One of the biggest reasons I keep up with this blog is to document my progress so that I can make sure I'm always moving forward and growing. Each year I like to look back at the past 12 months and really take in what I've been through. Even though this year ended on a little bit of a sad note (we put our sweet 11 year old beagle to sleep last Saturday just before leaving on our trip) I can honestly say that just as predicted, 2010 was an amazing year for me. But I can also say that after reading my review of 2009 again, the amazingness of 2010 wouldn't have been possible without all the bullshit of 2009. Every situation we go through on a day to day basis is just a fractal of our lives, and I am starting to believe that the big picture is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
Of course the biggest thing to happen to me this year was my engagement to Mr. Wonderful. My heart is just so full of love for this man, when I think of him and all he has done to ensure that my future was so much better than my past...I can honestly say I trust him fully. Not just to not cheat, but to not leave...not let our relationship go stagnant...to always do what it takes for me and for the kids. Thinking about where we were at a year ago...so in love but just so unsure of how this would all work...I am just so damn proud of everything we have accomplished together. He has truly become not just a father but an AMAZING one to my children, who love him more and more every day. As do I. I still get butterflies when I think of him, I adore his face and his body :) and his heart. I love seeing him as a son and a brother, as a father, and I can't wait to see him as my husband. The thought makes me positively giddy.
Another big thing that flourished this year was my relationship with my kids. I posted in my resolutions last year that I really wanted to concentrate on nurturing them and our relationship, after coming of a place of just survival. My middle child who would not allow hugs or kisses from anyone but her father just spent the morning in my bed, in my arms snuggled up to me. My son is confiding his feelings in me and talking about things I never thought he'd talk about. We've discovered our mutual love for basketball games and I'm working on finding more and more in common with him. My youngest is absolutely growing and processing and I couldn't be more proud of who she is becoming. The kids and I are solid. I can honestly say that, and that it just continues to grow.
The 5 of us are becoming a family. The kids go to Mr. W for things and help just as much, maybe even sometimes more often, than me. While in Colorado on our vacation last week, we took our very first family picture. It was a huge deal to me, and I absolutely love it. It wasn't forced or fake, but an accurate portrayal of our life right now. The five of us having a great time together, chaos and craziness but tons of love. And three kids who get to see their mom loved and respected for the first time in their lives. A year ago, Mr. W had not yet met my oldest two kids and would only briefly visit with my youngest. Who would've thought...
Friendship was HUGE in 2010. In my group of friends, we had a very rattling situation occur that had the potential to tear us all apart. Instead we circled the wagons and held on tight to each other, and rallied around one who we thought just might not make it through. I'm proud to say that friend is doing so well and is growing and stronger everyday. And recently, I've been bonding with Mr. W's closest friends and brothers. I love these people all just so much. It honestly makes my heart swell in my chest to think of them all and the roles they have had in mine and Mr. W's life. The greatness of getting older is coming to a place where you have purposefully surrounded yourself by a select group of people who bring nothing but joy, goodness, support, and growth into your life. I really feel like this year, I reached that point. I love my life and all the people in it, and their roles in my happiness and growth.
Also for the first time in my life, I not only LIKE my future in-laws, I freaking ADORE them. We share the same values and priorities, and while this shouldn't be surprising considering how open Mr. W has been to my kids, I've been so touched that his family has been just as open. They came over for Christmas and brought my children gifts and attention, and the kids could not be more thrilled to have yet another set of grandparents to love. In each of his family members I see a piece of the puzzle as to how Mr W became who he is. I'm just so thrilled to be a part of such a tight knit group of people whom I truly admire.
When I think of 2010 I will think of being surrounded by love, learning how to let that love in through all my fears, support, travel, new beginnings.
I've learned that love, all love, takes work.
I've learned that j'adore Paris, mexico, San Francisco, Colorado, or anywhere I go with Mr. W.
I've learned that fear is a defense mechanism stemming from anxiety and control. And that it can tear apart a relationship in an instant.
I've learned how to trust again.
I've learned how to have patience.
I've learned that there ARE good men out there and that I have one of the best.
I've learned that I'm worth it.
Happy New Year's. To New Beginnings!!!