How to sum up 2011? It was a complex year.
It was by far our most medically challenging year as a family, and as a result financially challenging as well. And the financial upset of that will last all through 2012 as well, I’m sure.
We began the year with a new family member on the way, which is always exciting and always a little overwhelming as well. Thankfully I experienced only mild (normal) morning sickness.
In March, Jay lost the tip of his right middle finger in a work accident. It was a very painful injury, since the finger had been crushed off instead of cut off. Weeks of pain and recovery followed.
In April, Molly was hospitalized for dehydration resulting from a stomach bug. A bright spot in our year was Tessa’s first communion and a visit from her godparents. Then in the summer I had my big illness, with a kidney stone, sepsis, emergency hospital transfer, near miss at an early delivery of the new baby, and weeks of recovering.
Soon after we headed into the last weeks of pregnancy and one of my hardest births ever. But Gus was finally in our arms and we could move on with “normal” life again. Or so we thought. Gus, it turns out, is one of those babies who needs to be held, by MOM ONLY, at virtually every moment of the day. Don’t get me wrong, he is a sweet, precious baby. He’s just a little on the demanding side. And with Molly being barely two… well that has kept me from doing much else.
As for the rest of the family: Paisley is working retail these days, and while the pay is not great, she is so wonderful with people. She really does a fabulous job at it. And I am certainly enjoying the makeup perks! James just finished recording his CD and is busy copying it and distributing it. He quit Hot Dog on a Stick in October after working there for two years and is now just working sound for masses at church. Posy has been eyeball deep in school work and has a driver license now, but still needs more practice before we set her loose on the roads. Ben is busy with school as well, and excited to finally have a cell phone. He works on his music too every day. Tessa is headed straight into the pre-teen years, half child, half teenager. She is still everyone’s sweet heart, but she is sick of being lumped in with the younger siblings. Max loves to read and draw and dirt seems to follow him around and jump onto his body. But that may just be what being a 7 year old boy is all about. Lily is desperate to learn to read, and anything else she can learn about her world. Molly is 2, defiant and lovable, still enjoying being babied, but wanting to do impossible things all by herself (like put on socks). And I’ve already told you about Gus.
Jay is working hard at Westest still, and working hard at the church, and working hard around the house to pick up my slack when my arms are full of babies. That man never gets to rest!
And so, 2011 is done and we can only hope and pray for what is to come in 2012. May God bless us and protect us, bind us together as a family and draw us closer to Him. Only He knows what the next year holds for us.