I've spent so much time this week thinking about 2017,
and I'm still coming up with an empty hand when I consider what to say.
Honestly, it's been kind of a rough year.
I feel a little sheepish even writing that, because I can't point to any hugely significant trials that made it rough...it was more just constant "sand in my shoes," as my mom puts it.
I spent so much time this year in the midst of administrative headaches,
tied up with a baby who refuses to sleep the way I think he ought to,
and packing/moving/unpacking/setting up a new life twice.
I've been more distracted than ever from mothering my children,
we've been given incorrect information on multiple occasions that has cost us many thousands of dollars,
nearly every customer service interaction I've had has been a fight,
and I've had LOTS of opportunities to practice patience.
My schedules have gone out the window,
balance has been nonexistent,
and I feel that the year has been somewhat aimless--just trying to get through each day.
I guess life in general has left me feeling very burned out.
A month or two ago,
I felt impressed to spend a little more time with my boys each night.
Instead of giving a quick kiss and hurrying off to begin my frantic rush of work,
I began spending about a minute with each of them individually,
rubbing/scratching their backs and thanking them for something specific they did that day.
It didn't take long for them to catch on that this was a new routine,
and they began looking forward to their back rub and my gratitude expressed every night.
It only adds about 3 minutes onto my tasks for the day,
but over the course of a year that equals 365 minutes spent individually with each boy-more than 6 hours of time spent expressing my love and gratitude for them!
That little routine has brought to mind the scripture from the Book of Mormon that states,
"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."
I think that may be my mantra for 2018,
and it's what I'm telling myself as I review 2017.
My efforts as a mother this year may not have been much,
but I believe that they will be made into so much more as I turn to the Savior.
Happy New Year, friends.
A Few Highlights: