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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is me and my sweet, sweet man.  Not the greatest shot as far as photography skills go (it was, after all, taken by a six year old) but I love it anyway. This was taken on December 31st, 2012. The last day of a very crazy year, and we are still together and still smiling. That is an accomplishment that I grow more amazed at and proud of with every single turn of the calendar. Over the past 5 years, we have gone through so much. At one point, we nearly broke as a couple. But God, in His goodness and wisdom used what was intended to destroy us to make us even stronger. Our relationship is better than it ever was. Now, as far as major life events this year, we had a ton-but I think that is true for everyone. At certain points this year, I was on my knees begging God to just give me a week off-a week with no stress, no worries, no curve balls. His answer was always, "There is no such thing. This is LIFE. Hold on to my hand-no matter what happens." I didn't hold on to His hand. I clung to His neck like a drowning woman with a life preserver. Here is our year in a nut shell, in chronological order. Compared to some, it may be crazy; compared to others, you may wish you had had my year instead of the fiery furnace you had to walk through. Some of these events are very happy ones-but any woman knows, if it is an event that you personally are in charge of (like the two weddings!), they may be happy but they are dang stressful!

January-My mother gets married. This is her fourth marriage. The third marriage was in 2010. Ugh.
             My 43 birthday. Any birthday that starts with a "4" now causes a tiny bit of anxiety.  :)
             My sweet father-in-law quits breathing and is admitted to a hospital in Arkansas. He will be                there for 121 days and will never go home. Hubby goes to Arkansas for 2 weeks.
             I make the decision to go back to school full-time and carry a maximum size class load.
February-Hubby and baby girl's birthdays.
               Get notified that hubby's job may going away.
               Confirmation 2 weeks later. He has thirty days left, and his position is being cut across the                  nation. No possibility of a transfer.
March-Jobless, for the first time in 24 years.
April-Father-in-law passes away on Good Friday. Hubby and I fly to Arkansas for two weeks.
         Hubby hunting for a job.
May-I decide to a full class load over the summer. (What was I thinking?)
        My son graduates from college on May 18th. So proud of the young man, missing my little boy.
        My oldest daughter gets married on May 19th. So proud of the young woman, missing my little           girl.
        At this point, all savings are gone.
        Hubby searching diligently for a job.
June-my Volkswagen Beetle, now out of warranty, blows up. $3000 to repair.
        Fixed it with borrowed money, sold it, broke even. Bought a junker car, which I still drive.
        The first time in 13 years I have not had a "nice" car to drive but thankful for a car.
        Still hunting for a job.
July-hottest on record, no AC, and the largest wildfire in Colorado history breaks out 5 miles from             my house and burns for six weeks. We house an unknown family of five evacuees in our house           for a week.
        Still hunting for a job.
 August-Baby girl starts first grade. We change schools. She is excited, I bawl like a baby.
           We have to sell my husband's motorcycle-we can no longer make the payments. This was his
            retirement gift when he left the Air Force after 22 years. I grieve.
            Hubby is still looking for a job. For each job he applies for, at least 24 other veterans are                     applying as well, all equally qualified. He starts looking for work out of state. This causes me             much anxiety because all of my family and kids are here. I do not want to move.
           Still praying.
 September-Fall classes start. I decide to take a double load. Getting straight A's, but looking back, I              don't think that is necessarily a mark of intelligence. Why did  I keep doing this to myself?
October-Hubby has six weeks left of unemployment benefits. We find out Colorado is one of only                  five states that are terminating extended benefits. Their reasoning-they are getting too many                unemployment claims.
           The poor man is getting so frustrated and discouraged.
           Still praying.
November-Hubby starts a part-time job (thank heaven he is at least out of the house! We are driving              each other stir-crazy!) That job goes away after two weeks.
           The day his part-time job ends, and at the very beginning of the last unemployment pay period,            he gets a full-time job offer. Half the pay of what he used to make, but it will keep us afloat.
           Two weeks later, he gets a job offer from an application he submitted in June. Full pay at                      previous salary, benefits, and job security. I, again, bawl like a baby-this time out of sheer                    relief.
December-Hubby starts his new job.
                 Wonderful Christmas season. :)
                 Mom announces she is getting a divorce and wants all of her husbands things out of her                        house put into a storage locker. THE NEXT DAY.

But, in spite of job losses, deaths, weddings, divorces, and car problems-I can honestly say it was a very good year. It brought us closer together as a couple, it taught us what we really NEEDED to get by, we got our priorities straightened out, and we had to draw closer to God and totally depend on Him. And through all of it, He never, ever failed us. We were never late on one bill. We never went hungry. If my husband had not been unemployed, he would not have been able to take the time to be with his mom and comfort her following the death of his father. The weddings and graduation celebration were beautiful. I made the Dean's list every semester. I don't have the burden of a car payment or motorcycle payment, and we are now in better financial shape than ever. God is good, all the time.