Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saying Goodbye to 2008

Most years I'm all about looking ahead, in fact, I've already started my mental list of things I really want to do next year. Today, though, I've been thinking about this past year and everything we've done. Here are a few highlights:

Em's first sleepover party! - this was huge, because she had been bugging us for years to do this. Kt has a small group of girls that have consistently had sleepovers since kindergarten, so waiting until Em turned 7 seemed a long time for that sweetie. Of course, it was even sweeter because she miraculously stopped wetting her bed ON her birthday. I think she was happier than I was!

Brought Mir to Connecticut! - Kt's birthday present from last year was taking her best friend to visit Mom in CT. I understand what that's like, because CT is a huge part of me, but nobody in MD even knows or cares about it! It's important for the people closest to you to know what special things make up you. Soooo fun to take a friend to that important place!

A&F get hitched! - the culmination of our first experimental pre-marital counseling guinea pigs ended with a beautiful wedding. I can't believe it's been almost a year for those two! It was really fun reliving some of those early married years with two really special people and we're excited to see how God will use a couple who are intentional about sharing Him.

Aud's Baby Shower - this may be a funny thing to highlight in a year, but this was truly fun! All us stay-at-home neighborhood moms got together to celebrate a new little girl baby that was due to arrive. I think it was even more special because there was a time when we weren't sure she would make it, but she did. Such a sweet celebration!

5 years - this past year marked 5 years since my dad died. I won't pretend it wasn't a really tough anniversary. It was kind of brutal. So much has happened that he's missed, and we've all really missed him A LOT! That event added a bunch of questions to my list I have for Jesus when I meet him. As difficult as this day was, it's amazing to see how much we've all grown, how strong my mom has been and how alive our memories are still.

Key West - I am all about tropical places!! If I could choose to move anywhere, I'd move to an island. In fact, I really believe God created me for warm weather! ;-) This is a place I would not hesitate to return to - I belong there! However, the next time I go, I'm going on a boat with or without the love of my life!

PVC's - I never knew what these things were, but they totally interrupted my life this past year. Pre-ventricular contractions, or early, extra heartbeats. I don't really know what caused them, but I'm so thankful they only lasted exactly 3 months. Horrendous.

Flutist - Kt finished her first year of playing the flute, and she loved it! She ended up being adjudicated with a friend and it was such a positive experience. She's a pretty musical little thing!

Graduation - Seniors. There were many of them last year. We went on their last retreat in March, we enlisted them to go on our missions trips and then went to a slew of their parties. Our babysitters, interns, leaders... it was difficult to say goodbye to them, but just as exciting to know that they are going to change their worlds. We're going to see them this Sunday - I can't wait!

Swim Team - This was a HUGE test of my endurance, patience, persistance, discipline and just plain doing something I'd never done before, in many ways! T nor I had ever been on any kind of organized sports team. We had to take the girls to the pool at 8am every morning, (all summer long!), swim meets at 7am on a Saturday (that should be a sin!), keep them motivated and encouraged, even when "losing" was a prominent theme. It was a huge committment, and I'm really glad we followed through with it!

World Missions - 6 trips, $150,000 short term budget, fundraising, pulling together a children's summer curriculum, building teams, meetings, ordering supplies, travel arrangements for 26, 36, etc., passports, visas, missionaries, logistics. I guess the PVC's were expected, but traveling together to Europe with my family was an experience. Spending a week with other families who have given up everything to serve all over Europe was eye-opening. I dream about Europe.

Connecticut - I've spent a lot of time this year missing CT, missing growing up near the beach, missing my family. Oddly, I've had a few friends mention either knowing someone or having been to Fairfield this past year - just weird. I will finally admit that if given the chance to move there, I'd jump without even looking.

New Job - I've gotten my toes wet again teaching. Very part-time, two reading groups, special ed. type stuff. I'm still evaluating whether or not this is something I want to do. I'm so slow to decide, and I really should be taking some classes....

End of SPACE - this one has been the most difficult, I believe. It's a loss I think I'm still mourning. While I selfishly love having T around more, I miss having students around. I really miss them. It's so quiet around here... and my girls miss them, too. I hope that something changes soon in the "grand scheme" of mission at our church.

The move that never happened - had an opportunity to purchase a house with a pool, and for various reasons, it never transpired. With my basement packed, this has been a tough one to bear. I'd even say there has been some feeling of depression that is lingering over this one - grief? I'm sure it will pass... someday.

D&J buy a house - FINALLY! - talk about stress.... and the one time we all really missed my dad the most. Thankfully, everything went through and they are living with my mom until the house is ready for occupants. It's beautiful, and I'm already planning a party in that barn!

Coco Key - we had a few days off this fall and took the girls on a little escape. We had talked about Key West =), Sanibel Island =), then Williamsburg to try out Great Wolf Lodge and finally settled on Coco Key in Waterbury, Connecticut. Just can't get enough of that place. It was fun, relaxing and some good family time. Plus, we got to see the new house!

Salisbury - T got invited to Salisbury University CRU to speak. It was a fun! Organic communities that are student led = amazing! We also served together with them at a soup kitchen - have enjoyed doing more of that as a family!

20th HS Reunion - I was going to just skip this, but then a bunch of old friends joined Facebook and convinced me to go. There is really no way to describe seeing people you went to high school with after 20 years. Strange, fun, goofy and just plain old surprising. Most everyone grew up, but there were still those holdouts!

Christmas - T and I actually made it to his SAIC dinner this year at the Marriott Inner Harbor - so fun! I then was recalling how none of us had been sick since school started.... and now I'm sick! My family came =) and deposited their germs =( and now I have that dreaded cold! Of course, having my whole family here for Christmas was the true highlight of the year!

Serving together as a family - this year, as a family, we went to Hungary to run a kids program, worked in a soup kitchen, fed the homeless in DC, collected $ for bednets for Kt's birthday and operated the Angel Tree table at the mall (while Em and I ran around and collected presents for a little boy on the tree!). These experiences have made this year totally worth it!

There are so many more things on this list, but these come to mind. I have a nice list going of things I'd love to do in 2009, but I first need to take care of this liver issue. Ick. In remembering this past year, answered prayer, fun and serving, it's helping to shape my list for this coming year. More of this, less of that, growing in Him together a must.

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