Happy New Year!

Happy new year! I have always been into making resolutions and I'd like a pat on the back for baking bread from scratch with the kids, rearranging my living room, and turbo-kicking it at the Y all today. What started out as resolve to continue/start some good habits has now morphed into dreams of me hanging out with Jamie Oliver (our BFF from across the pond... he just doesn't know it yet), and then flying back for my appearance on the Nate Berkus show, followed by a smashing spring as part of a new YMCA success story. I need some middle ground. For instance, I only know how to clean and rearrange one way:

Me: "Honey, why don't we take everything out of this room and start over?"

McHusband: "What do you mean everything?"

Me: "Like the furniture, the stuff. Maybe we should repaint while we're at it?"

McHusband: "Well, you know, it would only take like 20 minutes to kinda straighten up..."

I like befores and afters, what can I say? It all began with a new rug purchase at a bargain flea market a few days ago. That is a really glamorous name for what the place really was: booths of crap. But, amidst all of that I found a gem. An 8x8 beautiful hand-tufted rug for $75 and, I believe, it was brand-new. At least, it looks, smells, and was wrapped as if it was. I have googled to learn that I, ahem, “saved” hundreds of dollars. Bringing the rug in meant rearranging all of the furniture in the family room. Which meant moving some things upstairs. Which meant rearranging the rooms upstairs too.

Thankfully, McHusband compromised and agreed it was a good day to make some major adjustments around here. Doesn't he look happy? Ok, just kidding, he was pretending to be a wax statue. So random. Also, thankfully, the kids sugar must’ve finally worn off from Christmas at my grandma’s and they had a normal nap day. 1-5pm… awesome.

In the midst of all of this, I’ve thought a great deal about resolutions. No matter the specifics, maybe you’ll agree that they really always come down to a few basic categories:

1. Cherish the stuff

2. Cherish the relationships

3. Cherish the body, mind, and soul

In order to even move forward though to the new year mentally, I must pause to say goodbye to the old year. This normally takes me the first 2 weeks of January. I’ve looked through past journals, I know. I catch moonbeams. I store them in jars. The burlap-wrapped, twine-covered kind. Then I look at them nostalgically. I've always been quite melancholy this way - celebrating with glee small joys and instantly recognizing with weeping the fragility of life the next moment. I've blogged about this before, so you may know that I always write a goodbye letter on the eve of each birthday. It started with "goodbye 7." So, yeah, I've been this way for a long time. It's just hard for me to look ahead without pausing to grieve a chapter past.

I remember a couple of years ago before McBaby #2 arrived when McHusband and McBaby #1 and I sang Christmas songs and watched the flakes flutter out the window. That sounds too good to be true – actually, it kinda was. McHusband and I sang Christmas carols while McBaby #1 yelled at us to be “all done” and screamed “more Miley Cyrus”. Apparently, she doesn’t find “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming” as musically captivating as “Party in the USA”. Still, it was a night at home, just the 3 of us and my heart was full.

In Genesis, the bible speaks of childbirth. (“… I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” ~ Genesis 3:16) Before I was a mom, I always figured that this passage was referring to a physical pain. I understand that pain on this side of having children, but watching McBabies develop in the last handful years shows me that this passage is much more.

Every time McBabies enter a new stage, birthed, if you will, into a new season, they leave the old behind. It is not so much the pain of the childbirth as it is the letting go of the opposite that accompanies it. Even now as I’m overjoyed at the thought of delivering another precious miracle in a matter of months, I feel grief at the thought of going from 4 to 5 and losing this dynamic in a way. I also feel grief thinking on my first separation from the baby – the first of many times of letting go, I’m sure.

I’ve come to accept the truth of the pains the Scriptures talk about. Part of saying hello to anything is taking the hard time to acknowledge the goodbye.