Saturday, December 31, 2011

So We Say Goodbye..

The internet is awash with people posting their top 10 projects, or recipes, or favorite this-or-that's from 2011, and while I've enjoyed reading the posts, I'm not inspired to come here and write one myself. I don't think I have 10 posts from this year that were worth revisiting, nor can I stretch my memory hard enough to come up with 10 events from this year that were worth remembering. So what I think I am going to do, right now,  is go through and upload a photo from each month of the year, and write about it. Maybe I'll get to the end and decide that 2011 had some bang-up moments after all and I can send it off with a bit of gladness. Sound fun? Let's go!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Little Word

2011 will be forever remembered in my mind, as the year that I fell apart. The year started out amazingly, and I had really strong hopes that it was going to be THE year after a string of rather craptastic years,and I can't tell you how excited I was for it.  Then, in late February, things started to fall apart, and it was one worse than the next until I got to a point when I honestly wondered if I would reach a breaking point. If you've  never had to look life in the face and wonder just how much more you were capable of taking before you couldn't take One.More.Thing., then consider yourself very lucky. It's not a fun place to be, and I can only tell you that in my life I've been through some pretty wretched things, and this year really takes the cake. I consider it a huge accomplishment that I've made it to here, this last week of the year, mostly in one piece.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In Which We Find... A Fine Young Man

Just recently I had several conversations with a few different people where I've likened teenagers to toddlers. I had this revelation within the last few months and it was both startling and amusing to me at the same time. Much like toddlers, teenagers require lots of sleep, eat large amounts of foods, go through rapid mood swings and throw temper tantrums at the drop of a dime. I remember being so grateful when my children grew out of their toddler years, yet it seems they are back in them again, only this time much larger and louder. No one warned me about this part of parenting, and I felt a little bit ill-prepared for it. Having two teenagers at the same time has been difficult at best and that's sugar coating over the worst of it. I am thankful however that he is coming off the worst of it as she is heading into it, so there's that.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In Which We Find An Anniversary.....

In an effort to keep the blog from reflecting what's going on with me internally, I've chosen instead to remain quiet. I thought about doing some fluffy-nonsense kind of posts like I've done in the past, but really, those aren't the kind of posts that I'm all about. As I've been going back and working on labeling all the old posts on my blog, those are the ones that make me cringe when I read them. I won't take them off, but I'm certainly not going to be adding any new ones. As I look back at the number of posts I've done this year in total, I can see what a struggle the year has been overall. There are other years that have been challenging for different reasons, and the number of posts in those years reflects a similar patterns. In prior years, I used to just come here and rant and rave about whatever thing was festering inside of me. The empty space on the screen was an invitation to get it all out. Release the poisons that were trapped inside so that they weren't building up like an internal time bomb just waiting to explode. But I realized, that my blog was starting to sound whiny. That all my posts were starting to take on a similar theme, and I didn't like it. I didn't like writing them, and I can't imagine that you liked reading them.

Friday, December 09, 2011

When You Need To Change Your Focus

Today was one of those kind of days. I had taken next Friday off as a personal day to get ready for Uncle Christmas about a month ago. Then my Grampa got sick and we moved the date to this weekend so that he could join us, and then we moved the location to my brother's house so that it wouldn't be such a far drive for him. I decided that I'd switch my personal day to today and use it to get ready for my niece's visit tomorrow and Uncle Christmas on Sunday. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

130. Welcoming her into the church and celebrating her first birthday.

131. The tender way he holds my hands to warm them.

132. Hearing her laugh with the students after suffering such a tragic loss.

133. A stretch of mild days this late into the year.

134. Twilight on the way home after a long, disappointing day in Boston.

135. The excitement of a young child who turned my whole day around.

136. They came to participate in the lighting of the Advent candle and the daily reflection without being asked or complaining.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

In Which We Find a Heavy Heart..

Having never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before, I felt pretty awesome about that fact that I could choose whatever dishes I wanted to make and created a completely gluten free dinner. That, aside from any epic cooking failures, I could put delicious food on the table and start a new family tradition that wasn't overshadowed by memories of years gone by. There would be no discussion of "too bad we can't have _____ this year" and "isn't it a shame mom can't eat _____". Which, even with the burnt cornbread muffins and my foolish oversight that caused a doubling of the gravy recipe, I feel was a huge success. I put a lot of mental energy into planning Thanksgiving, because in my heart I was dreading what was to follow.

Friday, December 02, 2011

At the End of the Day

Some days are better than others. On those days I can ignore the eye rolling. I can shrug off the attitude, turn a blind eye to the piles and the mess that seems to follow them wherever they go and ignore that they haven't done the things that I have asked them to do at least three times already that day. On those days I can keep my voice calm and answer back with kind words and be the kind of parent that I always wished I had when I was in the same place where they are. I can offer them solutions to problems or work through situations with the voice of reason or experience.