No resolutions here, no “plans” per se for the next year and ways that I’m going to change and how I’m going to improve my health/body/attitude/etc. I guess I don’t normally make any grand schemes on January 1st, but since I’m posting on New Year’s Day – for the first time in about a week – I have to say something about the occasion. Every culture seems to place an emphasis on “renewal”, be it with the seasons, the calendar, one’s faith, or the birth of a child. In Hawaii, New Year’s Eve was really THE BIGGEST event of the year with personal fireworks going on all day and night on December 31st and well into January 1st. It’s something to do with the plethora of people there of Asian descent, and the light show is not to be rivaled anywhere but perhaps in Eastern Asia itself. The covering of ash – blanketing the streets, rooftops and cars, filling the air as different temperature zones clash due to the mountains and the ocean – cannot be imagined. For us, Easter is always a time of new beginnings when we remember the new life we are given in Christ. Some people really focus on the birth of our Nation on July 4th, and others around the world celebrate the changing of the seasons with spring as the beginning of the yearly cycle of growth and change. Personally, my life has been revolving around the birth of a child for about 10 years now. There have been cycles which I can’t control, and I just tend to go with the ebb and flow each time rather than trying to fit things into the mold of “normal.”
When there isn’t something external to you imposing a pattern (like childbirth for me), then the calendar is a good way to mark each year and to renew commitments, recharge batteries, and refocus ourselves. I think that’s why I don’t do it on January 1; instead things start over each time I am handed a new life from God. Re-teach myself how to nurse a baby and teach the baby. Teach the baby how to sleep and myself how to deal with not sleeping. Eat as well as I can to be able to nurse the baby (this one is ongoing because I also try to eat as smartly as possible while pregnant), and then work towards my healthy pre-pregnancy weight at the same time. Start exercising again once I have recovered from childbirth. Cycle up to the highest level of fitness I can reach before another baby is imminent. Pick up the bagpipes again and try to become as competent as possible before – well, you get the idea. So, as you can see, my “cycle” in which I make new resolutions repeats about every 20-24 months on its own. Often, when my baby is about two months old and I’m getting enough sleep to be not a completely crabby mother, I snap out of my self-focused “leave-me-alone-I’m-tyring-to-sleep/nurse/eat” phase and readjust my psyche, committing to pray more, to calm down, to be more in God’s Word so I can be a better parent. I will say that this blog is taking a cue from the fireworks and capitalizing on the date to begin anew, back from the holiday hiatus. 🙂
One “new” thing I am hoping for, and again, it’s sort of out of my control, is the ability to run again.
I finally made it up to 20 miles on the stationary bike yesterday, which took about an hour. Still not really loving the bike, but I’m thankful there is a gym close enough to be able to keep up my fitness level while my plantar fasciitis heals. We have been keeping a low profile around the Armstrong house, recovering from a busy Christmas visit from my parents and getting ready for another visit from a friend this week. I will probably put up a few Christmas pictures soon, but for now we will go backwards and start with New Years’ Eve. Up at the top – that was obviously midnight. The kids didn’t have much trouble staying up since they are normally up til at least 10pm and don’t get up til after 9am. Greer is the only one who gets up around 8:30am, and she had a little nap earlier in the evening – on my lap at the movie “Rise of the Guardians.” We were home from the movie around 11pm, and then ensued a mean game of Memory (thanks Aunt Robin!) and some Battleship.
You may notice the addition of a son, dressed all in pink, at the top of this photo. No really – it’s Claire, and she cut her hair – and Greer’s hair – the other night after she had been sent to bed. I was out at a “music party” (Happy Hogmanay!) Friday night and John was watching the children – he went up to check on the noise being made and found hair on the pillow and a mullet facing him. Oh no. The next day I transformed it into a Pixie cut, and Claire looks like a different little girl! Super cute, but not my first choice for her. Greer’s hair fared much better, and we were able to leave it just as our budding hairdresser had envisioned it. Here is another picture I snapped of Claire’s new do: