i'll have the bowl of cherries, with a side of all my baggage.

it has been way too long since my last blog. so, i am not only overdue for an update... but, after celebrating my 31st birthday this week, i am also feeling sentimental enough to review the past year.

i have been very outspoken about my feelings on turning 30.  i have had lots of hopes and dreams for my thirties, as well as goals i've set for myself.  i am one year into my thirties and i don't know that i have accomplished any of them.  sadly, this year felt less like a coming-into-my-own, year of total fabulousness, and more like that scene from The Neverending Story, where atreyu is desperately trying to pull his horse out of quick sand.  i don't know if i am atreyu, or if i am the horse, or if am somehow both.  maybe i am neither, and i really just love that movie.  either way, that huge flying dog was awesome, aaaaand this was a hard year.

it was also a great year.  below is a sort of a highlight reel from this year:

  • we started serving in the children's ministry at our church.
  • we finally joined a small group at our church.
  • i pretended to have a business, which turned into really having a business.
  • we completed all the steps of our adoption process, which means that we are just WAITING for an expectant mother to choose our family!
  • i worked hard at establishing some boundaries, and have done pretty well in actually sticking with them.  
  • annalee was one of two kids chosen from her school for a scholarship to attend a summer camp for two weeks.  she was nominated by her teacher and selected based on the fact that she "never ever lost a single "bee" for making a bad choice in the whole three years at the school."  this was a proud mommy moment!  her artwork was also selected to be on the front cover of the yearbook for the second year in a row!
  • both the girls are among the highest level readers in their classes, and harper just had his pre-k graduation ceremony.  he wore a luigi suit for the rest of the day, mustachio included.  if you saw him in the suit, you would agree that this is highlight-worthy.
  • london is daytime potty-trained.  accidents are few and far between, but asking for gummies as a potty treat is frequent and obsessive.  i am so concerned about the enamel on her teeth.  don't judge me.  i have had someone in diapers for 8 1/2 years, so just shut up so much.
  • tom and i have been married for nine years, and i think he still likes me.
  • i got tatted like the wild, unpredictable broad that i am.
  • we are planning our next big road trip for July - making this part three of our Capuano Tour de USA.
  • annalee and marlie started ballet this year, which is a dream come true for marlie especially.  she has been twirling and ballerina walking everywhere we go for years now.
  • i saw my friend have a baby.
  • we have been asked to be a part of some cool events that raise awareness about adoption.  
  • i have been able to work closely with all the kids' teachers and spend a decent amount of time in their schools.  this is my favorite part of being a stay-at-home business mogul of a mother.  
  • i have gone through some really hard times this year, and have felt so supported by my friends and family.  i know people always say that, but honestly you would be jealous if you knew how great my friends are, and how amazing my family is.
  • i am blessed. beyond. words.
now... i have no intentions of being one of those people who sends the hoity-toity christmas newsletter with all their lifetime achievements with a holly border around it.  my hilarious and talented friend sam once remarked in a christmas newsletter about her husband's receding hairline, just to be sure she didn't paint an unrealistic picture of perfection.  so, i will walk in her footsteps and i offer you: The Lowlights of 2012
  • we have no idea how long this adoption wait will be, so we will be living in a perpetual state of paper pregnancy for many months, or potentially years.  this means constantly saying things like "well, unless we have the baby by then..." and "just in case we get the call about the baby..." or "can you imagine this with one more baby?" or "how are we going to do this with one more baby?"  and "where will we put that baby?" and a lot of "have you heard anything about a baby?"
  • while we have done a great deal of fundraising for the adoption, we will still owe a huge chunk of money at the time of placement... approx. $8k i think??  this is bad news y'all.
  • i realized that i am a people-pleaser.  this shocked the junk out of me because i can't remember the last time i felt like i pleased anyone!  maybe i'm not a people-pleaser... maybe a better description is that i am a pathological approval junkie. (technical term.)  this has been a really fun adventure of a realization... action packed with rage and disappointment, and a dash of realizing my own narcissism!  what fun!
  • harper is still having a hard time staying dry over night.  so, that means two kids in pull-ups at night... even if we are diaper free during the day time.  poor buddy just can't seem to stop peeing more than any other human on earth has ever peed, every single night.  frustrating, exhausting, so much laundry.
  • laundry.  i know i just said it in the last bullet point, but if you saw my basement right now... you would  acknowledge that this should be at least five separate low points.  between the pee and the dirt and the food spills and the drink spills and then all the pee... the laundry is OUT. OF. CONTROL. 
  • managing the house and the kids and our schedule has proved to be considerably more challenging when you are dragging yourself in and out of clinical insanity. (see below for details.)
  • i  have done some relational remodeling, which has been for my overall health and sanity... but, the removal of, and rearranging of, certain people and priorities has been one of the most painful things i have ever endured.  out of respect for my family's privacy, i go into no details... but, believe me when i say that breaking up with your loved ones is one way to ensure that you'll stay in an almost constant state of ugly-crying for some time.  i am back to looking gorgeous when i cry, so do not worry about me.
  • the above has taken a toll on tom and the kids, the extent of which i am not sure i will know.
  • a dear friend lost a beloved niece to cancer, and when her heart broke... mine did too.
  • i continue to struggle with the circular guilt dilemma.  i fail, i feel guilty, i try extra hard, i resent feeling over-extended, i fail, i feel guilty.  
so there you have it...  the receding hairline of my life.  my life is great, and i am not complaining at all... my life IS a bowl of cherries, but there are pits and stems and some pretty bruised places in there and i never wanted to be anything if not honest about it all.   

i guess that's it.  my year in review.  for this next year, as one in my early thirties, i think i am lowering my standards a little.  maybe i will be fabulous next year, but this year, i am just just going to continue the hard work of uprooting sin and sick from my life.  the pits, the stems and the bruises.  i am praying for some healing this year.  and, above everything, that i will love people well and look a little more like Jesus at the end than i did at the beginning.  

i guess that, in itself, is pretty fabulous.