And I know he watches me…

It’s time for the obligatory “year in review” post. Sorry folks, I think a blogging license can be revoked without one and since WordPress is eagerly cheering me on towards my 15th post so I don’t have a choice.

This time last year we knew that the move to South Carolina was a definite possibility. We spoke about it in whispered tones and tried not to let it consume our thoughts. I don’t know that we were always successful but we handled the uncertainty the best way we knew how. I prayed for guidance and God’s will. We continued living our lives while Michael jumped through hoops and we waited, sometimes more patiently than others.

We would wait until the end of February to find out that Michael got the job. In the days to come,  I was concentrating on the logistics more than the emotions. I had to make sure he had clothes, household items, and other things necessary to sustaining life (Cleveland Stadium Mustard, his mac-n-cheese pot.) I came close to breaking down whenever I thought being without him so I just pushed those emotions down and packed his tubs.

We were separated from March 31 to October 27. We saw each other for something like 14 days during this time. At first, the days went by quickly. I was consumed by work, packing, and working out in preparation for my role as bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. I even remember saying that I could get used to having so much time for myself.

The longer we were separated, the harder things got. In addition to missing my husband, I wasn’t able to make an announcement about my move at work until just before July 4. I spent a stupid amount of time keeping a secret that I was ready to share. I was sad, angry, stressed and needless to say, I wasn’t in control of my affairs the way I should have been. I learned my lesson.

I also learned that my husband and I can get through anything together – or apart. I felt lonely, anxious, sad and scared but I never felt unloved. I never doubted that he was there for me. I knew we could get through this and we did. It wasn’t always easy and it was not fun but we made it and I would tell you that our marriage is stronger because of it. I don’t recommend it if you can avoid it but I know that God used this experience to make us better.

I’m also thankful for the friends and family who got me through this time. You listed to me. You cheered me up. You drug me out of the house. I thank you for that.

While the move to South Carolina is the big news for 2011. It’s not the only thing that happened to us.

We hit Orlando for a little vacation in January. We visited the Disney parks and behaved like big kids. While Mickey and friends were awesome, they weren’t the best part of the trip. During our time in Orlando we were able to connect with my husband’s extended family. I had the best time with them.

In March, I visited Vegas with my mom and aunt. In addition to the Bellagio fountains, the gardens at the Flamingo and all the fun people watching on the strip, we also visited the Grand Canyon. It was a fun girls’ trip with memories that I will treasure forever.

I was able to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Dallas in late April. It was a great chance to see them and their new surroundings. It’s hard being so far away from them so I really treasure any time we can spend together. I was fortunate enough to be able to go back in November for my niece’s sixth birthday. I thank God for the crazy, funny, smart little person she’s become.

As part of my job, I was able to visit Switzerland in July and Greece in September. I am thankful for these experiences and good, safe journeys.

2011 had some scary and sad moments too. My grandfather spent a good part the year in the VA. He struggled with pneumonia and a host of illnesses, some certainly exacerbated by the “care” he received at the VA. In late February I drove to Tennessee to see him for what I feared might be the last time. It is still almost too painful to think of him in the bed groaning in misery as he wasn’t even allowed to have ice chips. It was a rough time. I remember stopping in the bathroom on my way out of the hospital. I couldn’t cry, I could barely catch my breath – the pain was just too much. I just prayed again for God’s will to be done and some comfort to come to all of us. There were still ups and downs and some bad scares but I am happy to say that he was able to come home in the summer after time in both the hospital and rehab. His body is weaker but he’s still sharp and witty – if a bit more inpatient and willful.

There was loss in 2011. We cried with friends and family. Our hearts ached for them. There was also hope and love. We saw healing miracles and the loving smiles on our friends’ faces when they said “I do.”

Through everything that happened I knew there was a plan for me. Even when I gave into worry and despair, it didn’t last for long. I knew my Heavenly Father was there for and with me. It’s with that knowledge that I made it through 2011. It’s the same knowledge I take into 2012 and I’m thankful for that.

Love and Happy New Year…

 

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