Usually I make cool little photo collages for every month of the previous year as a kind of year-in-review, but guess what? Those collages are pretty labor intensive and it's almost March and I just don't know if it's gonna be happening. But I do want to still sort of sum up the year. There are some of you near or far who may have missed hearing about all our doings since I haven't posted as much over the last year, and I'd hate for anyone to feel left out. So, at least for now, I'm just going to jot down some of the bigger things from 2012. Wohoo! Be excited.;)
1. We went on a big summer vacation to Ocean City, NJ, Zac's hometown. This was a family reunion of his immediate family. Just one of his brother's (and wife and 6 kids) couldn't come. But we had 2 adjacent condos housing our family, Zac's parents, brother Josh, Katie and 2 kids, brother Jason, Ashley and 2 kids, and sister Melissa, Joe and 2 kids. His sister lives there in NJ but because of the huge storm that had just gone through they were without power and stayed with us a couple days. Some highlights:
- driving in the aftermath of the storm. Had to take some detours due to fallen trees across the road and many areas were still without power. Luckily the island of Ocean City where we were staying had power and water! Hooray!
- While there we went to Wonderland Pier amusement park, rode the 6 seater surrey-bike thing on the boardwalk (and sweated in the terrible heat), watched the 4th of July fireworks over the water on the beach, saw some dolphins out in the water, played at the beach (of course), went on a (miserably hot) "nature" walk, and watched the sunrise over the beach.
2. We spent a day at Seven Peaks water park.
3. Our fridge died and we spent a week living out of coolers while we waited for our new one to be delivered. It's kind of tricky keeping all your refrigerated food cold in coolers for a week. I wouldn't recommend it.
4. Abigail -
- ran the mile in spring track and did awesome
- ran the Recovery Days 5K with Zac
- got her braces off!
- played in school orchestra - started playing viola this year! And continued violin private lessons. So now she plays both violin and viola. - And she continues to compose amazing songs on the piano and vocal. And she's teaching herself guitar chords.
- took a musical theater class which put on a class production (and before you think this was a small deal, you should know there were something like 70 kids in the class), which she loved
- went on a 2-day school "peer leader" retreat up in the mountains where they did leadership skill games, ropes courses, etc
- she also auditioned and performed in a Nutcracker ballet production! She was a mouse and in Chinese. Very very fun.
- and she was called to be the president of her church youth group of 12-13 yr old girls (Beehives). A great growth opportunity for her.
5. Isaac -
- continued piano lessons but was sick this year on the day of his annual recital (booo!).
- ran in the school running club in the spring, participated in some meets
- continued to excel in school and be the most responsible, dependable kid I know
6. Samuel -
- continues to be very anxious about participating in activities so we haven't gotten him involved in anything yet
- working hard on his speech and getting better all the time!
- he was baptized a member of our church and had a friend birthday party and took them roller-skating for his Big 8th Birthday
7. Elisabeth -
- performed in her combo tap, tumbling and ballet class in the Spring
- played fall soccer
- started gymnastics class in Nov
8. Isaac's poor pet hamster died
9. Elisabeth's pet fish died
10. I got to go to St George UT for a couple days with Zac while he attended a work conference. I stayed in bed most of the time with a killer migraine and TN pain.
11. We had a Seven Peaks Pass of All Passes which included many fun days at Trafalga fun centers (mini-golf, laser tag, rides, etc) mostly with Zac and the kids (as well as our big day at the water park).
12. We went to Hee Haw Farms in the fall and watched the Giant Pumpkin Drop. They drop those huuuuuuge pumpkins from a crane and watch them splatter onto ground and crush cars and stuff like that. I've always wanted to see that. There were also farm animals to pet, a hay ride, pedal-carts etc. Lots of fun.
13. Zac and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary :)
14. I read 102 books
15. Zac was crew for a couple from Canada running the Pony Express 100 mile race. He got to see what it's like and get pointers for when he runs the 100 this Oct.
16. I accidentally dyed my hair pitch black
17. My mom got remarried
18. My sister-niece got married
19. We started seeing a child psychologist. Wanted Isaac to get tested for Aspergers Syndrome - but getting an actual official diagnosis (from this particular psych) was a surprisingly slippery, frustrating process that I eventually gave up on. Seems he probably has some mild form of it though, or perhaps OCD. Or something. He worked with Isaac on some coping strategies. Then I brought in Samuel for some help with some of his really tough behaviors. I think it was helping some. But my pain was making it hard for me to implement the behavior strategies at home so it wasn't very effective, and money was getting tighter with all of my medical procedures etc. So, even though I also wanted help with Elisabeth's huge tantrum-throwing that continues to be an issue, we had to stop going. Hmph.
20. and finally, I dealt with face and head pain for the entire year. Diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia and Migraines.
- saw 9 different Drs
- tried 16 different medications, including many anti-convulsants, narcotic pain-relievers, and triptan migraine meds
- had a nerve block inserted into the middle of my head, with conscious sedation that didn't work. I count this as one of the absolute most painful, most traumatizing medical experiences I've ever had in my life. It left me shaking and crying for days afterward and didn't even help. Curses.
- had 2 MRI's, 1 MRA, and 1 EEG
- still not getting any relief and running out of options - grrrrrrr:(
So! Wow. Kind of a busy year, I guess. It felt like one of the worst years of my life, honestly. It had some really good times, for our family particularly, but for me personally, it was just hard. So so hard. I am still working through a lot of emotion from a lot of it. Along with the physical pain, of course. It's just hard.
Anyway. I hope I didn't forget anything important, although it's entirely impossible that I have. I apologize for the lack of photos . . . I may or may not get around to doing my annual collages. I am also still hoping to do my reading round-up for the year! Don't give up on me!
And here's to 2013 . . . be nice to me please.:)
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Back on February 2, I had the chance to take Abigail and Isaac to see a production of The Phantom of the Opera at BYU. I really would have loved to go with Zac. But I also knew how much Abigail would die to see it, and then I thought that it wouldn't really be fair to offer this opportunity to her and not to Isaac, who may enjoy it just as much even though he isn't as vocal about things. And then, the price of all the tickets was adding up . . . and although Zac loves to enjoy the arts with me, he's not one to make a fuss over whether or not he sees this kind of thing live. So anyway - it was a bonding time with me and the 2 older kids.:)
It was also pretty fun to take them down to my old college stomping grounds. I always get a little nostalgic. I took them to eat at a yummy local burger joint, Burger's Supreme and I laughingly told them I'd been on many a date there. They then looked around with noticable interest at the college crowd and asked in a whisper, "are any of them on dates?!" hahaha.;)
Oh and of course, the theater where the Phantom was being performed is the same theater where I had my orchestra concerts and where Zac had invited me to a formal dance by lowering a banner over the balcony where I could see it when I looked up to try to find him. Good times! Good memories! So strange and fun to be telling these stories to my kids in the places where they happened!!
Enough of the nostalgia though.
The performance itself was amazing. It's been a lifetime dream of mine to see it live and I loved every minute of it and I loved that I could share the experience with my kids. Isaac was quite anxious (as usual) about getting home late afterwards, and things like how to find the bathroom if he needed to leave in the middle of the show, etc etc etc (my poor anxious boy). But other than that, I think he really enjoyed it. And Abigail loved it too.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
"I love Love
I love being in Love."
- The Format
I am deciding that I love Valentine's day. There is just something so whole and pure about it in my mind. No divided motivations, no expectation, no right way, no complicated tradition. Just doing whatever feels right to let someone know they are thought of and loved. I don't look at it exclusively as a relationship holiday, although that can certainly be an important part of it. Who can argue with the need to be loved and express love to others? It's universal. Every single individual being on this earth has those needs. Every single one. So, I love the thought of throwing out hearts and sweetness and loving kindness to the whole entire world, if I could. And most especially to those closest to me.
I've posted some love quotes for the past couple years. I'm reposting them for you to peruse and enjoy. I never get tired of them.;)
And this year, I decided to share 5 of my favorite books about love. Not love stories. Well, one is a love story, but also defines a lot of what love is, too. The others are non-fiction. And I love them. I learned a lot from them and I hope maybe someone else can love them too. They're good ones, I promise (at least to me).
Here you go:
(I'm just going to post the images of the book covers. If for some reason you can't read the titles and authors on them, let me know and I'll add them separately)
And here are the repostings of past Valentine's and love-ly things.:)
All You Need is Love - 2010
Happy Valentine's Day, my lovely loving friends.:)