I know, I know, it's supposed to be 12 photos from the year, but my mathematical brain just gets hung up on things like FOURTEEN in 20-FOURTEEN, so you'll forgive me for adding two extra photos? Oh thank you. Linking up with Dwija and friends!
Here's my first bonus photo - it's my favorite shot from the year. I took this on Mother's Day as we walked near the ocean after a yummy breakfast. I had Declan strapped to me, asleep, and my bigger kids were running up and down the hills, but paused politely for this gem.
Okay, here we go in monthly fashion...this is JANUARY. I think 2014 taught me to be so thankful for my blessings and my role as a mom. I honestly have not loved being a mom more than in the past year. It's been super crazy busy, but the kids are all so wonderful and healthy and funny and cute, and I just love being with them about 98% of the time. The other 2% of the time, I'm wondering how we got here??
FEBRUARY - month of the double birthday. This boy gave me the greatest birthday gift by making me a mom, and it's always fun celebrating together. I'm hiding my huge Baby Martini Bump in this photo, but he was large and in charge during the month, and I wasn't afraid of showing it. I also dumped my purse and decided that natural childbirth would be my Lenten sacrifice.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Look at those big brothers holding Xander's hands - brotherly love! MARCH was the month of waiting for Declan's arrival. It was a long hard month, and as it drew to a close with no signs of labor, I was feeling very discouraged. I wrote about some of the comments I got this month - and it seemed to strike a nerve! But we did have some fun times in there too, and lived with my parents for 2 weeks as I (wrongly) thought labor was imminent. Turns out Declan was a squatter.
But then....APRIL! And Declan Kolbe was born! He was loooooooved right away :) I wrote his birth story (which was a very good experience for me). My maternity leave was a big happy blur, and I loved being home, but forgot how hard it could be! Easter was wonderful as well, though I barely remember it, thank God for photos!
In MAY, Declan was baptized on our 12th wedding anniversary. I went back to work, and had to leave my happy, skinny, sweet baby with the nanny. He didn't even cry, but his mama did. Stupid bills that need to be paid.
JUNE was Father's Day and our town's 5k race that Phil ran with Andrew and Eamon in 2014. I jumped back on the exercise bandwagon, and Maggie graduated from Kindergarten. We had a nice peaceful beginning to our summer.
In JULY, we went to watch the Patriots practice on Alexander's 3rd birthday, and Pat Patriot signed our jerseys. Phil ran a new summer camp for three weeks in July, and it pretty much dominated our family life. But the kids loved it, and Phil did an amazing job. We had a great, fit, and happy month, pondered college decisions, and mourned the loss of a mother we never knew.
We made our annual AUGUST trip to hang out with Phil's family in Maryland. My Dad found out he needed open heart surgery, had it, and recovered so well. Thanks be to God! The kids started a fresh school year at a new school, and the summer drew to a close...too quickly, as always.
Eamon turned the great eight in SEPTEMBER. Alexander started school, and this Mama breathed a sigh of relief! I practically went bald, had my thyroid checked, but it was just a case of the postpartums. One of our children struggled for the first time in school, and we had to adjust our parenting style. Maggie taught me a lesson in being more sympathetic, and soccer season started.
Andrew made double digits in OCTOBER, and our lives became unbelievably busy in the midst of coordinating school, work, four soccer teams, and a newborn. But we made it to the end, celebrated Halloween and ....
.....got a visit from Sarah (the other bonus photo from 2014)
NOVEMBER was a month for slowing down and celebrating with family - All Saints Day, and Thanksgiving. Basketball season started for John-Paul and Andrew, and blogging took a backseat on my priority list. Though I'm hoping to change that in the new year!
And the last month of the year was a lot of fun, with some sickness thrown in to see how we roll. Alexander got blessed by the Bishop, Eamon received his First Reconciliation, St. Nick came to visit, and Christmas happened. DECEMBER - Phew! Just like that, another year full of wonderful blessings and crazy schedules comes to a close. We are feeling happy and peaceful and looking forward to a wonderful 2015, God willing!
P.S. Please pray for a classmate of ours on Our Lady's feast day. This awesome family needs all the love and support and prayers they can get! Thank you.