OH EM GEEEEE! 2014 was one heck of a wild ride for us! And actually, everyone I've talked to has said the same thing - it was a weird year, or a tough one, or a sad one, or a hard one. I don't know anyone who isn't ready to see 2015! 2014 was the Year of the Horse, on the Chinese calender. She was a little bronky! Yah, cliche as it may sound, it really was the best of times and the worst of times for our little family of Bs. But things can always be worse, and we are thankful for the lessons and blessings alike. 2014 was a roller coaster in nearly every aspect of our lives - ups, downs, highs, lows and everything in between. There was never a dull moment, but that's the way we roll around here. So why not ride that bronc?
Highs, Ups, The Best of Times
Volleyball became a whole new world of fun with Brailey, as we embarked on our first club journey. We learned so much last year, only to learn it was just the tip of the iceberg! Volleyball has already taught Brailey more than just the game itself - she learned how to work hard to reach a goal, to take care of her body and get strong, how to deal with difficult individuals (she is a rock star at this, by the way, and light years ahead of me!), and how to come out of her shyness a weensy bit and make new friends. For me, I was so blessed to have developed a lasting friendship with a woman I met through volleyball, and then, I ran into one of my dearest friends at a volleyball tournament our girls were both playing in. So silver and gold friends, for me! Brailey's Kidsports team was a major high, as well, as she was on a phenomenal team that won, won, won! It was great for her to experience success after all the years of being on, shall we say, less successful teams. And now, she is continuing her volleyball with a new club, Webfoot.
Lows, Downs, The Worst of Times
We had our share of little downers, of course, because that is life - it happens. But we also had some major downers, as well. The most obvious, of course, was Brady's broken leg. Believe it or not, though, this was also a positive, in some ways. How? Because it could have been so much worse - he could have been killed, as many people who saw the wreck thought had happened. He could have been injured worse than he was, paralyzed or with trauma to the brain. It is a wild, wild story, from start to finish, all the drama that was involved in the aftermath of the accident. That's an entire post I may write about on another day - the story is actually quite entertaining. Back to the tale at hand, though, it threw us for a definite loop when Brady's leg was broken. You see, it wasn't just a simple break. And it flared up some old arthritis that has caused ongoing pain for him. He will most likely never be able to jog again - low impact activities, only. But thank GOD he can walk! And work! The injury definitely brought some stress into our lives. The worry over pain pills, having to do everything for him and then his depression was sad for all of us. That is where Dumb and Dumber came into play, though, and watching that movie helped us get through some of those dark days. Our summer plans were changed, but we were blessed to spend more time than ever together. Both kids were troopers and never complained once about helping their dad out. They each got to travel with him for a week, and they took perfect care of him. They not only helped Brady out, they helped me out, as well. My spirits took a dive a few times throughout the healing process, too, but one of us was able to pull the other back up into the light. It is so easy to feel sorry for oneself! It is hard to see the positive, sometimes, but between the four of us, we were able to make the best of things.
And here we are, just like that, back to the very best of times. As one wise soul said, without darkness, there would be no stars. Truth! So it was a wild ride, and frankly, one we are still recovering from in many ways. We are looking forward to 2015, which, by the way, in the Chinese calendar, is the Year of the Sheep. Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I am a bit embarrased by this picture, because everything is a mess, but that's what happens on Christmas at our house. And I thought it was so cute that our tween, who is halfway through her last year of being a tween and nearly a full-fledged teenager, found her way into this box, just like she used to do when she was a wee little one. Below, can you find the pug?
Grandma and Papa's gifts were a HUGE hit - fringe cowboy boots for Brailey, which she is over the moon about...!
We also didn't have to be woken at the crack of dawn, this year. We slept a bit later, which was a nice change for Brady and I. And after we opened the gifts and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, we had a wonderful day watching movies and being lazy, something we rarely do. It was a different kind of Christmas, and one that snuck up on us, causing a bit of stress in the weeks leading up to it, but it turned out perfectly.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Then we had the season finale with Brailey's Kidsports volleyball team (also known as "Coach David's Dream Team"), a party to wrap things up. Coach David did a really cool thing that I believe every coach should do. He gave each girl the name of a random teammate with a white plate, and they had to come up with an award for that person, which they made out of the plate. Then, at the party, he had them present each award, and it was really special to hear and see all the kindness! And every single girl was given an award. GENIUS IDEA, I'm telling you! It was perfect! Above, standing next to Coach David, is Lindsey, the girl who drew Brailey's name, and she gave a heartfelt account of how she felt about Brailey. Her presentation was so sweet and sincere, it nearly brought a tear to my eye. Brailey had a great time making her award for Sara (see the Super Server award below), and they all had a big time presenting their coach with a gift and card. It was a really fun party and so nice to have a coach who was an eloquent speaker with a heart of gold. He may be a tough police officer, but he is a softie when it comes right down to it, with a passion for volleyball. He brought his sweet family with him, and his wife made delicious, adorable cupcakes for dessert which we all enjoyed. It was a great way to wrap up the season - lasting friendships were made during this short season, teammates and families alike!
After the party, we took the long way home and looked at the fun Christmas lights. This setup is always one of our favorites, and our Light Viewing just isn't complete until we find this one! Aren't those angels darling?!
Friday, December 26, 2014
It was a Blessed and Merry Christmas Eve!
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I wrote this a couple of months ago. I wasn't going to post it, because it is very, very personal. Most of the time, writing is my th...
Brailey Shaye is the "Star of the Week," this week in her classroom, which she has been dying to be since the beginning of the yea...
Well, we survived another Science Fair! We had an extra busy day and went straight to Britt's swim lesson after school and then after h...
Believe it or not, here we are sitting in the Catholic Church in Molalla, St. James. While we were out "garage saling" the day bef...