I just packed away the last of the Christmas decorations. They'll sit, stored and undisturbed in their little plastic tote bins for another 11 months, as we go on with our lives and the seasons that ebb and flow before us. It's hard to believe it took so long to get here, was over all too soon, and yet will be here again before we know it.
We just came back from a trek to Wyoming where the van pretended to run out of gas (it wasn't funny at the time, but it kind of is now), I ended up too sick to go shooting (argh!), and we spent time herding children, breaking up toddler fights, and sharing laughs, fudge, and making memories. Mom said at one point, and it strikes me as funny and true, "I don't think I can handle any more memory-making this Christmas..." There's a lesson in that sentence - always peel your vegetables over the trash. Maybe I'll get to that story someday, but just take my word for it. And thank you to my husband for griping at me years ago when he saw me peeling a potato over the sink. I haven't done it since...and Mom won't do it again.
We had a wonderful 2012, filled with blessings and life-lessons. Our little girl seems not-so-little anymore, as she chats up a storm and is sharp as a tack. Just last Christmas she was singing "Jingle Bells" - just those two words - over and over again. This Christmas she was singing every song known to man. We're expecting another little girl come this spring. I went through a wonderful program put on by United Way for 35 women professionals aged 35 or under. Our cats that were our "kids" for five years found a new home with a friend of Brent's, after our household allergies seemed to worsen by the day by keeping them here. (*Side story: We had been trying to give them to a good new home for an entire year. Then, duh, I finally decided to start praying about it. Two weeks later, they were headed to their new forever home.*) We hosted family coming for visits, said goodbye to the wonderful matriarch of Brent's family, took a couple trips to Wyoming, and we took in the many activities and conveniences our own city had to offer. We finally got the basement painted (after three years of talking about it). It's been a busy, and blessed year.
I've forgotten a lot of it, of course, because my mind isn't what it used to be. I've also deactivated my Facebook account (close to seven weeks ago now) so I can't scroll through my despised timeline to see what I've done or where I've been. (Extra estrogen is a powerful, and sometimes scary thing. If only everything were as easy as hitting a deactivate button to stop being annoyed though, right? Well played, Facebook.)
Now I sit, my house back to normal, wondering what the year ahead has in store for us. Little Cletus-the-she-fetus is practicing karate in-utero, Little Miss is finally quiet in her bed, and hubs is downstairs doing his Bible study. The only thing that would make this first day of the new year better is if it were warmer than 16 degrees outside, with no snow and lots of green grass. Even the winter has it's plus-sides, though.
Today marks seven years since Brent and I arrived in North Dakota, moving lock, stock, and barrel from Wyoming. Seven years. Friends were betting we wouldn't make it this long, family members were hoping we wouldn't, yet here we are. You, of all readers, know that I've griped and moaned many a time about living here, how much I miss the mountains and wilderness of Wyoming, and what I wouldn't give to go back. I have to say, honestly though, after 2012 especially, I'm comfortable here. This is my home now, I don't intend to leave any time soon (unless the Lord calls me to, of course) and I'm finally...finally...settled in. Yes, it's in print now, I consider myself an official citizen of the state of North Dakota. You had a lot to do with that, to-your-door-grocery-delivery. I'm not sure I can live without you now.
I resolved to do three things this year: 1) take Christmas decorations down by the end of today (check); 2) have a baby (halfway there); and 3) put our house up for sale and find a more kid-friendly layout home in our price-range, and in one of the neighborhoods we'd like to live in (dreaming big here!). I'm not sure if you're into resolutions, or how well you do with keeping them, but if you need encouragement to stick to your guns...well...I'll encourage you till I'm blue in the face if you come over and help us install baseboard trim in our basement, and help Brent put in a new shower surround in the downstairs bathroom. I promise.
Another year down, hard as it is to believe it came and went already, and another year ready to be explored, lived, and enjoyed. May your 2013 be bright, may your cup never be empty, and may your prayer life be filled with thanksgiving. Here's to YOU this year, my friend!