Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Year in Review

I'm not one to read the "Year in Review" magazine issues that are blanketing the periodical racks currently, but 2010 has certainly been a big year for us so it seems fitting that we should get our own little review.

Everything seems to happen on the even years for us: we met in '02, were married in '04, first child in '06, second one in '08... I have to admit that I was a little curious as to what "big ticket" thing may happen for us in '10. By choice, there are no more kids filling our home, so perhaps we're off the hook with the big things (at least for now).

Though learning of our son's autism this year is definitely a big thing and it carries with it both sadness and joy. We're doing pretty good on the sadness front, though we are always learning of new things that we can't do as easily as other families can so it can feel like a barrier in a lot of ways. But the joy is abundant because we now understand our child so much more and can celebrate the uniqueness of him instead of worrying about why the pieces aren't falling into place. (And they are, actually, because he's rocking it at school!)

So to back up, 2010 in review:

• can't think of anything

• can't think of anything

• can't think of anything (Sorry, this isn't turning out to be much of a review! The truth is, we spent the first quarter of 2010 in a perpetual, frustrating holding pattern as we knew that things weren't going well with our son at school but we couldn't get in for evaluations for months.)
• And that's not true anyway, since how could I forget going to NYC with my dear friend, Kristina, in March?? What a time we had!

• We spent Easter in D.C. with Dan's brother and his wife and had a fantastic time. It was so fun to see their home and spend time together.
 • Evaluations started, life got better.

Jackson's diagnosis was received (Asperger's, on the high-functioning end of autism) and life got confusing, yet lighter. Things were starting to make a lot more sense.
We immediately signed up for the autism 5K just two weeks after the diagnosis. My family and some of our friends joined us to show their support.
• Gardening, gardening, gardening. We were outside nonstop and had dirt under our nails every night.
• In addition to our own garden, we started to be up to our ears in veggies each week from our new CSA and the bounty didn't stop until Thanksgiving. We were homemade all the way this summer and it was soooooo tasty.

• These months blur together because we spent the time hiking, camping, hiking some more, and then camping again. Very, very, very happy with how much time we had in the great outdoors in the summer of 2010!
Dan and I escaped to celebrate our 6-year wedding anniversary and had a wonderfully relaxing time.
• Dan and Amelia took a solo dad-daughter trip to visit Dan's folks (before she turned 2 and would no longer be free to fly!) and Jackson and I went on a solo mom-son camping trip at the same time. We invited another mom-son duo on our trip and new friendships were forged.
Jackson attended various summer day camps and did amazingly well at all of them.
 • Jackson also learned how to ride a bike this summer, completely independently. Not just the riding part, but the learning part. He didn't want help at all, but just decided one day to go out and do it. We had to run to catch up.
• We had to run to catch up with Amelia for much of the summer too as she burst on the scene as a bubbly, talkative, social little 2yo.
 • Dan's D.C. brother and his wife became parents! We all welcomed little Fen into the world with love, though from afar. We have yet to meet him but it's high on the priority list for 2011! VERY thankful for Facebook so we can keep current with his adorable little face.
I entered items into the State Fair knitting competition and scored two 2nd place wins.
• The canning pot filled up with water...

•...and didn't stop boiling until early fall. Lots and lots and lots of jars of food put up in the cellar. Jams and pickles and veggies, oh my!
• We spent Labor Day weekend on the North Shore of Lake Superior with my entire family (and we all survived!). I think my mom was in heaven with all of the little grandkids together at the same time. Super, super fun.
• I started back to school this fall and it really picked up speed in October. (Hence, my "let's take a break" letter to y'all early in the month.) I loved every minute of it and found myself intellectually engaged in a way that you just can't get staying home with the kids (big surprise there).
• Dan's mom came to visit due to another family obligation in the next state over. We didn't get to keep her all to ourselves for the weekend, but we did enjoy the fun-yet-brief Omi time.

• My dear cousin John died.
• We remembered and gave thanks for so many dear friends and family members in our lives.

• Snowstorms and blizzards and black ice, oh my! With two classes already canceled due to snow, my final was postponed when school was canceled due to the 17" of snow that fell here in 24 hours. I had to meet my instructor at a coffeeshop on the morning of my birthday to take the exam. I couldn't take it at the officially rescheduled date because...
•...I was in Mexico! Dan and I took a whirlwind break and went down to Cancun for a weekend before Christmas and had some well-deserved R&R. My new birthday present Kindle allowed me to read and knit concurrently for the first time ever and believe me, that's what I did.
• I aced my class.

The remainder of 2010 has us laying around, playing in the snow, reading (a lot) and eating really good food (some that was made in the summer and some special dishes reserved just for the winter holidays). More snow is in the forecast for New Year's Eve here, so we may spend the first part of 2011 digging out again. But I know that it will only be a matter of months until we've got dirt under our fingernails and are plucking weeds from the garden again.

Here's to 2011! May it be filled with friends, laughter, sunshine, dirt, and good wool.


Jean W. said...

Catherine, even though I followed most of this on Facebook, when you summarize it becomes really very impressive. I would certainly call 2010 a big year. And you handled it with grace, good humor and good survivor instincts (meaning courage to ask for help when you needed it)!

May you and yours be blessed in 2011.

Varda said...

Hi, Catherine,

I'm one of your friend Meilan's New York City friends (one of my sons is one of her son's best friends)

I'm also a blogger, writing a lot about autism (one of my sons is on the spectrum).

She thought we might like to read each other, and sent me your URL.

Nice to "meet" you. Sounds like you've had quite a year. For a while we were also doing things in the evens (met in '98, married in'00, twins born in'02, Jake diagnosed in '04) It quieted down for a while, then both my father AND mother-in-law died in '10. Hoping for a quiet '12.

Stop by over my way some time and say hello.

Happy New Year!

Lisa said...

So excited about this and congrats to a fun and exciting year, I have a mind to do this myself, thanks for the inspiration!