2013 in Review

I didn’t mail out a letter this year.  In the past it has been very important to me, and this year (as well as the last few) it’s just OK with me to not stress over.  I do hope to pick up the habit again in the future, it’s just not important right now.  Simple and low key while putting energy into what really matters has become the theme.

2013.  MUCH better than 2012.  What a quick whip around the sun it has been!  You could call this the year of games.  Not computer or console games, but tabletop games.  We’ve learned and enjoyed many games and spent hours around the table talking, giggling and working on sportsmanship.

In January our Joey turned 5.  Aiden was also baptized, and it was a chilly month.

The spring thawed slowly, and it had been a relatively dry winter, so as things thawed we were watchful, but we never had any issues.  By late May it was pretty clear that we were going to be OK, we had no flood risk, and we were probably heading into a heavy drought season.

Kevin and Michael celebrated their birthdays in May.  We kept thing simple and low key.  All Michael wanted was a Mineraft Creeper cake.  I gave it a go, but failed miserably.  It was a joke, but Michael was grateful for the effort and very sweet about it.  I guess I learned the importance for doing trial runs, but who really wants two batches of fondant?

June kicked off the last summer before everyone was in school full time.  My birthday was low key and quiet.  Just what I needed!  We had a good summer.  I suffered a few more migraines than normal which was frustrating.

The end of August marked the end of any preschoolers in our home.  Bittersweet!  Joey made it into the small all day kindergarten program.  This has been SUCH a blessing for our family.  Joey is a smart boy but he’s also stubborn, he refused to work on the things a child really should know before he starts Kindergarten, and so I was at a loss, but fairly confident that once he started Kindergarten that he’d begin to “get it” and see that his peers were trying and understand the absolute need to give it an honest effort.  I’m thrilled to share that he is excelling and he’s getting it.  His teachers have also given me some tools to compliment their teaching methods so I get to see his progress at home.

I adore all of the boys teachers.  They each have their strengths and personalities that are just perfect for my child in their class.

Once the boys were all in school, I was suddenly home alone for 6.5 hours a day.  I had planned on going back to school, and I still do, but the idea of picking up more student loans and fighting migraines while studying was daunting to say the least.  I kept feeling that I’d just put it off a little more and more, see how things were next month…  It just didn’t feel right quite yet.  At the same time Kevin had been dealing with increasing chronic pain in his joints.  He was getting weekly and sometimes bi-weekly blood tests along with his regular bi monthly injections, and at times weekly doctors appointments.  Something was wrong, but nobody could put a thumb on it.  He was put on what seemed like dozens of supplements.  He finally had to had to pull out the old cane just to walk.  It felt a little bit like the world was spinning out of control for both of us.

I was looking for a job, and everything I was interested in was just not hiring, or required working weekends.  No good.  At this time of turmoil and frustration, especially with Joey making one of the bigger transitions in his life, it was important to me to be able to be there for my children when they are home as much as humanly possible.  At the beginning of the school year I’d heard of some positions at the school that needed filling, as well as seeing some of my neighbors start the year as teachers aides, I didn’t apply immediately because I felt very unsteady and felt we needed to find a rhythm of how things would go, or if Joey could handle the all day program before making any moves.  By this point school had been is session about a month, and so I went to the kids principle and asked if anything was still available, there was nothing.  I offered to volunteer or come in for back up if ever needed.

About this time Kevin was finally diagnosed with Crohns related Arthritis.  We’re not sure why things have gotten better, but he’s off the cane and for the most part is doing pretty well again.

Aiden ended up breaking three bones in his foot on the bounce house at he school carnival in September.  It was a good thing I didn’t have a job and wasn’t in school yet as he ended up staying home from school for two weeks until he was steady on his foot again and able to walk on his cast.  On one of his first days back in school I went over to bring him home and the principle caught me and offered me a job.  At first I thought he was just asking me to volunteer, so I was shocked when my pay was discussed.  I began my job the next week as an aide, and have been loving it ever since.  This has been a good thing for all of us.  I finally have something meaningful and important outside of my family.  This is a first since my pregnancy with Michael.  This job is a blessing and has brought me so much joy!  I’m really happy to be there and contributing as well as in a position to communicate with my children’s teachers easily and casually.  Aiden’s foot ended up healing really well and he’s doing great.

Another milestone was reached this fall, Michael passed up Grandma and is nearly 5’5″ tall already!  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he passes me up by his next birthday.

At the beginning of December we celebrated Aiden’s 9th birthday we had funfettie cupcakes with orange frosting and red sprinkles.  We had a great Christmas.  We’ve enjoyed so much family time and just playing games and chilling together and are ready to go back to school next week.  What a quick year it’s been!!

We wish all of our friends and family the very best New Year ever!

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