Wednesday, December 27, 2017

*2017 Year in Review *

October 2017

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? Had twins! I am now a mother of multiples although it has its challenges, I really love it and am so grateful for theses sweet babies. 
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  No. Not at all. (I kind of had a lot on my plate.) I will make two or three attainable goals. (Again.)
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? I gave birth to two beautiful boys, Nathan Kay Schultz and Zachary Wayne Schultz, on July 31, 2017.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Not close to me but some acquaintances passed away tragically. There was a family who lived in our ward a few years ago but no longer do (since our ward split and the boundaries changed). I used to pick up the two girls, Hailey and LeAnn for Activity Days when I was the AD Leader. Two days before Thanksgiving, Hailey and LeAnn and two of their brothers were killed in a fire while with their dad in Illinois. Back in 2013, this family lost a 4-month-old baby boy to SIDS. Veronica and Corey have experienced so much heartache. My heart hurts for them. 
5. What countries did you visit? Maybe someday. 
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? I still desire a clean, organized home but I am okay with putting it on the back burner while I focus on caring for our children. The demands are great and they are many right now with our children's individual needs and challenges. 
7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory and why? July 31, 2017, the day Nathan and Zach were born. They are such a blessing for our family, especially for me. I am loving the baby stage this time around (for the first time ever) and savoring every first and last with them.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Making it through the first part of the year while being pregnant with twins and making it through the second part with infant twins + three other kids (all three of which have special needs / challenges to some degree). Five kids is a lot! But we're doing it. And finding joy along the way. 
9. What was your biggest failure? Nothing big - just little frustrations - things I try to be better. Sometimes I feel like I am failing my kids if I'm being honest but I have never tried harder at anything in my life and nothing has ever meant more to me than my role as a mother. 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing serious. 
11. What was the best thing you bought? A trampoline for our backyard. The kids love it and it's a great way for them to release energy. It's also great for distraction while I'm patching Eleanor's eye. 
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? All of our kids in their own ways. Oliver has had a lot of challenges with controlling his emotions but lately I have noticed he is doing a little better, trying a little harder, and expressing a little more gratitude. It isn't always that way but I'll take the little victories when they come. Josh has made strides with his anxiety. He is finally officially potty trained, as of about five months ago (around the time the babies were born). It was a very long road (he just turned five on Christmas Eve). Eleanor continues to do hard things with her eye. She's a strong little girl and has a determined spirit about her, for which I'm grateful. And, quite honestly, mine and Wendel's too. Parenting special needs kids is not easy. (We suspect one of our children is on the Autism Spectrum and that is very challenging as well.) We are trying our best with all of our children - researching, making appointments, getting services, trying not to be offended when others make judgmental statements out of ignorance, praying, fasting, connecting, apologizing, crying, and loving no matter what. 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People I hear about on the news. People shooting other people. Selfish acts that take lives and destroy families. 
14. Where did most of your money go? Our loft remodel, formula, trailer parks (Wendel's current passion / way to make extra income), food, life. 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The birth of our sweet babies.
16. What song will always remind you of 2016? "Believer" and "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons. (Oliver LOVES both of these songs and got the newest Imagine Dragons CD for Christmas - his first CD, which he was very excited about.)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Just as happy. 
b) thinner or fatter? A little fatter than exactly a year ago, as I was barely pregnant then and I am still working on losing baby weight. (I am two pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight but I have a lot of toning to do.)
c) richer or poorer? Richer, both financially and by way of feeling blessed with our five beautiful children. 
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? My answer is always the same for this question. I always wish I had more time to work on family history - mostly our kids' books. It's very important to me and I want to make it a priority but can't keep up right now with even the basics. I'm just so exhausted. But I have no regrets about the amount of time I spend with our children. That takes priority. I also love that I'm able to keep up with their blogs, which is very important to me. I really want to print their blogs into books this year. 
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? No big regrets in this area. 
20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas with just our little family. Wendel took the three older kids to his parents' house in the afternoon and I stayed home with the babies because Zach had a fever. Poor little guy. 
21. Did you fall in love in 2017? Yes, with our sweet babies. They have my heart, along with their siblings and dad.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Wendel and I are enjoying Longmire. It's a good one. I also really enjoy Call the Midwife (I'm anxiously awaiting new seasons). We re-watched Bones this year, too, and that's a favorite.
23. What was the best book you read? I don't make time to read books these days, as so many other things are more pressing, but I did listen to The Whole Brain Child on CD while driving and found it very insightful. 
24. What was your greatest musical discovery? I didn't really have one. 
25. What did you want and get? Our loft remodeled. It's not quite done (the laundry room is still in progress) but the bedroom (Oliver's room) is done and is so nice to have! 
26. What did you want and not get? Nothing comes to mind. 
27. What was your favorite film of this year? Nothing comes to mind. We don't go to see many movies. Life is busy. I have heard The Greatest Showman is really good and I want to see it. 
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 38 this year. Birthdays are pretty low-key. I honestly don't remember much about it. I'm sure it was good but a lot has happened since then. 
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? My answer is the same as last year: I feel like having a clean and organized home + having time to spend on family history stuff would bring satisfaction, but on the other hand, I would have to give up other things to make those happen and I'm not sure the tradeoff would be worth it. I feel like I'm keeping the most important things as the most important things right now. 
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? I'm often in workout clothes (I do actually work out most mornings) with spit up on them. 
31. What kept you sane? Wendel. Always Wendel. We're in this crazy, survival time together. Also, my testimony keeps me grounded. I would be a different person without it, I think. Third: working out. It is my therapy. 
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None, really.
33. What political issue stirred you the most? I rarely have time to listen to the news these days. Healthcare is a concerning issue. I don't like that Cannabis (Medical Mariuana) is legal in several states, including Arizona. I know it's controversial and I'm sure if I were in a position of pain and suffering and it was something that helped, I would view it differently. The issue I have with it is people saying it's for medical purposes and then abusing it. (Which I saw a lot while I was working at CPS.)
34. Who did you miss? My sister, Lindsey, coworkers from CPS, my good friend, Mindy (her son, Carlos, and Oliver are best friends. They moved to Mesa this year. We still see them sometimes but I miss our weekly playdates. She is a good friend, the non-judgmental type of friend who really cares about me and puts effort into our friendship, unlike so many "friends" I have. I am very grateful for her. (She also has a child on the ASD, much like Josh, so it's nice to be able to relate in that way.) 
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017: It is pretty much summed up in this quote: "When the Lord asks you to do something, He will prepare you. It is a sweet thing. If you trust the Lord, He blesses you." - Mary R. Durham. I have seen this manifest as we acted on the (very strong) promptings to expand our family. I could write a separate blog post about the blessings and tender mercies we've witnessed since the babies were born. 

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: 

These lyrics from You Better Believe by Train remind me of one of our children, our son who has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Anxiety. (It is actually applicable to all of our children but I especially think of him.) His behavior can be challenging at times and I worry about him being able to control his emotions and impulses and how that will affect him and others in the future. These words seem to resonate with me as I think of him. 
They say that nothing lasts forever
They say that good times fade away
And I know, I know that sometimes it ain't easy
But I know you'll be okay
One day I'll see you in the future
You'll have a family of your own
I will be there, I will be there to be your teacher
You better believe, you better believe you're not alone

37. What are your resolutions for 2017? I would like to set up a better system for backing up and streamlining the photos we take, print more photos, pull Josh's baby pictures off of our hard drive, print blog books for our kids and get Oliver's new room and the babies' room in order. Organization and family history are a given. (Now I just need to remember these goals so I can work on them.)

October 2017 (the babies are 2 months old here)

I still can't believe we have five kids! September 2017

Eleanor + Nathan September 2017

I love this picture of our older kids. It warms my heart. October 2017