Saturday, October 12, 2013

My girl

Our sweet girl, our firstborn, is turning 13 in four days. As a mom, I could go on and on about how time flies and she was just born, but honestly, I feel like we have had her forever. Olivia was born one day shy of 6 months after our wedding (it happens, stop judging :)). We had dated forever and we certainly didn't feel like we were slighted by not having any more "newlywed" time. We were ready to start a family and we were delighted to have her. But, I have been a mother my entire adult life. Up until Mike and I married I lived with my parents and never had any major adult responsibilities. So, she's been my sidekick through adulthood. 

I have never written her birth story in completion, so better 13 years late than never. 

Let's start by addressing the fact Olivia was almost THREE weeks late! My original due date was September 21. Then, it was pushed to September 28. Then, they weren't sure (we found out with subsequent pregnancies that our babies are tiny, weird shaped little fetuses and then grow super fast at the end). So, by October 12, my last OB appointment before she was born I was overdue, gigantic and dilated to 2. Needless to say, I was beyond done being pregnant. I was ALL belly. My stomach was enormous and Mike and I would sit and watch her body parts poke out as she shifted and squirmed. A foot here, an elbow there. So, on Thursday, it was agreed that I would try to go into labor naturally over the weekend with an induction scheduled for Monday. Friday night, my parents, brother, Mike and I went to a hot air balloon show at the very hilly, rocky air field in hopes to jostle something loose. Then, we ate Mexican food. Saturday, Mike and I sat around in our extremely clean, empty house and waited. Late Saturday night, Mike went to bed and I stayed up to balance the checkbook. After totaling all of the Home Depot receipts from the previous month (Mike was nesting big time!), I went to tell him he had to lay off, he had spent $500, and promptly went into labor. The contractions were 15-20 minutes apart and not bad at all, so I laid down and fitfully slept when I could. About 6 a.m., I got up for good as they were getting stronger, but not any closer together. At this point, I had been in inactive labor for about 8 hours. I sent Mike to pick up some breakfast (we couldn't mess up the pristine kitchen, the baby might want to see it) and I got in the shower to wash my hair and shave my legs :) That is when "active labor" kicked in. The contractions starting coming hard and fast, every 5 minutes. After 30 minutes of that, we decided it was time to head to the hospital (less than 10 minutes away). On the way there, my contractions jumped to 2.5 minutes apart. I WAS TERRIFIED. I thought I was going to give birth in the car! We made it and went to the desk where we were preregistered. The lady asked me if we were having twins. I growled at her. Mike promised to kill her later but begged me to get in the wheelchair and get upstairs.


Once up in Labor & Delivery, we waited to be admitted. They hooked me up to the contraction monitoring machine (not it's official name) and told me I could have an epidural when I got to 6. I was at 3. I had a goal! I should mention that I was still having strong contractions every 2.5 minutes, so we all thought this would move quickly. It was about 11 a.m. Mike and I had called our parents on the way to the hospital. Mike's parents headed our way from Houston, TX and my parents got to the hospital immediately. We all expected a baby SOON. We were mistaken. 

I progressed so slow. Everyone and their grandfather came to see me. I was miserable, excited, nervous, the whole nine yards. I kept looking to my left where the baby area was, where they would be taking the baby after she was born to check her, etc. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we would not be having the baby in that room. I didn't know why, but I could not picture her in that area. My first mother's intuition.

This is my epidural face

Finally, around 5 p.m., I had progressed enough for an epidural. The sweet, sweet man who administered it is still one of my favorite people. The pain vanished, I rested for the first time in many hours and waited for our baby girl. I was around 7 cm at this point. We watched the contractions arch and fall on the monitor and I marveled at the lack of pain. For about two hours. Then, I felt a little twinge of pain with a contraction. Then a bigger one, then a full on contraction. The nurse was summoned and the sweet, sweet medicine man came back and fiddled with the epidural line. It worked again...for about five minutes. Then, it never worked again. I felt every thing. I kept telling them that it wasn't working at all. They kept telling me it was normal to feel "pressure" and it was working. I know pressure and I know a freight train ripping through your midsection. I had the latter. But, no one would listen to me, so my only option was to have a baby.

Around 11:30 p.m., I was finally ready to push. I was terrified. I could feel everything. I was a BIG believer in epidurals. I didn't want natural child birth. This kid was three weeks late, she was bound to be big. But, I had no other option and was desperate to see her, so I started pushing. And I pushed. For two and a half hours. With no progress. NONE. They could see the top of her head but that was all. Finally, when my doc checked in again to see if we were ready for him to catch, he determined she was stuck. I had determined this two hours earlier, but again, no one was listening to me. I kept saying "SHE IS STUCK, I CAN FEEL THAT SHE IS STUCK", but apparently women in labor say silly things.

So, the doc told us to sit tight and they would prep an OR for our C-section. By this time, Mike's parents had made it in (FROM HOUSTON, THEY DROVE) and my parents and family were sick with worry. The grandmas hit the chapel to pray and Mike suited up for the surgery. I was so exhausted, so worried, and in so much pain. I could feel that baby stuck in my pelvis and was so worried that she was hurting. They came to get me for the surgery and wheeled me in. They went to lift me off the table and were AMAZED that I could swing my legs over and move myself. WELL DUH! I told them the epidural didn't work. The anesthesiologist went to work trying to get me numb again when Olivia's heart rate started dropping (mine did too, but I didn't know that until much later). The hustled Mike out of the room and started cutting. They put me to sleep soon thereAFTER. Fortunately, I don't remember much of that. I remember the mask coming for my face and frantically praying for my baby's life before I went out. My last thought was that I hoped that she lived and if I died that she would know I loved her. It was dramatic. Olivia was out in seconds and blue and limp. The doc handed her over his shoulder to the NICU nurses who had been summoned (STAT) and they went to work. My poor, sweet husband was watching all of this from the door they forgot to shut in their haste. He saw her lifeless little body, he heard the doctor say he knew he could save one of us, and he stood there paralyzed silently begging God to save his family. Olivia was quickly revived and began bellowing, never a sweeter sound. My heartrate improved dramatically once the stuck human was removed from my exhausted body and they put me back together. (Sidenote: sloppiest C-section ever! It was totally worth it, but if my doctor had not been so stubborn, it would not have been so dramatic. The scar tissue and other things caused problems for years). 
Sweet Mike was so worried (look, the giant belly is gone!)

I was still asleep once Olivia was deemed healthy and alive, so they started bundling her up and preparing her to meet her daddy. Once he realized this, he scooted over to the waiting room he was supposed to be in and waited. They brought her to him and he cried, prayed, thanked God, and marveled. Then he panicked. He had never even held a baby before and they left him all alone. His wife, the baby "expert" was unconscious. His mom was in the chapel and he was alone. Finally, they told him I was waking up and he and Olivia headed to recovery (I made him promise if anything happened he wouldn't leave her side). I slowly came to, spying the largest, prettiest baby I had ever seen. They had triple wrapped her to keep her temp up and she looked like she weighed 20 lbs. My first words were "How big is she". She was 8 lbs 13.5 oz and 21.5" long. I was so relieved she was fine and beautiful to boot! Then, I was in pain. MAJOR pain. The epidural never worked, so I was awake, still having post labor contractions, through many layers of stitches, without a drop of painkiller in my system. After I convinced the evil post op nurse of this, they finally gave me some Morphin and I could enjoy my girl.
Our first picture, I was so out of it!

She was a beauty. She had a headful of black hair, long eyelashes, and dark blue eyes that were already brown by the end of the week. I was in labor for three calendar days, but it was so worth it! She was also very overdue! She laid flat in her bassinet, stretching as straight as she could. She could hold her head up and look around the room. Whenever I spoke, she would lift her head and follow my voice. She wasn't overly fond of being held or fed by me, I think she sensed my nerves :) She bonded with her daddy immediately, but it took a little longer with me. I was so out of it for the first week, everyone supervised my every move with her. We finally clicked and have been a dynamic duo ever since.
Two days old. Her going home outfit didn't fit, she was so big.

My doctor came to check on us and apologized for doubting my estimate of my due date. He conceded that she was indeed overdue and was relieved it all worked out. I was relieved too and did not use him for my subsequent children...
Two peas in a pod, she has adored him from day one.

We took her home two days later and settled into life as the "three family". She grew like a weed and charmed all who met her. I then spent the next 13 years questioning every decision I made and worrying that I was ruining her. And you know what, I am doing okay at this. Mike is an excellent parent but I always worry about me. But, we have a great kid. She loves Jesus, her family, her friends, and her world. She is beautiful inside and out. Her sense of humor kills me, her talents amaze me, and though I try not to be that parent that is a "best friend", it's hard not to want to be her friend. She's a great kid!

So, if you are still reading, I hope you enjoyed that long, dramatic story. It took me three years to work up the nerve to have another baby and another 5 years to actually accomplish it :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall Fun!

I saw a funny e-card on Pinterest the other day. Basically, it said "If you say pumpkin spice latte three times, a white girl in yoga pants will show up and tell you everything she loves about fall". Well, I guess I am a big ol' cliche, because I love fall!

I never really cared one way or the other about fall until Olivia was born. Her birthday is in October, so every year after her birth, fall was a time of celebration. I love breaking out the fall wreath, scarecrows, ceramic pumpkins, etc.

So, today Mike and I took the kids to a cornfield to take some pictures. I know if most parents had heard that 30 years ago they would have been baffled. Pictures are done at Olan Mills, right? Well, first of all, I think all of the photography studios in our town have closed down. Second, I just love fun, outdoorsy types of photos. I have a Canon Rebel that has more buttons than I understand that takes great pictures, so we try to do our own as much as possible.

Without further ado, here they are. Cute if I say so myself...

I love this one. Matt looks up to Phil so much and he is such a good big brother!
My beautiful, grown up girl!
This is the view of our house through the trees across the street. I just liked it for some reason.
This guys is FIVE!
Love this girl!
I adore how this turned out!
He was up in a tree and worried about it!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

So I don't forget the "Terrific Twos"

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I have one of "those" kids. My baby, my #3, Matt, is a pistol. He is also a delightfully sweet child who worships his daddy, his pawpaw, and all thing Power Rangers. He is funny and smart and will no doubt be something amazing in life. But, he is also a lot of work!

It's not all his fault, he came upon the heels of one of those "perfect" babies. His older brother was a quiet, still, smiling, dimpled baby who didn't cry, didn't get into much, and was just happy to sit and play quietly. You know, the kind of baby that tricks people into having children, because they think all babies are like that. He's a firecracker of a little boy now, but he was an incredibly easy baby. His sister was also a very easy baby, a little fussier and opinionated that Phil, but still a delightfully easy baby.

Then, we had Matt. Matt moved constantly before and after he was born. He was a wonderfully happy little baby, in fact we dubbed him "the happiest baby in the world". He smiled early and often. But, when he was upset, he was scream and turn red and give you just a taste of what was up. Then, he turned one. And he got mad, because he couldn't tell you what he wanted. He was not an early talker. He is now officially a "late talker". Words come slowly and with much effort. He is also not able to do everything his brother does. This makes him MAD. He is also the most independent, stubborn, "I DO IT" kid you have ever met. He has NO FEAR. He will slide down a 30' slide alone, he will walk into dark rooms and "talk" to anyone.

Last week, we took Matt (and the other kids) on a little trip. We stayed two nights in a hotel. It was horrible. Matt was so upset that he wasn't at home. He would not sleep, would not eat, and was a giant cranky pants the whole time. I became convinced he was sick because of how awful he was. He normally sleeps 10-12 hours a night plus a 2-3 hour nap (I know, awesome!). On the trip, he slept 5-6 hours a night (fitfully) and took no nap.

We got home, he saw the house, yelled "YAY", ate food, and asked to go night night. He slept 12 hours and woke up a new man. So, add that to the list, Matt hates travel. Disney is off the table for a while...

Today is Grandparent's Day (has that always been a holiday, seems new?) and Mom & Dad came to church with us to see Phillip sing in the Grandparent's Day program. Well, as the kids walked past our pew on the way to the platform, Matt got in line and joined them. I panicked a little. What should I do? I decided to wait it out and see how he did. He walked all over the stage while the speaker was talking. He walked up and down the steps of the of the platform. He smiled at all of the people in the audience. Then the music started. He sauntered over to the microphone his brother was at and proceeded to try and wrestle it down to his level. Phillip tried to stop him. A scuffle ensued, followed by Matt's trademark "MAAAA MAAAAA" right in the microphone. I then went up on the stage, took him off the stage, and he SCREAMED all the way out of the sanctuary. He laid face down in the floor of the nursery and wailed for 10 minutes.

So, one day, he will be a handsome, intelligent, verbal child and I want to remember the terrific twos! They tell me I will look back and them and laugh. We will see ;)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jenna's Commenting Challenge

So, I have been planning on blogging all week to participate in Jenna's commenting challenge. And then...I had a whiny, feverish, clingy monkey baby in my lap constantly. So, I didn't blog. I started to twice, but he shut my computer off both times. He's no dummy, that baby Bell.

So, here I am, four days late. I love to read blogs, but apparently I don't love to write blog posts. I am just going to synopcize the different topics she has had the last few days. I am a rule bender that way.

1. A little about me: I am 35 (funny sidenote, I had to ask my husband if I was 35 or 36. Obviously, it's a big deal to me) and happily married. My husband, Mike, and I have been married almost 14 years and have three lovely kids. Olivia is 12, Phillip is 4, and Matt is 2. We struggled with secondary infertility for several years before Phil and obviously beat it :) We live in the suburbs, love Jesus, have boring, normal lives and love every minute of it. We are going to be homeschooling for the first time ever this year (an 8th grader, a Prek-4, and a rowdy toddler). You can see pictures of my people all over the blog, I am awfully fond of them :)

2. TV shows. Technically, we don't have "TV". We cancelled satellite about a year and a half ago. Our middle child was addicted to TV and commercials and would ask constantly for everything he saw. Our oldest child kept "stumbling" upon adult themed shows. So, we pulled the plug. We do have a Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime subscription, so we stay on top of what's on, we are just able to monitor and allocate it better. My favorite shows are: Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, The Office (I know, it's over, but I can't let go), Sherlock (the Benedict Cumberbach version), and Downton Abbey. I also love Duck Dynasty, even though I am about as far removed from a "redneck, country girl" as one can get and still live in the South. I don't even sound Southern.

3. Pinterest. I love Pinterest. If you read my last blog entry, it's a "Pinterest Praise Report" (all my fundie friends just laughed). I put together our entire remodel from Pinterest. I also did Matt's 1st and 2nd birthday party planning from there. Here are some pictures. I LOVE to throw a good party!

 These are from Matt's "Mod Monkey" 1st birthday party. I love balloon banners! So much color & fun without helium.

These are from Matt's 2nd birthday party. He is OBSESSED with Spiderman, so it was only fitting. The other kids had parties too, but I don't think Chuck E Cheese is photo worthy :)

As far as other social media, I am a Facebook addict. So many of my good friends live far away and I love keeping up with them that way. I use Twitter and Instagram some, and love interacting with people on there too! I am a people person :)

So, that's it. I haven't even begun to think of Christmas yet, so I have nothing for day 4. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Kitchen is (sorta) done

As I mentioned last year, we had to gut our kitchen. A small leak turned into a big leak and the next thing you know, everything was gone! Thank God for homeowners insurance, because that tiny leak cost over $10,000!

So, I immediately started with BIG PLANS! In my mind, walls were being knocked down, things were changing big time! Mike immediately reeled me back in. He gently reminded me that we had to have a kitchen as soon as possible, as we have three small humans to feed. Oh yeah, there's that. So, we replaced the floor, the cabinets were replaced on one side and just refaced on the other, the counter tops were replaced, a back splash was added, and the wallpaper was painted (yeah, that actually works) instead of replaced, because the one I wanted was discontinued and I was sick of wallpaper. The old appliances were replaced and I am really happy with the results. We built built-ins in the breakfast room and I love them! LOVE THEM! I don't have a good picture of them because every time I go to take pictures it's too sunny and they don't turn out. But...I do have pictures of the kitchen side. Keep in mind, this is just a normal 3 BR/2 BA starter type home. We don't live fancy. We love it though and have been insanely happy about our nice, normal sized payment in this awesome recession.

Here is the kitchen before:

There are not words for my hatred of those cabinets and counter top. No words.

And the kitchen NOW!

Love, love, love, I am in love! The cabinets are painted Marscapone and glazed with a tobacco glaze. The backsplash is painted Harp Strings and the gray/blue paint is Solitude. They are all Benjamin Moore paint colors because my daddy owns a Benjamin Moore paint store AND because it's the best paint EVER. Stuck right to the wallpaper and cleans beautifully!

The counter tops are from IKEA and the appliances are all Samsung.  You should note that despite intense research, I am unhappy with the appliances. The handle has already broken on the microwave (warranty would not cover it) and the letters wiped off the front of the dishwasher. The fridge scratches like crazy. The function fine, but for the cost, I expected better.

So, there you go. Another room taken from "Builder Blah" to "DIY Delightful"!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A day in my life

Kelly's Korner, my favorite blog, is hosting a "Show Us Your Life" blog party where you show a typical day. I thought I would participate, so that when the babies are all grown and gone, I'll remember what I did. Every day is a little different, so I pick Monday.

Just another (not so) manic Monday!

6:45 a.m.-Alarm goes off. Mike has been gone for an hour, but thankfully is a very quiet morning person. I get up, stagger into Olivia's room and make sure she is getting ready. Since she's "grown up", she usually gets up about 6 to curl her hair, change clothes 7 times, etc.

6:50 a.m.-I go to the kitchen, make a SPARK, and take my vitamins. In about 5 minutes, I start feeling human and usually go back to Olivia's room and chat with her while she eats her breakfast (in her room, yes, I'm a horrible mother).

7:10 a.m.-I stand outside and watch for the bus. On the mornings Mike is home (Tuesday-Friday), he usually takes her to school, but Monday is a bus day. I will not wake up two sleeping babies just so she can avoid public transit. When I see it coming in the horizon, I stick my head inside and tell her and she heads out to meet it.

 Occasionally, she will actually come outside and wait on the bus with me :)

7:15 a.m.-If I'm lucky (and I usually am), both boys are still asleep, so I fix myself a Meal Replacement shake and get a start on chores. I unload the dishwasher, put breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, wipe down counters, and make my bed. I start a load of laundry and sweep the floors, if needed. This is normally the time I check fb, Instagram, and Pinterest.

8-8:30 a.m.-The boys begin waking up. I change Matt's diaper, remind Phillip to go potty and sit them down for breakfast. They usually have yogurt and fruit, though some morning we mix it up. They happily eat, I wash everyone up and put fresh clothes on them (usually fresh pjs, we stay in pjs when we're home, it  makes us happy).

9 a.m.-Get Matt interested in a toy (usually the train) and I help Phillip do his chores. He gets super excited when he gets a smiley face on his chore chart, so it goes pretty quickly. It's time to swap out the laundry, and he helps with that.

9:30 a.m.-Sit down with the boys and put on a movie or episode of Spiderman on Netflix. They both tend to be pretty low key in the mornings, so we get our TV time in then. They never "just" watch TV, usually we're playing toys, reading a book, or just being silly too :)

10:30 a.m.-Start thinking about lunch. Fold laundry that was done this morning and put in another load (it never ends!). I also straighten up bedrooms during this time. The boys play or color.

11:00 a.m.-Lunch time for Matt. He will eat something and then go down for a 3 hour nap (GLORY!). I take my before lunch vitamins and make sure I'm on target with my water consumption so far.

Even if Phillip won't eat with him, his faithful companion Lucky will!

12:00 p.m.-Lunch time for me (and sometimes Phil). He's not a big eater, so usually a bite or two is all we get down him. Sometimes, after lunch he'll take a nap, sometimes he won't. I insist that he lays down for a little while just to rest and regroup.

1:00 p.m.-Phil is up and we work on a project together. It might be preschool stuff or a craft project, but I make sure we do something one on one, as he is the child that gets lost in the shuffle sometimes.

2-2:30 p.m.-The laundry continues to cycle through, and Matt wakes up. A fresh diaper for him and an afternoon snack for both boys. They both come to life in the afternoon, so there is much sword fighting, imaginative play, and superhero talk. I let them play on their own, unless a referee is needed. Having two in two years pays off during playtime. They amuse each other greatly!

 Waiting for "sister" to get home.

3:00 p.m.-Work on housework, drink another SPARK, do dinner prep, and put together a snack for Livi, if she's coming home. Most days lately, she has play practice. If she comes home, she rides the bus and gets in about 3:45. We talk about her day, she snacks, and then starts on homework (which she rarely has) and her chores.

4:00 p.m.-Check with Mike. Usually he's headed home by now, but if he has a new hire or is super busy, he's still at work. I schedule dinner accordingly. Olivia is usually around, chatting or showing me something funny on Youtube.

5:00 p.m.-Netflix back on for the boys. They're usually still playing, but I'm about to get serious about making dinner and if I don't have a distraction, they'll both be under foot. I try to involve them when I can, but Matt is still too little to do much.

Occasionally, "sister" will entertain them while I cook.

6:00 p.m.-Everyone is home and we have a nice dinner. By nice, I mean Matt is screaming to eat before it's on the table, Olivia is fussing about having to set the table, Mike is trying to coax Phillip into eating something and I'm just happy to be sitting down.

6:30 p.m.-Olivia cleans up after dinner (child abuse!) and Mike gives the boys their baths. I go sit in my chair in our room and stare at the wall, relishing the silence. I wish I was kidding, but it is what I do. For fifteen minutes. Then, I help Mike get the boys in their PJs and we do something together as a family.

7:30 p.m.-Brush boys' teeth, read a book, and start winding them down for bed.

8 p.m.-Boys are in bed, and we spend some time with just Olivia. Usually we watch a show on Netflix that we all like or just talk.

9 p.m.-Olivia gets ready for bed and Mike and I work on any chores that are not done yet.

 Sometimes, Olivia gets a nighttime visitor. She's sweet to let him stay (usually).

10 p.m.-Bedtime! We used to stay up to 12 p.m. or later, but we just can't do it anymore. Three kids + middle age has made us anti-night owls :)

So, that's a super exciting Monday in my world. It's mundane, but honestly, it's one of my favorite days of the week. I get a lot accomplished and spend the days happily in my nest.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Putting the new kitchen to work

Well, one of the silver linings to last years' suckiness was our kitchen remodel. The silver lining part is that I got a new kitchen and our home owner's insurance paid for the bulk of it. The suckiness was that we found out our deductible went up to $1000 without warning, our payments have now gone up because of the claim, and we didn't have a kitchen for two months. So, we ate out. Most every meal. It was expensive and unhealthy. Mike and I stayed on our healthy eating plan as much as possible, but it was still unhealthy.

We love to eat out, don't get me wrong. When it's the two of us. We do not love eating out with a moody adolescent, an active toddler, and a VERY busy baby. So, we're done with that. Our New Year's Resolution is to cut out fast food completely and cut other dining out to very special occassions.

So, we have to cook. Daily. We don't mind. We love to cook. But, we often find that we didn't get the right ingredients in the store, don't have this or that, make a quick run to the very overpriced grocery in our little town and spend $50 on randomness and blow our grocery budget. I am trying so hard to be more organized, so I came up with what I think is a good idea. It's probably been done before, but I haven't seen it anywhere, so maybe it's original :) I doubt it, though.

It's meal cards. Basically, I made a list of all the meals we enjoy. Then, I printed one side of an index card (those will go through most printers, who knew? My husband did, that's who) with the name of the meal. Then, on the back side, I printed all of the ingredients needed, in list form. Then, when I'm meal planning, I just choose the cards I want, flip them over, and can make my list right then and there. Some of the cards are just a main dish, like roasted chicken. Those are meals that we eat veggies with and I ALWAYS have a freezer full of veggies, so I didn't add those on there.

Pretty cool, huh? I'll let you know how it goes ;)

I'll upload a pic later, blogger won't let me right now. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I put a picture there.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It was the WORST year EVER!

Does anyone out there own up to watching Spongebob? If so, you are familiar with Spongebob's song "Best Day Ever". Well, sing "It was the worst year ever" to that tune and you have this post summed up.

There's not a lot good I can say about 2012. My kids were all healthy and happy. That's always my number one priority, so that was one good thing. Otherwise. EHH! It just wasn't a good year. Life was hard. Marriage was hard. Friendships were hard. Church was hard. Raising kids was hard. Poor decisions were made and the obvious consequences were reaped. Though we escaped 2012 relatively unscathed, I will never have much affection for that year. I entered 2013 with a new perspective on life. I also entered 2013 with a lot fewer friends and a lot more emotional baggage. Life is forever going to be different, because of some of the knowledge gleaned in 2012. I'm not trying to be vague or fish for sympathy. There is not one MAJOR thing that jumps off the calendar pages, just a lot of things, little things, medium things, big things, all conspiring together to make the year suck.

So, 2013, give me your best shot! 2011 was a dismal year (except for the birth of Matt), 2012 was a holy terror of a year (save a few bright spots), so 2013, please be better. I've just got this one life and so far, 2 out of the 34 years of it have not been worth the effort. I'm hoping, praying, wishing, and believing 2013 is the year it all gets better!

Maybe I'll blog, maybe I won't. If so, see you then!

P.S. According to blogger, this blog gets visited every single day. Random. So, if you're that visitor, leave me a comment :) You don't have to out yourself, just an anonymous "hi, I'm not a serial killer" would be nice!