A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘The 12 Project

One year ago, I started a photo project – to take a family picture once a month. And while it seemed easy enough, it was hard coordinating a photo every month. Yesterday was the last day, which actually didn’t happen until this morning. Here are my favorite pictures from the last year:

1. June 2010

Two Toddlers in the House 2. March 2010

1950's House Family

3. October 2010

Texas Landscape Hill Country 4. July 2010

Five Year Wedding Photo 5. May 2010

Chicago Family Picture 6. November 2010

Colored Family Pictured 7. December 2010

Christmas Family Photo 8. February 2010

Project 12 First Picture9. April 2010

April Showers

10. January 2011

Visit Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

{Sorry for the fuzziness - I'm still figuring out our Point and Shoot. And Jack does look a little evil in this one...}

Yesterday marked the 12th month of our monthly family photo. It’s hard to believe an entire year has passed since I first started this project. It has a been wonderful documenting how the girls have progressed. So much has happened in the last year that our lives seem so different now.

Hannah is talking up a storm. Every day she adds something new to her vocabulary and it’s awesome. My favorite phrase is “I did it!“. She says it with such pride and enthusiasm. Hannah has completely transitioned to a twin bed and isn’t waking up nearly as much to crawl into our bed at night. Watching her always imitate Julia has made her seem advanced for her age. And while she isn’t even 2, she seems so much older than she really is. It makes me want to pause life for a while and capture all these little moments.

Julia, as always, is acting like a little mama. She’s taken charge of several responsibilities – putting away dishes, helping with Hannah and cleaning. Julia’s been learning a lot in preschool lately. She’s very fascinated with sciences, so we have been spending time watching educational videos on the planets, the ocean and wildlife. She can’t get enough. I secretly believe she’s going to be a scientist.

Jonathan recently became part of Toastmasters – an impromptu public speaking group. It suits his personality perfectly and is teaching him how to be short and concise in his presentations. In addition, he has been spending a lot of time researching houses here in town, narrowing down what part of Austin we would want to live in. While we haven’t found a house that we want to buy {or rent}, we have at least settled on living in south Austin – for now.

I’ve spent the last month training for the Austin Half Marathon, which happens February 20th. It’s been good for me to get back into a real running regimen again. However, I’ll be happy to have long runs of only 5-6 miles instead of 10-12 miles. I got back yesterday from Blissdom in Nashville. It was a awesome. Overwhelming {with information and content} but I am hopeful that I can really implement a lot of the things I learned this week.

It is really the last day of 2010? I swear the year just started. And now it’s over. Wow.

Christmas Eve in Granbury, TX

December has been a slower month in terms of Windham-ness. It’s been busy, with settling into our apartment, becoming official Texans again and meeting new people. But, we have been able to have a lot more family time, uninterrupted by event after event. And it’s been very good for all of us.

December was Jonathan’s first full month at his new company. Can I tell you, I love his job? Seriously, it is as though the job was written just for him. Already within the first month I can see him flourishing as never before. It’s awesome. I never realized how important my husband’s job was until now. How much enjoying what you do can impact your family. It’s just been wonderful.

Julia has become a kid genius. I’m sure all kids are bright, but it seems like Julia is asking questions and probing for answers that are years ahead of her. Her biggest questions now are about the earth, the sun and the moon. She’s not content with simple answers, but wants us to explain where the sun goes at night, why the moon moves when we are in the car and where Texas is compared to Iowa. Speaking of Iowa, Julia’s really been missing her Iowa friends. A lot. She had us in tears the other night when she started crying asking to go “home”. She talks about her Iowa friends on a daily basis. We are still navigating how to introduce her to new kids, get her more involved with kids. I’m working on a post for that next week.

Hannah, my precious little Hannah, who has decided that now as her vocabulary haas nearly tripled this month so has her attitude. Vocabulary first – Hannah has become quiet the talker! She now speaks in more sentences than not. The other morning, she crawled into our bed at the crack of dawn and requested to watch Word World, which came out “Wa Wor World”. Too cute! And of course, to get 30 minutes more sleep, I let her. Her attitude, on the other hand is not so cute. Now, when we ask her to do something, her first reaction is “NO!” and holding her hand out to us. Hmph. I’m fully realizing she is going to be quite the little firecracker.

As for me, I am still in a little shock that we’ve moved. I told Jonathan the other day I think it will take a few months to really sink in. In a good way, as it seems each day I get a little more excited about being home. I finished up #14 {Finish our wedding album} on my 30 before 30 list this week. I’ve been spending some time this month reevaluating my list, debating on changing up some of my items and coming to terms with not getting as much completed as I wished. I still have half a dress sitting in our garage that never got completed before we moved.

Here’s to a new year and hopes that it will be a blessed year for you and your family!

At some point late Saturday night, I announced to Jonathan “I’ve forgotten to take our family picture, let’s make sure to do it tomorrow before you leave.” Then at some point late Sunday night {well after Jon left} I announced to my SIL “I forgot to take our family picture before Jon left.” I soon came up with what I think was a brilliant idea. I asked my 7-year old niece to draw a family picture:

Grandma, Jonathan, Sarah, Julia, Hannah, Jack

November has been a crazy, crazy month. The second week of the month, Jonathan accepted an offer at a company in Austin, Texas. This new job is an amazing opportunity for Jon and we are thrilled to see how God will be using his talents while there. He started the job Monday and is spending this week on a company scavenger hunt – a way the company gets new employees to learn all about company history and their fellow co-workers. Pretty cool idea, huh?

Julia turned 3-years old on the 23rd. Wow. I can’t even fathom that three years have passed. On one hand it’s flown by, but at the same time I can’t remember life without my precious little girl. I’d love for you to read my birthday letter to her: Happy Birthday, Julia Mabel.

Hannah has really started talking more and more. She’s added “Katie {her cousin}”, “guys {as in “hey guys”}, “yes”, “Julia {which sounds more like Ju}” and “grandma”. Hannah is really claiming her own and making me see that she is a force to be reckoned with. She is showing some stubbornness and making herself known far more than I expected at this age. And topping it off with a fearlessness that puts Julia’s antics to shame. She is keeping us on our toes, there is no doubt about that.

As for me, I’m feeling like I’m just trying to keep up with it all. Aside from packing and moving, not much has happened for me this month. I had started the 30 Day Shred, but couldn’t keep up with it the last few days in Iowa and certainly haven’t been able to while we’re in this holding pattern {Jonathan is in Austin, while the girls and I are in Ft. Worth}. It’s been a trying month at times, dealing with a lot of emotions and changes, but God has really been good to show me His continues faithfulness and love. I will say though, I’m so looking forward to setting up all my Christmas decorations. And don’t be surprised if I leave them up a little longer this year.

College football is in full swing and we are keeping to my plan of actually watching games this year. I’ve seen more games this season then perhaps in the last 10 years {when the Titans first went to Tennessee}. It’s been a lot of fun actually, and I’m really excited about this Saturday’s Texas vs. Oklahoma game.

Jonathan and the girls survived their first weekend without mama this month. I think they might tell you they barely survived. The night I came home, Jonathan kept repeating “I’m so glad you’re home.” He has always been very appreciative of the work it takes for me being at home with the girls, but I think my time away made us both realize how important it is that we are in this together. It was good for all of us {perhaps me more than them ;)} and my time away made me love my time here even more.

Hannah has finally gotten all her teeth, which we’re hoping means less crankiness. She’s started talking more {besides just grunting} and will now say: Mama, Dada, Jack and Thank You. She’s also started signing: water, please and sometimes “more”. She doesn’t sign all the time, but will when prompted. It’s pretty cute to see her get really excited when she’s done it correctly and gets what she’s asked for.

Julia seems to be getting smarter by the minute. We are loosely doing preschool twice a week. I set aside time in the morning to go over shapes, colors, numbers and/or the alphabet. We have dry erase markers and books for her to “write her letters”. She really likes it and seems to enjoy the structure. Today we had “school” outside and learned all about fire hydrants and how they worked. She loved walking around the neighborhood and park pointing out all the fire hydrants.

I’ve had a really great month. My trip to New York, the change of the weather. It’s been a good September and makes me look forward to the next few months before winter hits.

And last {but not least} I feel I should mention Jack. I realize he hasn’t made it into any family pictures. It’s hard enough to wrangle to toddlers let alone a dog. But this month was a pretty big deal for Jack; he was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. He went on some medication last week and already we can see an improvement in his energy. Now hopefully his hair will start coming back.

At the beginning of the summer we bought a second bike seat for Hannah and since then have been a biking family! It took Hannah a couple of rides to get use to the helmet, but now the girl loves it! {Despite the face in the photo – she was super tired.} While August hasn’t been nearly as crazy as July, it seems to have flown by all the same. We started the month off with our anniversary trip to Minneapolis. Then Grandma moved in and we all got sick. Not quite a highlight of the month, but what can ya do?

Jonathan celebrated his birthday this month. Thirty-two years. Wow. In a good way! It took Jonathan a week or two to fully recuperate from his July work schedule. But now things are “normal” and we’ve been enjoying having free {is that even possible} weekends. Julia seems to be getting smarter by the minute. She’s gotten really good at repeating everything she hears. Let’s just say, I won’t be saying c-r-a-p any more. For real. Not cool to have your two year old immediately repeat that word. Oops. As for Hannah, she went a little crazy on us this month when she decided to teeth four {4!} molars. At once. Whew. Thankfully after 7-10 days she was done. She now has her four canines coming through, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering her nearly as much {mama does a happy dance!}. As for me, I’ve been sewing up a storm. Well, not really. I’ve only made one other apron – for Julia. However, I have a friend who just gave me some fabric and asked that I make her a couple of aprons. I’m pretty excited. 🙂

Five years ago today, Jonathan and I committed our lives to one another. It has been an amazing whirlwind adventure. In five years we have lived in three different homes {not included the ones we lived with “in transition”}, we have had two dogs and most importantly, two beautiful daughters. Jonathan, I love you. You make me laugh, you make me smile. I am truly blessed to be your wife.

July has been one crazy month. We started off with a visit from my brother and his family. After that, Jonathan has pretty much worked 50-70 hours a week preparing for the launch on West Music’s website. He and his teammates did an excellent job and I commend him for all his hard work and effort. He has earned himself a much needed break.

For the last week, we’ve had some friends staying with us as they move into a new home {which is actually behind our house – sort of}. They are some dear friends, and while it’s stressful at times to have four kids and two moms in a tiny kitchen, it’s been a lot of fun. Our girls could get use to having playmates instantly at hand. Julia especially. From the moment she wakes up she’s asking “Go play with my friends? My friends not sleep. Go play with them.” Good thing they like her, otherwise I think she’d wear them out! Hannah has been really taking off with her walking – literally. I have to watch her with hawk eyes or she’ll be halfway down the block before I know what’s happen. Keeps me on my toes!

As for me, I’m glad the month is drawing to an end. With Jon’s crazy schedule, it means I’ve had a crazy schedule. But God has been really gracious, especially being able to end the month with our anniversary and less than one week till our anniversary trip. I can’t wait. Makes me kinda giddy just thinking about it.

12 month photo project is a challenge started by Tara Whitney. Here’s what you do:

  • Take a photo of your family once a month.
  • Write a few things about that month.
  • Make it into a book at the end of the year.

Is May ending already?!? That can’t be. Because if that’s the case, that means 1) Hannah turns 1 in two weeks 2) Jonathan is done with his crazy weekend MBA course 3) Julia had her tonsils removed and 4) I’m just standing here wondering “what just happened??!”.

Whew. Does time ever slow down? May has been a whirlwind of a month. Julia had an amazingly quick recovery from her tonsillectomy. The following weekend was Mother’s Day, so it was an extra bonus to have her feel so well. My Mother’s Day was really, really nice. Very relaxing and I felt extremely loved {the dozen roses Jonathan gave me did the trick}. Plus, the night before Mother’s Day, our dear friends, Matt and Kristen, gotten engaged. While we weren’t there for the proposal, we did get to spend time with them right before and after. It was a sweet time and we’re thrilled for them both!

As of today, Hannah took her first steps! She doesn’t go far {just 3 or so steps} but she’s “walked” several times between Jon and me. It’s a bittersweet moment in this mama’s life.

Jonathan’s career path has really been in flux this last month. He has been deciding whether to finish his PhD or to focus more primarily on his MBA. After getting some strong council, he’s putting his MBA classes on hold until he has finished the PhD program. Our family is now shifting our schedules to allow him more time to work on his research during the evenings. It’s going to be challenging having him gone more, but we’ve decided to do it in 4-6 week groups so that no one gets burned out. Hopefully the end will be here before we know it!

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Chicago. It was a blast! Despite the Windhamettes having such little sleep, they did really well the whole trip {although there might have been one too many suckers consumed to ensure obedience}. We spent a lot of time at festivals and in Millenium Park. It was great being away from normal life for a while, but Jon and I agreed, as much as we love big cities, we really love our little city life.

*Yes, I am totally wearing the same jeans as I did for last month’s family photo. Just realized that…

12 month photo project is a challenge started by Tara Whitney. Here’s what you do:

  • Take a photo of your family once a month.
  • Write a few things about that month.
  • Make it into a book at the end of the year.

Aha! It’s April 30, which means yet again I waited until the last day to take our family picture. I’d say we’ll do better next month, but I sense a pattern…

April has been crazy busy from start to finish. We’ve started the month off with beautiful weather but are wrapping it up with major rainstorms. I can’t complain – I love rainy days. Although, I am so thankful it didn’t rain for my half marathon (since it’s rained every weekend since then). Hannah least likes the rain. She squints her eyes up and makes this really funny face any time the rain gets on her. Which is completely opposite of Julia, who jumps in puddles and runs around “singing in the rain”. While I’ve seen many similarities between the girls in the last 10 months, I’ve seen some drastic differences. But, the coolest part is seeing a real bond forming between them. As for Jonathan, he’s started a MBA class this month that meets on Friday nights and all day Saturday (thankfully it’s only 4 weeks long). He’s such a hard worker and I’m continually humbled by his willingness, no, eagerness to always provide for us. Our family is truly blessed with each of it’s members – I couldn’t imagine life without either girls or Jon!

And, just because I don’t want to leave you hanging… here’s a real picture of the family.

12 month photo project is a challenge started by Tara Whitney. Here’s what you do:

  • Take a photo of your family once a month.
  • Write a few things about that month.
  • Make it into a book at the end of the year.

Despite “planning” better this month, we still managed to wait until the last day to take our family photo.

This picture speaks volumes about our lives. Julia – set off on her own, claiming her independence, Me – in perpetual motion between both girls, Hannah – always trying to get closer to mama, and Jonathan – always smiling. It’s not perfect, but it’s us. And I love it.

March has been a whirlwind of a month. We moved into our house on the 5th. We’ve slowly turned it into our home. There have been so many great things we’ve discovered about this place. Currently my favorite spot is the kitchen sink. I love the window that is above it and being about to see all around. While there are many projects to be completed, we’re taking our time and enjoying this new adventure. Hannah’s really taken off with her crawling and Julia’s expressing her independence on an almost minute basis (which is good and bad). Jonathan’s amazing. I have no idea how he manages to show such grace living with three highly emotional, opinionated women. He truly is the rock of our family. As for me, I turned another year old this month. It seems surreal in ways, but I’m planning to embrace this year with fervor and joy.