Our 2012

When I began praying about looking for a new job about 2 years ago, I never dreamed that God would lead me to stay at home.  It was so far from anything that I had ever dreamed of or wanted for my life. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

I remember the day I asked Justin to go to lunch with me.  I felt so strongly that God was leading me toward resigning to be with the boys.  We just had a bad run of kiddo illness (one of way too many) where we both had missed worked and were so frustrated.  I remember crying in the restaurant and saying that I think its what He wants me to do. He has opened any other job opportunities, he has put numerous "random" conversations with people about it in my path, and I think its what I am supposed to.  I was terrified.  Not only of losing my career, which was such a source of identity for me but also of spending all day every day taking care of 2 year old twins.  Seriously.  I never really even baby sat kids growing up because it just wasn't my thing!

As I write this one year after embarking on this full time mommy adventure I feel so much more confident about the next year ahead of me.  While I was busy with the boys straight out of the gate, I went through such an adjustment period from the real world.  I was lonely.  I felt isolated.  All my friends were still working moms and I had no adult conversation face to face for days if Justin was out of town.  There is no manual.  No "standard operating procedures" for dealing with tantrums, arguements, accidents, and all the things that go along with full time parenting every day all day.

I cried the first day at MOPS because I felt like I was drowning.  I remember talking to a friend who asked me about who my friends were and play dates and things.  I told her I didn't have any.  She, also being a stay at home mom, looked at me and said, " you will not survive this without other stay at home moms.  You have got to really make an effort to make friends."

Here is the amazing part.  I began praying.  I seriously added to my daily prayers that He would bring people in my life that would support me and encourage me in this journey.  That could help me with the boys. That could help me maintain my sanity.  

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

And the Lord has richly blessed me!  Never in my life could I have ever imagine the blessings of friends that He brought in my life.  It really took about 6 months and it took a lot of His courage in me but I made friends.  I took the steps and met people at play gyms.  Then called them.  He brought me into a new amazing MOPS table.  He brought friends in my life that invited me to other groups that made even more wonderful friends.   

Christmas at MOPS

Faithbridge Women's Group

Making blankets at MOPS
We have loved all our play dates this year!  Both with my "working mom" friends and my "stay at home mom" friends.

Our buds Parker and Preston - splash pad date

Our friend Ben

Hanging with Parker and Preston at their gymnastics party 
swimming party
Twin mom park date

I was looking back through all the pictures of 2012 tonight making our annual year end slide show.  I am overwhelmed and blessed by the amazing amount of family and travel time we had this year.  Every year of my life since I graduated college, my time has been managed tightly by my job.  Holidays, vacations, etc.  This year if an opportunity came up, we were blessed enough to be able to go.  The boys have traveled and experienced so many new things this year and all with our families. We are grateful that they are so loved.  They had a blast on their beach trips, mountain trips, water parks, resorts, farms, and living out little boy dreams. 

This year brought an incredible amount of changes to our lifestyle too.   One of our main resolutions resolved around health and getting fit.  We changed the way we ate.  We changed the way we shopped.  We changed the way we worked out :-)  Because in January of last year I couldn't even run a mile and now I am planning on running a 10k next year.  Justin trained for the Houston Marathon and got up to 18 miles but an IT band injury derailed his plans.  He took up cycling.   He lost around 80 lbs.  Can you believe this transformation????

But you know how He blessed me even more?  The chance to wake up everyday with this family of mine.  He has given me strength when I didn't think I could make it through another hour without losing it.  He gave me grace when I made mistakes. He gave me sweet moments that made it clear I am living out my purpose according to His plan.  There have been some really hard days.  But there has been so much JOY.  Life with 2 toddlers is full of laughter.  Full of giggles. Full of hugs and kisses.  Full of crazy silly antics that I would have missed if I had been busy fulfilling "my plans".  I know it won't last forever.  I know they won't wake up every morning wanting to snuggle mom before the day starts.  I know they won't always want to climb in my lap and watch cartoons.  They won't always think I am a super hero and the best at playing Rescue Bots.  Or that I make the best lunch and snacks.  Or that my kisses heal every boo boo. But for 2012 they did.  I am grateful for every single moment.

Love, The Riley's
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