December 21, 2006 Myspace blog post

Taking a Hard Look…

Current mood:contemplative

A friend posted a look-back at her year on her blog and I thought it a really good idea. So I am stealing it. Plain and simple. (sorry Holly! lol)

As I sit here thinking back on 2006, so many things come to mind. First, I have now officially been blogging for 1 year. I started on Yahoo 360, and discovered MySpace a few months later…I maintain both sites still. I have had a lot of fun writing and journaling over the past year. It has been a good outlet for me, and it has been a positive and encouraging thing to receive feedback from others!

The year started with my first-born child turning 10 years old! Double digits!! Wow! That was a weird one for me. She is my baby…how did she get to be 10!? My baby followed 2 weeks later and turned 8! I have to admit to crying over this one. I do not have a baby anymore! We had two birthday parties (complete with the 10 year old sleepover…NOT doing that again!! lol) in quick succession…always a great feat so soon after Christmas!

March brought with it surgery for my husband. He had a hernia, mainly due to the surgery in his abdomen 2 years ago. The recovery did not go as planned and to make a long story short…surgery again in May. Yuck! So the spring was busy and crazy.

I started babysitting at the end of February…my daughter’s friend from school and her little brother. We needed a bit more money and I needed to still be home and available to care for Russ and the kids. So this looked like the perfect solution. In a lot of ways, it has been good. But it has also been a challenge…the little brother is 4 and so he is home with me all day. He is a bit of a challenge…very strong-willed and opinionated…and not very consistantly disciplined at home. It makes for some interesting moments in our house, both with me and with my husband!

Summer was filled with kids…I babysat all summer so I had 4 kids every day. In July we had a mini family vacation…we went to West Virginia to see Russ’s parents and his sister and her family. We were only able to stay for 4 days, but it was a fun and relaxing time away. When we got back, the kids and I turned right around and went to the beach with my family. This is something we do every year, and I love it! It is so nice to spend the time with my brothers, especially, because I rarely get to see them or talk to them any more. It stinks to grow up sometimes!

School started at the end of August. Emily started 5th grade, so it was off to a new school for her. Andrew began 3rd. They both have good teachers and seem to be doing well. I am still babysitting, and so Emily’s friend goes to school with her every morning. I also started watching two other kids overnight. (there are extenuating circumstances to this that make it a necessary sacrifice for now) That has been an adjustment to have four kids overnight as well as four all day. Mornings I end up with 6 kids in this house, and we live in a really small house! It is working out ok, though.

On October 6 of this year, my husband had a total right hip replacement. The injury to his hip that occured in March 2004 just has not healed, despite multiple surgeries and interventions. This was our last option. It has been a major thing in this house. After a very short hospital stay, Russ came home. We had to get new furniture, a bedside commode…life got really busy for me. Caring for someone with hip precautions really is a full time job at first. He was off of work for 10 weeks. He now has an adult scooter to help him with long distances, and he is still in PT to strengthen the leg muscles again so that he can walk. He is making slow but sure progress…so hopefully he will soon be able to walk again for the first time in heading towards 3 years!

I just celebrated my 33rd birthday this past Saturday. It is sometimes interesting having a birthday in the midst of Christmas and New Year’s. It makes for more reflection and evaluation of the previous 12 months. Am I happy with what I have accomplished? Do I like my life and what I am currently doing with it? What do I need to change in the next year? What should I pursue in 2007 so that I can continue to grow as a person? I was in survival mode for so much of the year this year due to the multiple surgeries and the requirements of caring for someone else’s child. I am currently thinking about the arrangement that I have with the one family…not sure that it will continue to work for my family. The other arrangement will have to stay in place for now due to circumstances that are beyond control. I am hoping Russ continues to recover and gets on his feet so that I can shift my attention to some things for me! I want to join the Bible study at church this spring. I want to continue working on my novel. (I began writing a novel shortly before Russ got hurt in March 2004…I have not had time to work on it in the last couple of years and I really regret that.) I want to spend some time with friends…you know, lunch dates, etc. This coming year I really need to concentrate on who I am…I need to give myself chances to grow and change…to find what God wants for me. I so often feel like survival mode is all there is for me, and I am slowly choking to death. I need to make me a priority this coming year so that I can be the best wife, mom, daughter, friend, etc that I can be! I cannot give what is no longer there to give! I think this process is already beginning for me…I have been able to set and adhere to some simple boundries for the first time in my life in my relationship with my mom. I have seen some positive changes as a result…not at first, mind you, and not quickly…but changes nevertheless. My marriage is strengthening…my relationship with my kids is really in a good place.

I really am looking forward to the next year…to the changes and the growth. I look forward to blogging one year from now all of the things that have shifted and changed. I hope to find that I am a better-rounded woman who feels more confident and less chaotic. That is my goal. We shall see.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my readers!

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