the beach in Cancun, rode on the Polar Express, and saw sharks, tigers, and dolphins during our family trip to Las Vegas.

In 2014, we took our first, big one-way road trip. We flew home in a new plane Nate picked up for his employer.

Nothing if Not Intentional--Flying with Kids

In 2014, we got our Yuba cargo bike and put 600 miles on it. We rode through rain and blazing sun. We got chased by puppies, yelled at by motorists, and waved to by friends and strangers alike. From our bike, we saw rainbows, sunsets, deer, bunny rabbits, squirrels, the changing color of the leaves, and the first flurries of snow.

Yuba Mundo Cargo Bike

In 2014, we went on approximately 50 more dates. This means our girls had approximately 50 more nights of playing, eating, reading, and acting silly with their awesome grandparents.

In 2014, we celebrated birthdays with an awesome murder mystery party and a very special ride on a miniature train.

In 2014, we started training to become foster or adoptive parents in our home state of Indiana.

Photos from KLT Photography

Photo credit: KLT Photography. 

So while there are a few moments of terror and sadness in 2014, the majority of the year was filled with love, awareness of God’s protection and blessing on our family, family snuggles, books, bikes, birthday parties, laughter with friends, and trips that didn’t involve a knife attack.

And with that in mind, we eagerly look forward to all that 2015 brings for us!

Nothing if Not Intentional--Year in Review

Photo credit: KLT Photography.

 

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2 thoughts on “How ISIS, cardiologists, criminals, C.S. Lewis, and bicycles changed our family in 2014.

  1. What a poignant post. The precious family moments are absolutely to be celebrated. I have just purchased our first audio book in preparation for an upcoming road-trip and my son’s last requests before going to bed tonight were to download some more. Think I will have to chose a couple from your daughter’s favourites.

    1. How sweet of you to take the time to read and then write a note, Danielle! Audiobooks have been a game changer for us. I hope your family finds some great ones, too. I’d love to hear what ends up being your son’s favorite(s)!

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