Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Year in Review - 2011

Wow! As we find ourselves at the end of another year, I have been reminiscing about the past year and all that happened. It was a GREAT year! I think it would best be described as The Year of Education for The 4 B's... We learned SO MUCH! We grew as a family and learned things that will help us immensely in our journey through this life.

One of the most significant lessons we learned is who we can depend on and who we can't. Surprisingly, it isn't always family who is "there for you" when the chips are down. Sometimes family members are the ones who hurt you the most, and learning this lesson was a painful one that required a lot of self-reflection, a lot of letting go and also a lot of growing. "Growing pains," I call them, because growing as a person is truly a hard thing to do. But grow we did, and I'm so thankful for the friends we grew with, new and old alike, silver and gold all the way!

Gosh, we had so much FUN this year! I still can't believe Brady and I made it through the Butte-to-Butte - at this point, I doubt if I'll ever be able to "run" it again... I've come to learn that some people are runners, and some people aren't, and I fall into the latter category, even though I try so hard not to. In any case, WE DID IT, and the best part was seeing our little B's with The Lamberts sitting on the street corner holding signs that said "Go Big Mama" and "Go Big Daddy!" I had to fight hard to suck those tears down, which isn't an easy thing to do when you are trying to suck air, too.

We had so much fun as a family, enjoying rodeo after rodeo - Sublimity and Ross Coleman's PBR were our favorites, although the Eugene PBR was right up there, too. And Corvallis! I'll never forget my "reading" by the psychic, and this was the first year we let our little B's enjoy the "BIG" rides at the carnival. Corvallis always has a great carnival... OH - and Eric Church! How could I forget him?! Brady and I had the best time ever at his concert right here in Lane County, and I swear we are his biggest fans... Although maybe not - Brady asked a girl at the parade in Heppner if she knew who Eric Church was, and she said, "KNOW him! I'm going to MARRY him!" She must have been about 13 or 14 years old. And speaking of Heppner, that was another fantastic rodeo, and the only one Brady and I attended by ourselves - the kids went camping with my folks and had their own fun.

As I think back over all the birthdays and celebrations and good times, and there are just too many to incorporate into this little blog post! Our yard sale, getting our yard IN, spending time with my parents and the Lamberts and the Hartleys, Uncle Frank coming from Texas to stay with us and showing him Autzen Stadium, the infamous Barn Sale, both kids performing at La Fiesta, swim lessons in the rain in a heated pool, football and volleyball, our 10th wedding anniversary (eleven years together, ten married!), Britt's first reconciliation with all four of us participating, performances by the little B's special for Brady and I...

Of course there was drama, too - we started January with a bang. Brady was gone for the entire month at "school." Thank goodness for our beloved friends and my parents, or I may not have survived. Yes, I am tougher than nails, but taking care of this place by myself wasn't easy, even for someone as rough and tough as me, ranch-raised girl that I am... The emotional strain on my B's was nearly more than I could bear. But bear it we did! Then Brailey's ripped ligaments at the beginning of the summer along with a trip to the ER, which ironically began the summer and then ended it, as well, when we thought she had meningitis in August, but thank goodness she didn't. And then all her ailments, including her allergic reaction to codeine from a pulled baby tooth that had attached to her jaw bone, tonsillitis, a horrible flu bug, x-rays for her back and all the missed activities from the bum leg in between. And while she had to endure the worst of it, Britt had to learn how to have fun without his best friend and playmate, and that was a big adjustment for him. Even though he still got to enjoy all his activities, he missed his sister enjoying them with him. And his football season nearly did us all in, with the huge commitment it entailed and the problems we faced this year. But the best part is that we learned from ALL of these things, and we are stronger and better for having gone through them. Like the saying goes, what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. So true!

And now we are ready to embark on a new year, filled with more hope and love than we've ever had before. We already have a couple of snags - my dad's cancer and Brady has some issues with his mouth AND just yesterday he fell at work while getting the chop saw out of the van and broke his ribs, sprained his fingers and whacked his head... Needless to say, he is one sore feller, but he's back at work today, pushing through like the trooper he is. He and my dad have their surgeries on the same day, January 3rd - any and all prayers are welcome! Brady won't like it that I've shared this about him, but a priest told my mom you can never have too many prayers, so what can he say about that, right?

We are looking forward to Britt's first communion in the spring and hope to have a wonderful celebration with family and friends, my oldest niece and oldest Godson are graduating from high school, and who knows what other marvelous things will occur? Usually, even numbered years are the best for me, and last year, an odd-numbered year, was great, so this year? I think it is going to be UNBELIEVABLE! Welcome, 2012!

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