The New Year is Upon Us

Tomorrow is the New Year?  Oh dear, how did that happen?  Where did 2013 go?  When I look over my blog, I’m sadly reminded how little I put down into words this year.  It wasn’t for lack of entertainment throughout the year, I assure you; rather there was little time for writing.  There was little time for much of anything, now that I think of it.  This girl has been stressed out, and it’s time to make a change.  I am making it my personal goal to set aside a little time every week to do something I enjoy.  My “fun outlets” (besides my little family that I truly adore) include writing, sewing, cooking, and reading.  I may have to schedule that time into my calendar, and there may be weeks I accomplish no more than work, laundry, and take-out food (I loathe those times), but I will try.

Over the last two-and-one-half months, our daughter, Emily, has had two foot surgeries.  She’s a very active teenager who has been plagued early on with bunions.  These have caused her pain for at least three years, and have made shoe shopping a real nightmare.  We had her fitted for orthotics, which definitely eased the pain during that time, however we knew more extensive treatment was in her future.  Once her growth plates were closed in her feet, we had the green light for surgery.  We mulled over the timing, and decided together that this year would be better, while she was still in junior-high.  So in October, she had surgery on her right foot.  Emily’s feet were considered “splayed,” meaning spread out in the toe area.  She had a bunion on the big toe, as well as a less common one on the little toe, called a tailor’s bunion.  She had two incisions, and was non-weight-bearing for six weeks, and in a walking boot for the two weeks that followed.

Emily's xray

Before surgery is on the right (without the screws).

On December 13th, she had the same surgery on the left foot, with the same two incisions and eight weeks of recovery.  She is 2-1/2 weeks into that recovery period, and doing well.  With the first foot, she decided not to go with a knee walker, but to use only crutches.  This round, she has the knee walker and is getting around so much faster.  Recovery has been surprisingly easy, and I must give that credit to both the doctor and the patient.  I believe having her completely off that foot for 6 weeks, and then slowly adding weight is key.  And Emily, being a “rules girl” like her mother, wouldn’t dare to stray from what the doctor ordered, LOL!

AnniversaryMy better half and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary last week, just two days before Christmas.  He took the initiative this year, and planned a night out for us.  Normally, planning is my department, but I love, love, LOVE surprises.  He took me to Red Lobster, which honestly was a big move, because my guy doesn’t love seafood.  He likes the fish fry at a local bar and grill, but he would not order fish, or especially any seafood anywhere… on purpose!  We hadn’t been to Red Lobster in 18 years, so if you do the math you’ll realize we were still dating.  And how perfect it was, that a dear friend of mine gave us a gift card to use there!  I love fish, but I had never tried anything special like lobster, so this was my night!  I ordered a dinner with lobster tail, shrimp, scallops, and baked potato.  I must say, lobster is the bomb!  I love it!!  And yes, I’ll be going back for more!!!  Chris enjoyed his pork chops, he said they were pretty good for a seafood restaurant.  We also went to see the movie, “Saving Mr. Banks,” and finished up a little Christmas shopping for the kids while we were in the city.

SidOn Christmas morning, our little family of four enjoyed opening a few gifts, and making a special brunch.  Our son, Sid, was quite excited when he opened the compound bow he’d been wanting.  And Emily was right behind him when he took a few practice shots outside; taking photos of him with her camera.  This is one of the skills they are able to try their hand at in school, and he’d been admiring his coach’s bow for some time.  I’m all for giving gifts that get kids outdoors, refining some skills.

We had Christmas with my family later that day, with a delicious meal my mother prepared.  She made a spiral ham, with all the yummy trimmings.  The mashed potatoes and gravy were my favorite!  We all had a wonderful time, although I wish more of the family could have been there; it’s difficult to get five siblings together in one place.

A couple of days later, we had Christmas with Chris’s family.  He has just one sibling, however they are traveling from farther distances this year.  Her husband recently relocated for a job, and is now about 6 hours from us.  We are so thankful they were able to be back for Christmas this year, as we don’t get to see them often.  Christmas meals at his mother’s always consist of beef stroganoff; always very, very delicious!

When the kids start back to school, I am quite certain I know what Emily will say was her favorite part of Christmas vacation.  We received a phone call from a friend (we’ll call him Mr. W), who flew in from Ohio for Christmas with his wife in their own small plane.  Both of them are pilots, and they’ve taken an interest in encouraging Emily with her dreams of flying.  It’s an amazing story how we met them to begin with.  Mr. & Mrs. W came across my sister’s blog, Day by Day the Farm Girl Way, and learned they, and my sister, had connections to the same small town in Nebraska.  She introduced them to our little family, and wouldn’t you know, they are the aunt and uncle to one of my very best friends.  I love how some things just work out!  Well, Mr. W called last Saturday morning, and invited Emily to go flying with him.  Chris and Emily met him at the local airport, and soon found out she would be flying the aircraft.

photo 1photo 3

She did her first take-off, and flew unassisted for most of the flight.  Chris sat in a back seat, and took a few photos of her from behind.  In the second photo, you can see her high school’s track and football field as they circle it from above.  Mr. W gave her an incredible opportunity that day, flying his Piper Cherokee; it was an amazing experience!  Thank you Mr. W for your kindness and generosity!!

And as I wrap up this final post for 2013, I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year; may 2014 bring you good health, happiness, and all the friends your heart can hold.  See you in the New Year!

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18 thoughts on “The New Year is Upon Us

  1. Glad to see you doing a little writing again! Too bad our plans didn’t coincide with everyone else’s this year, I would have loved to meet Mr. W. and his wife, and have a ride in their Piper! What fun! Guess I missed out on Mom’s fabulous dinner too. Darned it! Here’s to a very happy New Year with lots of adventure… and more time for the things we all love to do!

    • You and FD will definitely need to make a trip sometime when Mr. & Mrs. W are back; you will really enjoy getting to know them! I’m so glad you were able to come back for a visit recently, even if it wasn’t right at Christmas; the time we spent together means so much to me! Happy New Year to you & FD, I’m excited to see what 2014 will bring!

  2. Surprise Jules!!! I have been out of touch for WAY too long. The reason number one is somehow (unbeknown to me) I had toggled off the alerts I receive for anyone that writes on “WordPress.” It took me six months to figure that one out – what a techie, eh?

    I understand all about stress and it sure ain’t no picnic; however, a great deal of the stress we humans suffer is self-made and from what you said, you have come to that conclusion as well. It’s self-defeating and makes ya feel bad so let’s all follow your example and get it out of our lives!!!!

    Sorry to hear about Emily’s feet but we all seem to have our own “cross to bear” and it sounds to me as if she is handling her medical problem just fine. On the positive side, that is some really cool news about the small world thing with your friends, the W’s, and the airplane flying skills that Emily is developing. Let her know that she has my admiration – just don’t mention the jealousy, ok?

    Congrats on your anniversary! That special occasion sounded yummy and I agree with you on the lobster, especially if someone else does the shelling. Eighteen years and still together – methinks your marriage will last, lol. I know some folks that have had three marriages in that time. I just have to brag a bit now as Kristen and I will be celebrating anniversary number FORTY-ONE on January 20 so I think there’s a good chance we are in it for the long run too (GRIN).

    It sounds as if y’all had a great holiday and I hope that you continue to have low-stress, good times. Peace to you and yours and let’s try a little harder to stay in touch (mostly an admonishment to myself). I miss reading your stories and now that I have learned about the “WordPress account page,” there’s no reason to not do better on my end.

    • Louis, thank you so much for your comments; they always come straight from your heart :-)
      Hope all is well with you and Kristen! Forty-one years? Wow~ that’s awesome!! Are you two planning anything special to do for your anniversary?

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write, it’s been far too long since we’ve said, “Hello.” Have a very Happy & Healthy New Year!!

    • We have not made any plans due to the health issues with my mom and Kris’ dad. In addition, we fly to my pain doc this weekend and the $ are running short. With that said, being alive and together is enough for us and every day is special to me!

      • Family is so important; you have your priorities right where they need to be. Happy Anniversary to you two (a little early)!!

  3. Both Kristen and I had great parents and that is the way we were both raised. We do not look at taking care of them as a duty, in fact, it’s a privilege. In addition, it is the right thing to do for the people that raised us. I appreciate your comment and I have a feeling that you and your sister were raised the same way (SMILE).

  4. Whoa, you finished a busy year with a busy holiday season didn’t you? Good to see round these blogging parts again (not that I’ve been even as active here as you), and good to know the family is well. You have a splendid 2014 as well!

    • Hi Sid, great to hear from you!! Hope all is well with you and your girls, and that your New Year is off to a great start. Take care, and keep in touch my friend!

  5. It’s seem like you had lots of fun and great time during this festive season of the year. Your daughter did her first take-off. It’s a great achievement for her. Wishing you and your family a great year ahead with lots of happiness, peace, success and togetherness.

    • Thank you, Arindam! It’s always a wonderful surprise to see your comments on my page! It has been a good holiday season, especially spending it with my family. Hope 2014 finds you happy and healthy, and with much success in all you do! Take care!!

  6. Okay, first of all, you had me at Red Lobster – my favorite place to eat, anytime. Second, congrats to you and hubs on the 18th anniversary. Quite an accomplishment, my Cornhusker friend.
    Glad you got your daughter’s foot fixed. Boy, that must have been painful!

    All the best to you in 2014, Jules!!

    • Thank you so much, MJ! Oh Red Lobster, YUM! I’m definitely going back now that I see what I’ve been missing all these years, LOL! And gosh, it sure doesn’t feel like 18 years; we are very blessed ;-) .
      I’m hoping that next time my sister is back in Nebraska we can all get together; maybe at Red Lobster! Take care, MJ; so good to hear from you!!!

  7. Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

    Happy New Year !!!!!!! and best wishes for you in 2014 :)

  8. Hi Jules, I’m a bit behind here, but had fun catching up on your family news.
    Happy Anniversary! We just had our 29th this month :-)
    How exciting to see your daughter’s dream of flying coming true, and to have those around you to help encourage such a delightful dream!
    Happy New Year (belated!)

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