Oh. My. Word! It just dawned on me that this is the LAST Ten Things of Thankful post of the year! Say, what?! I know it's terribly cliché to say so, but time really does fly. . . Where has the year gone??
So, I thought I would go through my year — full of its ups & downs — & find this week's thankfuls among those. . . Bear with me, this is gonna be a long one! (But I was sure to link up to other posts throughout the year that pertain to this recap, of sorts, so try to have fun with it, will ya?)
If I recall correctly, 2014 was brought in with the handsome husband & I asleep on the couch. Yep. I vaguely remember us both passing out in the living room of our little apartment in Washington State & slightly stirring when there was a brief bit of racket at midnight of fireworks being let off in the distance (& I swear I heard one of the neighbors banging pots & pans out their front door — but maybe that's a memory from much further back! LOL). While it could be viewed as a kind of depressing start to a new year, really, it is humbling & smile-inducing. At least I was warm in my home with the handsome husband. (Thankful #1) Besides, each year is a new opportunity for celebration. . . & we still are not quite sure how we're going to ring in 2015. 😉
January 11 marked 15 years since my mother passed away. It is a hard day pretty much every year for me. . . Even when I manage to “forget” about it until the day arrives, inevitably, at some point during the day, I break down into an uncontrollable sob. . . Sometimes it is extremely brief; other times it lasts all damn day. On January 11, 2014, I planned ahead & invited my younger brother & sister over with my nephews & their significant others. . . My brother-in-law wasn't able to come, but we watched the Seahawks game that day & did our gift exchange since we didn't see each other on Christmas that past year. . . It was a REALLY great day, having my brother & sister around. . . We don't get to spend time together all that often & it was a REALLY beautiful way to spend the anniversary of our mother's death. She would have loved it. . . I felt her presence all day that day. . . & the tears that fell were brief & happy — a beautiful change. I am grateful for that time & I still smile thinking back on it. (Thankful #2)
My first blog post of 2014 didn't come until February (& the post directly prior to that was way back in November 2013. . . I guess I have a habit of falling away when I am feeling down & out, eh?). Anyway, it was dated February 1, which also happened to be my oldest son's 12th birthday. (Yes, that means he'll be a teenager in just over a month now! Ack. Another story. . .). Anyway, the post, “So There's This Boy. . .,” is super short. . . I remember the tears flowing as I wrote it. . . Perhaps, one day soon, I will be able to write more elaborately about my sons. . . But, that was a highly therapeutic little post. . . It reminded me why Calculated Chaos is here. . . & it felt good to put my feelings — no matter how sheltered — out into the world. (Thankful #3)
In fact, in demonstration of just how much of a reminder it was that Calculated Chaos' purpose was to give me a medium to share my tangle of emotional thoughts, the next post was titled, “‘Plum's Cyber Puddle,” later that month. . . It was a nod to my mother & her online adventures. . . & it was a link to a page where I copied her account of the beginnings of her battle with leukemia. It's kind of cool to have a place to keep her words like that. . . & it is quite interesting how much of ME I can see in them. . . (Thankful #4)
Anyway, February 5 was a visit to see my grandmother & my best friend & her husband & children in my hometown. It was also my mother's birthday, so the handsome husband & I took my grandmother (my mom's mom) to my mother's grave to say “Hi!” & “Happy birthday.” It had been quite a while since I had been to visit any of them. . . & it wound up being my last visit before the handsome husband & I moved out-of-state. It was a good couple of days. . . & it reminds me how important it is to make time (&, somehow, room in our budget) to make sure those visits happen regularly & that we don't let TOO MUCH time go by before we make it there again. . . Just over a month to go before it has already been a year. . . What a good reminder, eh? I had better start planning. . . (Thankful #5)
March was the month we moved from Washington to Arizona. We were on the road at midnight the “morning” of March 1. We didn't know exactly where we would be living, but we had been in touch with a few realtors to help us find a rental. Thankfully, all of our planning paid off & we were in our new house by March 5 — just two days after arriving in the area! It goes to show that God really is looking out for us. . . At least that's what I am taking from it. (Thankful #6)
It was (& still is) an adjustment. . . My sister & I had a falling out that month. We're better now, but I don't know if we'll ever fully recover; we just see things so very differently. . . I feel she disrespected boundaries & held it against me when I did what I said I would; she feels I should have ignored the boundaries when she said she needed me. While I think we are to the point where we at least understand each other's viewpoint, we could not disagree with each other more. It is what it is.
In April, I wrote about what makes a family & just a week or so after expressing my concerns about getting pregnant with the handsome husband, we got two pink lines! It was an emotional month or so after that. I felt so sick. . . & my depression was reaching out to me, grabbing on with its nasty claws. I wrote a (slightly funny at the time) post called “Pregnancy is NOT beautiful,” which was a relief of sorts, venting about the not-so-fabulous parts of early pregnancy. . . Little did I know that less than a month after my ungrateful rants about pregnancy, on May 19, on our one-year wedding anniversary, the handsome husband had to rush me to the emergency room because I started bleeding & it wouldn't stop & actually got heavier. That was the day we found out we were miscarrying. Happy Anniversary, us! It is what it is.
That's not something I would wish upon anyone — not even my worst enemy (whoever that is!). On top of the emotional hit (Am I so horrible of a mother that I can't even take care of my child when they're in my body? . . . Maybe this is my punishment for being so ungrateful & whiny & miserable when I was supposed to just be happy. . . I could go on, but I am sure you get the idea.), it was also a physical hit. . . At least your normal “monthly cycle” is pretty predictable. . . You know which outfits are okay to wear during certain times of the month, when to make sure you're carrying certain feminine products, & when there is going to be an extra surge of emotions. . . BUT when you're miscarrying, it's all unknown. . . & it's not just a few hours worth of “misery,” it drags on for weeks & weeks (months & months). . . Although, even now, I still don't feel like my body is completely “back to normal” (whatever that is), my HCG levels finally were back to normal the beginning of September, which means the handsome husband & I are free to try again. (Thankful #7). It is bittersweet, though. . . There's now an extra sense of caution — of apprehension & fear, to be honest — but there's also a sense of hope. . . So we will see.
Along the way, we found out that both the handsome husband's younger brother (well, his wife, of course. LOL) AND my younger brother (his girlfriend, of course) are expecting. We will be an uncle & auntie again. . . One is having a girl; the other a boy. They are both due within three weeks of each other this coming spring. SO, even though we didn't get to welcome our own little bundle to the family (this week — our due date was supposed to have been December 23), we will get to welcome TWO new bundles of joy to the family in the next few months. . . & those are the ones that we get too “ooh” & “aah” over & spoil a little, but then hand back to their parents. 😉 So, there's that. (Thankful #8)
In August, I finally participated in a blog-hop I had seen around, (it's kind of funny because it only happens once a month & I don't really do it any more). It was the Ultimate Coffee Date & was super fun to write. I shared it in a blogging Facebook group I had joined & lurked about in & wound up having a few very nice conversations in the comments of the post. It was my first REAL experience of the connections that can be made through blogging, since there are a couple of friendships that have started as a result of that one post & the boost in confidence that it gave me. . . . It also lead to my participation in this Ten Things of Thankful (TToT) blog hop, which isn't going anywhere. . . I did my first post for TToT in August as well. . . I thought it would be too difficult to aim for TEN THINGS every single week. . . But I was convinced otherwise & I am so grateful. . . Pretty cool. (Thankful #9)
Also in August, I started my first semester back to college. . . Considering the fact that this has been the first full calendar year that I haven't been employed. . . & the longest stint of unemployment I've had in my adult life since I was about 21, going back to work after a couple of years off after having my oldest son. . . I have to say how pretty incredible it is to have a husband who is so fully supportive of me in every way possible. I am in shock most days that he puts up with me. . . & that I have been so blessed to have found him in the first place! It is crazy, really. I couldn't be more grateful that I get to call him mine. . . & that he seems to genuinely love calling me his. Another cliché, maybe. But, if you've read any of my posts at all before — & even if you haven't — you must know it's the truth. (Thankful #10)
The last quarter of the year gave us an unexpected, but extremely brief, semi-top-secret visit back to Washington for a funeral, the handsome husband's birthday, my birthday, & probably the best Thanksgiving I've had in a super long time. (Bonus Thankful #1) Christmas was pretty much just another day around my house, but I still have SO much to be grateful for. . . & I know, once this is posted, I will think of another ten things that I should have included in this little recap of my year. . . But, for now, I am thankful I have such a great medium to express myself in review of this interesting year. . . (Bonus Thankful #2) I am excited & apprehensive, yet hopeful about what 2015 has in store. . .
How has your year been?