Saturday, January 1, 2022

One Word: 2022

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22! 2022, that is.  And for me, a new year means a new focus.  I choose a word every year to help focus my accomplishments, to remind me of my purpose, and to help me grow in some way.  Some years, I feel like I choose the word, and many years, it feels like the word chooses me.  Before I start writing, I pray about my life, my areas of opportunity for growth, and what I want to accomplish in the coming year.  I entered 2020 with the nativity we all had - completely unaware of the rough seas that were on the horizon.  We opened 2021 with hope, plans, and the promise of things turning around - only to not see it turn out quite that way.  So, we enter 2022 with more of that hope for 2021, but also the reality that this is the new normal.  Supply chain issues, inflation, masks, Covid variants, vaccines and boosters, uncertainty.  So, with all of those thoughts in my prayers, the one word that found me this year is SATISFIED.

The first word that came to me, honestly, was "content."  As in, "in a state of peaceful happiness."  Gratified, fulfilled, happy, pleased.  But, because of the social media, streaming services, internet connected world we live in hears "CONtent" and thinks immediately of the created content we consume every waking moment, I dove a little deeper.  thought more about the meaning of each of these similar words, and what my goals are for 2022.  That's when I landed on satisfied.  Contented; pleased. Content, fulfilled, quenched. I love the imagery there!

As many of you know, I struggle (STRUG. GLE.) with depression.  Sprinkled with an inappropriate but omnipresent amount of anxiety.  I usually have it under control with medication, self-reflection, writing, and the loving support of my AMAZING husband.  But some days, it is overwhelming.  I have physical, as well as spiritual, and emotional responses to this - and they're not always positive.  And are never in the best interest of my overall health.  So, I work on this every day.  Somedays, I win.  Many days, the demons do.  So, for 2022, after all the negativity, struggle, and unevenness of the last 2 calendar years, I am looking toward finding ways to be satisfied.  With everything.

Not perfection. Not necessarily happiness  But peace; contentment; fulfillment.  A feeling of my thirst for life being gratifyingly quenched - no matter the circumstance.  I have let my CIRCUMSTANCES determine my resp0nse for way too long.  I am going to focus on how blessed I am, WE ARE, in every way.  

The timing of the global pandemic, the end of my Master's degree studies, and a seismic job change have left me a little lost.  Parenting 2 adult children, a strong-willed teenaged boy, and a tween who just wants to find his place is TOUGH!  Add to that aging parents for both me and my husband, a home to maintain, etc etc etc.  And, mourning the perceived  "loss" of my girls.  While my nest isn't empty, my girls are not here to keep my Mama Cup filled in the way only a daughter can.  I miss them SO DANG MUCH!  But, I also LOVE watching them fly!  I love the maturity that comes with this stage in life.  I am enjoying hearing their stories - triumphs and rough patches alike, but I miss being able to hug them, share silly stories, or just watch a TV show together on a whim.  I guess I need girl time more than I thought!  Add to that, in my old job position, I had 2 BEST FRIENDS in the office.  We talked every single day - multiple times a day - about EVERYTHING.  Work, husbands, kids, dogs, our families, our dreams, our goals.  We just "get" each other.  And we are working diligently to maintain that friendship, but it's a lot harder when we are not all in the same place 9 hours a day.  Add to that, in my new position, I am the only woman on our very small team.  It's an adjustment, for sure.

There is satisfaction in ALL of it, and I am choosing to find it, and EMBRACE it.  I tend toward the negative, and I know that, so this is a stretch for me.  I am here for it!  I want to be satisfied.  I want to feel content.  I yearn to drink from the fountain and feel quenched.  2022 will be this for me.

Like 6:21 (NLV) says, " God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh."  This speaks to me as I enter into this new season of my life.  The last two years have left me hungry.  So now, it is a time for satisfaction.  There was weeping, so now let there be laughter. This is one of God's faithful promises.

I also enjoy looking back over my one word posts from years past to see how I came to use them as my focus for the year and to assess outcomes.  How well I was able to maintain that focus.  What God brought me to or brought me through because of my one word.  How my family changed and grew from my yearly focus.  Here is a list of the previous posts, if you are interested:

2021 - hope
2020 - breathe
2019 - listen
2018 - welcome
2017 - closer  (I was anxious, and blog-averse, as we opened 2017, so it's a short FB post)
2016 - greater
2015 - brave
2014 - joyful
2013 - resolution

Here is to 2022.  Welcome! May you be satisfied in so many ways!


Friday, December 31, 2021

Goodbye 2021

2021.  What can I say?  It was a year full of highs and lows.  Great things, and not-so-great things.  Plot twists and fades to black.  Overall, I would say the Weavers had a pretty prosperous 2021.  But that's not to say we aren't fervently looking forward to 2022!  Here's a quick look back, followed by a TikTok recap of 2021.

Over the course of the year, Jake turned 14 in January, Emma and Lara turned 19 in May, and Finn turned 10 in October.  Britt and Betsey had birthdays as well, but just know they are over the hill.  Jake finished 8th grade and moved on to 9th at Stillwater Junior High while Finn graduated 3rd grade and moved up t fourth at Westwood.  Lara continued as a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, while Emma moved to Ark City Kansas to pursue a degree at Cowley College.  As we welcomed 2021, Britt had just started his job as "Noon Monitor" at Westwood, and he has really been able to grow and thrive in that position as we returned to a more normal school setting every few weeks.  Betsey started the year as Assistant Registrar at OSU, but finished her Master's Degree in May and moved to a new coordinator position in a brand new department in October.  Britt and Betsey both got new (to us) used cars late in the summer due to the Great Weaver Car Shuffle of 2021 which started with Lara totaling the car she got when she turned 16.  She is now driving the Jeep we had for several years, and we are starting to shop for Jake's car, while we wear in our newest additions.  This place looks like a used car lot some days when we are all here! Everyone is moving onward and upward!

Lara finished out her freshman year in the dorms at OSU, then came home for the summer.  She went back to campus in the Fall to live in the brand new Alpha Delta Pi house - appropriately nicknamed the "ADPalace."  The fall semester kept her busy with homecoming, having a new little diamond sister, all the social events and philanthropy events that happen in Greek life, and of course her courses.  She also worked her 2 jobs and ended the semester 1 credit shy of officially being a junior.  She will start the Spring semester as an officer in her chapter.  She is the Director of Alumnae Engagement.  Seems appropriate since she is a double legacy! She is excited about the position!  She also ended the year by applying to be a counselor for the fall formal recruitment process.

Emma finished out the Spring term at OSU, then lived and worked in Kay County with her paternal grandfather for the summer - including keeping her Auto Zone job from Stillwater and transferring it to Ponca City.  During that time, she decided to pursue her education at Cowley College in Arkansas City.  Late in the summer, we went up for a tour and to decide on housing,  She lives in a campus housing complex (a converted assisted living home) called "The Lodge" in a single room.  It is a little off-campus, but still part of the college.  She transferred her Auto Zone job from Ponca City to Ark City and had a GREAT first semester.  She is looking forward to classes starting back up in the Spring!

Jake started 2021 playing basketball and ended it the same way.  He has made the school team both years but also plays AAU and travel ball as much as he possibly can.  He spent most of 2021 on the Relentless Team.  They are a fun group to watch, and they win a lot so that's fun, too.  Jake has been in several advanced level classes as a Freshman and has done very well academically.  He has an amazing group of Christian friends, and his social calendar is always full.  So between basketball, school, and friends, he keeps pretty busy.  If not those activities, he is playing Xbox, watching youtube, or making TikTok videos!  Typical teenage boy!  

Finn has really matured a lot this year!  Life has thrown a lot at him,  and he turned 10, so he wants to do big kid's things now.  He has THE BEST fourth-grade teacher this year, and they have a special bond  He is also in the Gifted and Talented program at his school.  But I think the thing he loves the most about school is that his dad is there for lunch and recess!  Finn got to read the morning announcements at school recently and lead the school in the pledge of allegiance.  He is looking forward to things getting more normal again so he can maybe play piano, learn guitar, or play soccer.  But, he has a healthy fear of getting sick with covid, so he stays pretty close to home these days.

The holiday season was pretty low-key for the 4 Weavers.  Lots of baseball practice, video games, food, and local family.  Emma and Lara spent 7 days in Costa Rica with their Dad and Stepmom visiting their paternal grandfather.  The pictures were amazing and their stories full of life, but we were glad to be able to celebrate Christmas with them - a few days late - once they returned.  Surprisingly, I have very few pictures of Christmas day with my boys and NONE of Twister Christmas a few days later.  My parents joined us for both of these celebrations, so that was a blessing as well.

We are starting 2022 with a Coivd spike it seems.  Britt and Betsey have worn masks at work all year, but the kids all started off Fall term strong with masks but fell off pretty quickly.  Finn was the most diligent, but he was fully vaccinated by Chsirmas and didn't wear one 100% of the time towards the end of school.  The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and seems to be more contagious and more potent.  So, we figure masks will be more popular as school starts back up.

So here's to 2022.  Covid, School, Jobs, Sports, and all the rest.  I am here for it!  I am glad for all the lessons 2021 taught me, and I am looking forward to more growth in 2022.

2021 Recap video I made for us:


Goodbye 2021! Six Dream Weaver style. It was a pretty good one. Bring on 2022!

♬ som original - luiza

Here's to a prosperous 2022!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Ho! Ho! Holy Snowballs! It’s almost Christmas!

How has it already been another month?  Time? Please slow down… The house is decorated, almost done shopping, and all the presents that are in the house are wrapped and under the tree.  This year, we assigned each person in the house a Christmas themed name for other gift tags, so no one (except the elves) knows whose package is whose. We have Fruitcake, Noel-It-All, Hot Apple Cider, Sleigh BElle, Jack Frost, and Silber Bells.  Still don't want them o shave all the presents, but this way no one knows who's is who's.  They think I chose names to suit their personalities.  But, Did I?????

We had a pretty low-key Thanksgiving.  Lara was staying with my parents due to her sorority house being closed for the week, and the boys (Britt, Jake, and Finn) and I went to Perkins for a nice lunch, so family time, board games, and all the storytelling we could handle.

Then, after that brief break, everything hit the winter stride.  When basketball season starts, we just get so crazy busy!  Add to that, Jake went to the eye doctor ad now has glasses and contacts – all new a week before his first game!  It’s been an adjustment (he missed ALL his shots first practice with contacts), and his lenses are on BACKORDER (thank you, global supply chain issues), so we are wearing contacts only for games and trying to save them while wearing glasses all the rest of the time. (PS - Britt measured the boys last week.  Jake is 6'7" and Finn is 4'6")

So while we have been in many gyms watching many basketball games the past few weeks – including our beloved OSU Cowboys, we also squeezed in some other fun as well.  We took Finn to the OSU Merry Mascot Christmas party with Pistol Pete at the Alumni Center.  He liked the inflatable slides, tolerated the line to get a picture with Pistol Pete, and LOVED all the Pete’s Pet Posse (P3) therapy dogs.  He has started a collection of their trading cards, and is already up to 8 or 9 in his collection! 

On campus, I was also able to participate in a fun activity during finals week to help get the students through a busy and stressful time.  We have a “Hugs from Home” event a couple of times a semester where a parent-led group partners with the Residential Life and Student Affairs staff, and we hand out gift cards, snacks, and HUGS!  We also have P3 therapy dogs on hand for cuddles as well.  It was SO COLD, but we were determined to be outside so the kids could see us.  We ran out of hot chocolate in about 30 minutes, handed out all the warm Chick-fil-A sandwiches in about 45 minutes, and by the 1-hour mark we were out of gift cards as well.  But we got to hug so many kids going to and from their final exams!  And the therapy dogs were of course a huge hit!  I even got to hug on my own kid, and her “little” as well!

Today is Cousin Kayleigh’s 15th birthday.  I haven’t seen her in a while, but the grandparents went down to Texas late last month to see her in her school play.  I can’t believe she is FIFTEEN!  And that means Jake will be 15 in 5 weeks, too!  HOW are these babies so old already???  We are wishing her a VERY happy birthday and hope she gets treated like royalty today!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAYLEIGH!

My college kids are done for the semester, and the boys go to school all this week, then Monday and Tuesday next week.  I am working Monday – Wednesday next week, then I will get a bit of a break as well.  So thankful to work at the university so I get a nice long break as well.  Not as long as the rest of my family (Lara gets like 6 weeks! Emma about 5, and the boys almost 3), but long enough to recharge some very drained batteries.  Still learning new things every day, and we are in the middle of having several systems ready for “go live” on Jan 24, so the next month will be intense!  I can’t wait for the next steps…