Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Highlights and Lowlights, or, 2011 in Review

You know we're getting closer to the end of the year when all the review shows come out. The Biggest, Brightest, or Not So Much of whatever year is about to close. I usually find them sort of annoying, but this is my list, so how annoying can it be? I'm not seperating them by category. This is just the list, good, bad, or otherwise.

  • We started the year with great expectations and an impending move to Texas. So much excitement! You have never seen someone pack a box quicker than me. I had boxes stacked on boxes stacked on boxes. We cleaned out and purged and gave away and threw out. We had to clean out the shed to have room for the boxes. We said good bye to friends and family. We cried and laughed and touted the benefits of technology and the various ways of keeping in touch. The day before hubby and I were going to leave to find a home in our new state, hubby got a  phone call. The job was on hold. Good thing we didn't leave. That was the week of the horrible ice and snow and we would have been stuck for at least that week, if not longer. The job remained on hold for another four months. Hubby finally called and asked for his name to be removed from the job. The hold had taken it's toll on our family and we were miserable. Two months later the boss called and said the job was finally released. Would hubby be interested? No, but thank you. The unpacking was just as miserable. All the hopes and dreams gone like dust and memories.
  • We stayed in Florida! Our friends are our family here. There were many tears shed when we announced our move. There were gatherings where goodbyes were said and then we stayed. At one point, I heard there were rumblings we had made it up, that we were never really moving. Then you don't know us, do you? It was comforting to be welcomed back into the fold of loving friends. Thank you for that!
  • The kids and I went to Texas and were able to spend many weeks with family and friends. I wanted the kids to be able to go to Mermie's and spend some time. I wanted them to spend time with their Auntie and their cousins. We don't get to see them often and I NEEDED them to have that connection. I needed to have that connection. It was glorious!!! I got to see family and friends. I got to help, and in some cases hinder. We absolutely loved it. The only downside: hubby had to stay home and work. We missed him something fierce! It was so good to see him at the airport. And he brought me a Cinnabon. Because he rocks that way. And he loves me. Crazy man.
  • We bought a hydroponic tower. Hubby has been into hydroponics for years, but never really did anything about it. This was like a starter kit for him. It has been trial and error, but we love it! He even has a few design modifications he wants to try when he builds another one. We see it as a step to self-sufficiency. We're already planning spring crops. Strawberries will be part of that. And bok choy. And spinach. And zucchini, and, and, and...
  • Hubby got a solar kit for Christmas. It is quite the little project. Our dream is to one day be off the grid. If we could afford the house to be solar, it would have been done years ago. I like that we can start small and work out the kinks. I like that we can make this a reality one day. I like the learning curve.
  • There has been a rift in the family. Hubby and I have distanced ourselves from his brother and his brother's wife. I have excused myself from all family gatherings, including holidays. I have tried three times to mend the rift, with no help from the other side and even some meddling from a parental unit. Instead, I get called all kinds of names (joy sucker being my favorite) and have become the one that caused the rift. Bite me. I have always thought that if you are big enough to say the words, you need to be big enough to say them straight to someone's face. Just trying to take some responsibility, but that didn't happen either. I hate this phrase now: it is what it is. No, it is what you make it. I can make this whatever I want. I choose to make it gloriously freeing!
  • For the first time in years, I can actually say that I enjoyed the holidays. It was stressful and touch and go there for a little bit, but once it was settled, it was settled. We had great holidays with our pod and lots of offers from friends to share in their joy. We declined, needing to make our own joy. And we did! It was one of the best holiday seasons we have ever had.  
  • Music has filled our home!! We bought a piano from an auction house/thrift store in a neighboring town. When I say we bought it super cheap, I mean we bought it SUPER CHEAP. Her name is Mabel and she is beautiful. She was horribly out of tune and had sticking keys, but no longer. The sound of my girls playing just brightens my day. The baby was given a guitar early in the year, or at the end of last year. When the choice came to play piano or guitar, she chose piano. The boy, on the other hand, chose guitar. We were lucky and blessed enough to find a wonderful teacher for the boy. The boy is loving it. Since my dad plays, it had always been my hope that one or all of my kids would play. And that goes in the plus column.
  • School has been fun for us. There are the required books, but we started an art study towards the holidays. We needed to unwind and do something fun. We are going to continue that. The kids have really enjoyed it and so have I. I've enjoyed it so much, I may go get myself a sketch book. The kids all have one, and I'm a little jealous. I may sit down and lesson plan today. After the laundry and dishes. Hmmmmm...
  • We found two new libraries in our county system that have become favorites. One is very small and is about 10 minutes from the house. It is very comfy and homey and the people there are nice. They even removed a nasty note that one of the librarians at our other library had attached to each of our accounts. The second library is quite big and is on a junior college campus. The kids section is bigger than most and the kids beg to go there. The big girl likes the "youth" section. I still need to watch what she picks up. Some of those books should be in the adult section. I randomly picked one off the shelf and flipped through it. Yeah, not what I want any teenager reading, specially mine. The kids like the library so much and the selection of books, I have to limit how many books they can check out. It has reignited the love of reading in my kids. Yea!!
  • We are dancing again this year! We had stopped for awhile, one of the reasons being the move. Amazing what doing what you love can do for your spirit. The baby girl has turned out to be quite the tapper. I am just overjoyed that she chose to tap. Makes me miss my tap shoes. She taps everywhere we go: standing in line, shopping, waiting for an appointment, wherever. The boy is back to jazz. I think that is where his dance heart lies. He is such a great dancer. He is again the only boy in his class, and he is alright with that. But you should see his grand jete. Great height and extension.He may take some ballet over the summer. We'll see. The big girl has moved from the hip hop class she has been in for the last 3 or 4 years. She likes her new class, and in my humble opinion, is the best one in the class. Who would have thought that my sweet, quiet girl could be so funky? Um, me, for one. And even Mama is taking hip hop. It's something I've wanted to do for many years, but the scheduling never quite worked for me. This year, it works. I miss tap, but I fill that with hip hop. I just love dancing and am very happy about the chance to get to shake my groove thing. 
  • And finally, I have become the mother of a teenager. Holy smokes, how did that happen? You should see her. She is beautiful. And very well protected from stinky boys. And hubby has guns. And he knows how to use them. And if you come near her, he'll use them. All of them. But that isn't where this is going. She is amazing and I love her and I am blessed to be her mama.
That's our year in review. Not much, but tons all at the same time. The new year will bring new challenges, but also new blessings and new beginnings. May yours be bright and joy filled and fruitful and prosperous and blessed. Ours will be!

Have a great day. 


Tiffany said...

I love posts like these...it's certainly been an "interesting" year for your family. From what I read on your blog though, your family has bonded together during these times and you guys seem so happy and content with each other. It's the hard times that really cement a family together and a family that has a good relationship is such a huge blessing. You are starting a legacy in your family that will extend into their own families. Happy New Year!

Cristy said...

Thank you, Tiffany. It's important for us that the kids know what's going on with certain things. They are so good at rallying around our family. Just amazes me. And we'd rather be with each other than anyone else. Just makes me smile. Happy New Year to you, too!!