Monday, January 2, 2012

Goodbye 2011, You were reasonably good to us :)

Hello. My name is Lauren and I am the worst blogger of all time. Phew, glad that is over.

Try as I may, I just cannot get into the blogging groove like so many of you! I'm not giving up blogging altogether, but I am giving up on being good at this. It's just not in me, just as I suspected when I sat down to write my very first post.
Mike just left with Eva for diving practice and I am listening to poor Sammer-bammer practically hack up a lung while trying to take a nap. My little fella is so exhausted, but so sick and rest is not coming easy. So, I am alone for the first time in what feels like FOREVER, and it is January 2nd, so this time was begging to be filled with a New Year's post...

But, I have no clue what this year will bring. None what-so-ever. So, instead, I will tell you a few things about 2011. I'll do my best to just sum up the year with whatever comes to mind. It won't be in chronological order because I don't have time to get out the calendar :) I'll miss a ton because I have a feeling Sam isn't going to be sleeping for long. Here goes...

I welcomed 3 nephews in 2011! Gashaw, Israel, and Denver came into our family and are an amazing blessing. That makes 9 nieces and nephews for Mike and I.

My Grammie died the day before Eva's birthday on February 17th. I miss her. I think of her constantly as my house now holds quite a few of her precious things. She was a talented and generous lady. I am blessed to have known her.

I was part of a big fundraising effort for No One In Need (my brother-in-law and sister's non-profit helping to raise funds for adopting families). A beef a beer with silent auction and raffle- CRAZY in terms of the amount of work and organization, but more so in the way God blessed it and made it fruitful. Lots of money was raised that helped families adopt. Kudos to Bryan and Sara for being the big guns behind it all.

I took my first Yoga class with Miss Ang. We scored a "20 classes for $20" deal on LivingSocial. I'm hooked. LOVE IT and have scooped up 2 more deals (at 2 different studios) to get me at least 2 more months worth.

Eva took swim lessons. CRAZY swim lessons that taught her how to swim independently at 3.5 years old. She's had plenty of practice and has really gotten amazingly good!

We got our wills done. The whole shebang. So depressing; so necessary. You need to do it, even though talking about who will get your kids when you die and how long you want to stay on life support is SUPER SUPER not fun, you really gotta do it. Georgia Stone of Stone & Stone did ours. She's awesome; consider her if you need them done.

Eva turned 3 and Sam turned 1 at the start of the year. That means I am about to have a 2 and 4 year old. WHAT?! Time has gone by much too fast. "Cherish the little moments, Lauren. Don't miss this!", I tell myself CONSTANTLY.

I started pinnig on Pinterest. This was the start of many a craft project and I am proud to say I have surprised myself at my crafty abilities. I went through a minor addiction for a few months, but I am back on track and only spending a few minutes a day on it. I actually DO many of the things that I PIN :) Here are a few of my projects.

E is for Eakin- Mike's littlest sister

H is for Harper, my friend Bethanie's baby girl

W is for Wells. duh.

I went to an insanely fun reunion with college girls in August. It makes me tear up just thinking about it and how much I miss all of them.

I think I made a record number of meals this year for friends who had babies or who were sick or going through some other difficulty. I am always happy to bless a family in this small way if possible.

I did the flowers for quite a few weddings last spring and summer. I'm lined up to do several more this year (June seems to be the month of choice- don't expect me to be available that month). Ordering and estimating and all that is very stressful, but once the flowers arrive and I start putting things together, it's very therapeutic (although not so much for my back).

Eva had a little foray into ballet. It didn't last long because she began to cry before classes, not wanting me to leave. She said, "It takes too long for the mommies to come back and the teacher holds my waist too tight." (the class was one hour and the teacher held her waist so she didn't fall on her head while doing a cartwheel). The reality is that the time is bad- she's too tired by early evening- and the teacher wasn't warm and fuzzy enough for her sensitivity level. We are looking for alternatives.

Eva's first 2 trips to the dentist were this year. She chipped her tooth- the same one- twice. $350 later, we have a smoothed down tooth and clean chompers.

In December, Sam was evaluated and qualified for Early Intervention services for Occupational and Speech Therapy. We are hopeful that these therapies will be helpful in terms of dealing with many of the struggles that we have encountered with him over the past year.

Record breaking number of sick days here this year, folks. I cannot even begin to calculate the amount of snot, poop, and vomit that occurred because we got what seemed like every single virus possible. Several times there was vomit at very inopportune times (a birthday party- sorry, Foster- and a play date- sorry Kesh and Julie). Twice, we were very worried about Sam as he had serious breathing trouble and more recently, a fever of 106 for several days, but we are blessed that none of us had to be hospitalized or had more serious complications. The Lord was gracious to us.

Sick eyes :(
Super sick eyes :(
One of many breathing treatments for both kids

Mike had real success with Beachbody coaching this past year. He is making a steady income that has helped us to stay afloat financially. I am so grateful and blessed beyond measure to be married to the hardest working man I know. He is also coaching diving for Rustin again- his 4th job. He often takes Eva to practice and she gets to swim and go off the board. It's her favorite thing in the world right now because she gets to be with her daddy. (He also plowed last year and probably will again this year- BOO for my husband being up over 24 hours at a time in the winter.)

4th vacation to the Outerbanks with the Wells side of the family was tons of fun, as usual.

We had lots of fun outings this year- countless trips to the playground, moon bounce festival, long wood gardens, the railroad, the orchard, the farm, Cherry Crest farms, Disney on Ice, etc. The list goes on and on.

Eva ended her first year of preschool and started her second. She LOVES it.
Closing program in May

Someone knew ALL the motions and performed them with gusto

Someone else had trouble with his pants

First day this September

I took a photography class with my sister in law and bought a new lens for my camera. This means I have actually taken a few half decent pictures of my kids this year, which was the goal when I took the class. I'm not artsy or creative, so my mind doesn't even remotely get how to take a really good, aesthetically-pleasing picture, but I'm at peace with that :)

I dyed a white rug that was 11 FEET by 9 FEET in my bathtub. I dyed it navy. I don't want to discuss this experience further. I haven't recovered.

More seriously, I have watched some friends walk through some horrifically painful trials, and have wondered about God's plan and purpose in all the sadness. I am reminded, as I have been over and over again throughout my life, that He is good in all of it and my questioning of Him doesn't change a thing, nor His love for me (a good friend once said, "God isn't offended by your questioning- He is aware that you are only human"). He is still deserving of my praise and my life. I will continue to surrender to Him, knowing that I will see how His plan all fit together someday. I know I will have to wait until I join Him in heaven for most of it to make any sense.

HELLO 2012. Please be kind to us :)

(Pics of 2011 coming soon. No really, I promise. SOON.)

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We're the Wells family. We currently consist of Michael (husband and daddy), Lauren (wife and mama), Evangeline (daughter and princess), and Samuel (son and prince). We live a pretty simple life loving the many blessings that God grants us each and every day.
Mike is a genius carpenter/contractor and works throughout neighboring counties. Lauren stays at home with Eva and Sam most of the time, but works a few days a week as a therapist.
More than anything else, we love being together as a family- trips to the gardens, swimming at Grammie and Papa's house, and bike rides & walks are probably our most frequent activities. We're surrounded by our family (siblings and parents); they all live within 30 minutes of us!
That's us in a nut shell.
We're thankful you dropped by our site!