It has been a long hard year. As I look back I see a whole lot of negative that 2011 has healed for us. And yet in all those negatives there are hidden nuggets of love and support.
The year started out pretty smooth I think. I am having a hard time remembering the first of the year. Hmm, note to self you maybe should journal and keep track better.
In May Eli was in a car accident totaling his car. He was okay though!
In June we had to have our Septic tank worked on. That caused a huge mess but wasn't as bad as we expected.
In June I went with our youth group on a Mission Trip to Bay City, MI. What a trip! AMAZING!
I think maybe July is when the year started to rapidly go down hill.
I was on a Chrysalis team. During the Sunday night of the weekend while Eli was away at some secret event, lol, our home was broken into. The person kicked in the front door and then ripped the tv off the wall and left. We had to replace the front door, the wall and the tv. The front door was the most immediate replacement that needed to happen. We had a guy from our church who came and put it in for us for free. It took us a while but in August we finally got the dry wall fixed and again a guy in our church who knows how to dry wall came and fixed it for us. The tv well, we are saving for that. The funny thing is that not weeks before we sold our only spare tv in a yard sale. I laughed, what else can you do. About a month after a family in our church came and said I am bring you a tv. We have an old one just sitting around and you can use it till you can get one. I don't know who was more thankful for that me or the kids.
The next weekend after my flight Eli was on a team. And that was just all together a rough weekend of hearing noises and such. Oh and the van broke down.
Well the next weekend was our planned and paid for 10 year anniversary trip. We took the MegaBus to Chicago and then took the train to San Francisco. From there we rented a car and drove to Napa Valley. Getting a car was quite an adventure. So much that I was in tears, go figure! Our hotel in Napa was Amazing. We actually were staying in the Sonoma Valley but drove to Napa Valley the 2 days we were there. We have some great friends that live in St. Helena. It was so nice to be able to spend time with them and see where they are living. They taught so much about the area and wine. It was a lot of fun. We did have more rental car drama but who doesn't have rental car drama. We also had bank drama while there. "Sir someone in California is trying to use your debit card. We turned it off." We had a bit of money issues as well. Luckily a friend picked up the insurance check from our mail box and deposited it to our account. Cause of course we spent our spending money on a new front door. Doesn't everyone right before they go on vacation? But luckily that all worked out and we had our spending money back. After many wine tastings and sight seeing we left heaven and headed to San Francisco. We drove to Muir Woods, Amazing! We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and down Lombard Street. We drove along the Embarcadero and across the by bridge. We were on the lower level of the Bay Bridge in bumper to bumper stand still traffic. Can I just say never again will I be on that bridge. Talk about an Anxiety attack I think we were close a couple of times. We then got lost in Oakland, yes in Oakland. I cried! I was scared it wasn't pretty! Oakland is not a very inviting place and the news doesn't help that a bit. We got to the airport turned our car in and headed on public transportation to our hotel. We go there late! We got our hotel room and then decided we were starving. I don't think we ate lunch that day. We were deep in the forest with the red woods. Did I mention that was too amazing for words. So anyways on with the night. We decided to walk tot dinner. It was dark, cold and did I mention late. So late that the only people out on the streets near our hotel were homeless, gangsters, and hookers. I was scared. I think I cut the circulation off in Eli's finger because I was grasping them too hard. But then we got to union Square and things were a bit more populated. We ate at the Cheesecake factory on top of the Macy's. It was cold but the food was so good. This was actually our anniversary day so we had a good meal. At dinner I told Eli "we are taking the Bart back to the hotel." I was not about to walk back there 2 hours later than when we walked from there. So we finished out our trip in San Fran with trips around on the cable cars, see the Golden Gate Bridge, seeing Alcatraz, 2 trips to Ghiradelli (YUMM!), and a trip to Fisherman's warf. It was a good trip with many other things mixed in that we did. I am not one to go to a city I have never been to and just sit. I want to go see and do everything that I can. I also refuse to eat in restaurants that I can eat in at home. Well except Cheesecake Factory but it's one of the only places we knew of that was open late and we rarely go there. We finished up and flew home. Wow, what a trip but it was good. The kids spent that time with Eli's parents. Savilla took them to the flea market to look for treasures and all kinds of things. It was good that they were with her then. I know it made her tired but she would not have had it any other way. Looking back it was such blessing that she was feeling good and they got to spend that week with her.
August brought us back to school. Ellie and I were both excited. I think we both hoped this year would go better. She has a great teacher this year.
September was hard.
My washer backed up all over the laundry room. The same day that happened Savilla was admitted in the hospital. Eli was there almost every day and night. September was hard, finding out there really wasn't anything they could do and that the cancer had spread. While things were not going well with Eli's mom we had some time with her. She had her good days and bad. She was having a hard time with her short term memory but the kids were able to spend some of her last days smiling with her and laughing. It was good to have those days even though they were really hard for those of us that understood they were some of her last. But through all this I had people that tried to help figure out my washer so I could do laundry. I had friends doing my laundry, helping with my kids when they were sick, and I had friends bring me pizza at 10PM just to be with me.
October became a little more difficult. Waiting for what's coming was hard. You never know the day but you know it's coming. I can honestly say there isn't much that I remember. I even slacked with the kids Halloween costumes. We used what we had an borrowed. Which isn't bad but then didn't really get to be what they wanted to be. We spent some time at the Hospice Care Unit with Eli and the family. Eli came and went Trick or Treating with us. I was also on an Emmaus team and the weekend was this month. It was really hard. I could see Savilla in everything we did. I was an emotional mess and will probably never be ask to be on another team.
November started out sad. We had to say goodbye to a wonderful woman. It was hard on the kids and it still is especially Silas. Eli's car has had issues this month. Eli went to Youth Workers and while he was gone the van yes it broke down. Eli went and got to be with some good friends that he doesn't get to see that often. I am sure it was nice for him to get out a town for a couple days and be able to focus on something else. We had a good Thanksgiving to spite Savilla not being there. During the month of November we made a Thankful Tree. Every day we put a leaf on the tree with something we were thankful for. At then end of the month we had a very full tree.
December has come and we are knee deep in December. We are 1/2 way through Advent and so close to Christmas. I am trying to say no to things that I don't need to take time away from my family to do. I am trying to say let's wait till January to do that. I am trying to be with my family and do things together as we prepare for Christmas. I am praying that the end of the year is so uneventful and we can just relax and enjoy each other.
As I typed this and looked back maybe 2011 wasn't all that bad. There was good in everything negative that happened. And heck we had an amazing trip to Cali. I just pray that 2012 is maybe a little less eventful. When you can recognize and see the hand of Christ in what happens. And see that good comes from the bad things that happen so there not all that bad. But a little less eventfulness would be nice. I am kind of afraid to post this. I am afraid if I do something will happen. Oh well good will come from it.