I’m generally a pretty pessimistic person. My wife would be the fist to tell you that I generally look at the downside in any given situation. That being said, I was very tempted to type up a big Forget(edited) You 2013 article. It was a tough year, especially the second half. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster since August. Beginning with finding out we were having twins – to the impromptu trip to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for our TTTS intervention surgery. Then, after a successful surgery, being told the placental share for our girls was 90/10 and to be prepared to make some tough decisions. Weekly ultrasound trips to Des Moines. To my wife being on modified bed rest and eventually being hospitalized for six and half weeks. Our finances and insurance responsibilities. Finally the birth of our twin girls (see I finally mentioned something positive).

Last month I began to realize how powerful negative emotions are and how easy they take hold. Anger, envy, resentment, frustration and anxiety(something I’ve struggled with most of my life). I was all these things and it was easy.

Finally I began to actually set aside time to be grateful. I had to actually sit down and focus to let gratitude in. Not just once but daily. Gratitude, prayer, contentment and happiness. It took effort to allow myself to feel these things.

I focused on my family and how blessed we were to have all their support. I looked back at how much our community has helped us through these last few months by easing our financial burdens and praying on our behalf. As well as, offering us kind and encouraging words. I’m looking to pay it forward in 2014.

I’m grateful we were never faced with the “touch decisions” that we were warned about – truly a gift from God.

My wife is tough, stubborn and positive – she was the pillar of optimism. She even helped me re-launch Origin Brothers as an LLC during all of this. It was tough having her in the hospital, but I learned a lot about myself including how to be an even better dad to our 4-year old.

I released my first book, Arrow in the Armor after talking about it for YEARS. I have a short story and a new book already in the works for 2014.

Despite the odds, we were blessed with our twins on December 13. They are getting stronger every day and we can’t wait to bring them home.

Despite how hard this has been, I feel like 2013 may have given me some of the tools I’ve been looking for to begin to live life the way I’ve always wanted. Simple & Happy.

Be grateful for 2013 and I wish you a blessed New Year.

Eliza and Sutton

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