2012 did not disappoint. It was an exciting year full of God’s blessings on our family. I wanted to capture some of the year’s biggest moments for our family, as well as our world. Some day, I imagine Greg and I will glance back over this blog to relive our “youth.” (Most days I don’t feel so youthful though!)
January 2012- Greg and I got to go see the Razorbacks play in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. That might not seem all that memorable, but I was about 37 weeks pregnant and we were about 12 rows from the top of that GIGANTIC stadium. The world also watched in shock as a cruise ship wrecked off the coast of Italy.
February 2012- We became a family of four in February. Eli Gregory Veazey was born on February 7 at 8 am. He stole our hearts immediately. Obviously, this meant our little family spent the next few months in hibernation taking care of a newborn. It was also the month Jake became a big brother. He loves Eli more each day and now that little E is on the move, they are quickly becoming best friends.
March 2012- March was a big month for Jake. He got to go on his first overnight trip without Mom and Dad. His Nana and Dadoo, along with all his cousins and Greg’s sisters, took him to Memphis for two days. It’s the annual Spring Break trip. Jake got to go to the Zoo, swim in the hotel pool, ride the trolley and sleep in a hotel! To him – it was BLISS. Greg and I also took Jake to Sesame Street Live in Memphis. The look on Jake’s face when he saw Cookie Monster in person was priceless. I don’t think I’ll ever forget him getting up and dancing in the aisle. He was still just 2-1/2 and, let’s face it, everything a sweet two year old boy does is cute. In world news- our population hit the 7 billion mark. Wow.
April 2012 - We took a family trip to Memphis to see my college roommates and their kids. We were able to all go a Redbirds game and the Memphis Zoo. We had a great time and it was so good to spend time with my sweet friends and see them as Moms! Obviously, we also celebrated Easter as a family of four for the first time. We spent the afternoon in Carlisle with Greg’s family riding four wheelers and hiding eggs. Little Eli was just a few months old and looked so sweet all dressed up. In other news, I found out that the Novartis downsizing included ME. We went from 3 managers in the state to one – so I was without a position. Fortunately, God’s plans are much bigger than mine. I was able to step into a part-time rep role right after maternity leave was over. It was an incredible gift wrapped up in my unanswered prayer.
May 2012- Well, maternity leave was over. So, I went back to work and Eli started part time daycare at Faith Baptist with his big brother. He was the only infant in the class, because he was starting mid-term. He looked so tiny in there with all the other little guys already starting to walk! Greg turned 34 in May and we celebrated with a kid-free day at the lake! May was also a very sad month. A friend of mine from high school passed away. Franklin suffered complications from his diabetes and left this earth way to early. He was a very sweet guy and came from a precious family. We attended his memorial service in Marion. It was a testimony to Franklin that there was standing room only in the fellowship hall of our home church.
June 2012- We spent several days in June in the water. We went to the condo a few times and even had some fun swimming at Greg’s cousin’s house. Jake was getting a little better in the water. We did swim lessons in April, but to be honest – we didn’t learn to swim. We did learn some water safety that proved useful this summer. In world news, President Obamas healthcare plan was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote. We weren’t pleased with the decision, but I guess it is still to be determined how all this will shake out.
July 2012- Our little guy turned 3! We celebrated with a party at Jump Zone in Cabot. Jake had been talking about this party for months, so I am so glad he had a great time. He had a spiderman cake and cupcakes. A little boy’s dream!!! While we were living the American dream in Arkansas, residents of Colorado watched in horror as a gunman entered a movie theater and opened fire. The country was, once again, reminded that there is real evil out there and this world – thank heavens – is NOT our home.
August 2012- I got to go on a girls’ trip to Branson with my college roommates. We had so much fun. Shopping, dining, spa day --- definitely on the list for 2013! Of course, I recently found out Hillary is expecting, so she might be a no-show this year ---- I guess we’ll let her off the hook! I also turned 32 this year. Ouch. But, I guess its better than NOT turning 32. Ha! Eli turned six months old this month and really started showing us his personality. I just can’t hardly remember life without him now! This was also the official kick off of the 2012 Presidential Election. The Republican National Committee officially nominated Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. The next four months were loaded with campaign ads, debates and constant tension in the Veazey Home --- as my darling husband has a tendency to take politics VERY PERSONAL.
September 2012- Wow! This was an interesting month. Jake started a new class at school. He moved into the 3 year old room. It’s the same group of kids that he has been in school with for two years. The only new thing was his teacher. She is just precious and tried everything to get Jake to adapt. Unfortunately, Jake had other plans. He decided to start biting again….which, we soon learned, was punished a little more severely in the 3 year old room. Jake was sent home from school several times on suspension. My blood pressure stayed high the entire month and it was certainly one of those “seasons”in life that reminded me there are no perfect kids or MOMS! Fortunately, little guy figured it all out and is doing great now. Needless to say, I don’t have many pictures of this month.
And in Benghazi, Libya, an armed attack killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Four State Department officials eventually resigned over the incident. Months later, this story is still at the top of the headlines…
October 2012- We spent a great deal of this month talking about Scooby Doo. Might sound strange – but when a little boy wants to dress up like Scooby for Halloween, he is tempted to talk about it EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH. We had some cousins and friends over to the house for a hayride and a little neighborhood trick-or-treating. The kids had so much fun! I can’t wait to do it again this year and even add in a few other fund things too! I’m thinking we’ll bob for apples! October proved to be pretty scary in the news. Super Storm Sandy hit our east coast and left thousands of people homeless. It was heart wrenching to watch news clips of people and families who walked away from everything they had.
November 2012- Our Thankful hearts (and bellies) were full this month from all the thanksgiving activities. We also managed to squeeze in some Razorback football here and there! Unfortunately, the only thing we are thankful for with the Hogs is that the season is now over and we can start again in 2013. Eli had his 9 month check up and did great. He was just about the 50% mark for height and weight. We also took a family vacation to Branson. This year, we took both sets of grandparents along. We got to go to Silver Dollar City, Branson Landing and even squeezed in a little shopping. We stayed in a fantastic two story cabin that I do believe we will reserve in 2013 too! We might not have vacationed on the beach or toured Europe, but we had a long weekend of family fun – soaking up every moment with my precious kids and parents. The best moment of the trip – Jake played the carnival game where you throw darts at balloons. On his first try he hit one. He might as well have found out he won the lottery. I guess I never knew you could become totally overwhelmed with someone else’s small victories – but Jake had us all excited. The look on his face was awesome! In fact, that picture is now framed beside our bed! Our country once again elected Barack Obama President of the United States of America. He’s not my pick, but for the sake of my kids –I hope he proves me wrong.
December 2012 – Like most families, we try to cram WAY TOO MUCH stuff into December. By the time you sit back and look at your calendar and realize the blunder you've created – its too late. You’re committed. So, bring on the travel and chaos! We started off with a trip to Dallas for the Spence Christmas. Turns out, the quick trip to Texas was a fun idea. We got to take the boys to the ICE exhibit at the Gaylord Hotel, ride snow tubes and even go to Legoland. Of course, if you asked Jake – tops on the list would be riding the “alligator” at the hotel…. or “elevator” for the rest of us.
Jake had his annual Christmas Program at school. This year, he recited the following bible verse, “Mary wrapped him in swaddling cloth and laid him in a manager.” PRECIOUS! I don’t know that I will ever forget the way his sweet three year old voice sounded when he innocently recited those words and did the hand motions.
TThe very next day, Eli got tubes in his ears. So far so good on that front. The very NEXT day, we had a small get together with friends at our house with their kids. The very NEXT day, Our Lifegroup came over for a Christmas party…..the rest of the month looks very similar. Fun was had by all!!!
Christmas was perfect this year. My little guys were both in awe with their new goods and Jake is totally into Santa! That made everything magical for all of us! But, in true “Spence fashion” – I can’t blame this chaos on the Veazey genes - Eli came down with terrible croup on Christmas Day. So, we spent Christmas night in the Memphis ER with Eli. Thankfully, he bounced back just in time to find out we were headed home to 10 inches of snow and no power. Oh well – made everything a little more crazy, but we spent more time with Nana and Dadoo (in their warm, cozy house) and Jake enjoyed his first BIG snow! In world news, our country came to its knees when hearing about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. A mad man broke into a school, killing many – including a room full of five year olds. In the wake of this tragedy comes topics of gun control, mental health awareness and school security. Not new topics – but definitely ones I am more attentive to being a mother of two.
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
We have been completely blessed by God’s grace and mercy in 2012. As we look ahead to 2013, we are hopeful and excited. Our hope is in God’s plan – not our own.