This has definitely been the most challenging so far of my 33-ish years on this planet. Most of you have probably quit reading or expecting an update from me since it’s been so long between posts. I promise, it’s not because I just got lazy! Some less-important things (including video gaming, blogging, reading, etc) just had to be set aside for a while. Here’s a little bullet list of 2009 (in somewhat chronological order):
- The year began in glorious fashion with our heater going out on New Year’s Eve. Thanks to Aaron and Steph, though, our family (including my visiting parents, sister, and their chihuahua) stayed warm until we could get it fixed. Add to that the necessity of digging up and replacing our septic tank line from house to tank (technically in 2008) and it made for a whirlwind family visit for the holidays!
- Our youngest daughter, Rebekah, was diagnosed with several neurological issues (microcephaly and lissencephaly) that have a drastic effect on her development and require a lot of extra care. These have led to CT scans, an MRI, eye surgery (for crossed eyes), lots of physical and occupational therapy, feeding issues, and our latest struggle, sleep disorders. We are still learning what it means to be parents of a special needs child (and, in fact, still coming to grips with that at times).
- We finally came to the realization that with everything else going on, we just couldn’t do the two-dog thing anymore and found a new home for our beagle, John T. Chance. We miss him, but it’s a huge burden lifted off our shoulders as he could be high maintenance at times. We replaced him with a beautiful Glo-fish named Ariel (can you tell who named her).
- We decided we’d had enough of keeping the house in tip-top shape and took it off the market. It didn’t matter anymore as anyone who would want our house, would never be approved for a loan without putting at least 20-30% down (due to the ridiculous amount of short-sales and foreclosures in our area).
- We celebrated 10 years of marriage in July. It’s so awesome to have my best friend with me every day, no matter what.
- I have mostly kicked a VERY long-lived habit of biting my nails. Still working on not biting around them, but I now have to clip them regularly which is a big thing for me. Thanks to my daughter, Kayla, for continuing to remind me not to bite my fingers.
- We found the church where God wants us to serve for this next phase of our life. It’s amazing to look forward to the next Sunday as much as we do and genuinely miss it when we don’t get to be there. Our small group is a huge support to us and we’ve made close friends with some great people.
- We successfully waged a battle against cuts to the state program that helps provide Rebekah’s therapy and she got to keep her aggressive therapy schedule.
- We have figured out that Kayla has a flair for the dramatic. She is quick at memorizing things, loves to sing (on key for the most part, though she does make up her own words), and is quite the little diva at times. So, even though that ballet thing didn’t work out well, maybe she still has a career on stage to look forward to.
- We were able to spend Thanksgiving with my parents in NJ. My 17 year-old sister who is well on the way to a career in dance was home for a few days from her boarding school in CT and my grandpa (who is now legally blind and lives with my parents) was there as well for us to spend some time with.
- Soon after Bekah’s therapy schedule was straightened out, we found out that we were approved for enrollment in a program that will help pay most of Rebekah’s medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. This is a huge blessing as her therapy alone was starting to add up to nearly $250/month.
- We closed out the year with some much-needed time off, a visit to grandma, aunts, uncle, and cousins in South Carolina, and some rest-time at home to get ready for 2010.
I am blessed to go to a job which, though it can be stressful at times, is challenging, rewarding, and stable. I am blessed to have two beautiful little girls who have me wrapped around their fingers. I am blessed to have family and friends who have been there for us when we needed them. I am blessed to be a part of a community-focused, Christ-centered church. Most of all, I am blessed to walk through life with my best friend, Valerie. I couldn’t do it without her.
Bring on 2010.