Peace, Love, & Joy                       

The past year has brought moments of peace, lots of love, and unending joy to our family.  While peaceful moments are hard to come by in a house with 4 people who all like to use their language skills, they still exist and sometimes they aren’t altogether quiet.  Our favorite peaceful moments are those spent together.  In spite of all the growing she has done this year, I’ve learned that Littles still fits perfectly in my arms with her head tucked under my chin.  The whisper of her breath as she drifts to sleep is magical.  Bigs prefers to have Husband snuggle him to sleep and often the peaceful moment is Bigs’ as Husband snoozes.  We’ve instituted family story time on Sunday nights where pajamas are required and we read no fewer than a dozen books together.  Husband and I sneak our own quiet moments in together after the children are asleep.  Date night has taken on a whole new meaning, but it is equally enjoyable to those of the past.  There is something tremendously satisfying about enjoying the solitude of a usually bustling house. 

Love overflows in our home.  There is no shortage of hugs or kisses.  Bigs is learning more about emotions and can fully express love verbally.  One night not long ago, I was bemoaning it being Daddy’s night to read him stories.  He held my hand and said, “It’s okay, Mommy.  You always have my love.”  The intersection of his dad’s great PR skills and a life lesson we hope is carried with him forever.  Bigs is not alone in his consoling nature.  Littles is always right there to pat someone on the head or back who is upset…Even when she was the instigator of the sadness. As Littles’ words continue to develop, no good night or good-bye is complete with out the three little words, “I love you.”  I am enamored by the way love grows to fill any gaps that exist.

If love overflows then joy erupts at our house.  If we were a company one of our core values would be laughter and we take it very seriously.  Mimi introduced a joyful game called “Serious.”  One person looks at another giving the most serious face possible and says the word to let the other player know they have been challenged.  One might expect the winner to be the person who can keep their straight face longer, but the prize goes to those who cannot contain the laughter and share it with those around them.  I have taken extra pleasure this year in seeking out the small moments where happiness is present and savoring them.  It has increased my desire to share them with others and teach our children to share their joy freely.  My husband is my role model as he doles out delight to our children effortlessly and without concern for his to do list.

Bigs (4) is so full of life.  He has an imagination that doesn’t stop and an insatiable curiosity.  Bigs’ key academic accomplishments this year include counting to a hundred, learning all of his letters, and bringing his first swear word home from school.  At least Husband said it came from school.  These pale in comparison to the friendships he is forming and his desire to be kind and inclusive to other kids at school.  His favorite activities include playing construction in the snow, doing puzzles, pretending to be superheroes, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and cavorting with his cousins.  Bigs has a minor obsession with hockey.  To call him a superfan is an understatement. 

Littles (2) somehow spent the past year going from baby to big girl, which she will tell you.  Her big milestones this year were learning to walk and talk, as well as growing 12 of the long awaited teeth, which of course didn’t help her sleep habits.  She is most often found with a big smile on her face, an invitation to play, and a bit of a runny nose.  We had a glimpse into our future when at 16 months she chased Husband around the house shaking the pair of shoes she wanted to wear and screaming to get his attention at her displeasure with his denial of her wish.  Littles’ favorite activities are reading books, telling anybody who will listen “no”, playing with her babies who are all named Papa, coloring (usually on paper), and singing in the shower. 

Husband and I are our usual selves and not changing nearly as quickly as our children.  Husband is always driving change at work using the latest social media, his phone chirps a lot, and there are tales of his directing YouTube videos.  I especially love watching him help young men who are starting their professional hockey careers become good stewards of the team within our community.  In addition to my job, I took a leadership role on the Board of a local non-profit this year.  It is challenging and a rewarding way of giving back. We were able to get away for a couple of long weekends without the kids to Naples, FL & NYC.  (Thanks, Mimi & Papa!) Husband fulfilled a lifelong dream of going to the US Open.  I got to experience the city in a way I never have in over a dozen trips. 

Our wish for you, dear friends, is that your holiday and 2014 be filled with Peace, Love, & Joy!


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