Not sure how it happened (since I just cleaned, and it feels like I was in this same spot last week), but my house is a disaster, my son is screaming (hold on… okay, I’m back), and another year has already come and gone. It’s the third week of December, and I am just now sitting down to write and to reflect. As always, there is so much to say and SO little time and space. In short, this was a year of truth, transition and tantrums for the Tschetters. We’re a little older, a little wiser, and we are definitely not the same family we were last December (hallelujah!).
They are energetic, ever-present and exceptional all at once. They giggle and scream like no others, and they share an uncanny ability to unload the contents of an entire room onto the floor in 90 seconds flat! Together, they embody the most monumental of blessings, yet they stretch and humble us beyond words.
Maya, our frenetic, nearly-four-year old, rises before the sun and often emerges from her room in a pink leotard and tutu. Apparently, she feels most comfortable in a tiara. She literally springs about the house speaking imaginary Spanish then randomly breaks out into high-pitched song. She loves to cook, and she is an artist, a student and a sponge to the core. She likes things how she likes them, and she has mastered the ancient art form of whining when things don’t go her way.
On any given day, you will find Cole, now two-and-a-half, with a finger up his nose or a bead in his sticky little hand, donning a backpack, a baseball cap and a wide-eyed grin. He loves to launch trains, trucks and just about anything from elevated surfaces.
Recently, he discovered how to launch himself from his crib to the floor. Once a little man of few words, Cole is now talking (loudly), and constantly attempting new words and sounds (Did I mention how loud he is?!). He sings to himself, he dances in the presence of all music, he loves preschool, sports and his bear, and he rarely sits down (an interesting challenge for potty training, as you can imagine). Cole throws award-winning tantrums, yet he greets family, friends and strangers alike with a wave, a hug and a smile.
Paul and I have become bona fide grownups (huh?!).
We are now in our thirties. We own businesses and have responsibilities; we multitask, we prioritize, and we must be intentional (yikes!). There have been MANY wonderful moments for each of this year: we celebrated our sixth anniversary, Paul just put his first commercial real estate deal into contract, he and the kids have spent priceless time together each Tuesday this fall, and he even found time to golf. I worked with 10 families to bring their babies into the world, I completed my first semester of grad school, and I finally released my death grip on the cookie jar and shed a few pounds in the process. Nevertheless, it’s been tough at times to keep up with the relentless messes, demands and sobering truths of real life. Nearly every step we have taken this year has been refining and arduous. This has been our toughest year of marriage, in that the innocence, spontaneity and novelty of the past have made way for schedules, clients and the daunting task of raising kind, compassionate, and generous human beings in spite of our shortcomings. In addition to the joy, peace, desire and elation Paul and I have shared, we have each experienced true feelings of disconnectedness, disappointment, frustration, sadness and exhaustion this year. More than ever before, the power and import of growing beyond the feeling of love to the choice of it has become clear. Slowly, we are learning to delight in the simple pleasures of silence, a smile, good health, good conversation, a good workout, a good attitude, a crisp apple, a well-written sentence, a free moment, a clean kitchen, a 10-minute car wash, a new golf club, a new day, clean air, life, liberty, love… (I could go on).
This year has revealed that we are each works in progress with plenty of room for improvement. We have seen that real life can be funny, messy, awkward, and it rarely fits into a pretty little package. The road of unity, commitment and sacrifice ahead may be tumultuous - definitely that one “less traveled.” And yet, as we reflect on the past and look ahead to the future, we rejoice in the reality that we are inept and that He is sufficient. Nearly every day, we are reminded of the privilege of knowing the One who sent His son; we are blessed, indeed. May you enjoy the blessings, the messes and the simple pleasures of real life this Christmas and New Year. Take care, and please stay in touch.