This was a fairly ordinary year, as I had no major travel, illnesses, or job changes. But an ordinary year is a good thing, and I’m grateful for the familiar routine and absence of trouble and heartache.

I adopted a new puppy this year. Hanna, a ShihTzu/Maltese mix, is a bundle of energy and teeth, running around the house looking for things to chew up. She has destroyed many loose items, but nothing that is irreplaceable, and her antics and company make up for the frustration of finding things she has gotten a hold of. Each month, she seems to mature a little more, and I think this coming year she will really settle into adulthood.

We celebrated Brian’s 40th birthday this year. It doesn’t seem that long ago that my firstborn came into the world and my mother said to me, “Tomorrow he will be grown.” In fact, it seems like yesterday.

Lauren had surgery on her Achilles’ Tendon to help straighten her ankle and make her walking easier. She did amazingly well and was back on her feet just a few weeks later, and hasn’t slowed down since.

In May, I traveled to Boise to see Capital Christian Center’s Children’s Choir perform their spring musical, The Music Machine. That musical was written in the 1970′s and Northside Christian Church’s Children’s Choir performed it when my kids were little. I came full circle when watching my grandchild Steven sing about the Fruit of the Spirit. Those tunes – “Have patience, don’t be in such a hurry” and “Without faith, it’s impossible” – came pouring back and I was singing along under my breath.

In June, I added solar panels to my roof and began generating my own electricity. My electric bill has gone down significantly and I will save thousands of dollars over the coming years. Arizona is a perfect place for rooftop solar, and with today’s prices, rebates and lease options, it’s an excellent and economical choice for alternative energy.

I did some home improvements by remodeling my master sunken tub into a walk in tiled shower. It feels like a spa now and looks lovely.

Dale has been in and out this year, helping me with chores around the house and convincing me to go out to an occasional movie. His main job when he is here is to entertain Hanna and keep her out of mischief. He’s pretty good on the former, but no one can fully succeed on the latter.

I won 4 two-day Disneyland Park Hopper tickets in the L.I.F.E. golf tournament raffle, and used four days on my “annual” trip to Anaheim with Carrie, Diana (Lauren’s therapist) and the kids in October. We stayed at our favorite off-site hotel that is a short walk to the park entrance, and had fun riding rides and experiencing the fall (i.e. Halloween) decorations in the Magic Kingdom. Nathan loves the wild rides and roller coasters, and Andrew just loves everything in Disneyland (a kid after my own heart), so it’s really fun to see it through their eyes. I still have four more tickets to use in 2014.

I traveled to Boise again in December, this time to see the Idaho Regional Ballet perform The Nutcracker. Megan had three beautiful dances and Steven played Hans, Drosselmeyer’s assistant. Robin had sewn forty more fabulous costumes this year (after making thirty eight last year) and everyone looked spectacular. Since the performance was so close to Christmas, I stayed through the holiday and had a wonderful celebration with the Holsingers. I flew home on Christmas day, and celebrated again with the Reeds and Mom on the 26th. Brian and Carrie really surprised me by putting a bike in my Christmas stocking! I’ve been out riding the neighborhood and getting back in shape after a holiday season of gluttony and laziness.

All in all, it was a very good year. In 2014, I hope to take a trip to Hawaii with my BFFs, Alice and Glenda. We also look forward to celebrating Mom’s 90th birthday; hopefully, many of the grandkids from around the country can make it here to join the party.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday and new year.

 

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