As 2011 draws to a close I have been reflecting on the year we have had as a family and all the memories we have created together. It has been a wonderful mix of great times and like everyone else, has had it's share of challenging experiences too.
We have faced the trial of my husband's redundancy and the uncertainty this brings to your life. The fear of the unknown has always been great for me and it has been a real trial of my faith to trust that this challenge would pass and that something would pop up.
Thankfully, something did and I have learnt a lot from this experience. I have learnt never to take any job for granted and to prepare for times of trial. It has also made me change my perspective of my husband's work and to accept and deal with all the aspects that go with his career, such a long hours at the office and time spent away from family.
Instead of resenting this, I have made a conscious choice to accept it and remember the ways we have been blessed, rather than focusing on the things we can't change. This has helped me tremendously and I feel a lot happier in myself. This in turn gives me strength to keep going and trying my best to become the mother I want and need to be for my children.
I still have a long way to go and I am far from perfect, however I am looking forward to continuing to work on this in 2012 as we face the challenges that come our way.
On the flipside, I have had the most fantastic year in my work as a teacher. I am truly blessed to have a job which I love and this year in particular, has been a highlight. I have had 31 of the most amazing, bright, thoughtful students and I can honestly say that it has been a pleasure going to work each day with them.
My work is important to me, however I am aware that it does consume a lot of my time and energy. This year I felt that all that effort was worth it and I was so proud of each and every one of my students and the progress they made. When you spend six hours a day with a group of people, you become very close and I was very sad when the year drew to a close. It was one of those special classes that helped make 2011 such a wonderful, memorable year for me. :)
2011 has also marked a milestone in little Harry's life. On 20 December he turned five and bid farewell to his preschool days. He has loved his time there and it has made such a difference to me as a working mum, to know that he is being cared for in a loving, supportive environment.
He is always happy to go each morning and greet his teachers and friends and I know that he has many fond memories of his time there. Rosie has also had a wonderful year with a fantastic teacher and has continued to grow in confidence.
She is a naturally shy girl, but has gained so much confidence in herself through her dancing and performing. She has also turned into a little bookworm, something that makes me very happy as I was a bookworm from a young age and loved to read.
Overall, it has been a wonderful year and I am so grateful that much of it has been documented through Project Life. It has been a challenge to keep up with this project all year, however it has been worth it and I am grateful we have a beautiful keepsake which has captured the history of our family.
2012 will be an exciting one for our family. We are especially looking forward to welcoming a new baby to the family in April and I can't wait to get stuck into preparations for the new little one. I am looking forward to digging out all the little clothes and setting up the nursery. I have already begun "nesting" and my "to do" list is a mile long at the moment.
I am aware that life doesn't stop once you have a baby, however with a five year age gap I am also a little worried that there is a lot I have forgotten! I am also hoping to document the baby stage of this new bub a little more thoroughly than I have for the first two.
I am looking forward to 2012 with a sense of excitement. In the meantime, here are a few snapshots of the last few days of 2011 for the Bennett family. We have had a beautiful Christmas with our family, lots of time in the pool, a hike up Rangitoto and fun at the park. We are looking forward to creating more beautiful memories in the months to come. :)