Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year 2013 in Review

I've been doing this kind of post for 3 years now and it's one of my favorite posts to write. (the other two can be found here and here) I love going back and reminiscing about the year and being reminded of what we did and what happened. But it is really hard to keep it to one picture for the month. This year I really notice how my boys have changed. People keep telling me, but looking back I can really see it. The two oldest boys went from being toddlers to little boys! I can't believe how much they've grown. It was also a year marked by lots of change.
This month was boring. The biggest thing that happened was I started
watching a baby 4 days a week. She fit right in and we loved her. But it took me all month to adjust to a new routine.
We celebrated Valentines day with heart quesadillas, breakfast out, and a date night
We went from  beautiful weather to snow and sledding. This picture
cracks me up from that month.

This one I chose 2 pictures. Our firstborn turned 4!!!! And we took a family Easter Picture. 
We also found out we were pregnant with our 4th baby (3rd living one) so that was exciting, but
I was sick the whole month.

This month is only marked by a wonderful trip to MN. 
My younger sister and her family was "commissioned" to head as missionaries
to serve in Spain. All original 6 Mayfields were able to be together
and we had a great time. So thankful for being able to take this trip

In May we celebrated Mother's day and Memorial Day
This picture is from Boulder on Memorial Day. I've wanted to go for a while
and this year we finally made it. Maybe one day I'll actually run in the big race there!

The boys learned how to fly a kite! We also were able to spend a long weekend
in the mountains with our Life group at a cabin! This group of people
have become like family to us. We are so thankful for them and blessed by them.
It's cool to see that "Community", the way God intended us to live, 
really does bless us, challenge us and draw us close to Him.
Richard and I were also able to get away for a night to reflect
on our precious baby that we lost at the end of the year. June 13th marked the
due date I had and it was really nice to be able to get away during that time.
This also marked the month when Richard got promoted at work to Project Manager.
Which you would think would be a good thing, but has been
stressful, and not a lot in return. But hey, trying to not focus on the negative.

We were able to take a really fun camping trip with Family this month. We drove over the mountains and camped with cousins and grandparents. It was REALLY fun. 
The boys went fishing with Grandpa, saw 2 bears, and ran around endlessly in the woods. They got super dirty and ate only junk food. And they were in heaven. :) 
p.s. I also chopped my hair off for the first time in my life. YIKES!

I had to put two pictures on here as well. B/c we did two exciting things this month. We
Spontaneously made it to a Broncos scrimmage at the stadium
with the boys. And although it got rained out (hail, wind, and rain) we had a really
fun time as a family and it was cool to do that with the boys.
We also took a camping trip with our Life group! It was so much fun once again to spend
time together with them. We love camping!!!

(ok, so maybe 2 pictures per month would be appropriate :) )
This month started out with a big move to a different condo in town. I a was like 32 weeks pregnant or something so as you can imagine - not the most fun. But very very thankful for this new place to call our home. It suits us much better.
Also our middle son turned 3!!!!
And on that same day we were prayed over to become a pastor of our church. There is so much to say about this. But I don't know how to quite say it. we are blessed beyond measure
by this church body. We have grown so much and our desire is to be helping in this way. It was
a huge answer to God's calling on our lives. We are still trying to figure out
what it looks like to be bi-vocational and how we will function and what our responsibilities
will officially be, but we are so thrilled with this.
The rest of the month I basically tried to survive and unpack our house!
This month was survival. The end of my pregnancy was rough and hard on me. I had a lot of uncomfortableness, tiredness, and pain. I had two showers for my baby which we were totally blessed by. We visited the Zoo (which turns out to be a yearly October thing for us to do). My mom came at the end of the month, and we had fun with a transformer and wolverine for
This month was clearly marked by introducing our 3rd boy into the world.
Peyton was born on November 6th and everything after that is a blur. :) 
The boys love him to death and he fits right into our family.
We had a quiet thanksgiving weekend. But other than that we just tried to figure out life as a family of 5. Richard and I also celebrated our 7th wedding Anniversary! 
Honestly I don't really know what happened this month. It flew by. We celebrated Christmas early as our own family entity for the first time ever. That was wonderful and simple and so sweet. 
We also traveled to Grand Junction for a big Christmas celebration and a family wedding. 
Richard also preached this month which is always "all-consuming". So we made it to the end of the year.

My word for this past year was "SERVE". As I look back on the year I can't say I did this well. In the last 6 months Richard has received a lot of responsibility outside the home with work and church. Which has in a way "forced" me to serve my husband and family in many more ways that sometimes I don't feel I can handle or always have the best attitude. Most of the year I felt physically weak and tired (from pregnancy) which deterred me from serving much outside my home!
So in looking to this new year the word I have prayed about and chosen is "GIVE". I want to give unconditionally. I want to NOT hold back. Give of my time, my energy, my resources and my possessions. Give to my children, give to my husband, my friends, my neighbors, my church. Give unreservedly, how Christ gave to us. Give knowing I leave this earth with nothing. Give knowing all I have (energy, time, possessions) all are a gift to me, I don't deserve them. 

I can't wait to see what this new year brings.
How our lives will change. This past year (really only 6 months)
was filled with many changes, housing, job responsibility,
new child, and church/pastor. What will this
new year bring???!!!?!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

We have made it to the coveted 6 Week Mark!!!!

I always tell new moms (trying to be an encouragement) to just make it to the 6 weeks mark and things will seem so much easier and better! It was something I have had to remind myself of lately too. And you know what! I still think it's true. I feel so much more myself now, we are settling into a routine, and I feel like going out for errands or play dates or responsibilities isn't so overwhelming and tiring. My new goal to make it to is 3 months!!! Half way there!!

I have put down all expectations for anything this Christmas season. I have tried to simply enjoy being SIMPLE - we barely got a tree up or Christmas cards ordered and mailed out. And you know what? -I'm totally fine with that. My goal is to Enjoy my bigger family and not put pressure on myself and let the boys enjoy simple things about the season. B/c we all know next year at this time will be totally different and I will be able to accomplish a lot more with more energy. I tried making homemade caramels this year! Something I've done every year of my entire life!!!! Something that in 7 years of marriage I have never messed up. And this year - I can't believe it but I must admit that I tried it 3 times and every time I messed it up!!! It's a delicate process but something I prided myself in mastering! Now I can no longer say that and cannot believe I wasted all those ingredients and time!!!! I'll chalk it up to having a newborn! That's it for my traditions this year. Now concentrate on wrapping presents - I hope I don't mess that up!

Things here at home are really starting to become enjoyable. I feel so much better and capable of handling life. :) Peyton has truly been a joy to our family. He is as easy as newborns can be and we all adore him. I am truly thankful for this little life. Since my last post we have started experiencing his smiles which is the best part of a newborn.

Watching his face light up with pure joy in seeing our faces. It only gets better from here on out. He is growing tons.
Life has been really busy around here with responsibilities to fulfill and every day life. (especially for Richard, which in turn makes me busier to keep up with more around the house) But we are a few days away from Christmas vacation and fun trip with family. We will make it. I'm happy to be able to say now that I'm excited about celebrating this simple Christmas with my family of boys.
Merry Christmas to you all!!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Musings from our First Month as Family of 5

I wanted to write a tiny update on our first month as a family of 5.
My labor was everything a labor should be, but in my experience rarely is. I labored at home for a good part of it, in fact all the beginning labor.  I only had to be in the hospital laboring for about 5 hrs which is very ideal. And despite my pleadings for a c-section to end it all or my begging for an epidural I managed to push him out with no medication. Richard kept telling me during the labor that I would feel so much better without that stuff. And he was right. Although if labor lasted any longer I don't know that I would've agreed with him. Nothing can describe the feeling of pushing a baby out and your wonderful baby being placed on you immediately for you to ENJOY!!!! and for as much time as you like. (You see I never experienced this with my other two children). That moment that you have with your baby and your husband is magical and indescribable.
Peyton is truly my gift from God. I know that about my other two - but after the last 2 years I understand and really "KNOW" that Peyton is exactly who God chose for our family and for me as my son!!!!!! and we love him to pieces

Our first month as a family of 5 has been really good. My mom was here for 2 and half weeks with baby Peyton, a blessing I do not take likely or for granted. She helped us out so much in so many areas. After she left we had Thanksgiving to enjoy and revel in a slow weekend as a family adjusting to things. Life is busy for everyone and we are no exception. The other older boys love him to death and really the adjustment to 3 has not been too difficult. Peyton seem to just fit right into the chaos and noise.
There is one thing that I've hesitated sharing here b/c I don't want to be labeled or start a debate or be judged (quite frankly) But I want to remember what affected me most this past month. My perspective really has changed regarding expectations and decisions we make and judgments made about others. You see - Peyton was not thriving with my breastmilk and despite doing everything I knew how to do he was losing weight. (and yes, I felt like I tried everything) I had to make a very hard decision and put him on formula and I have stopped nursing all together. It was hard b/c I was able to nurse my other two boys just fine (it's never come easy, but my babies have always thrived with it) and I believe breastmilk is better for my child. And before you make judgments in your head or in the comment section let me just remind you that you don't know what all is behind my decision and I truly am trying to do what is best for my children.
You see God has taught me more than I can even begin to type here in this blog post. I have experienced an array of things when it comes to child-bearing. I have had an emergency c-section. I have experienced a preemie baby and the "joys" of a NICU stay, not being able to hold your baby, or feed your baby for days and leaving the hospital without your baby. I have gone through the terribly horrifying news that my baby died inside my body and God chose to take my baby before I got to meet him/her. I have also experienced the wonderful joy of a "perfect" labor and delivery peaceful and calm. I have nursed two perfectly healthy babies and also had the stress and helplessness of not being able to provide what your baby needs and then giving him formula. Now I'm not saying I have been through it all, or that I understand everyone's situations or emotions, or even come remotely close to knowing everything - I'm saying quite the opposite. These few experiences have taught me that we are not in control of life. That God is directing each of our lives even in these things. Some things for people go so smoothly and how they want -others have to face reality that "ideal" isn't very common. And the thing I have learned most in my measly 4 1/2 yrs of motherhood is that motherhood is hard and confusing and very intricate. We are trying our best in our situation at that stage of life to chose and do what is best for our family b/c we love them more than words can say and more than we ever imagined possible. We don't know other's situations/emotions or everything that played into how their life is - so we cannot judge. Let's instead encourage and uplift each other even in all of our differences and variations of this whole thing called LIFE!

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