Never before in my life have I been so glad to see a year come to an end! This year has been especially trying on our family and I am honestly glad to see it gone. In my first blogging experience I am going to do a 2009 recap and try to highlight the good things that happen in our lives, even during difficult times.
Jeff's birthday was the 8th. On the 1st of the month I began a workout program. It was totally self-guided. I determined goals that were realistic and tried to stay on track. I also did not beat myself up if I did not meet a goal, but realized that it happens and the hard part is to keep with it. Everything went well...I not only met my goal of working out 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes, but exceeded it by working out EVERY day of January 2009! I was mainly doing the Wii Fit, but also using the Elliptical trainer.
Keeping with the exercise goals I set some new goals for February and kept with things. On Tuesday mornings Avery would go to a preschool program at a local church for a few hours. On these mornings I enjoyed coming home and loggin on and Instant Messenging with Schuyler in Afghanistan for a little while. It was great to talk to him every time. He joked with me that when he was home for his leave he and I would go jogging. He was very encouraging on the exercise program and always asked me how it was going. Tragically, a week after his 25th birthday, he was killed in action on February 24th. The following days and weeks were a blur. I drove to Kewanee on the 25th and met Dave & Kathy at the airport. My parents and brother Jeff were able to get to Kewanee shortly after that.
Several things can be said about this period of time. The best thing I can say is that my incredibly close family became even more so. We stuck together and helped one another get through, minute-by-minute, and day-by-day. Friends stepped in and helped out Jeff and the kids while I was gone. The friends and family in my life simply rock and I am so incredibly thankful to have them.
The beginning of March was spent in Kewanee. I can't even really remember how long we stayed, but I distinctly remember not wanting to leave. The pain was somehow eased when we were all together. The rest of March was spent finalizing preparations for True Realm. We had decided to hold our True Dungeon event locally. Once I returned from Kewanee there was much work to do. Again, the details are hazy and I don't remember much, but I do know that a lot of awesome people stepped in and helped me out...Thank you all.
My parents visited early in the month on their way back from their winter in California. As always their visit was spent with fun times with the kids, delicious meals, lots of wine, and many fun card games in the evening.
I was starting to fade I think. All of the craziness from the last 2 months were taking their toll. Jeff, being the wonderful husband that he is suggested a vacation for the family. We're notorious for doing a lot of talking and planning but never pulling the trigger. Well, he didn't give me time enough to think about it too much...we talked to a travel agent and got some information. I said we'd take everything home, talk about it, and decide and he said "nah, let's just book it". So, we did. The end of April and the beginning of May was spent in Orlando at Disney World. Jeff, the kids, and I had a great time. It was much needed!
Early in the month (the 8th) our area was hit with a horrible storm. Initially called an inland hurricane, it was later determined that we had experienced a Derecho. Whatever it was, it was horrible. We had many trees downed in the back, and damage to our roof. One of our light tubes was shattered. The storm brought out the BEST in our neighborhood! First everyone helped check on everyone to make sure all were OK. Then the cleanup began. That night, with no power, we had an impromptu BBQ in the street! We rolled the grills out and everyone brought out the stuff they had in their fridge and freezer. Ice cream was getting soft, so the kids were allowed to have dessert first! Leery that we would be without power for an extended time Jeff and I decided to bail! We drove to my parents! About an hour after we got there a neighbor sent me a text...the power was back on! It was Mother's Day weekend, so we got to unexpectedly spend that with my Mom. What a blessing that was...hindsight is 20/20!
After we got home from Disney World it was time to get busy again! August would be here before we knew it and there was a lot of work to be done for True Dungeon. May, as always is the end of another school year and the start of summer vacation. We spent Memorial Day in Kewanee with family. Losing Schuyler put a new look on Memorial Day for our entire family. It was important for us all to be together.
On the 10th Jeff and I celebrated our 14th anniversary. Where does that time go? Seems like just yesterday we were dating! On June 7 a group of friends from my Bunco group hit the Wine Trail on the Wine Bus! What FUN!
Mid June was Drake's 3 day Cub Scout Day Camp. Unfortunately the weather was a bit uncooroperative and these kids were skittish after the May 8th storm. I think Drake made it through 1 1/2 days of camp. He refused to go one day that was stormy in the morning and asked to leave early one afternoon when it started thundering. But, on the plus side, he got to shoot a BB Gun, do Archery, and have lots of fun.
Jeff went to Columbus, OH on the 23rd for the "Origins" game convention. At the last minute I decided that I'd pack up the kids and head to my parents house. John and his family, and Amber and her family were able to join us. It was a great weekend. What a gift that weekend was. It was pretty much unplanned, but Thank God we went.
Well, that's the first 1/2 of the year...the rest of the recap will have to wait for tomorrow!