2018 Review

This week between Christmas and New Years is odd. It doesn’t quite feel like 2018 anymore but it’s not quite 2019 and it’s like this black hole of the year. It’s not BAD. It just is.

I decided instead of a (late) week in review post about a week that had almost nothing to report, I would just do my year in review. This one is mostly for me. I’ll be impressed if you make it through all. the. words.

January 2018

Because of work schedules etc, we started the New Year having our family Christmas. I thought maybe having to be available at 8am would help curb the older boys partying. What ACTUALLY happened was Hubs and I were at a friends’ house until after midnight and *I* nearly died at the 8am start time I scheduled. (I laugh about it. Now.) We spent the rest of the first day with our Good Friends, watching an Indiana Jones marathon. It was a fun way to kick off the new year. I signed up for an indoor mini tri later in the year. And those same friends we started the year with? Well the husband has a January birthday and so does my hubby so we celebrated together with a big meal out.

February 2018

Game night with Good Friends. Winter Olympics. I did my first (and last) tri of the year…a mini indoor. Signed up for my first half marathon later in the year (spoiler: I was not able to do it)

March 2018

Hubs and I made an EPIC road trip to Indianapolis for a friend’s wedding. There is a whole HILARIOUS hotel story that I might have to tell you sometime but will probably rank as one of our funniest, and most disturbing, memories ever. He surprised me on the way home by stopping to visit one of my oldest and best friends. Then Hubs went on his first Africa trip of the year.

April 2018

Started with Easter service with my son and then taking Grandma to her church & lunch. Locked my youngest out of the house. (It was an ACCIDENT.) The youngest was awarded “Student of the Month” – an achievement still memorialized on the refrigerator. I bought new running shoes that I was able to put very few miles on. I went to our work women’s retreat. And it snowed. 

May 2018

We celebrated 9 years of marriage! I attended the first annual Treasure Valley Mission Conference and started to get an inkling of what God wanted me to do locally (it had nothing to do with “missions”). About a week later, God very clearly informed me I should be working with our church’s youth group program…specifically 6th grade girls. Despite my protests that I’m not a “kid person”, I volunteered and promptly started praying for my then unknown co-leaders. (They are AMAZING) I bought a wetsuit in anticipation of ALL THE RACES I had planned. (ha) I did a 10k race with a friend. I was under trained and under fueled and it was much hotter than I expected. But I ran with a wonderful woman who made it incredibly fun. The leg/foot cramps afterwards were NOT fun but I discovered pickle juice works miracles. We saw the Glitch Mob with friends and a middle school play that Good Friends’ daughter was in (that was surprisingly hilarious and entertaining!). My middle son turned 20 and my oldest 21 (what?). 

June 2018

Celebrated our Good Friends’ OTHER daughter graduate high school…and cried more than when my older boys graduated. I participated in my first Color Wars with our youth group (like dodgeball but with socks filled with that colored powder). Freaked a barista out after because the colored powdered mixed just right to look like I had major bruising down one side of my face/neck. Nice. Left the same day for the first camp with my youth group girls where we walked approximately 8 miles a day, with hills, did zip lines and bb gun shooting and rock climbing, had wonderful God times, and (mostly) enjoyed being together. Went on a hike I haven’t done in years with my friend Kim and her husband and son. My mother had major oral surgery and a few days later my father had a heart attack. Thankfully he had nitroglycerin and was able to mitigate the damage so we get to have him around awhile longer. 

July 2018

The Amani Children’s Choir from Uganda were in town and led our church worship at a service in the park. I danced enthusiastically with my oldest and tore a muscle in my hip. I was on crutches for 3 weeks, in physical therapy for longer than that and out of all races planned for the year. We worked a fire works stand on the 4th. My husband made the biggest sales of the year wearing a god-awful patriotic cat suit. We went to a party at our Good Friends house later. We attended the wedding of friends from work (same woman I ran the 10k with). I was part of the crew that helped him pull off a pretty sweet proposal but I didn’t document when that happened.

August 2018

My parents came to visit for my birthday. I invited a bunch of friends over to spend the evening on my patio just hanging out and it was wonderful. My youngest started high school. I cried. A lot. No really. A LOT. (But he is THRIVING at this school.) I got back in the pool for the first time since my injury. We went to the hot air balloon festival with friends. 

September 2018

The youth group did our annual “Slip & Slime”. But this year we used foam, not the green slime and chocolate syrup of years past. It was so much fun and the blue dye washed right off. I was so excited to be able to participate a little because I was still barely walking without crutches. I got to take pictures of my oldest and his wonderful girlfriend. We had a President and Board Summit at work – a major event that happens every other year. I had the opportunity to fly on a float plane and land on the river before the event started. I got to go to one of my 6th grade girls cross country meet (SO much fun). 

October 2018

Our former roommate (“foster adult”) got married. It was beautiful. They are LSU fans and I love them enough that I wore a purple dress and gold jewelry to the wedding. No seriously. That is LOVE. (wooo pig sooie) My wonderful husband bought me a ticket to go see the Mixtape Tour (New Kids on the Block, etc)  next year with friends. I may have jumped up and down. My friend Kim invited me to go to the Casting Crowns concert with her. It turned out to be one of the best concert I’ve ever attended. I went to Leader Retreat for our youth group leaders at the same camp where we went with the kids that summer. I attempted the “high v” with another leader. It was terrifying and exhilarating. But mostly terrifying. It snowed. We celebrated the birthday of the wife portion of the Good Friends. My husband left for his second Africa trip of the year…and his longest trip to date. I got to spend Halloween going to dinner and a movie with my youngest.

November 2018

The youngest and I continued our November 5th tradition of watching “V for Vendetta” even though we were the only ones home. My husband came home from Africa. We had a memorable Thanksgiving. The Hubs 102 year old grandmother decided it was time to move to assisted living.

December 2018

I signed up for my first half-Iron distance triathlon to be done in September 2019. We had our first snow of the season and it was on a Sunday so I got to stay inside all day. My great-aunt (my grandmother’s twin) passed away. The Hubs surprised me with tickets to go see Hugh Jackman on tour next year with friends. Grandma moved into assisted living.  Christmas was nice, quiet and somewhat relaxing. I RAN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE JUNE. (Yes. I am yelling. It is warranted). (That is possibly worth it’s own post.) And we’re only a few days away from 2019.

Are you still here? Wow. I went through a bunch of pictures from 2018 with the intention of one big picture post. That’s not going to happen primarily because the pictures mostly feature other people. I had a lot more thoughts on this year and one word that kept coming to mind as I was reviewing Facebook posts and pictures and texts. But as I started typing, I found I don’t really want to get into it any further publicly. Not now anyway. The year was not bad but in some ways it was “second hand hard”. Very little in my immediate life was negative but there was a lot hard stuff surrounding us. There was a lot of good too though. That’s life though, yes?

May the Fourth be with you

There’s no reason for that title. Except it’s May 4th and I raided my husband’s side of the closet to wear a shirt with the Millennium Falcon on it.

I was thinking about my “Book of 2017” the other day. 124 pages have been written and more of those have been “high points” than not. We spent a week in Seattle with friends and family. We relaxed and visited. We did some touristy things. We went to a concert and then hung out in a tiny little pizza parlor with delicious local sodas and laughed…a lot. We got a break from the OMG BRUTAL winter. My doctor put me on a once a day insulin shot and it did WONDERS for managing my blood sugar. I’m even racing again this year and have started training. I went ball room dancing with a friend while Jon was out with his friends. We spent a Saturday exploring parts of Idaho I had never seen…and saw a herd of elk. We’ve had an abundance of comfortable, enjoyable evenings at home. We’ve watched movies, been to concerts, survived a week of multiple not-small injuries to family members, spent quite a bit of time with friends. I’ve started reading some fascinating text books. Oh…and I accepted a job with Mission Aviation Fellowship that starts on the 15th. Yep. MAF. Where my husband works (and TheKid for now) (But we only overlap for 5 days.) (And that’s good considering he’s also moved home).

We’re about a third of the way through the second quarter of this year. (How convoluted can I make that?) In many ways it’s slipped past quickly, almost without notice.  But my goal is to be more intentional with both my relationships and my time the rest of this quarter. Hopefully my hubby and I will be carpooling pretty often (ie, I will be chauffeured…my life is rough) and we joined the same gym. I’m kinda excited to see how the extra time together and the new commonalities affect our relationship and how we can use that. I’m very excited for the environment I’ll be operating within now although it does mean being firmly inside a Christian “bubble”. I’ll have to be very aware of becoming insulated against the world.  But it’s 80 degrees and sunny outside so I’m naturally more optimistic….and I’m kinda excited for the next 56 days…and beyond.

Hunting and Gathering

I grew up in South Arkansas where hunting wasn’t just recreational, it was a way of life. I remember getting up in the cold dark of early morning and watching my Dad pull on his camo and bright orange over long johns, his gun laying across the couch. (Although Mom put a kibosh on him hunting on holidays when one Thanksgiving dinner sat cold and uneaten for SEVERAL hours while a deer was cleaned.) When he got his first kill every deer season, he would come pull my sisters and I out of class to see it, laying in the back of his truck (inevitably with it’s tongue sticking out).  It was not uncommon for a deer to be hanging from the rafters of his workshop in the backyard. And yes, I have had deer blood on me. Not often – I helped skin squirrels more often than I helped clean deer (and skinning squirrels? Is GROSS. I’d much rather clean a deer). But it was just a part of life. Dad hunted in the fall/winter, we ate venison year round.

Hunting is a pretty big deal around here too. My husband grew up here. And he’s comfortable with guns; in fact, he’s an excellent shot. But he was not a  hunter. Until this year. He jumped through all the hoops and joined some friends for a 5 day camping/hunting trip. I was excited that he had the opportunity to go…not so much because he was hunting but because he has some good solid friends in his life and I like that he has the opportunity to spend time with them. It doesn’t seem that close friendships are necessarily common with men. And I know that those relationships look nothing like the close friendships of women. Seriously. Men are strange creatures. But I’m happy to encourage those positive relationships in his life when I can. So I mentioned a few times that I didn’t care if he came home with a deer or not. I just wanted him to have fun. And I meant it 110%.

And then this happened:

firstkill

He called me Friday to let me know he’d gotten his deer and I was SO RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED for him. He sounded so tired but happy and the phone call just made my entire weekend. A couple of the guys came home early so Sunday before mine got home, I was talking to one of them that helped spot Jon’s kill and carry it out. He excitedly told me the story from his point of view, exclaiming that my husband made the perfect shot. And I was suddenly swelling with pride. I KNOW my husband is a good shot. But there’s something about using that skill to drop an animal and put meat on the table that is very appealing.

This is now one of my favorite pictures. For one – I love that grin. I would not have been at all disappointed if he didn’t get anything. I would have been perfectly happy if he just had a good week with friends. But I don’t know. There’s something very sexy about my hunter man.

(I understand not everyone will understand the appeal of this and some might find it downright disgusting and/or offensive. But it is so completely normal to me. The hunts are controlled and seriously, we will be eating this meat for most of a year.)