Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 In Reflection

You know what............... I am truly blessed!!!! I was thinking over 2008 and want to take a moment to reflect. In 2008 I saw Luke turn 7 years old and we did an awesome Pirate themed b-day party for him: I can't believe my baby is 7!!! That was such a fun party. RIGHT BEFORE that party a tragic event occurred, I still shiver when I think about it and see the video. I volunteered to do the Polar Bear Plunge. I was so excited, I had raised over 800 dollars for Special Olympics, an organization I truly support and I was ready to take the cold plunge on February 2nd, 2008. My family and friends were there to cheer me on. I was the only one there not jumping in a group and the announcers were encouraging funny flips, etc. and keeping your hair dry was NOT an option. So........ nerves set in and I decided to dive. BIG MISTAKE. Here is the video (if you listen closely you can hear tim say "is she bleeding?" at the end and then he pauses the film and runs to me):

That was such a scary experience. The Lord was watching over me that day. I'll never forget the looks on Luke and Laurens faces, crying thinking I was dying as they rolled me out on the gourney. I had to have 16 stitches in my head, OUCH. The ambulance driver said I should have been paralized by the size of the head wound and the angle I entered the pool - I agree - I should have - but the Lord spared me. THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR CONTINUED PROTECTION!!! In 2008 we had a fun family getaway to Indianapolis for Spring Break, that was such fun! In 2008 we had to put our beloved Golden Retreiver Loomis to sleep, WHAT PAIN this caused me and my family. I loved this dog so dearly. I got him before Tim and I were married. Goodbye Loomis, my buddy and friend: In 2008 We took our annual trip to Disney World in June, I celebrated my birthday there and we celebrated Father's day there, it was an AWESOME time!!! In 2008 Tim and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. We got to go up to Grand Haven and stay in an incredible bed and breakfast

It was so awesome rediscovering our love again, just being US, it was wonderful! I am so blessed to be married to my best friend! Then we got to follow it up with a great week in Grand Haven with my family and the kids:

Then we weren't back long and headed to Gatlinburg with Tim's large family , this was a first. All of his family (minus one of Tim's sister and their family) under one roof in a huge chalet in Gatlinburg. This was a large crew and was so much fun.

Shortly after that, we signed up with the Disney Vacation Club, we were and are so excited about this new addition to vacationing options. We already have one super long Disney vacation planned for June and I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Food and Wine Festival in Epcot and now Tim and I have a couples only trip planned in November this year thanks to Disney Vacation Club, YEAH!

Then at the end of July in 2008 we went to pick up Mickey, a Golden Retreiver - our new addition to our family. He has slowly begun to fill the hole that Loomis left and is becoming a very sweet dog that we love very much:

We got season passes to Kings Island again and enjoyed many visits there throughout the summer of 08':

Then to wrap up summer we headed up to Canton, Ohio to celebrate Tim's youngest brother's wedding. That was a good time. Tim and his brother were the DJ's and Lauren was the beautiful flower girl.

All good things come to an end, and it was back to school time. I started setting up my classroom, Luke headed off to second grade and Lauren back to preschool.

Then came September and we celebrated Tim's 33rd birthday here in town, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIM- 2008!

Luke and Lauren both played soccer this year (Lauren's first time). We were amazed by Luke's new abilities and had many laughs over Laurens cartwheels on the field : )

Then Lauren accomplished her lifelong dream of being a cheerleader

It was such fun watching her from the sidelines, I have a feeling 2008 was just the beginning of MANY cheerleading activities for Lauren.

Then, in 2008 came the FREAKISH windstorm in Ohio that downed trees in our neighborhood and left is in the dark and cancelled school for several days:

Then came October and my baby girl turned 5 years old, boy do I feel old.

Then Mickey (our new golden retriever) took a bad tumble down the stairs and fractured his hip, we couldn't believe it. After a 1700 dollar vet bill and a month of recuperation we got our baby back, this was a trying time!!!

Then, a tragedy hit me, a student of mine: Elli passed away. I was so saddened by this loss. Elli was a student of mine for two years and was truly an angel here on earth. I spoke at her memorial service, it was such hard thing to do. I miss her terribly and her spirit still lives on in my classroom.

Then came November, time for Thanksgiving and the hustle and bustle. Things were going well.

Then came December of 2008 and I felt like the sky was falling. Luke got strep throat, Tim got the flu, Tim injured his knee to the point of needing surgery, THEN our tub got a hole in it, filled our ceiling with water and we had to get that repaired and it was very costly! Tim had his knee surgery and is STILL on the mend from that.

We had a fabulous Christmas this year despite Tim's knee. The kids had a blast, it was so magical.

We enjoyed Luke's school winter program, Laurens program and our church program in which they both had fun in. It was a wonderful holiday season.

In 2008 we made some new friends, re connected with some old friends and lost contact with some long time friends.

Overall 2008 was a great year, overshadowed by an incredibly bad December with a lot of bad luck.

We are looking forward with anticipation what 2009 will have in store for us. . . .stay tuned to find out...................

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, it's 2009 and I have resolved to start a blog...................... I know, not your typical resolution. But I have decided that I'm going to be one of those women who are happy with their bodies the way they are, be confident in my own skin and not jump on the diet and exercise bandwagon in the New Year. Sure, I don't look the way I did in my twenties, there are new places that jiggle that I'm not the proudest of, but overall I'm happy being me and am proud that I have gotten to this place in my life.
I love to write - always have and have enjoyed writing trip reports for years online for many to read regarding our Disney adventures (check out last years trip report here: and thought a blog would be the next logical step.
I am busy........... quite busy in fact. My life consists of being a full time special education teacher, teaching courses for University of Phoenix online (I teach an average of 2-3 courses at a time), mentoring incoming faculty at the University of Phoenix (I average 3-4 mentees at a time), being a mom to my two wonderful children (Luke and Lauren) and being a loving wife to my husband of 10 years: Tim. Oh, and taking care of our Golden Retreiver puppy Mickey and our cat Biggie as well (can't forget the pets, they require love and time as well). So time for a blog will be interesting at best, but I consider it "me" time, that in 2009 I am vowing to make sure happens!!!!!
In 2009 we will have many vacations and I am so excited about each and every one of them. Tim and I (and the kids) are always planning for our next getaway, it is the getaways in life that make this life enjoyable, fun, and memorable to us. In 2009 we will experience 1 week at Kiawah beach in South Carolina, 16 days in Disneyworld, 8 days in Grand Haven Michigan, and 3 days JUST THE TWO OF US (Tim and I) for our first only couples only trip to Disneyworld in November. SO EXCITING!!!!
I am excited about this new adventure of writing in this blog, bare with me, I am sure it will take many different turns along the way, I don't want to stick to one particular topic, they will range from parenting, traveling, religion, marriage,pets,theatre,education,being a working mom,wine (HUGE wine lover), family, Disney (of course), the options are endless and that is exciting to me.
Hang tight, this should be a fun ride.............


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