Thursday, November 07, 2013

Blog Year Retrospective #8

It has been eight years since I started this blog, so I'm here with another annual retrospective.  For as much as this blog mirrors my own life, this past year has been altogether different.  While I've wanted so much to share my whole life on this blog, both propriety and privacy dictate that I not share everything.  I'll do my best to hit the facts without dwelling on details or stepping on toes.

Annie and Eddie, 1 year old
I should start with the two additions to the family this last year.  Our formerly pet-free household was colonized in late November by two beyond precious Korat cats (technically domestic short hairs due to lack of a pedigree, but pssh).  We got them at twelve weeks old, so we were able to see most of their growth into the adolescent cats we have now.  They are, for the most part, friendly and gentle, and though they are often not where we'd like them, they are inquisitive and clever.  They have learned to obey some commands, and they play fetch on typical feline terms.  While neither is a huge fan of manicures, Eddie especially loves to be brushed, and Annie took to her new scratching post immediately.  We built some shelves in our office specifically for them to climb and perch upon, and they've played for hours up there.  Both The Man and I have spent many, many evenings with one--or both--of them curled on our laps, arms, or whatever suits them best.

Our new house has been wonderful!  We're absolutely loving being homeowners.  We are not, however, fond of the work that ownership entails.  Last spring, my mom broke her arm while weeding in our yard.  After a surgery to remove the shattered bone and place an implant on the end, she endured months of physical therapy.  Dad had to pick up the slack around their house, and he also helped us with our yard too.  We put in all new bark dust around our house, trimmed every plant on the property, applied bags and bags of fertilizer, lime, and some seed to make what was a scraggly yard turn out to be the greenest lawn on the block.  Dad also helped me place about a hundred concrete pavers in our backyard so we can walk to the back of our house now without getting muddy when it is wet--which is always.  Mom pulled through the summer doing relatively little physically, but she managed to bond with the kittens while we sweated outside.  Speaking of sweating, we're over that.  We bought a central air conditioner this summer that saved us so much sweat and tears.  We both consider that to be one of our best investments yet.

We get lots of snuggles and purrs.
After two very short months settling in to our new home, my sister and her husband moved in with us at the end of October.  Then, a month later, my sister left for her Air Force basic training.  Her husband continued to live with us until she finished her technical school the following May.  To say that this period of our life was challenging doesn't begin to cover what was both immensely positive and heartbreaking at the same time.  Toward the end of May, with my sister still in Texas, both she and her husband agreed that their marriage had run its course.  The Man and I could only sit and provide support to them, never fully understanding their relationship, never really wanting to get between them.  Watching a marriage end isn't easy, and watching it happen in your own home felt especially frustrating.  When my sister returned in May, her husband had moved out to his own apartment only the day previous.  She stayed with us one more month before deploying to her current base.  After a total occupation lasting eight dramatic months, The Man and I realized we'd grown so much and learned more about each other than we probably would have otherwise.

The Man and I also bonded in another way this year.  We recently read a book together--not unusual, we just do things like that--and both got a lot out of the book.  We learned how to cooperate with our unique personalities and now work together even better than in the past.  Though the book was not remotely a "how to help your marriage" kind of read, it ended up being like that for us.  We are considering reading books together more often as we both very much enjoy the shared experience and time together.

Cat naps are common in our house.
Finally being secure enough to plan for the future, The Man and I have shiny new retirement accounts and more than two boxes of mac and cheese in our pantry.  We have devoted a lot of time and energy to ensure safety and success in the future, and knowing that we don't have to worry as much about "tomorrow" is a wonderful feeling.

We have had some time for fun this year, despite some unhappy events.  I finished my first king-sized quilt last spring, made a few pretty cards this summer, and we went on our very first camping trip together.  The Man went on three separate week-long business trips in the spring, so he visited a few new states and discovered a bit more of the world outside of Oregon.  We just celebrated our fourth anniversary, and we both recently turned 30 this year (Holy adulthood, Batman!).  Though there have been difficulties, we are both thankful to have experienced them, and we're hoping for a slightly less dramatic remainder of 2013.

1 comment:

Jules said...

We are currently reading a book together by Gary Thomas "Sacred Marriage" - highly recommend. Curious as to the title of your book.