Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

2019 was a year I will never forget. It was a year of change, learning, and renewal. Written are reflections and events from each month this past year. Through it all, the hope of Christ remained constant, for which I am very grateful.

A year ago, I was trying to mentally prepare myself for the start of a new job the next morning. Not only would I be starting a new job, but I would also be working for the first time since the previous July. In the morning I would be dropping our baby off to our babysitter, who had graciously offered to watch him when I went back to work. She was a huge answer to prayer! I was still exhausted as a new mom. My baby’s health wasn’t the best at the time (but wasn’t the worst either), and my own health was definitely a bigger challenge than I was prepared for.  I was so happy to have someone we trusted to watch him for these first few days, but I was nervous because I knew I would miss him terribly. I was excited for a new opportunity to still work with kids, work with family, and teach in a different environment.

In February, we had our son’s dedication at Christ Community Church. It was an exciting day! We settled into a good routine of work, and I really enjoyed where I was at. Some days I would take the baby to our babysitter, and other days he would come with me. With all of the changes taking place in my life, including the emotional changes after having a baby, I decided to see a wonderful therapist who helped me get through my postpartum challenges. I cannot thank God enough for the wisdom, support, and guidance that she gave me. I was also able to see some great doctors who helped with the physical challenges I experienced, and I am so thankful for them!

In March, I started my fourth year of coaching track. It was a bit different with coaching and having a baby. “Could I call myself a track mom now?” I often joked. I loved being back with the middle school kids, back at Cornerstone, and back with my awesome coaches. Going from work to coaching to home with a baby was very tiring, however I was so thankful for the opportunity. Our little guy had so much fun at the couple of track meets we brought him to. The starting gun didn’t even seem to scare him, and he loved watching the kids race. Also, in March, my brother got married, and I had the privilege of coordinating the wedding. It was a special occasion, and the last of the Bailey kids to get married.

Track season ended in early May, just in time for our baby to get his ear tubes. After several ear infections and many sleepless nights, we were thankful for the opportunity for things to turn around for him. They certainly did! We had a wonderful ear specialist who did a great job with him and really helped us as new parents. In May we celebrated Mother’s Day, which was extra special.

Summer was fun for the most part. I continued to work at the daycare in the afternoons but was more part-time for the first part of summer. In the mornings, I taught summer school at Cornerstone, and it was fun to be back in the classroom. I continued to tutor a few students and started teaching some piano lessons. I loved having a variety of part-time things to keep me busy and still not feel like I had an overwhelming schedule. We celebrated Father’s Day with a picnic at the park, and it was great to celebrate Zach and the great dad that he is. I attended the Thrive Summer Series at CCC with family and friends, and I loved spending time with other women and hearing from some amazing speakers.

Our family experienced unexpected loss partway through summer, as both of Zach’s grandparents passed away the same week. We know that God’s timing is perfect, however it was a very tough time with unexpected goodbyes.

In July we took our first trip with our baby to Colorado. It was beautiful, relaxing, and fun as a family of three. Also, in July, my youngest brother and his wife had their baby boy. He is so cute, and it has been fun to see my brother as a dad. He is a great one.

In August I was back to working full-time, continuing tutoring, piano lessons, and enjoying time being a wife and mom. We celebrated my Grandma’s 90th birthday and had the entire family in town for the occasion. One of my best friends got married in Beatrice, and I enjoyed helping coordinate her wedding as well.

September was a big month. Our son turned one, and we had a fun dinosaur birthday party for him. I was so thankful to celebrate his first year and to see all that God had done in our lives. He is good! We enjoyed the fall weather, went to the pumpkin patch, went to the park often, and had firepit nights with friends. Toward the end of September, a very close friend passed away after a tough battle of cancer. Those days were some of the hardest I have experienced, but God is good. We had spent a lot of time with her this past year, and I was thankful for each of those moments.

In October, I took a trip with several of my TCS girlfriends to Colorado. Although it was a weekend that our son was pretty sick, it ended up being a great trip. Zach is such a wonderful dad, and he got through a tough weekend of little sleep, doctor appointments, and caring for our son on his own. Colorado was beautiful, hours with good friends was memorable, and the hot springs were incredible.  

In November we celebrated Thanksgiving with our families, and then took a weekend trip with friends to Okoboji. It was wonderful! We spent time in a cozy lake house during a snow/ice storm, cooked, played games, and talked by the fire. We went to a holiday lighting event, walked the downtown area, and also found a fun indoor water park that everyone loved.

December was so fun. We decorated our house even before Thanksgiving (a first for us), and spent many hours just savoring the Christmas season. It was the first December I’ve ever had that was truly relaxing, not jam-packed with events, and it was because that’s what we chose. It was one of the best decisions for our family. Yes, we spent lots of time with family and friends, but we also said no to plenty of things so that we didn’t get caught up in a busy schedule. This really helped us remember the true meaning of Christmas and not let the earthly schedules get in the way. I had several girls’ hallmark nights at our house. We hosted a huge family baking day, baked together as a family of three, and also had friends over to bake at random times. We sang to Christmas music (both the fun stuff and the worship songs) every day, had many dance parties in the kitchen with the dog and our son, and spent many hours just hanging out by the pretty Christmas tree. We watched a few Christmas movies, watched the snow fall, drove around to see lights, and just took time to be still. We read books, enjoyed the Christmas services and concerts at church, and had a great Christmas party with our journey group. Zach and I both had a good amount of time off of work, which we were so grateful for. We spent quality time with both of our families at Christmastime, and for the first time, decided to stay in on New Year’s Eve and not host anything here. We got into our pajamas early, watched Winnie the Pooh with our soon, had some snacks, watched some movies, and just enjoyed time together. We spent time reflecting on the past year, praying for our new year, and just barely stayed awake until midnight to hear the first fireworks of 2020.

God has been so good to us. It has been an eventful year, and a year of change. Written are many of the highlights, as well as some of the lows, but God’s faithfulness never changes. He has blessed us incredibly, taught us some tough things, and has continued to love us through it all. Though our circumstances may change, He remains constant yesterday, today, and forever.