Saturday, December 31, 2011
2011 was a quiet year here on the blog...not that life was quiet. Since it's traditional to look back at the last year before we move forward into the new one, I thought I'd bring the blog up to speed with how life went, month by month. This year has been more a span of ordinary days punctuated by the extraordinary, both good and bad, so some months stand out more than others, but that's the ebb and flow of life, isn't it?
We started a remodeling project that completely overhauled the "public" areas of the house. Thanks to help from friends, the work went more smoothly than it might have otherwise. In the mean time, I was starting my final semester of my bachelor's degree.
Photo credit: http://www.21stcenturycollaborative.com
If I'm honest, I don't remember a thing from February. Not even Valentine's Day. There are also no pictures to jog my memory. Suffice to say, life went on as usual: studying, writing, working.
In March we made a trek out to a maple sugaring festival, the same one my husband and I went to as children. Nothing beats watching maple sap boiled down to maple sugar, and moving to the next room for freshly fried and frosted maple doughnuts. The weather was fairly mild, too, so we enjoyed ourselves.
April began with a curious April Fool's Day supper: "Grilled Cheese" (aka grilled angel food cake and lemon frosting dyed more orange) and "Cupcakes" (aka meatloaf and colored mashed potato frosting). The kids loved it. Otherwise, spring was sprung, a major local history project was presented, my son and I went on a field trip to a living history museum, and we got the news that my mother's health was deteriorating rapidly.
May was a full month. I graduated with honors with my bachelor's in history. My brother graduated with his bachelor's in military science and psychology.
Our mother passed away.
Whether expected or sudden, there is no real preparation for that passing.
June was chaos: dealing with the aftermath of grief, my youngest brother's high school graduation, and the remodeling entering a more difficult demolition and rebuilding. Finally toward the end of the month, we began to see some changes for the better.
Two words: The Heat. It was possibly the worst summer for heat that I can remember, and work on the house slowed to a stop. Without A/C, our days were spent under the trees, searching for a breeze; lazing around the darkened house, which still reached 95* inside; and finally, breaking down and going wading in the cold mountain streams to cool off properly. We waited with baited breath til the sun went down, panting for the cooler air and looking forward to the nightly display of fireflies.
August brought birthdays and a new school year for the kids. It also brought my new beginning: graduate school. I am now in a master's program for education, so this perpetual student will be in school indefinitely. With a rainstorm and some hail, it also brought a break in the horrible heat we'd been surviving.
September came and went quietly, with school and work and the gradual changing of the seasons. Fall was around the corner.
Our first snow of the year came in October, just three days before Halloween. Normally October is a cool month with a slightly dimming sun in a bright blue sky...this October saw grey clouds and a white blanket on the ground over the leaves.
November was a month of thankfulness: thankful that my veteran came home safe and sound, thankful for wonderful children, thankful for close family, thankful for the many blessings in our lives, and thankful for the new job that has made life so much easier for my husband. Despite the hardships, there was much to be thankful for this year.
The year closed out with happiness, again. The semester ended well for the students. My father found love again and remarried, my brother and his fiance married, and my husband and I celebrated our 11th anniversary. This holiday season was no more perfect than any other, but it was a good one. The house is finally done, our relationship none the worse for wear, and we're looking forward to a wonderful new year.
I wish the same for you, this New Year's Eve. Blessings!
Friday, December 30, 2011
I'm borrowing this Fill In the Blank Friday from my friend, Kallay. If you're not already reading her, you should...she is a barrel of laughs wrapped in a heart of gold. Or something like that.
1. New Year’s is a breath of fresh air, a randomly chosen time of new beginnings, hopes, and dreams. It's interesting that New Year's isn't on the first day of Spring, when you would think "new growth" and "new beginnings." Then again, I don't understand the decision behind fiscal years and having them start in October, so maybe logical timing isn't the key here.
2. One of my New Year’s resolutions will be...I'm not sure. There are many things I could improve in my life...my efficiency, my study habits, my reading habits, my organization, time spent with family and friends...wait, what am I saying?
Bill Watterson really nailed New Year's, didn't he?
3. A New Year’s resolution (goal) I’ve made in the past was to read 100 books in a year. I more than made that goal. This year was 50, and I'm at 41, so I may or may not make it.
4. The most time consuming resolution (goal) I ever made was I honestly can't remember. Possibly becoming organized, because I'm still working on it. I believe that goal was made when I was 14.
5. This year I will be spending New Year’s Eve with the kiddos and the hubs. We have nothing particularly earth-shaking planned.
6. If I could wish one thing for my new year it would be peace. I'd like to feel at peace with my decisions, and with how life is playing out.
7. 2012 is going to be a year of love, and a year of loss. A year of hope, and a year of despair. A year of growth, and a year of death. A year that holds the best of times, and the worst of times, as Dickens so aptly put it. No year is particularly different from another across the board, although events mark them differently for each of us. I wish everyone a year of blessings and joy to leaven the sadness and hardships we all face. Happy New Year!