The Brady Bunch Kids

The Brady Bunch Kids

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A year in review

Simple Mom shared her annual list of 20 questions that she uses to reflect on the previous year and I thought I'd give them a shot.

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Graduating with my Bachelors degree.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Breanna developed blisters on both of her feet on a Sunday, while I was at work and our favorite sitter, Allie had to bring her to the ER to be evaluated. Unfortunately, we never found out what caused the blisters.
These look good! Her feet and legs got ten times worse than this!
Besides making several trips to the ER and to her physician's office, she was unable to attend school for two weeks due to not being able to wear any form of shoes (school policy) and since Eric was already living in Washington for his new job, he was unable to help out during this time. Since it was close to end of term and I had numerous projects and presentations due, I had to take her to all of my classes each day for the two weeks she was unable to attend her school. Thankfully, all of my professors were more than understanding and welcomed her into their classrooms for the full two weeks!

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Eric interviewed, was offered, and accepted a job in Seattle, in order to move our family back to the PNW, so I could be closer to my friends and family.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Having to chose to finish school in Alabama or move to Washington with Eric in April. We had crossed this same dilemma in 2009, when I only had 9 more courses to complete at Portland State University. Instead of finishing those classes, we moved to Alabama, where I transferred to a nearby university. That decision required me to add two more years of schooling in order to graduate.

5. Pick three words to describe 2011.
Emotional, stressful, joyous.

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don't ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you.
Stressed, educational, and eventful.

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking).
Stressed, heartbreaking, and eventful.

8. What were the best books you read this year?
Sadly, most of the books I read in 2011 were textbooks. I am currently reading Run Like A Mother.

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

My grandparents. I am just sorry I didn't get to spend more time with my grandmother before she passed in February.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I am going to have to come back to this question, as, at this time, I am unsure how I want to answer it.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
 I honestly don't believe I grew emotionally, actually I feel like I went backwards. I tend to thrive on stress but this year, stress beat me. Yes, I even cried like a girl on more than one occasion, just ask my mother who laughed hysterically at me as I was boo-hoo-ing one day. I guess sometimes one must go backwards in order to go forwards.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I am not sure if I grew spiritually, but I do feel that in 2011 I had to explain my spirituality more with others than in years past. Many assume that I am not spiritual due to not attending a church, however, most people don't realize that the majority of churches don't accommodate handicap children or adults. Most churches actually find the disabled more disruptive and a burden, than a blessing. Sadly, because of this, our family finds it difficult to be able to attend any church or church meetings.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
I trained for a 5K, which I completed on 12/10/11, after I was told by doctors that I would never run again after a motorcycle accident in 2008.

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
Since my grandmother passed unexpectedly, I have made an extra effort to visit my grandfather as often as our family can financially afford the trip. I have also vowed to be more open and willing to share with others, so I created a blog for our family and another blog for my grandparents, that allows others to share thoughts, memories, stories, and pictures.

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Professionally - being acknowledged for my professionalism and hard work, and receiving numerous compliments and acknowledgements from my supervisors and co-workers, even in other departments, for being such an asset to my department.
Home - watching the kids grow and develop their friendships and bonds with each other. I've also enjoyed watching all the kids develop an interest in learning how to cook and finally having a kitchen large enough to allow them to participate in cooking.

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Professionally - trying to balance working, school, and family as this was the first full year i worked and went to school (usually I don't work while attending school). Also, since moving to Washington, looking for employment in a new area, without any connections, and having a degree from another state.
Home - not having all of our kids with us full-time, and trying to work out visitation schedules that allow all the kids to visit at the same time.

17. What was your biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Several thoughts came to mind after reading this questions, cleaning, school and watching TV. Yes, for the first time in my life, I find myself sitting in front of a TV, although it seems as though it is either on and I am not actually watching it, or I am constantly trying to find something worth watching. But more often than not, like right now, I have a movie on, one that I actually own, and I am busy doing something else and not paying much attention to it. I know cleaning and school don't really belong on this list, but let's be honest...everything you clean gets dirty again and school...well.. I quit work to go back to school to better my job opportunities and yet I find myself still unemployed six months after graduation...things that make you go HMMM!

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
With family! Since we moved back to the PNW, moving 3000 miles away from Eric's kids, we have made an extra effort to do things as a family. My favorite, has been teaching the kids different things about cooking and working with each of them in the kitchen. The only time I love to hear them fight...when they are fighting over who gets to help me cook!

19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
That I can and will accomplish anything I set my mind too. 

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.
2011 - a stepping stone to the greater things to come in the future!

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