I’m not ready for resolutions yet (I like to save that for my birthday later on this month) but I do feel the urge to look back.  2013 wasn’t a fabulous year for us, in a lot of ways.  A lot of stress and frustration, but there was a lot of growth and change as well.  A transformative year, in a lot of ways.  In some ways, it was wonderful, and there are moments that I’ll never forget.

Some of the changes that happened this year –

– I moved my blog from blogspot to self-hosted, and wrote a book proposal.  I also started really actively working on writing as a career, as opposed to a fun little thing I did when I had the time.  Making the commitment, not just financial decision to build a website and transfer the blog over, but also mentally committing to writing as a career path was huge for me.  It’s still very difficult to find the time to really focus on it – because I’ve been a full time mom for a very long time now, and there’s not a lot of room in there to make space for me and my needs.

– Julianna started preschool.  This was a major decision – she’s still only three and a huge part of me didn’t want to send her anywhere.  But after the struggles that poor Samilicious had starting school, I wanted to do whatever I could to ease that transition for Julie.  It’s just two mornings a week, and while she’s gotten a lot better at it, it’s still not a breeze for her.  But going to preschool, even just a little bit, teaches her independence and self-sufficiency.  Or it introduces her to the concept, which is more to the point.  She learns that her safety isn’t dependent on my presence, and that she’s capable of doing it.

– Sam rocked first grade.  We really agonized over it, his transition to kindergarten was incredibly difficult, and everyone (from school administration to his teacher to us) was really worried about how he’d adapt to a new teacher, a new environment and increased academic demands.  And he rocked it.  Exceeded all expectations, and his last school conference was… easy.  He’s doing great, academically right where he should be or a little bit above.  Socially, he’s fine, relaxed and comfortable.

– Jessie started fifth grade, and we started looking seriously at her middle school options.  I’m still not sure where she’ll end up for sixth or seventh grade.  We’ve had such a great experience at Flagg Street, the teachers and administration have always gone above and beyond in terms of understanding my little girl and really working with us to make sure that she succeeds.   I just wish I felt better about sending her to a school where her seventh grade class is going to be larger than the population of my entire high school.

– My year can be easily split into two parts, divided by Marc’s lay off in July.  Prior to that, he just wasn’t around.  He was working so much, he wasn’t home really at all during the week, and so worn out during the weekends that he couldn’t do anything more than sleep and try and catch up with all he’d missed over the past week.  The rest of the year was a lot better, time-wise, because we got to be together more, but the fall was marred with some pretty intense financial worries, a screw up on the part of the Unemployment office led to several weeks with no money coming in coupled with major car troubles.  Everything resolved itself in the end, but it was one of the hardest times I can remember.

Everyone is healthy, everyone is healthy and whole.  Marc’s diabetes is mostly under control, which is huge, and the kids are growing up.  Jessie will be eleven in a few weeks, Sam is seven and a half, and my baby isn’t a baby anymore with a fourth birthday coming up this spring.  My fortieth birthday is looming on the horizon, and I’m alternately delighted and horrified about it.

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