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!