Friday, December 21, 2018

End of the year review

I realize that my blog has mostly been abandoned, but I’m back with a yearly update. I have been meaning to check in for months, but life is busy and I just haven’t done it.

This was a super crazy year, and I’ll be honest, I’m not going to be all that sad to see it go. We started it it with a kitchen remodel, and while our kitchen looks great, it was stressful and our house was torn up for quite some time. It was crappy timing, but we had a water leak in our kitchen that ruined the flooring, so it was sort of a forced kitchen remodel. But I’m happy with the results, so I’m glad we did it.

The first part of the year was crammed with senior stuff for Josh. We did college applications, I helped him do a ton of stuff for scholarship applications, he was the senior class president, so he was in charge of all the senior activities, he had prom on his 18th birthday, where he was crowed prom king, so that was a cool night. Then he graduated twice. Thanks to dual enrollment, he earned his college associate degree from Idaho State University and actually graduated with a college degree a few weeks before he graduated from high school. So we got to see him graduate from ISU and then a few weeks later we got to see him graduate from high school. I could not possibly be more proud of that kid.

After graduation Shawn, Josh and Matthew took a cross country trip for two weeks. Josh won a national leadership award and there was a ceremony in New Orleans, so they went there for a few days, and then immediately after that they went to Washington DC for a week, because Josh and Matthew won the state National History Day competition and got to compete in the national competition in DC. They didn’t win nationals, but they had an awesome time. Then they took a bus from there to New York City and spend a few days being tourists. They got to meet my amazing friend and college mentor, who lives in NYC, which was really fun.

Then after a whirlwind summmer getting Josh ready for college, we moved him to Utah in August. I could say a whole lot of things about how hard it is to send your first child off to college. Ugh. I didn’t think I was going to survive it. You raise a kid for 18 years, and your life basically revolves around them and then suddenly they’re just...gone. Off on their own, living their own life in a whole different state. Josh and I have always been really close, so we talk a lot, but it was really hard to go several months without seeing him in person. But he’s doing absolutely amazing at college. He got great scholarships, he got into the honors college, he got a job he loves at the art museum on campus and he has made lots of friends and had lots of amazing adventures. Because he already has his associate degree, he’s basically a junior in college. So he’s already taking upper level majors courses, and he’s doing great. He’s majoring in statistics, with the goal of becoming an actuary. He’s finishing out this school year and then he’ll actually be taking a break for two years to do missionary work for our church. He will probably leave this summer. We won’t find out where he’s going or when until February. Anyway, he’s happy, thriving and doing awesome. Letting him go was hard, but seeing him thrive on his own as an adult has been so amazing. We successfully raised a kid to adulthood. Go us.

In Matthew news, he’s now a sophomore in high school, and he had a bit of an adjustment after Josh left. The two of them have always been best friends, and they were inseperable last year when they were both in high school together. So he really had to make an adjustment after Josh left, and figure out who he is without Josh. He’s doing really well though, loving school, and he has a super cute girlfriend who seems to make him pretty happy. He’s still playing the piano, and his skill still blows me away. He can listen to pretty much any song and play it by ear after a few minutes. I don’t know how he does it, but I love it.

In Clarissa news, she’s now nine and in 4th grade and is doing awesome. She’s very shy, and that’s something we’ve been working on, but she’s creative, and funny and such a great kid. She loves adventures. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, if it’s new and different, she’s all over it. She’s so excited for Christmas. We put a little Christmas tree in her bedroom and she had a great time decorating it. She loves crafts and art supplies, that’s pretty much all she wants for Christmas this year. We still keep in touch with her birth family and they send her a box of gifts for holidays. They’re wonderful people, I’m so happy to have connected with them. Her birth aunt speaks really good English, so we email back and forth, and I send photos and updates. It’s really an ideal situation, and I’m grateful for it. Everything in Clarissa’s world is going really well. She’s just the best kid ever, and so easy to raise. We sure love her.

In my news, it has been an exhausting year. I’m finishing up my bachelors degree, I only have two classes left and I graduate in April!! It has been a long road, but I’m almost there! I’m also working two full days a week at the high schools, so trying to juggle school and work has been a challenge. I saved all the hardest classes to the end, so this year I’ve taken some really challenging classes, in the middle of trying to work, remodeling our kitchen, doing all the college planning and senior stuff with Josh, dealing with the emotions of sending him off to college, juggling the activities of the other two kids, and dealing with some minor health issues that aren’t life or death but certainly haven’t made things any easier. Basically I’m exhausted 24/7 and not sure how I’m continuing to function, but I just keep pushing forward, because what else can you do? Oh, and in the middle of all of this, I just started my grad school applications. So over the next couple of months I’ll be completing the application process, doing my live interviews and hopefully getting the admissions letter I’m hoping for. If all goes well I graduate with my bachelors degree in April and start grad school in September. Grad school is three more years. I’m tired, you guys. but I’m going to make it, because I’ve come this far and I know that this is what I really want. Bring it on, whatever it takes, I’m doing it.

In Shawn news, he is managing the pharmacy, and it keeps him extremely busy, and extremely stressed. He’s a busy guy. He loves his job, but it’s all consuming sometimes. With him so busy at work and me so busy with school and my job, we’re generally running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but somehow we’re managing to keep it together. Like I said, it’s been a stressful year. Everything is good, just really really reeeeeeeally busy. That’s life though, I guess.

But this week I took my finals, so my semester is done, and today I had my last day of work for the rest of the year (long Christmas vacations are the perk of working at a high school), so now I’m getting ready to settle in for a few weeks of family and holidays and some much needed relaxation. After a tough year, we’ve all earned it.

So there’s my update, in case anyone is still around and wonders whatever happened to me. Life is good, we’re happy, and things are never dull around here. I will probably continue to check in here from time to time. I miss blogging, but these days it’s easier to make a quick post on instagram or Facebook rather than write out long posts. It’s just all I have time for.

Anyway, happy holidays from our family, thanks for checking in!

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