In truth, I've also been at a loss for what to write. I've spent the last several months trying to step back from life and re-evaluate. What am I going to accept, and what am I going to try to change?
It's one of life's toughest questions. Some will tell you to accept everything - it’s God’s will, or "it's just life." Some will tell you that if you want something, you just have to put your mind to it. I don’t think either philosophy is completely true. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle - there are things in life we can’t change, and things we can.
Lately I've come to the conclusion that being happy isn't about overlooking the negative (tried that!), but learning to accept it along with the positive. They come together. That goes for life, although there are times when the negative seems to outweigh the positive. And that goes for me, and for how I see myself.
It’s been a “self-discovery” process that's been extremely rewarding. To be honest, there are times in the past when I've despised myself - for my body, for my failures, for my unhappiness with working full-time. But I've been re-learning to see myself as God sees me - as those who love me see me, and as I hope maybe one day my children will see me - not perfect, but good and faithful. I feel freer and happier because of it.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
So, while I'm sure it's nothing earth-shattering for you, that at least sums up my thoughts over the last 6 months (I literally have pages and pages).
And I think these pictures will sum up the year fairly nicely, too. I've spent so much time with friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers, there's no way I could share every single experience. Some things are too personal, anyway.
Disclaimer: I'm not that great about taking pictures, so there are quite a few important events and people that aren't represented here, like the Steinmetz and Gneiting Family Reunions, visiting my friend Rachel in Boise, Thanksgiving with Ben's family, and Christmas with my family. (Sorry!)
Ben and me at Christopher's and Melody's Wedding in May
Ben with Mom and Dad Steinmetz
Christopher (our nephew) married Melody in May (and they're having a baby this month, making us a GREAT-Aunt and Uncle...Wow!)
My mom came to visit last spring!
Ben and I went to a Diamond Rio concert at the beginning of the summer.
My niece, Emily, and nephew, Joshua at a family campout
Our nephews Jaron and Noah making silly faces for the camera
Our friend Roman threw a fancy graduation party!
My littlest nephew Micah discovered he loved the taste of my satin scarf. (He licked it for 5 minutes straight!)
Our nephew David married Hilary in September
Ben's sister Rachel with her sweet family...We love these guys!
More fun with nieces and nephews!
Ben and I happened to meet "Lyle" from the movie Napoleon Dynamite.
One my best friends Tana and her little boy Cooper came to visit!
Disco dancers for Halloween
Our friends Bobby and Kristen joined us for a sleigh ride.
Ben and me with the famous Clydesdales
Ben went hunting out somewhere in the middle of the Idaho mountain wilderness
He makes a cute hunter!
My little Genevieve was being snuggly...She's started patting my face every time I see her. I get to see our best friends Rebecca and Luke Ritchie and help watch their little Genevieve almost every week.
We spent a lovely Christmas with my family in Georgia...We got to ring in the New Year with loved ones there, too!