Friday, September 4, 2015

Hello Friends.....

Well it's been about a year since I last posted.

That, in itself, should give you a clue as to what my year has been like.
It's been a year of growing, learning, changing, and accepting.
Filled with joys as well as some not so great happenings.

I really miss my blog friends,
and I really miss blogging.
I'm hopeful that I will be able to get back to posting regularly soon.

Sooooo....here is a BRIEF recap of my year to catch you up...
(warning....long post with bad iPhone quality photos)

September

Back to school!
As you may remember, D's two daughters came to live with us full time in August.
I went from three teenagers at home to five teenagers at home.
Enough said.

October
Kitchen Renovation!
I'm not sure how we lived through a total kitchen remodel
and having all of our hardwood floors redone at the same time, 
but we managed....barely.
I will post about my kitchen remodel at a later date....LOVE it!

November
A Leave of Absence.
Well I didn't learn the first time when I was told "you can't do this by yourself" 
when my twins were born.
My dear husband told me "you can't do this by yourself"
when his girls moved in and I became a "week-day single-mom of five teenagers working full time."
(You may recall my husband works in Washington DC and is only home on the weekends)
Well, I was SURE I could manage.
NOT
I crashed and burned.
And took a six week leave of absence from my job.
I got to spend a lot of quality time with our kids.
It was a time of self-reflection.
And some really good things came out of it.

December
(Imgine a beautiful family photo from Christmas here)

Celebrating the Holidays!
The holiday season was much more relaxed than usual since I was not working.
I was able to really enjoy the season,
and didn't feel like I was spending every minute rushing around to prepare for Christmas.

One snag.....
I had emergency gall bladder surgery on December 23rd.
I was in the ER for what I thought was the worst indigestion of my life,
and the doctor came in and told me I was going to have to have my gall bladder out.
I rolled my eyes and asked him if he could refer me to someone,
because I had no idea who to call for that and I would do it in January.
He said, "Ahhhhh you are having it out NOW."

I came home from the hospital on Christmas Eve,
and while my memories of the holiday are somewhat foggy due to my pain pills,
I did manage to make it to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church
to hear my precious son, Teddy, do a reading at the service.
Sadly, I have NO pictures from Christmas though!

January
New Year, New Life.
D and I celebrated our five year anniversary....

Love him.

I extended my leave by two weeks due to my unexpected surgery.
It was during these two weeks that I did some serious soul searching.

And with the blessing of my husband,
I decided it was time to leave my full time job as a Social Worker with hospice.
My goal was to find something in my field that was part time and fun.
Here is what I randomly came upon as my  fun "dream job"
No joke.
This job in the jail sounded fascinating to me.
I applied.
And waited.

February

February was full of sporting events, snow, and searching for a job.
I was desperately hoping to get called for an interview for the "jail job."

On February 27th, I was sitting in a pizza joint somewhere in Maryland
on the way to a vollyeball tournament in Pennsylvania with Jack, my BFF Kim, and her son,
and I had just spilled a LARGE coke in Kim's lap (we are still friends)
and I got the call.
I had an interview for the jail job!
And the boys won a bid to the Boys Junior National Volleyball Tournament that weekend!

March
Bought lots of changes and new beginnings...
Katherine found out she was accepted at Virginia Tech.


Grace found out she was accepted at Phillips Exeter Academy!
She's going to boarding school in New Hampshire!

I had my job interview.
It went well.....but I felt unqualified and had no experience in forensic social work.
I thought it was a good sign, though, when they called to ask for my references.

I also tucked in my annual trip to Florida with the kids to see my Virginia parents.


April
Well the starts were aligned and the good Lord was looking upon me,
and I got the job!
I would be working as a clinician in our county jail two days a week.

And we took a cruise to the Bahamas for spring break......

The photographers got so upset when the kids would not pose "seriously"
but I love the silly pictures because it's a true reflection of their personalities!
(the extra child is Katherine's BFF)
That was our first family cruise,
 and to say it was a week of pure laughter would be an understatement.

And after a lot of hard work, the triplets were confirmed at church....
Lots to celebrate this month!

May
Orienting.
Well...to work in a jail, you need to go through some SERIOUS security training.
So it took a month of orientation and education before I even set foot in the jail.
Most of my training was with police officers who were in uniform,
and I got a few strange looks showing up in my Lilly Pulitzer attire.
My husband told me I should tell them I was with the "fashion police" department...lol.

June
Graduation.....WOW.


Katherine with her BF, Nick, whom we all ADORE.

And then the triplets "graduated" from middle school...
Can't believe they are all in high school now!
I know it's cliche but they grow up so fast!

And Volleyball.
Jack's travel team won a bid to Nationals,
so off to Columbus, Ohio we were for the tournament.
They came into the tournament ranked 21st in the nation,
and came home ranked 17th.
It was amazing.





July
Respite.
I made my annual summer trip to Michigan for some much needed R & R.


It happened to coincide with my Michigan dad's 70th birthday.
 Family Picture!
photo credit to my awesome BIL who is a photographer
(see Two Twisted Trees)


August
Back to School.
I dropped Katherine off at Virgina Tech August 20th.
Nick happens to be going to Virginia Tech as well....
There were a lot of tears once I got home.
LOTS.
But I am so happy for her and most importantly, SHE is happy.

Caroline turned the BIG twenty-one in July,
and is starting her senior year at Virginia Commonwealth University.





There you have it in a nut shell.

As I said, this past year has been full of joy as well as bumps in the road.
Blending families always come with unique challenges,
and we are no exception.
It's how we deal with those challenges that makes our family strong.
Laura and Grace moving into our home full time was not as easy as it sounds,
and they did a great job of adapting to a home environment
that was completely opposite of what they were used to.
Sure there were issues...
like Caroline had to give up her bedroom,
and all of her clothes have been piled in Jack's room for a year now.
Working on that now.
But things are always a work in progress here.
And WORK it is.
But show me any family, blended or not, that does not have to work to stay strong.
We survive with humor, love, and respect for each other.
Blessings to you all...
I've missed you all and look forward to getting back to my blogging!

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10 comments :

Simply LKJ said...

So glad you are back. Have enjoyed following along on IG. You've had quite the year my friend.

Miss Janice said...

You are so blessed to have all the children in your life! Enjoyed reading your update.

melissabinmo said...

Glad you are back. What a year! My triplet boys started high school this week so I can relate to some of the things that you have going on in your life. Is it your daughter that is going to boarding school?

Jennifer Connolly said...

What an amazing year you've had! I chuckled when you asked the Dr for a referral. Your body demanded attention and your schedule has to just wait. It's amazing how that happens. You have a gorgeous family. The kids all look like great human beings. And isn't that what counts? Bravo. Thanks for joining us on #stylefocus and welcome back to blog land!

La Contessa said...

GOODNESS WHAT A YEAR!!!!!!!!
WELCOME BACK.............#stylefocus sent me!
YOU ARE VERY LUCKY TO HAVE ALL THOSE KIDS in your LIFE.........I know it may be tough BUT YOU WIN in the END!LUCKY YOU.................sounds like a beautiful family!

Nancy said...

i'm crying right now. seriously. what up with that? i'm so happy that you're back, that you've found a great job and hopefully a better schedule for your family. have a terrific week!

xoxo,
nancy

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Glad to see a new post from you :-)

miss andrea lee said...

Loved this post!!! What a wonderful family you have! So glad you are back :)

Maggie said...

Welcome back! Not sure if I've ever commented before but I was a reader before your hiatus!

eHa said...

Welcome back! I volunteered for class credit in a prison in law school. We had to wear pants so I don't think I ever wore Lilly.

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