Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winding down...

When the year comes to an end we automatically reflect back on days passed. For whatever reason, I am having moments when I struggle to put a positive spin to the events that are now memories. I easily slip into the 'glass is half empty'-woe is me sort of attitude. I'd much prefer to wrap myself up in a blanket, pull the shades and sulk. The fact that we've overcome a few minor obstacles in comparison to what others have had to cope with makes me leave the pity party behind, pull up my big girl pants and smile gratefully for where we are today.


1. I started a new job January 2nd, after several months of hunting for the perfect job - part-time WITH benefits! I found what I desired. I work 32 hours a week. While I miss having time to play, given the current state of events I remind myself regularly I am grateful to have a job! With the addition of the new job I officially resigned from my former job which I was having difficulty leaving behind. I do miss many of my former coworkers but definitely not the stress, the grumbling negative attitudes, the schedule nor the steady calls to cover shifts.

2. My stepson passed away suddenly (not a highlight). It was comforting to see the way our family has rallied around his wife and children. We will never lose our memories of Rex at Kalaloch, on his Harley, his desire to help as a fire fighter and EMT, playing Santa with the Post Office, his love for Christmas and his ever present enthusiasm for life. He is still such a good role model and deeply missed. Even with the winter storm conditions last January we were able to get to Washington and back safely... despite a shredded tire in blowing & drifting ice and snow,

3. Matthew got out of the military. He, Britnee and Taten moved back near us. We get to see our grandson on regularly now and be a part of his life - something we've dearly missed with our older grands. Despite the fact that a departure from the military is not ideal and conditions could be better, we are grateful to have them close to home, be able to pull together and help one another. We are also thankful that they have jobs to assist in supporting themselves and know they will soon be able to have their own place again. We are deeply grateful to have him with us... he had a serious accident at a construction site in October, falling 18' from a rooftop. While his legs were terribly bruised and swollen he suffered no broken bones, and never lost consciousness. He's back to work - this time more respectful of gravity!

4. Krieg struggled for summer employment, trying to work in Boise, returning to Moscow and getting an unexpected invitation to work on a commercial fishing boat out of Sitka, Alaska. We missed him at our gatherings but his hard work and long hours was rewarded with a large salary that helped to cover school expenses, car payments and rent for his school year. And he had the experience of a lifetime!

5. Despite her very trying year in classes, an abusive, stalker boyfriend and moving to a new apartment Erin is determined to finish her college degree with a double major. She's had some major trials to overcome but has found resources to help her get through it all. I'm grateful for her strength and willpower to endure. Whether it's her faith or stubbornness - I couldn't be prouder.

6. My family is in Wisconsin, Illinois and Virginia. I was once again blessed with the opportunity to take time off from work and afford airline tickets to spend a week visiting again this year. My parents have their health and are happy at this stage of their life. While I wish we saw more of one another (annual trips just aren't enough) I am so thankful they are still a big part of our life.

7. Our visits to medical professionals have become more frequent - and we have not always been happy with the results but we are in good health. With minor changes to our questionable vices we'll be around to torment our children for years to come!

8. Our relationship with some of our extended family has dwindled this year. We have extended our hands in an attempt to keep in touch. It saddens us to miss out on their lives but to dwell on that which is out of our control would be pointless. Instead we continue to grow the relationships with the family members that reach back. We are thankful to have them in our lives and pray the others know we are here if they need us.

9. Our travels over the past 26 plus years have brought many people into our lives. This year has reopened the door to many we have lost touch with - including a few long distance visitors who have come to share our home. These times passed too quickly - as if we've never been apart - a sign of good friends!

10. Once again we've been blessed with a wonderful holiday season. Ideally we would love to have our children around 24-7 but as they grow and develop their own lives our traditions alter to accomodate other families, travel and work schedules. While not everyone agrees, the white Christmas was beautiful (reminiscent of my midwest childhood) and cooperated to allow for safe travels to and from. I hope you too are healthy, happy and enjoying the love of your family and friends.

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