I learned, in no particular order because my memory could never chronologically sort these, that:
1) I love instant win games. Not the lottery type, because you have to buy a ticket specifically for the purpose of winning, but the type that says "Hey, you bought something anyway or are a member of our group, please enter for a chance to win!" I didn't win much more than some fries and a free movie rental this year, but the chance that I could makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.
2) Raising twins is just as hard as I thought it would be. Sometimes in life I fret and worry over something that ends up being smooth and easy. This would not be an example of that.
3) If you enjoy photography like I do, especially the editing and printing part, do not wait a year to process your pictures.
4) Losing a pet plain old sucks. My first and only dog so far died abruptly in May, after 11 years of trailing after my heels and being awesome. It still doesn't feel right around here.
5) Even at this stage in my life when I have seen a few rodeos and am responsible for the lives of three little people, I am still susceptible to fan-girl tendencies. Exhibit A: The Divergent Series books. See also Theo James, acting in the movie interpretations of said books.
6) Sometimes the hardest part of having twins is having a five-year-old too. Poor guy had his whole world change pretty abruptly. Sometimes he wanted to love them too much, sometimes he wanted more of his own attention, sometimes he was just plain old tired of the crazy here.
7) Related to #6, mommy guilt is the worst. I'm doing the best I can, and because of that, I compare and second-guess and stress and worry that it's never good enough. I know I'm not alone here, but it is still the worst.
8) I read a lot of young adult fiction this year. I figured out that I could navigate my e-reader while pumping during my nursing stage, so I was able to read a lot of books in 2014. When I looked at my Goodreads year in books, I saw a whole lot of dystopia and escape from reality. Why? See #2.
9) Having twins, while being a lot of hard work, is a gift from God in so many ways. One that I've reflected on a lot this year is the fact that a hard pregnancy and a crazy first year has made me SO very ok with being done growing our family. This could have been a difficult time of my life, having to transition from family growth to family stability, but instead, I thank my lucky stars that I am moving forward. Next time I get to enjoy this stage is when they are my grandchildren. Minus the whole pregnancy and nursing thing. Sweet.
10) I am happiest when my personal email inbox doesn't require the use of the search bar to find what I need. Which never happens.
11) I am of the age, along with being a grown-up and parent, where current events make my heart hurt. Everything is more. More evil, more dangerous, more overwhelming, more sad, more enraging, more frightening, more divisive. Stories of children in harm's way bring me to my knees. Growing up we just didn't get it, why adults argued over politics, and read the paper every day, and cried over bad news half a world away. I get it now. Lord, have mercy.
12) Parenting young children is my most important life's work, but I miss things. I miss pondering, creating, exercising, remembering, sleeping, blogging, gardening, relaxing, watching, cooking, organizing, baking, decorating. A lot of "-ings". I know from having my first child that this changes, and I have about another year before I start getting more consistent time for those "-ings". Halfway there.
What did you learn in 2014?
May the next year bring you all the "-ings" you wish for, and maybe a few that are unexpected as well.