Happy New Year! I appreciate the new year because it’s always a time when I reflect on the past. The last year, previous years and the future yet to come. I can’t get over how big the boys are, or how much Ellena is growing. I swear that girl says a new word or phrase daily. Today I was looking for the remote control and had her look underneath the sofa with me; we both spied it at the same time and when I pulled it out from it’s hiding place, she exclaimed, “Got it!”. It stopped me dead in my tracks. All I could do was sit there on my knees in awe at the wonder of her. Her other favorite phrase right now is, “I don’t know.” Where she’ll shrug her shoulders and put her arms up in a questioning manner. I can’t get over how cute she is.
Michael began high school last year; although my husband Denniss and I have enjoyed watching him grow into this new season of his life we’re also totally freaked out. I’ve always loved and embraced each new stage in my children’s development, but honestly, these teen years are sort of freaking me out. I have never questioned whether I’m doing things right so much before. Meanwhile, Evan is in the last year of elementary school. This Fall he’ll start middle school and just like that he’ll be in a new stage of his childhood. Sometimes I feel as though my head is spinning because I constantly have to switch up my parenting method with each child, and sometimes, the switch doesn’t happen as smoothly as I’d like. We’ll get there and I’m sure once I feel like I have a handle on this parenting gig, something will change and I’ll find myself right back to here. It isn’t so much that I doubt my ability to effectively parent, or that I’m somehow totally screwing up my kids, it’s more about making sure each child is getting what they need to thrive. Sometimes I feel like, I’m missing that mark; which is something I definitely want to work on this year.
Most of all, I want my family to do more together. We fell out of the habit of having “family game nights” and the activities the boys used to love to do, they no longer have the same enthusiasm for. My goal this year is to tap into what they’re growing personalities and interests enjoy and get involved. Find things they’re interested in and turn them into family adventures. It’s important we take full advantage of the time we’ve got with all five us here under one roof, because my husband could deploy at any moment really and I don’t want to feel like we’ve wasted our time with the boys and Ellena.
Nicole Olea’s love language is communication. She does this best using her keyboard as a freelance copywriter and editor. Before her current gig working in social media management and eCommerce marketing, Nicole Olea was a professional volunteer, sharing her skills with various non-profit organizations who paid her in hugs. For the last 20 years, she’s lived a quasi-nomadic life, moving across the country and the Atlantic with her active-duty husband and their three kids. She’s awkwardly stumbling toward her goal of becoming a saint. She’s got God-sized dreams and wants you to have them too!