Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome to the New Year.

Happy New Year! Last night was actually pretty fun. Theresa came over , we exchanged gifts, did a puzzle, and we cut out and baked sugar cookies, then decorated them. The boys had an amazing time of it. She went home for dinner and to avoid the crazy drivers that can and do appear as the night wears on. As a family, we watched some movies together, had some snacks, and just enjoyed a quiet evening. Both of the boys wanted to stay awake for the ball drop at midnight, and as I did last year, I let them try. Brendan took an hour nap at about 6:30, which helped him a lot. Justin got sleepy at about 9:30, and started asked me every ten minutes if it was midnight yet. Shortly after ten, he fell asleep. Bren was raring to go as midnight approached, and even tried to help Will and I wake his brother to watch the ball drop in NYC. No go, so Justin slept through it. My four year old cheered, and danced, and helped me ring our bell and shout 'Happy New Year' out of the door! It was truly a night that reminds me of how lucky and blessed I am. Today, I wanted to reflect on a few things that have happened this year. In February/March, the bank started foreclosure proceedings on our old house. We tried so very hard to make it work a a rental, but the money wasn't there. Then, we put it on the market, where it sat for almost a year, constant lowering of the price was no use at all. The city it was located in was a bad area, with high taxes, poor school system, and little in the way of employment opportunities. It wasn't as bad as that when we moved in. Crap happens. Finally in August, the bank foreclosed, and put the place up for auction. It was sad, but it was also a relief. We were no longer responsible for the property or the building. I don't think as of January it was sold yet, so the bank still owns it. I hope that in time, someone perfect for that place moves into it. We had a lot of good memories there, and I'll never forget bringing both my babies home to that house. In June, we took the plunge on something we've been wanting to do for years, though we never had the time or more importantly the space back in the city. We ordered four, fluffy little chicks online. They arrived mid-month, only about two days old. If you had asked me years ago if I ever wanted chickens as pets, I'd have laughed at you. But the moment I heard my girls peeping from inside that box, I was beyond sold. It isn't hard to care for them, just tedious and tricky in the snow. I do it with love, and they are so funny to watch too! Barbie Q did a belly flop in the snow entirely by accident yesterday, and I was laughing watching her try to figure out just what had landed her there. Fresh eggs everyday is quite an awesome kickback too. :D If you think store bought eggs are good, they taste so much better when you control what feed the chickens get, when the birds free-range and are loved. I'm entirely serious. Come visit and I will cook you one, just so you can see! At the end of August, Justin had his first day of Kindergarten. It's only half day, but it is five days a week. Putting him on the bus that first day made me realize how much he has grown. He's six now, and I cannot figure out how time has flown by so fast. Seeing him learn how to read, and write, and hearing about his accomplishments from the teachers has really been a treat this year. He gets frustrated easily, but in time he will adjust. Daycare was a lot slower paced for him. Brendan is slowly coming out of his shell. He can be very shy, and clingy at times, but in the past few months he's getting better. He isn't potty-trained yet. At four he's showing little interest, and I'm getting impatient. I have to keep telling myself he will not spend his whole life in diapers and that it will come in time. Other than those things, life goes on. I'm planning my garden already, and want to build a bed on the side of the house to try my hand at pumpkins again. Even as I type, the garlic I planted in the spring that I thought had died, is up. Life can brew even in the dredges of winter. :D It's a good sign, I hope. I am not making resolutions this year. I merely make a promise that at every chance given, I will do my best to make my life, and the world around me a better place. A smile, kind word, a dollar or two chipped in if someone is short. Little things add up. With any luck 2013 will be our best year yet!