February 29, 2012

2012 (a personal post)

It's February 29th already.  Leap Day 2012.
I had all these thoughts on my mind at one time to post for the new year...  it's not so new anymore.

About 2012:
I was really, truly, strongly looking forward to a fresh new year. 
By the end of October 2011, I realized we'd made a full circle around the sun and were in a very similar place to when things became jumbled up & started getting off kilter for us the year before.  2011 was challenging right from the start.  From unneeded harm & stress brought on by outside sources.. to serious deer tick illness & mishaps with vehicles..  schedule changes & bad luck making solid, quality family time together hard to come by,  and then the increasing difficulty of Mitch located out of the area onward into fall and the holidays. 
I was looking forward to putting the year behind, and turning a new page to 2012.
I felt a huge feeling of relief that we had a calm new calendar year ahead of us to embark upon.

Well, about an hour or so after midnight into the shiny & new year, I was woke by a distraught four year old who had thrown up in his sleep. (nothing says happy new year like scrubbing sickness & giving baths in the middle of the night.)
New Years Day, as I was washing laundry from the aftermath of the night's sickness, our still "new" high efficiency washing machine started shredding & burning up clothes like mad again (already repaired once for this issue) ...this time the victim being Mitch's most expensive Under Armour long underwear (which keep him very warm when working & hunting.) 
Discouraging.  But Beau was feeling fine & we headed off to a New Years Day visit. 
That evening we agreed to take a nephew home with us for a sleepover, only to be woke again before daylight to more & more throwing up.  Our poor guest was not well, and unfortunately was repeatedly unable to hit a contained area.  (I forgot to mention that our basement also flooded in 2011, first and only time in 12 years..  so we had to install all new carpet.. this was it's inaugural disaster.)
Our first 36 hours of 2012 were a little unpleasant. 
I joked that these weren't real good omens.  But they were trivial things. 
I was determined it was going to be a great year. 

Mitch was back out of town after that, on the home stretch of work to be done, when he fell, injuring his ankle badly Jan. 10th.  Some breakage.  A lot of stress & damage to the entire anatomy of his ankle joint.  It was pretty ugly, and I imagine (and witnessed) very painful.
What a lot of people don't seem to understand about Mitch's livelihood as a small business contractor, is that injuries & time unable to work, or simply without work, are not compensated in any way. 
Being injured, and unable to be on the job or making progress, are no light or laughing matter.
With strict instruction to stay off it, he was back to work one week later, trying to keep progress rolling.  Needless to say, his ankle has not healed as soon as hoped. 

I was still determined 2012 was going to be good.
Don't get me wrong.. Every year- stress, hardships, bad luck, or not - the kids are fantastic.  Good memories are always made.  Lightness is always present with them around.  And the wheels keep turning; they're a busy bunch.  It's just that I've been hoping needing for things to settle down to a level pace, to be consistent, for us to be together, under one roof, with security and quality time, fewer incidents & less outside interference.  Simplicity.  I need to get back to things being more simple, as they once were.  At the very core of my being, simplicity is what I depend on most to balance these busy times raising a large family.

By early February, Mitch's ankle was broken, he was frustrated with how much it had set him back with work, we were bombarded with several thousand dollars in vehicle repairs, and I came down with influenza, the sickest I've been in decades.  No exaggeration: with Mitch hours away unable to help, me burning up with a fever nearing 104 degrees, trying to get the kids chauffeured, fed & through our evening school routine; I felt that I'd bite the dust for sure.

Despite all that..  and much more that I can't share about here, that has been far more challenging & difficult than all else combined...  I haven't bit the dust, and I have a little hope left that 2012 is going to be alright.

Here's some better stuff going on:

Since Jan. 1st, I've had a craving for broccoli & cauliflower, and our whole family has been eating lots of it.  This makes me happy.
Johnathan discovered he likes kiwi.  We've probably gone through 50 pounds of oranges.

Mason & Eric have been keeping us busy & on the go, watching them play basketball.   Their final game is this week.  It's been a long, long season, but it's flown by.
With up to three away games a week, getting home close to midnight, I was worried about their grades, but they both made the honor roll again 2nd semester.  Report cards were great.  As 8th graders, they played very well on the court with 10th-11th graders. 

Johnathan & Lilly are doing great in school, too.  They've been very busy little social bees.

A couple of my photos were published in the Jan/Feb issue of Lake Country Journal again this year.
This time I earned decent money for them, which was flattering. 

We booked a family trip - our first ever air travel with the kids - all seven of us.  Headed to Colorado once school gets out.  It should be a fun adventure, with lots of new scenery and much needed time away together. 

Beau turned five.   Five.  I can't even believe how fast five years have flown by.  I was pregnant with Beau when Mitch left his previous job & became an independent contractor.  It seems like life has been very fast paced & unpredictable since then.  The time has flown.  He's been my best & most caring little companion these past years..  I'm so proud of the boy he's growing into. 
He started preschool and rode the school bus home this week, and is very happy about it.

I've made it to the library a couple of times and have been reading a number of good books.  I've also been pouring over book after book of house plans, intent on seeking the perfect, most functional & efficient layout.  We've talked about the possibility of relocating.  I have never been very (if at all) open to that idea in the past.  For some reason that has changed in 2012.
Along with hitting up the library, Beau & I have gotten into a routine of going to Goodwill anytime we have to go to town for errands or groceries.  We've scored some fun finds.  Useful and/or unique, thrifty finds delight me.
Mitch, still hobbling, has reached completion stage on the vacation home he's been building.  I finally had the chance to see it.  He has done a great job.  Not only the fine quality of his work, but the custom detail & design elements that he's contributed to it as well.   It's gorgeous.   Also, being on a site accessible by lake only, this project has provided a fair amount of logistical challenges.  He's juggled them successfully.    

We've finally been getting snow this past week.  After a winter of brown ground & dusty roads, we finally have snowbanks.  The kids are reveling in it.  I watched them today, like penguins, sliding on their bellies down little chutes from their snow fortress. 
The perk in the scenery is nice.  The moisture is very needed for spring.

Even in the late, lifeless months of winter, Beau manages to bring me "flowers."  A bouquet of sumac the other day.  And today, a big bunch of tall brown weeds, with snow piled on top of his stocking capped head, and mittens dripping.  Most of all, beaming and enthusiastic.
These are the daily things that make everything alright and guarantee me that good times are always ahead. 
Happy Leap Day.  Happy 2012.
My apologies for webcam images.  I resolve to make up for lack of photo quality soon. 
This post is slightly long & not entirely rosy.  I had to get it out of the way though, so I can move forward.  Sometimes I have so much to say I get stuck saying nothing at all. 


  1. A perfect life would be a boring life, right? :) I hope your complicated life becomes more simple soon!

  2. As I was reading your post, Hiding My Heart was playing. The words "I wish I could lay down beside you
    When the day is done
    And wake up to your face against the morning sun" made me cry. I'm missing Darin something fierce today.
    I hope 2012 turns around for you, it's very discouraging when all icky things happen at once. We had a few years like that, it was hard to see the silver lining sometimes. Remember with rain comes rainbows.... Take care friend!

  3. I should be used to it by now.. life is always busy having five kids at such varying & busy stages. And being a carpenter's wife has meant running things solo a lot over the years. But it's just been extreme & different this past year.
    While life is already pretty wild (we like it that way - the good kind of wild) it's a season that calls for simple in other areas.. in order to be focused & balanced.
    I'm getting there again. (Thanks, you guys!)

    Dion, weekends have always been the hardest for us to have Mitch be away.. he went to work in Cape Cod when Mason & Eric were four.. it was a longer stay like Darin's (the first of a growing number of longer out of town stays) and it was SO HARD for them. Ten years later, it's still the hardest when he has to be away weekends. For us, the kids are used to that being "Dad's home!" time.
    Hope these weeks fly by for you!
    Things do seem to go quicker for us now that the kids are older & busier. (not that the busier thing makes things easier in the juggling sense!)

  4. You amaze me every day that I know you. Keep on, keep on. Always here for you. :) <3