Friday, December 28, 2007

A Year in Review

I just finished my year long class with Heidi Swapp called A Year To Remember. Our last assignment is all about capturing and documenting the year and what we want to remember. This year has been a BIG one in our family.

We lived in Williamsburg for 1/3 of 2007. This house where we lived for 11 years. This was where we settled after knowing that NY was no longer where we wanted to live. In NY, we lived surrounded by family, 4 parents who saw us as their children, and all that can bring. We needed to be on our own for awhile and learn what WE wanted. We, frankly, needed some SPACE. We learned how to do on our own with no backup. We had no net - just each other. Eventually we created a net of friends. A net with no obligations, just love.

And we suffered great losses in 2007. Losses that are still painful and sore.

We lost Joan. She was my best friend and close to grandparent status to Cassie and Jarrett. This picture was taken at her memorial. Along with a few friends, I made these flowers out of her favorite scrapbook papers. Joan and I were nearly inseparable for many years. I am such the better person for knowing her.
At the same time, we lost MacKenzie, sweet girl that loved us so completely. She was the definition of loyalty and unconditional love. We still miss her.

And while we were grieving and stunned with our losses, we were moving. It was a whirlwind that left you no time to breathe or get ahead of the wave. We just hung on and rode, thankful for those who helped us so much. Steff, who organized the Fl search for a house, drove us all over and looked at houses for us, Caryn Baker, our agent in FL who was a dream to work with - far exceeding our expectations and Joan LaFalce, our agent in Williamsburg, who took us under her wing and mothered us when we needed it and sold our house in record breaking time. And friends who listened and comforted.

The next thing we knew, Joe was working in Fl, living with Steff, Bill and Chelsea (thanks for sharing your bathroom with a BOY). Jarrett and I were practically living in our van as our house was being shown 5 times a day and packing at night. And homeschooling - did I mention I was homeschooling at the same time?

That is when this woman became pretty vital. She is teaching me so much about recovering from the whirlwinds of life and being who you truly are. Call her a lifecoach or a therapist or whatever makes you comfortable. I call her friend.

This showed up in our driveway. Ready or not, it was time to go.

And make this our new home carving out a new life,

and leaving Cassie behind to start her journey.

I started really exploring my creative side. I love that. I have found so much inspiration and encouragement in this area. I also ended a creative friendship that wasn't a friendship or creative at all. Why does it take so long to see things that are so stinkin' obvious? I know Joan is smiling about this one and yelling to me - "It is ABOUT TIME!!"

I am enjoying the day to day living here. Spending so much time with these people whom I love so much. I have laughed more in the past 6 months than I have in 6 years. Laughter that heals and sustains you. A daily vitamin of fun.

And grateful - for everything and everyone in my life. True friends who come running when you call, friends that share themselves openly and honestly, friends that give and receive with open hands and hearts. That is wealth right there.

And hopeful - for 2008. A new year full of possibilities, opportunities and love. I vote YES.

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