Thursday, December 31, 2015

Well, That was a Fast Year

Wait, what?! Is it really New Year's Eve again already? But I'm not through with 2015 yet! I still have 20 pounds to lose! I still have to get on a budget! I haven't even painted the bathroom yet.

Hold on just a minute. We had a WEDDING this year. Now I remember where all those 2015 resolutions went. They went out the window on January 17, when Alisa called us up to announce she and Erwann were FINALLY engaged. It goes without saying that the wedding we put on was absolutely worth every penny and every resolution it cost us. It was only the best wedding ever, with the most wonderful and beautiful people. It's also a good thing that we couldn't see in January what all we would be doing this year. It would have scared the pants off me. For instance-

Hosting 15 French people and five Americans in my house at the same time. For a few moments there, it seemed like the stream of people walking through my front door would never stop. Fortunately, French people take very short showers. Then there was the France vs. US basketball at the Syracuse South Stake Center.  A last minute pizza party/outdoor wedding rehearsal. Pancakes for 30 the morning of the wedding. Heading up the canyon that Sunday morning in my old Odyssey, packed to the rim with wedding crap,  and a guy named Simon holding a 70 lb wedding cake on his lap, while being followed by a bunch of French people in a Prius that was dangerously low on gas. Every day of that crazy week was the best time, and the best memories. And the best part is the strangers we met that became like family in a few short days.

And... that was pretty much it. We had a wedding. That was our year. We have been in recovery mode since August.

All in all, though, we can't complain much about what 2015 brought us. I've spent the past couple of days reading old blog posts from 2012 and 2013. The interesting thing about reading them is that, since I am the one that wrote them all, I can read between the lines like none other. Reading what I wrote brings back all the emotions and all the details of events not shared in words. Many of those old posts were hard to read at times, and they brought home to me again that we have had a few really tough years.  2015, while certainly emotional, is not filled with anywhere near the angst of some of our other years, and for that, I am thankful.

Okay, enough happy and thankful. Now back to complaining. I still don't have a deck in my backyard. We need a new kitchen. I need a treadmill. And a piano. All three cats are still alive. I need a new car. And, apparently, I need to learn a thing or two about gratitude. If all I have to complain about is STUFF, and long-lived cats, then I have a fortunate life indeed.

We did get Duncan on a church service mission this year. That was a work in progress for a long time, and so far, it is all going swimmingly, other than the fact that he frequently forgets to shave.  From what I hear from his mission leaders though, he is not the only scruffy missionary. Shaving is a frequent topic in their mission life skills classes that they have there every day.  I'm not sure why shaving is such a challenge, but I'm thankful for patient and light hearted senior missionaries that just keep on teaching lessons on shaving and rolling with the punches.  They are doing God's work for sure.

Mitch is busy building a gun and keeping up with his school work, in that order. He is in his last semester at Weber, and will be a college graduate come spring. He got a job at a shooting range though, and now he is thinking he should just build guns for a living. The boy loves guns. Always has, always will. He even has me thinking about getting a cute little pistol to keep in a safe by my bed.

Will spent most of 2015 sleeping. When he wasn't sleeping, he was playing video games. He likes to eat too, but only if he doesn't have to go to any effort to prepare his food. He can reach into a refrigerator or the pantry, but anything other than that is really too much bother. For instance, a sandwich is too much work. Heating something up in the microwave is out of the question. So that really limits his food choices. It makes me worry how he will ever survive on a mission, which is what his current post high school plan is. He does shave every day though, so at least there's that.

Audrey decided that her sophomore year of high school was the perfect time to try every possible high school activity that she could.  She signed up for everything available and we did not see her from the end of August until Christmas break. We are beginning to wonder if she just doesn't like us. And now, she has cut off all her hair, so we barely recognize her when we do see her. She looks adorable with her new pixie cut though. Kind of like our own version of Audrey Hepburn.

Olivia is growing up way too fast. She has had kind of a rough year. She got the birds and the bees talk AND heard the truth about Santa, all within the span of a few weeks.  That's a lot for a naive ten year old to take in. Looking back, none of that was among my finest parenting moments. You would think that by the time you get to the sixth kid, some of those things would be old hat, right? Well, it's not. It never is. Each kid is different, and I feel I have managed to blow it for each kid in their own special way. Olivia got a double dose of mom blowing it, but hey, she asked. She BEGGED to be told the truth. She is coming to grips with it all, but it was an emotional Christmas for both of us.

That sums up what the kids have been up to. Dan and me, we just plug along, same as always. Dan stays busy seeing movies and reviewing them, and working lots of long hours to pay for all the shenanigans that go on around here. I work long hours too, but most of my earnings go to buy insurance to pay for all of the medical bills resulting from the shenanigans. We are hoping to be up to some serious play in 2016, and can't wait to see what else it brings us.  Unless it brings us stuff we don't want. Like more cats. Then we will be in no hurry.

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