Friday, January 2, 2015

2014: The Year That Was

2014, at first glance, may not seem to have been the best of years for my family. It was bookmarked by the death of my mother-in-law in late January and of my father-in-law in late December. But in between, there were many more ups than downs.

January involved lots of snow, so I tried snow painting with the kids. Pinterest said it was awesome!

And the process was awesome, mainly because it turned your hands green and we got to watch the snow melting through the oven door. But artistically, the results were, um, less than awesome. Oh, well.

By February, I was done with snow. I’d gone through every “inside game” I could think of to keep y kids busy. And we’d burned through all the craft and art supplies they’d gotten for Christmas. The Sochi Olympics were a welcome break, and an interesting cultural lesson on life in different parts of the world. But they only lasted for two weeks, and after they were over, it was all I could do to stop them from burning down the house. (If February had more than 28 days, I probably would have let them by that point.) Luckily, gymnastics classes and a few visits to museums got us out of the house and cleared out our cabin fever.

March brought with it some welcome spring weather, so we took advantage of it by making some early visits to our favorite ice cream parlor, Moozy’s. I took a deep breath and auditioned for a big musical and found myself surrounded by talented performers who weren’t even born when I was their age, so I was happy to drown my sorrows (and my embarrassment) in hot fudge and rainbow sprinkles.


In April, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a child-free trip to New York City for the weekend, dressing to the nines at the Met, enjoying dinner at several one and two Michelin star restaurants, exploring an aircraft carrier, and stumbling across a colorful ethnic celebration. We also celebrated a joyous Easter full of family and friends.

In May spring began to turn into summer, complete with visits from local wildlife (some more welcome than others), trips to theme parks, and opening the pool!

June plunged us into true summer, with long days spent in the pool and long evenings spent beside the pool. Bikes, trikes, and water parks were a large part of our days. School was out and fun was in!

July got off to a rocky start when we had to delay our annual camping trip due to a hurricane blowing through. We put off our departure for a day, spending it at a Lego Discovery Center instead, which turned out to be one of the highlights of our vacation, which also included trips to the Flume Gorge, Clark’s Trading Post, and Storyland.

My big accomplishment of August was the creation of Katie’s birthday cake: Elsa, from Frozen. Requirements for the cake included roughly half a dozen different Pinterest postings, two large tubs of frosting, half a bottle of blue food coloring, a cheap Barbie doll, a costume ring shaped like a tiara, silver decorator sugar, and several large glasses of wine.

August also brought the big theatrical gala that I helped organize. Despite a few last-minute glitches, everything went smoothly and a good time was had by all. Especially those of us privileged to know some of the more dapper attendees!

September was back to school for one child and to school for the first time for the other, and back to gymnastics for both, one after a brief hiatus and the other for the first time without Mum on the floor with her. It was also our tentative first foray into the scary but exciting world of home schooling.

October, of course, was completely taken up with thoughts of Halloween. I finally wised up this year, and instead of waiting for the kids to settle on a costume, I bought whatever they picked out the first week that Costco had costumes and they were stuck with it. This came in handy went we went to Oklahoma to visit my stepdaughter at OSU, and the kids brought their costumes. They were the hit of Stillwater! (And were also forgiven much typical preschool behavior on the plane ride home.)

November is always a busy month in our family, bringing with it multiple birthdays (our own and friends’), Thanksgiving, and rehearsals for the annual Christmas show.

And December had the Christmas show itself, CHRISTMAS itself, and the usual accompanying hullabaloo.

It may not have been a perfect year, but overall, it was a busy, successful, and happy year. But I could still use a bit of a rest before 2015 starts, couldn’t you?

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