Ho00-boy, this is going to hurt. I really don’t want to go crawling through my archives on this year– but like pulling off a band-aid, it must be done. It’s an avalanche of pain and emotion- Without further ado, a look back at what turns out to be the sorting-through year…
January: Dawns with me feeling tiny, trepidatious flickering of hope. The divorce was not yet final, and I continually found myself flattened, but kept picking myself up and dusting off, and feeling more than a little like Rocky. I may have even started to have an attitude- “oh yeah? knock me down again… I’ll just keep getting back up.” I found out I was losing my home and wrote some of the most stirring, painful things I’ve ever written. Even now, a year later, it makes me cry to go there. I started going to the Y in an effort to not self-destruct, I taught y’all how to make a weighted blanket, and Jeffrey discovered Calvin & Hobbes. I closed the month out by writing Thoughts on Moving and Goodbye House. Get some tissue before you read January, if you’re so inclined.
February: My divorce finalized and we settled into and began to piece life back together in our new Little House. Wonder opened my heart to the possibilities that might lie ahead as I suddenly felt… free… for the first time in years, and hope gained a foothold instead of a flicker. My ward held us up in 100 different ways, and I stood on wobbly new legs and decided to apply to the University instead of the junior college in a burst of self-confidence and bravado. Hope becomes a recurring flame. Random Crap makes its first appearance in months, and is a harbinger of a new normal.
March: The carwash teaches me about the return to life, and Bean gets creative with his bad self. I get lost in bad movies from my teen years, and meet my new neighbors- turns out they rock. Lifting weights and Yoga become my new therapy, and I beat the crap out of the heavy bag instead of X. Jeffrey’s sex-ed began with a trip to the mailbox and finding a Cosmopolitan magazine. Random Crap makes several appearances and life seems to be almost inhabitable.
April: We all freak out on sugar over the early Easter weekend, and have a blast with the toilet plungers at Ace Hardware. Swimming lessons started, and the men from my ward showed up and graded my yard, put in sprinklers, and added a fence to boot. I have a few moments of what feel like insurmountable pain, but the good days start to slowly outnumber the difficult, and I get my letter from the University congratulating me on my acceptance. I have fun at the Social Security office, and Abby takes up writing in earnest. I wax on about my love for Henry, and Abby turns four. Life is quiet. And my son broke my heart wide open- in the best way- this might be single favorite moment of the whole year.
May: Chris Cornell socks me in the gut at the gym and I have to have a good cry. I walk onto my college campus for the first time, and challenge the world, in writing, to bring it on. An essay of mine is published in an anthology, and you can order it on Amazon. I’m a real writer, babies! I hate on Zumba, and take the kids to Comicon, where Abby is the absolute hit of the place. And I share the best freaking lemon bars on earth with y’all. If you haven’t made them yet, do yourself a favor and do it!
June: Jeffrey makes a strange grocery list, and Bean waxes on the glory of chartreuse. Mo moves and I cry a little bit, but then distract myself by writing a really looong and boring primer on and IEP. We all get caught in the deep end of the pool once in a while, but we are surviving better and better. Little House stiffles me with summer heat, and I (gulp!) start back to school. Ready or not!
July: School school school school school. Sumer. Kids. Homework. Hot. Struggling with balancing full-time motherhood, solo parenting, and full-time school- and failing some days badly and some days actually doing okay. Bean ate a bowl of Cheerios. July is my least favorite month.
August: I took my finals and got a perfect 4.0 for my first venture back to college, flew to Salt Lake for a banzai trip, then immediately packed up the kids and flew down to California to hang with family for the rest of the month. We had Yosemite, In-n-Out, the California Academy of Sciences and a huge blow-up birthday party at grandma and grandpa’s house. It was a low word-count month on account of all the vacationing and finals.
September: I finally come to terms with the Celiac when my body rebels, and Ava cracks my heart wide open with her love for my dear Bean. We pick blackberries and make jam and I really start writing again when Steven King kicks my butt with his little book On Writing. Bean turns seven and starts dropping his teeth all over the place, and the tooth fairy bombs. Repeatedly. And I become a fly-swatting lunatic over some really scary tubers.
October: Start off the month with conference, which renews my love for the Uchtdorff, and have a birthday the same day. I make a TRX trainer much to the delight of the guys at Ace, and give you all a glimpse into the seamy underbelly of online LDS dating. Because I’m feeling particularly insane, I start posting recipes like a madwoman. You win! Really, I don’t post recipes unless they utterly rock, so take note. I delete my dating profile when I am asked what is wrong with my uterus by a man in Hurricane Utah. Made some super cool crafts at church and crashed and burned for a finale of the month.
November: Made a book page wreath, and the deacons loved us by taking care of our yard. Headed over to Seattle to see Mo and speak at a conference on the changing faces of LDS families. Mo took me out for my very first steak, and I loved it. Beyond loved it. I still stumble some days, but it’s getting fewer and farther. Mo makes the national news, and I deck the halls.
December: Little waves of happiness roll over me, and we have FHE at the lake one really freaking cold night. I ace my next set of finals despite distractions, children and holidays and make the Dean’s List for the second straight quarter. Kellie springs for hte most amazing shoes ever and delights me for days, and life is pretty sweet.
And here we are, New Year’s Eve- ten years ago tonight, standing in the tiny hallway of my little house in California, I found out I was expecting my first child. Now, I stand again on the precipice of a whole new future, and frankly, I am happier and more optimistic than I imagined I could possibly be. Here’s to a happy and lovely 2011 to all of us. Cheers!