The Day is Finally Here

The day is finally here that special day we have all longed for. The end of 2020. To be certain, 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, but that’s not to say there weren’t some bright spots. It’s become too easy to focus on all the negative 2020 has brought, mostly because it’s omnipresent, but 2020 has also brought us some blessings. First of all, we got a chance to slow down the pace of life. The pandemic brought a hard stop to the incredible business of our lives. Since our kids started travel hockey a decade ago, every weekday and weekend has been incredibly busy. It was nice, for once, to not have anywhere to go. Obviously, the novelty of nothing to do wore off really quickly.

Unquestionably, 2020’s greatest blessing was watching our son graduate from BMT. Having a kid far from home with no way to contact them was a test of strength for us. His graduation couldn’t come fast enough for the hubby and me. When we caught our first glimpse of him during the Airmen’s Run, we could tell he had changed. The way he carried himself was completely different. In fact, I would say we dropped off a boy at the recruiter’s office in December to be reunited with a man at BMT graduation. Truly, the change was that dramatic. More importantly, it was obvious that he was where he belonged.

His class was one of the last classes to have public graduation ceremonies before the pandemic shut them down. In fact, our first clue at how severe this pandemic would become while on base for his graduation. We just happened to be on base when the Americans evacuated from Wuhan arrived on JBSA Lackland and the base hotel. It was surreal seeing the CDC folks there in their contagion suits. I shudder to think of how I would have felt if we had been denied the opportunity to see him graduate from Bootcamp. Undoubtedly, his BMT graduation will forever be one of my best and proudest memories.

Of course, he left BMT for tech school and his transition continued. Now he’s at this FDS and in his first “real” job. I have no idea what he does, but I’m sure it’s pretty spectacular. Nevertheless, 2020 gave us the gift of watching our child launch from unsure teenager to mature and gainfully employed adult. That’s pretty awesome! There will be no “Failure to Launch” parodies inspired by this kid. Now our oldest has started his career in a growing field, which will always be in demand, and continues to develop in his role in the service. Moreover, he’s taking advantage of the resources provided to continue his education and broaden his skill set. I’d say we’re pretty proud of him, but that would be a gross understatement of how we feel about his accomplishments.

2020 also brought us our newest addition to the family, Anakin. It’s been almost a year since we’ve added him to the family. Athena and Maya love him dearly and he loves them. Amazingly, all three dogs get along very well. He and Athena have the best time playing together, while Maya basks in the joys of being left alone. Albeit, Maya does like to join in on the play from time to time. She does, however, enjoy the fact that Athena no longer harasses her to play all day every day. All three dogs are happy to have Jake home for the holidays. They also enjoy our new normal of work from home and virtual school.

Anyway, the day is finally here. We’ve waited since March for this dreaded dumpster fire of a year to be over. While I sift out the negativity that 2020 brought, over and over and over again, I count the blessings that the year brought. I reflect in gratitude at how much good came out of a year that was so very bad. Here’s to 2021 a year full of love, gratitude, health, and opportunity!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 8, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*Our NYE’s plans have completely blown up as our youngest was exposed to the virus. He won’t be playing in that 3v3 tournament after all. Bummer!

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking again. We’re doing a brunch 2.0 for Jake.

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure.

*Today’s word of the day is turn. I cannot wait for the year to turn as I watch the countdown in understated elegance (aka my pajamas.)

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is How Great Thou Art performed by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill:

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2019 is Coming to An End

2019 is coming to an end. After the insanity of the year, I’m not quite sure how to classify it. Was it good, bad or a mixed bag? I started the year with an incredibly hyper thyroid – thanks RAI. By the time mid February arrived, my thyroid and the associated hormones were dead and gone. Therein started the process of bringing my thyroxine levels back to normal.

In November, my last appointment, my levels had stabilized and were within the normal range. Victory was mine or at least partially. It will still take one to three years for the Graves symptoms to abate. Meanwhile, my antibodies are high, so the disease is still active. My goal is to find remission in 2020. Nevertheless, partial victory or not, it is still a victory. Mark one for good year.

In July, I transitioned from working mom to stay at home mom after nine years three hundred and sixty two days with the firm. It was a decade of achievement, change and philanthropy with some of the of the best people I know. Obviously, I was sad to leave the friends and relationships behind, but it had become untenable. I guess initially this could be marked as bad except for….

My oldest decided in June that he wanted to join the Air Force. We were thrilled he had a roadmap for his future, but sad that he may be moving away. As you know, he’s now left for the Air Force and is kicking ass at basic training. If I had been working, I would have regretted every day I didn’t spend with him. Fortunately, I wasn’t working so I got to spend my time with him.

One of my favorite memories from this year is the trip we took home, aka Jake’s Farewell tour, in October. The sole focus of the trip was to connect with our family, especially the grandparents, before he left for basic. Our grandparents, including Jake’s great great Grandma, are getting old. There is no telling when Jake will be able to return to Minnesota to see them.

This trip was soul nourishing. Words cannot describe the emotions I felt as my Great Grandma held Jake’s hand and told him she loved him and was so proud oh him. Or the emotions I felt when Luke’s grandfather afflicted with Alzheimer’s beamed with pride and remembered Jake as Steve (my FIL) told him Jake was joining the military. Unquestionably, these moments will reside forever in my heart.

Jake and I had so much fun with his cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents in Minnesota. It really would have been hard for it to be a better trip. We got to see my a Uncle Craig and even his new grandson Grayson, who is just the cutest. Additionally, we were able to spend a lot of time with Grandma T and uncle Mark. Jake has always had a very special relationship with his great Grandma T as she babysat him while I was in college and throughout my early career. Their bond is special.

The trip ended too soon and we were soon faced with the Thanksgiving holiday and his impending departure. My whole family had already plan to come to Florida for Thanksgiving, which was perfect. We celebrated all the big holidays in one weekend and even got family pictures.

No matter what else happened this year, Jake leaving for BMT was a seminal moment. The days leading up to his departure flew by while the days after have dragged. We’ve cried copious tears of happiness, pride, sadness and longing. Sometimes the tears combine all of the above emotions. Our family will never be quite the same, but Jake is on his way to a bright future and we couldn’t be prouder.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give mention to our newest family member. Our dear friends John and Hanh has their beautiful, sweet Ava on the 15th of December. She has brought so much love and light into all of our lives. We’re blessed to be a part of all of their lives. Meanwhile, Ava and I are best buddies. She’s in Tampa visiting her auntie until January, but her beautiful mama sends me pics so I can see her.

As 2020 begins, Jake’s career with the Air Force will figure heavily in the happenings. Of course, there will be several hockey tournaments and games interspersed in there as well. 2020 will bring graduation from BMT, tech school and FDS. FDS you ask – it’s final duty station. Later this spring we should find out where Jake will be stationed.

2019 is coming to an end. This year there’s no grandiose resolution. Instead, I’ll be focused on getting my health back on track, staying fit and being the best damn hockey/Air Force mom that I can be. As for 2019 being good or bad, I’d have to say it’s been challenging yet stellar! Happy New Year from our family to yours!

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