One Last Post for 2011 :: Reflection

This has been one amazing year. In all facets of my life I've felt incredibly blessed. Not everything has been fun, or happy, or perfect - no. In fact, I think it's been one of the more challenging years for me in a while. I've been busier than ever, trying to juggle many hats both personally and professionally. Somehow, everything has fallen into place, miraculously at times. Sometimes I feel like I bite off more than I can chew. On more than one occasion this year, my word for 2011, "balance", has not been exercised with due practice at all. But that's okay. I've somehow been able to achieve most of what I set out to do this year, and that is a success! Baby steps.

In 2012, I want to take the next steps towards more balance in my life. I want to take care of me, the person, more as a whole. Giving myself more time to read, breathe deeply, exercise, and enjoy more. I think everyone strives for these things. I'm not setting any kind of impractical goals, or numbers or statistics this year for anything. It won't make me a better person to achieve numbers. I am focusing more on the baby steps to becoming the best me I can be with each day. I want to give more. I want to do more random acts of kindness. I want to play more with my kids. I want to find out more about me. Sometimes I get lost in the daily, turing everything over to everyone else's needs, and I want to create a niche in there for mine. Pretty easy, right? Not so much, at least not for me. But I'm working on it.

We've done a lot as a family this year. We went to California for 10 days. We had a ball at Disneyland, California Adventure and the San Diego Zoo. We went to Washington state to visit family in July. Took a mini vacation to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. Just yesterday we went to the Bronx Zoo and to the NY Botanical Gardens. We saw Monster Jam and Phineas and Ferb live. In between many other large outings such as these along the way, we've taken walks, made numerous snowmen, gone sledding, sold Girl Scout cookies, flown kites, swam, gone to a planetarium, grew our own vegetables, put our toes in the sand and water on both coasts of the US, climbed trees, played soccer, baseball, volleyball, ran through sprinklers, , rode bikes, went fishing, ran around in the summer rain, watched piano recitals, made s'mores, rode horses, went on hayrides, ridden numerous carnival rides and slides, created numerous crafts, sang loudly, laughed even louder, taken trips to the playground, hugged with great warmth, played board games, grieved losses, celebrated victories and watched as time has evolved our family, our kids.

My daughter learned to ride her bike without training wheels, was invited to take part in the Math Olympiad club at her school due to her high math testing scores and has suddleny taken the turn into pre-teendome - she's become so much more mature, and yet so - tweenish. My son is learning to read and learned to swim like a pro this summer and counts to no end. I lost 10 pounds, and read several books this year, including The Help (my favorite of the lot), finished up my second year as being a room parent at my kids school, and then turned around and have become one for both their classes this year along with volunteering in their classes and during their library time. I've also taken on much more responsibilities in the crafting industry. My husband is doing well at his job and we are so happy that he's been in able to keep his job during a very tumultuous several years in the industry he's in, where thousands have lost theirs. For that we are blessed. There are trade offs though. We don't see him often at all. We don't have family dinners each night. And all of our extended family is 3000 miles away, so we can't simply go to a parents house for dinner, or have the kids stay overnight with family. It's us.  Most days, it's challenging. The other two days of the week, it's wonderful. And it's for those other days of the week that I live for. Those moments when all four of us are together. 

This was also the year of weather. Bad, bad weather. In January, a blizzard. And the snow kept accumulating all the way into March. It was at times close to 7' high in places in our driveway where it had been plowed. In fact I put a dent in the front bumper of my car just trying to get out of the garage, because the snow was so high and hard and thick and deep. Our plow guy had no more places to put the snow! It was crazy! Then there was the hurricane in September - 7 days without power. And the October 29th snowstorm that left us without power for another 8 days - and the kids without Halloween on Halloween. Instead it was a makeshift "trunk-or-treat" the first weekend in November that they were able to celebrate. Hmmmm....I don't think I'll be complaining about the 50 degree weather we have right now. If it doesn't snow a flake this winter, I'll be A-okay with that! I doubt that will happen though. ;)

This year, I hope that we are all able to enjoy more of the wonderful and less of the challenging. I for one am looking forward to fresh, new beginnings and the unknown that lies ahead. It's sure to be great!

Goodbye, 2011, it's been grand! :)