I’ve mentioned before how much I love Christmas cards. I love sending them and I really love receiving them. I love photo cards and I love the family newsletters that people send, and had trouble for the longest time trying to decide which of those two types I should send. While I love the newsletters, I often wondered if people really cared to hear all the details of our lives. Maybe a simple photo would suffice? But those of you who know me personally know that I can’t keep quiet. I have to send details!
A few years ago, a solution was born: I started a Top Ten List to highlight the things we would remember most from the past year. I have never shied away from the negative parts of our lives (they are responsible for growth, you know), so I make sure to include a negative if it really did change our life that year. For example, I included Mom and Dad’s deaths in my Christmas cards those years.
This year, our Top Ten List looked like this:
- 10. E & D visited Georgia for her 20th high school reunion.
- 9. K’s first week-long overnight camp.
- 8. D & E got to dress up as VeggieTales!
- 7. Visited LEGO Discovery Center in Kansas City, then 1st visit to Mizzou as a family.
- 6. J diagnosed with a gluten allergy.
- 5. Both kids started karate lessons.
- 4. K turned 9 and started 4th grade.
- 3. J turned 5 and started Kindergarten.
- 2. New jobs: E part-time at The Crossing and D started at XYZ. (Changed for privacy.)
- 1. We are blessed with another year to worship, serve, and rejoice in our King!
In writing this Top Ten List, I realized it is technically accurate but desperately lacking. This past year was immense for our family. So as an addendum (only to be published on this blog and nowhere else), I came up with a list of Items That Did Not Make It Into Our Christmas Card.
- Planned a class reunion
- Had the sex talk with Katie
- Small blurb published in FamilyFun magazine
- D started attending men’s group
- Pulled two of Katie’s teeth
- Got speeding tickets (I won’t say who)
- Recurring heartburn
- Computer crash
- Food poisoning
- Photo appeared in local paper
- Six Flags trip
- Photo shoots: 2 weddings, 5 families
- Plantar fasciitis
- Skin cancer
- K bridged to Junior in Girl Scouts
- Countless mommy fails
- Musicals: Lion King, Les Miserables
- Church construction
- NEW: car, sushi cravings, roof, tires, vacuum, phone, jobs, insurance, J’s diet, favorite TV show (Impractical Jokers)
- Friendship changes
- Strep throat
- Karate started, then karate ended!
- E classes at church: Explorations, Body Life, and book study
- Trips: Georgia, Florida, Kansas City, Columbia
- Had the Santa/Tooth Fairy/Truman the Tiger talk with Katie
- D turned 40
There are other things I would love to mention, but I would sound like an ungrateful whiner. I do not want to appear unhappy by any means, because this year shot my life satisfaction level into triple digits. However, for all the highs there were some major lows. All the newness and changes were great (I mean, seriously: I get to work in a job I prayed TWO YEARS for! Dan’s job is an answered prayer! And… and… and…), but those changes stripped me of comfort in wonderful – and wonderfully painful – ways. It got to the point by the end of the year when even “good” changes were occurring, I simply couldn’t process them any more. For example, Dan’s new phone that came with his new job? That sent me into a tizzy because I couldn’t (and still can’t) remember how to call him some days because I didn’t know his new number and kept calling the old one instead. In the grand scheme of things, that’s no big deal. Seriously. But when you’re in a year of such big change, having some basic stability is necessary for sanity. There were some weeks where I felt NO such stability. (Or sanity. Ha.)
But the bottom line is I am ending the year a happy woman. 365 days ago, I had no idea about the Mack truck that was heading my way. Today, I can truly say I am grateful for the truck that flattened me because I had to rebuild and calibrate my life into a new normal. I let go of things that didn’t fit me any longer, and some other things let go of me. It’s all good, but I’m hoping for a quiet start to 2013!
In writing this, I just realized the last time I had a year like this was 2008. Katie started Kindergarten, I was diagnosed with lupus, and we left our old church and started attending The Crossing. I can look back and see how God shook things up for me that year, and I ended the year in a place of new beginning and closer to Him. Kind of like how I feel this year too!