Saturday, December 31, 2011


I don't know what you have planned for New Year's Eve tonight, but in this household the buzz is all about the new iCarly coming on. I promised the kids if they cleaned their rooms they could stay up until 8:00 to watch it. You would've thought I told them we were going to watch the ball drop in Time Square. Same level of excitement around here. :) I thought I would share the kids resolutions with you.

         Sarah plans to exercise more, read more and take better care of her teeth. (You know she did NOT get the exercise thing from me.)
 Eli wants to make his AR score even higher and brush his teeth more. (Thanks Sid the Science Kid, for teaching us how important it is to take care of our teeth.)

                                         I asked Kate what her goals are and she did this......

When I think about the year 2011 it is the first one I can remember, maybe since I got married that was pretty uneventful. At least by our standards. For a while it seemed that every year held job changes, moves, babies or all kinds of big life stuff. This year, we enjoyed a kind of  "settled" existence that brought lots of new memories, challenges and fun times. 

We had some new stuff~

* We hosted our first open house for the church at Easter
* Eli played t-ball on the most awesome t-ball team in town
* I finished my first year as a dance teacher and had the chance to dance with Sarah
* I got a job teaching theatre and that was something VERY NEW!
*Kate got her first manicure. :)

We had some milestone stuff~

*Josh and I celebrated 10 years of marriage
* Our niece, Layla, was born
* Kate started pre-k

We had some fun times~
* Our kids have reached ages where things like bowling and the beach and going to the movies has become really fun!
* I had an awesome girls weekend getaway
*Josh got to play golf in Pensacola with his buddy, Matt
* We went to our first FSU game as a family and had tons of fun and ate lots of food
* Luke and Lyla got to spend the night at Aunty Em's all by themselves!
* The kids have had the opportunity to spend lots of time with the grandparents and be extra spoiled!
*Josh and I had an anniversary getaway that was heavenly!

We had some great victories~

*We saw our two brothers return safe from Afghanistan
* Sarah and Eli were both named Dazzling Dolphins in their grades for the year
* Our church began a children's church
* I was able to avoid surgery by making some big changes to my diet (something I've got to start doing better at again!)
* We payed off an $8,000 student loan in 10 months. 

Yes, we did. And when I think back on 2011 that is truly the greatest victory. Not just for financial reasons, but because it overshadowed everything that happened in 2011. We were in a very difficult situation trying to pay that off and it meant that there were some experiences and opportunities this last year that had to be sacrificed. And it turned out to be the greatest thing for us. We do not use credit cards so when we were told we had to make almost $700 payments every month, I cannot even tell you the stress that hit this house. It was a suffocating, strangling kind of stress. There was panic and desperation. I try not to talk about money. I was taught it is not polite. But I just can't let this year go by without giving God the glory He is due, because truly I can't explain how we ended this year on our feet without Him. Every month, that payment got  made. We were blessed that there were many times Josh was able to work with his Dad and make some extra money. We thought it would be paid off in May, but then we got notice that the company had misfigured and we owed another $700. At that point we were planning to go on a  cruise to celebrate our anniversary and we knew that was out the window. We figured any plans for the rest of the summer were out the window. But, then what do you know? I randomly got offered a job teaching summer theatre classes and not only would it cover that last payment, but we would have enough to still do our weekend trip. Those months really became a blessing as we saw God work, but also realized how much better stewards we could be of our money if we were able to make those payments. What else could we be doing with that money for God's glory? God began to do a work in my heart about what is truly necessary in our lives and what are unnecessary luxuries that we don't even really miss. 

I can say that this year has been so full of blessings. It has been a year for me personally of tough lessons. Of asking God to show me my heart and Him doing just that. I haven't always liked what I've seen. There's a lot of work to be done. I've also been reminded of a side of me I had forgotten. The side that loves to be creative. It has been a fun time for Josh and I to work on projects together and pray over our church together.  But I will forever remember 2011 as a year of having my eyes opened. Opened to possibilities and new adventures. Opened to need and heartache around me. Opened to the reality that the world does not revolve around me and that is a GOOD thing. 

I have my normal resolutions. Eat healthier, lose my weight I've found again, keep my house clean. But this year, I have such greater resolutions. I resolve that I will be a more caring, encouraging wife. I resolve that I will make my home a place of love and a refuge for people who might need it.  I resolve that there will be more of Him and less of me. I resolve that I will care more about others and be more thoughtful towards them. I resolve that instead of living for moments of quiet and rest, I will live for moments when God can use me to bless someone else. Mostly, I resolve to fall more in love with Him and learn to lean on His strength. I resolve that in whatever 2012 brings, I will remember where my joy and peace come from. I resolve to speak with the same passion and conviction of Paul when he said, 

" I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
                                  ~Philippians 4:12-13

We pray that this year, no matter what your circumstances you will know the contentment and peace of Jesus! And that you will have lots of laughter, someone to hold your hand, and that you only look back if it makes you smile! Oh, and good reading and healthy teeth, too!  :)

                    HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE FIDLERS!!!
And a special congratulations to my cousin Drew who is getting married today and our friends Matt and Cortnee who are welcoming their baby, Zhane, today!! What a way to start off the new year!


Melody said...

Love the family picture on the beach .....great picture of all of you. Love Kate's look in that picture too....hilarious!!! Reminds me of Sophie: when she's Up she's Up but when she's not she's NOT! Ha! Happy New Year!!!

Karen said...

Love this post! I pray your year is all you hope for and more! Love you!