Christmas is over and the New Year is creeping up on us. We generally spend the week between Christmas and New Years trying to de-stress from the frantic gift buying season and cleaning the house for the gathering of New Years revelers.
Last year, we went up the hill to our friend's lake house for the holiday. The wife had to work and they wouldn't be able to attend otherwise. I was getting over the flu, and my poor husband started getting a fever on the way up there. So, I spent the weekend nursing him through bouts of fever spikes and soaking sweats, cooking for the crowd, and taking pictures and didn't get to enjoy myself much. This year, the party will be back at our house.
Our kids are getting older now and while that thought is somewhat bittersweet, it is kinda nice to look back over the past year and see how much they have grown. My baby boy will be 18 in March. My daughter, 21 in June. I know that I don't tell them often enough how proud I am of them. They have turned into the kind of kids any parent would be proud to claim. And I love them very much.
My husbands job is still looking ok for the time being, so we are going to focus on getting the house ready to sell. We still have a lot of work to do around here to make that happen but at least we are not pressed for time or money to do it. We still have to do something with the bedroom and our bath, living room floor and kitchen counters. There are a few outside things that need doing, but they will be easy and inexpensive fixes that can wait until later. I am just ready to get out of this place and into my forever home.
The past year has had it's share of ups and downs. We got the house paid off, which is a major accomplishment, all of the vehicles are paid for, the kids both have good scholarships for college, and we have enough saved to be able to do the things we need to do to the house. On the down side, the garden didn't really do well this year and we are starting to feel it in the lack of canned vegetables that are left in the pantry. I may actually have to start buying vegetables from the grocery store again before the first produce comes out of the garden this coming spring.
And our smallest family member, Stuart, a 15 year old house cat passed away the first week of December. He was pretty old for a cat, and had been declining for the past few months. I was heartbreaking to see him getting so weak and know that there was nothing to be done about it. He died peacefully at home and was laid to rest with his favorite things in a spot by the back fence. We will be building a flower bed over his resting place as we did when Katie, our 14 year old Border Collie, passed a couple of years ago. He will continue to be sorely missed for a long, long time.
For the New Year, we will be starting off with a major celebration. Our Alma Mater had a winning football season for the first time in a very long while and has a Bowl Game that will be played the first week of the New Year. We are very excited about it and will be supporting our team in a grand style.
Our son will be graduating from High School in May with very good grades and will be getting ready to go to college in the Fall. Our daughter will be completing her Junior year of college (with perfect marks so far!) and will be starting her Graduate School search.
All of our years of scrimping and scraping are paying off. Our children are moving fully into adulthood as productive, well rounded citizens with bright futures ahead of them and we will have an empty nest. It will be a little odd to not have them underfoot but I think the future they will have will be worth it for all of us.
This New Year, for us at least will be full of new beginnings. And I am actually looking forward to it.