Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Lessons Learned and People Appreciated in 2015

   The year 2015 is quickly coming to a close and I am wondering where it all went.  It seems like someone just pressed the fast forward button on a remote control on our lives and everything just sped on by.  

    One of the things I like to do at the close of each year is look back on how things went, both the good and the bad, and what lessons I learned.  I think it is good to look back, learn from our mistakes but most of all, focus on all our blessings.  So here it goes...

   Our grandsons have grown by leaps and bounds.  Bradley has developed a very keen sense of humor and sometimes it takes the adults a few minutes to figure it out. ;)  Bradley started preschool at home with Heather and is doing amazing.  The kid blows me away with all he knows. Isaiah has gone from speaking a few words to full sentences and asking some very interesting questions.  He is a sponge that soaks everything around him in.  He has also proven to be quit the imp and can hold his own with his older brother Bradley.  They have both found exactly which "buttons" to push to irritate one another. While they seen to enjoy bugging each other, they are also fiercely protective of one another if anyone else dares to do anything to hurt one of them.  They are sure keeping their parents (and us) on our toes.

   Our adult children have gone through challenges of their own and have come out stronger for it.  Chris and Josh are now both on the SWAT teams for their law enforcement agencies and have gone through lots of training this year.  Chris continues to try to figure out how the minds of his 2 young sons work while Heather for the most part holds down the fort at home with Chris being gone so much.  Heather is homeschooling Bradley and also teaching Preschool to one of her friend's daughters at the same time.  She has also taken up sewing and has made some truly beautiful things.  Josh and his girlfriend broke up, but remain friends and for that we are thankful.  They are both strong and amazing people going down different paths in life and I love that they continue to support one another.  Jaysn loves the company he and Rachel work for and is looking at different job options within the company.  Rachel has been working on a big project at work that could lead to new opportunities for her also.  Their big accomplishment this year was saving up for and buying their first home!  We are so happy for them. :)

   This year proved to be one of reconnecting or even connecting and meeting for the first time with our cousins.  My cousin Jeremy came up for a visit in late June to check the area out and stayed with us.  We all got along so well and he quickly took his place within our family.  He has now moved up to our area and we are thoroughly enjoying all our time together.  We were even able to bring the joy of Christmas back to him again. :)  I also met my cousins Marisa and Mike and their spouses at the end of the Summer and it was a dream come true for me.  I had always wanted a close relationship with more of my cousins since we all did not grow up together and this Summer, I got that chance to start the process of doing just that.  Jeff's cousin Steve, whom we had not seen for years, surprised us with a visit and it was wonderful to get caught up with him and share some memories, laugh and to just be there for one another.  My husband and I both feel so blessed to have all these cousins in our lives.

   I have had multiple health struggles over the years and this year it all seemed to come to a head.  Between what was already going on in my body and then the stress in our lives that caused further problems for me, it has been a rough one.  I stopped subbing in April hoping to give myself time to heal from it all but it seemed to just get worse.  I hit my breaking point mentally due to an ongoing extended family situation and went to a very dark place in my mind and it scared me to death.  I decided there and then that I would never allow anyone to ever "rent space in my head" like that again.  My body reacted very badly physically to all the stress and I struggled health wise for months.  I then had more female health issues come to light once again and underwent yet another ultrasound and painful biopsy before finally having a total hysterectomy, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made to have done in my entire life!  What a difference it has made.  I feel so much better now and based on all that was going on in there, I can see why I have been having all those ongoing issues since my early teens. It has also helped lessen my horrible year round allergies and my asthma is no where near as bad now.  Oh and the stressful situation in our extended family...well let's just say that the truth always has a way of coming out, even if it does take years and years to do so.  One of the best thing to come out of that is that I got to hug and talk to one of my nieces for the first time in about 4 years and tell her I love her.  Even though she lives about 25 miles away, we have been unable to see her due to the ugly family situation.  I have been praying for that moment for years now...I love that girl so much and it broke my heart not being able to be part of her life.

   I have also learned about the power of forgiveness, and of not giving up on someone when you can still see a glimmer of hope there.  Relationships that I thought might be lost for good have been restored.  I have learned the depth of the love that our family shares and once again, how awesome my parents are in coming to visit multiple times this year, including after my surgery and helping to take care of me and again, being so wonderful and generous to us when we came to visit them in Montana.  My girls, Heather and Rachel, have gone above and beyond in pitching in and helping me after my surgery and my boys were there supporting me and checking on me and reminding me to behave myself while I healed.  My hanai sister Shannon and her hubby Harold blessed our socks off time and time again with their love and support and with Shannon even coming to the hospital with Jeff and I the day of my surgery and taking such good care of us.  Heather's family, who has become our family now also, are always there to support us and we love being able to do so many things with them...they are all very caring and kind people and we love them dearly.

   Every year, when I look back, my husband is right there at the top of the list of my blessings.  When life and my health took a turn for the worse, he was the one who was constantly there, holding me up, supporting me and praying for me.  He encouraged me to step away from several situations and take the time that I needed to heal and then again encouraged me to have my surgery and take additional time to heal from that.  He held my hand while I had my biopsy, was right there with me during my ultrasound and the day of my surgery and took such good care of me.  He did all the things that I normally do around the house so I could heal, all the while still working his full time job and continuing to work on projects around our home to make it nicer for us all.  He took me to get a new fur baby to love after our Daisy cat passed away and he puts up with the antics of our new kitty Rufus who has multiple health issues and is still learning to play nice with our dog Caesar. ;)
My Jeff amazes me with the depth of his love for me and for our family and friends.  He willingly and selflessly sacrifices, without a complaint, for all of us.  I love him with everything within me and I do realize just how blessed I am to be his wife.

   So here is to saying goodbye and thank you to 2015 for lessons learned, the start to being healthier both mentally and physically and for wrapping up the year on a positive note.  I'm looking forward to what 2016 has in store for us, starting with a visit from our son Josh!  I can't wait to have all my kids together again and for Josh and my cousin Jeremy to finally get to meet.  Onward and upwards!




  1. Lovely summary of your year, Debbie - I loved getting to know a little more about your family. Wishing you much health and happiness in 2016!

    1. Thank you and I wish the same thing for you and your's!

  2. Praying your, and your family's, 2016 is filled with more blessings than you could ever imagine God bestowing upon you all.


  3. Thank you Mrs. B and I wish the best for you also. :)

  4. Hi Debbie..onwards and upwards for you and your family..2016 is going to be blessed for you and yours.

    1. Thank you Sara! I hope it will be for you too!


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