2010 was definitely a year for changes around the Wheelz Home. For good and bad, it was a Year of Change for us. I would hope that 2011 will become the Year Of Calm instead, but I guess that remains to be seen. I know that the kids are stressed from all of the change in the house so I can only hope to make part of my new year resolution to make this house more calm and help to the kids to become more grounded and happy.
My T13...some of the changes we saw in 2010
1. New Church
After a tumultuous departure from our old church at the end of 2009, we spent the first half of 2010 searching and attending several different churches. Around May, we settled at one that we really like. The kids love it too and we are hoping to attend the join class in January and becoming full fledged members.
2. New Hair
In March, when I was really still fighting some depression from leaving the old church, I got sick of my look and decided to grow out my bangs. I have had bangs my entire life and decided I needed a change. I spent the entire year figuring out ways to keep them out of my eyes while growing them out. I can say that they are now grown out and I still am not sure about the look. I guess we're always a work in progress. I guess the good thing is that now that you can see more of my face, I've been wearing make up more. I suppose that's a good thing.
We came closer this year than ever before to losing our house. Economy stinks and Steve's hours have been way cut back, which made making all of bill payments more challenging. After trying for several months to fight with our mortgage company to get a "modification" which turned out to be a joke, we finally secured a loan to pay back with our tax refund in March. It was truly terrible and I hope to never come that close again.
4. School for kids
This was definitely an adjustment this year, having both boys in school full time. At the beginning, I had a hard time trying to keep all of their stuff straight, with lunches, backpack, notes from school, permission slips, field trips, etc. It seems to finally fallen into more of a routine, thankfully. And I have figured out a way to still be the lunch mom once a week, rotating their classrooms each week. It makes it so I can still help, but not have to be at the school more than one day a week. Also part of this was unexpectedly sending Aaron to first grade. Not sure what will come of this going into the next school year, but we will do whatever we deem is right for him when the decision time comes.
9. Noah scouts
Back in December 2009, we took the boys sledding at a hill near our house and somehow struck up a conversation with two ladies next to us. Turns out they were the scout leaders for a Cub Scout pack on our street school. Since Steve is an Eagle Scout, we have always wanted our boys to be in scouting and this seemed like the perfect time. So we got Noah going in scouts. In November, it seemed like it was just getting to be too much and we took a break. We have now found a new pack nearer to the boys' school and BOTH boys will be starting in January. Aaron is so excited and I hope Noah will go into the new pack with an open mind.
5. Back pain
This was the year of pain. Steve and I are both just kind falling apart and we're not even 40 yet. His ankle that he shattered a few years ago is in constant pain and I have now developed back issues. The year was fraught with many visits to doctors about how to fix the pain. It is still a work in progress and when the flare ups are in full force, I feel like I'm about 90 years old.
8. Symphony chorus
This has been my favorite change for this year. After leaving our old church, I was desperate to find a way to use my musical abilities for my own personal enjoyment. I auditioned for the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus in January and started up in February. I have been in five productions so far, the highlight being the Lord Of The Rings performance in October. I really enjoy being part of this and I hope to continue doing it for many years to come.
This one has just been since November. After coming so close to losing the house, and then realizing that we were going to be unable to get presents for the kids for Christmas, I took a night time job at the mall. The good was that I did indeed provide a nice Christmas for the boys. The bad is that I get sick EVERY SINGLE TIME the day after a night shift, and was sicker through these holidays than I have ever been before. Now that we know we need the income though, I have finally decided that I need to bite the bullet and start subbing. I have put it off long enough. So next week while the kids are back in school, it will be off to get fingerprints and I will attend the required sub class in three weeks and then begin subbing. I am terrified but it IS the right decision for this family so I have to just do it. Who knows... I might end up really enjoying it.
This is the first year since Noah was born that we didn't take a vacation. Oh we had a couple of trips planned, but financial difficulties or car issues prevented each of them. That is, there was no hotel stay at all in the year 2010. What we did though was to take our first family trip camping. Actually it was my first time ever camping. We went to a campground only about a half hour from home, which had shower facilities as well as playground, beach, kids activities, and electric hookup in the bathroom. It went well and we had a lot of fun. I am looking forward to another camping trip or two in 2011, but I would still really like a REAL vacation as well if we can figure out a way to afford it. The memories we make on those trips are priceless.
9. Piano Teaching
After leaving our church, I needed to find a new place for my student recital. That took up a large amount of time in May scrambling for a place large enough, but that wouldn't charge me a fortune. I settled on a church nearby that Deb takes her girls to and the recital went okay. But the venue really wasn't ideal since the piano was too low so I will now spend the beginning of 2011 trying to find a new one for this year's recital in May. I also have more adult students than I ever have before as well as a group of four year olds which I have never had before. It is definitely a different kind of student load than in the past. I lost a student from my old church whom I have been teaching for over seven years and that made me very sad as well.
11. Kid Changes
The boys had many growth opportunities this year but I think the standouts were Aaron learning to ride a two wheeler without training wheels and Noah getting glasses. These were both events that got lots of attention at the time. Unfortunately, we are thinking that Noah needs a stronger prescription at the moment and insurance doesn't cover another exam until 2012. We will be working on that at the start of the new year.
12. Weight Gain
This was an unfortunate result of the stress of the year. I have gained A LOT of weight the second half of this year. I don't want to say more about it, just that I think if I reduce the stress of our lives, the weight problem will hopefully work itself out too. That and getting outside when the weather breaks to take Lily for her two or three walks a a day again like I was before it got cold.
After talking forever about boys needing to grow up with a dog, the opportunity presented itself the week after school got out in June. We brought home Lily, a Pomeranian chihuahua. The stress of training a puppy was much more than I ever thought it would be. It was actually more difficult than potty training the boys and I still go back and forth between loving her and wishing she wasn't around. She has definitely brought joy to the house though and I do remain firm that every boy should have a dog. Just watching the boys play with her is priceless (including my hubby, the biggest boy of all)
These are not all inclusive. There were also many other firsts, such as my first Michigan game (Go Blue!), boys first time golfing, Noah learning to dive, and our first trip to Michigan Adventure (theme park) but I WAS limited to 13 :)
2010 was a big year of change. But it seems that as I wrote this post, 2011 is looking pretty big too. I guess it's good that we don't feel stalled. At this moment, I am feeling hopeful about the future, with a kind of new career for me and hopes that we can figure out issues with the boys that need attention.
So, I am wishing you all a Happy and Safe New Year's Celebration and a very blessed 2011!