January- We started the year with Ben still unemployed after being laid off in 2013. I refocused my stress and worry to working out and joined a biggest loser type group. We just plugged along with life, praying and hoping that we would be guided down our right path.
February- This was the month that turned our lives upside down. Early in the month, we decided to throw caution to the wind and surprised the kids with a three day trip to Disneyland. It was one of the best vacations we have had so far. It helped us reconnect as a family and it was exactly what we needed after all the stress of job hunting. Then right after Valentine's Day, Ben got a call about a job offer in Lehi, Utah. We had decided that we had wanted to try to move north but I guess I was kind of in denial about it actually happening. Little did I know, the Lord had great plans for us once we sacrificed and moved. So in the middle of February, Ben moved in with his brother and started working while I stayed in Henderson and packed and helped the kids. We were separated for 2 weeks before the kids and I made a trip up to see Ben.
March- Ben and I spent the first weekend in March together and then were apart for pretty much the rest of the month. It was probably one of the hardest months of our marriage and my motherhood. I really struggled being a single mom and it was like the kids knew how to make it even harder on me. Some how we managed to make it through. I think my long walks and hours in the pool helped keep me from going absolutely insane. It also helped my lose 35 pounds in 3 months! My sister gave birth to my adorable niece in March too. I turned 31 the last weekend we lived in Henderson and Ben came down to help us finish packing and load up to move. I was pretty happy to have survived March and be reunited with my husband and have my family back together.
April- It was a month of adjustments. The kids started their new school 45 minutes from where we were living. We all were squished into a one bedroom basement where Ben and I had our bed in the main living space. We were far away from my family and surrounded by new family. It was a crazy transition for us.
May- May brought warmer weather and our family getting life figured out. We seemed to settle into a good routine and felt like being up in Utah was exactly where we needed to be. Ben was still working, I was still driving forever to get the kids to school and then walking up to 7 miles everyday, and our family was enjoying getting to know our Utah family better.
June- For the first week of June, the kids and I headed south to Henderson and spent some much needed time with my family. It was a great time away. After we came home, I was shockingly surprised with a positive pregnancy test. Luckily, it was summer and we spent our days being very lazy. Both of my boys had a birthday and we spent an amazing day in the temple with all of Ben's siblings and parents.
July- We felt confident in the pregnancy and made our big announcement. It was so nice getting so many excited well-wishers and being able to spread our joy around. But July also brought some rocky times with Ben's job. We muddled through and moved into our current basement apartment toward the end of the month. Ben and I also celebrated the 14 year anniversary of our first date.
August- We started the month with Soren's baptism. It was such special day for him and our family. We were so grateful for all the family that drove near and far to share in his day with us. August brought more adjustments as we worked on our new home and got ready for school to start. We also received the exciting news that we were adding a little brother to our family.
September- We continued to try and figure out this whole basement and Utah living. The kids made even more new friends and loved their teachers. We spent a great day at Lagoon for Ben's work day. Then we ended the month with a trip to Henderson. I finally have a picture of me pregnant as the same time as one of my sisters and we welcomed home my cousin Zack from his mission. I can't believe how much my kids grew over the two years while he was away.
October- This month brought some struggles for us. Ben's job started running out of work as the winter weather moved in. But we got more of our apartment finished and the kids had a great homemade Halloween.
November- In November, we welcomed a little snow, another new niece, a birthday girl, a bigger belly, and all of Ben's family for Thanksgiving. We were also forced to welcome unemployment once again and lots of stress and worry. We had many moments where we just couldn't figure out why we were so strongly urged to move to Utah, only to have so many trials. Honestly, we still haven't figured it out yet but are trying to have the faith needed to keep moving forward, hoping for good things to come.
December- As my belly grew so did our worry and stress. But gratefully, like I blogged recently, we have had many angels watching over us and we were extremely blessed the month of December. We had a really good Christmas despite it all and some gorgeous snowfall.
As we leave another year behind, I'm eager to see it go and then discover what this new year has in store for us. We are so excited to have our life turned upside down by a newborn joining our family in just a few short weeks. We are constantly praying for a new job for Ben and for life to balance its self out for us. I feel like we received so many blessing this past year but also so many trials. Our faith has been tested and the struggles have been real. Satan has really tried to get to us but we continue to fight and hope that we will come out of this trial all the better. My biggest goal for the new year is to find peace and be still. It's almost laughable knowing we are having a baby soon after a 8 and a half year gap but I want to be able to step back and find that peace and reassurance that He has got it all in control. I hope this New Year finds all of our family and friends happy and healthy and blessed.