A New Year with New Adventures to Come

5teft

There are so many ways to look at a year.

I started one year knowing it would be difficult. I enjoyed whatever little bit I could to get through what I knew would be hard. I called 2013 The Year of the Teen and the Toddler. My oldest child turned thirteen and my youngest turned one. I’ve been struggling with what to call this year. The Year of New Adventures? The Year of More Unknown? The Year of… Uhhh…

So many adventures for good and bad or even for good and bad exist in every year. This year I will have been married for 15 years! I plan to publish my first novel and possibly a short story relating to that novel. My kids will all be a year older and at least one more of them will grow taller than me. I have so many other adventures planned and so many that I know I will encounter that I can’t plan.

Once again I plan to enjoy every good moment. I don’t make New Years resolutions, but I do set goals for the year. What will things be like a year from now? No doubt I will have many successes and failures to reflect on. No matter what I will find hope to start the new year.

What adventures do you have planned for 2014?

IMG_0714

 

Last night…

5k36j

I had a parenting semi-emergency that required I go to the store at 9pm. Night time pull-ups and dish soap and Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses. I was waiting in line to pay when two very young men came up behind me, joking and laughing. As they mocked the cashier it was clear this was their friend. The young man who slapped down a pack of gum behind my stuff was in blue fatigues and hadn’t seen his friend in ten months. I smiled and asked if he was home on holiday leave.

“Yes ma’am.” He nodded then went back to pointing at his friend who was about to run my items over the scanner. At that age going that long without seeing your friends would be very difficult, a sacrifice.

I admire the sacrifice of young men like this one. In our family we have several generations of military service for my children to learn from and honor. My father-in-law, my father and my husband all served in Korea during three different times of war. My grandfathers served during world wars. My husband was in the reserves when we met. This holiday season remember the people who serve our country in more than just military ways. My sister serves the US as a civilian employee and cannot make it home over the holidays some years.

IMG_0373

Remember all of those who serve that cannot return home at this time. They make our lifestyles possible. All these dystopian novels that have been showing up and being revisited (1984, Brave New World, Matched and of course Hunger Games) are showing us what life could be. History has shown us how much worse life could be.

So while being “Ma’am”ed was a bit of a Hah to me, he was showing respect. While life has been complicated and living without an oven for two months during holiday times has been tough, it could be worse.

IMG_0381

And enjoy today. Enjoy the people you are with. Enjoy the anticipation of good moments like kids anticipate Christmas morning.

IMG_0374

Happy Holidays to all!

Precious Moments

5eoaq

Right now we are in the thick of holiday stuff. It gets crazy and can be the most stressful time of year. I try to keep times like this simple or I would go insane, but life demands more anyway.

We have a real tree after two year having a small fake tree. When we went to go get it the tree farm was closed. We went home, found another one and hurried a half hour away in the freezing cold and growing darkness. We ended up meeting a pair of reindeer and got a tree that fits perfectly in our living room.

In our family we plan holiday movie nights. Sometimes we just stick a movie in. Other times we plan ahead with one of the kids picking the movie and the treat and telling everyone days ahead of time. There are days it just doesn’t happen. Don’t-beat-on-your-siblings-or-sass-me-or-we-won’t-have-a-movie-tonight does not always get through to everyone.

As a mother spontaneous tends to be, “Hey, lets have ice cream tonight.” So I’ve had our plans to go to The Hobbit next week in place for months. An unexpected change in a medical appointment has bumped those plans to after Christmas. At least the plans are flexible and fluid in time. If I didn’t plan ahead and make the plans negotiable I would crumble into a little pile of frozen frosty bits.

My greatest desire is to have at least four days in a row that I don’t leave the property once! I can’t wait. I did realize that asking for five days was pushing it. Even four days might be asking too much, but really, I have rarely had an entire day home in months! The joys of moving into the teenage years!

No matter how I plan life really does do what it wants. Our family vehicle, a huge 15 passenger, has broken down twice in the last month and we have been without an oven for about seven weeks. I’ve lost track of how long and I’m not even sure I’ll remember how to cook normal meals after this. There is any number of unknown things that could happen including that white stuff that gums up the entire region some winters. The teachers want all my kids to get caught up on school work before the break, because of course their minds are totally into their school work and not on the fun around the corner. Hah! So I slog onward. Thankfully not in snow.

IMG_0333

But in all this craziness moments happen that allow time to hold still. That I can treasure when I need daily chiropractic care to look up at my part giant children. I will remember that once upon a time they were little. Once upon a time life was simpler. And I can enjoy these precious moments when they happen, too. Since my last child was born I try to do this more than ever before. She will be two in the new year and I will never live through these phases with my own children again. I have no excuse. They will never be little again and this time will be gone in a breath. I want to have these moments forever.

Take a moment to etch a precious memory into your mind during the rest of this year. Maybe we can all look at the time with less worry about the details and more to catch those moments.