- My mom and I were able to go snowshoeing this past week. We are having another snowstorm, so I see more snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the near future. It’s been a very snowy late winter.
- My daughter and her husband got a new kitten this past week. I’m grateful she is adding joy to their lives.
- Volunteer time; it was good to go back after taking a couple weeks off.
- I had an eye exam this past week and will be getting new glasses. I’ve been having some minor problems with my eyes, mainly sensitive, irritated eyes with blurry vision caused by a blocked tear gland. I can’t even cry right anymore. Seriously, at this point I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry. I’m grateful to find out what is going on and that it will be a long time before I have to go back again.
- I signed up for a motorcycle class at the local Harley Davidson. I’ve been thinking about it for years but have been nervous about signing up, so now I did.
- I saw my first robin this past week. Even though there is tons of snow on the ground and more coming…spring will be here soon…right??
- We had a volunteer night at the sailing club to put our summer sailing brochures in envelopes. Previously our friends Harv and Kate were doing it themselves and it took them 6 hours. With a large group, we got the job done in a half an hour.
- It was nice to see Harv and Kate again. They are somewhere around 90 years old and Harv has been in poor health. I’m grateful to have some wonderful older friends to look up to. They have been married for 62 years and are a great example of what marriage can be.
- As a Christmas gift, we had our pastor and his family over to grill out and swim. It was a lot of fun to see the little kids having fun in the pool.
- We also had our friends over for trip planning last night. Next month we are taking a road trip to Traverse City, Michigan. We had a good visit.
- While our friends were here last night, we saw a red fox walk right by the window. That’s not something we see very often.
It’s hard to believe in a couple days we will be kissing 2022 good-bye. It’s been an interesting year with a lot of changes. I’ll highlight the highs and lows of the year.
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. In January of this year, we had to put down our 14 year old Beagle. We had him since he was a puppy. It was hard to let him go, but I feel good we were able to provide him with a loving home the time he was with us.
This year I was diagnosed with arthritis. This was the first year in over a decade that I didn’t log any running miles or do any races. This has been a huge change for me and at times hard for me to accept.
This year I travelled within the United States. Here is the list of areas I visited:
- Washington D.C.
I crossed 4 out of 9 off my bucket list.
My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Yellowstone by Old Faithful. It’s hard to believe we have been married 25 years already and I’ve known my husband half of his life. It’s something worth celebrating.
Our daughter got married this year to a wonderful guy. They bought their first house, have great jobs, and are 100% independent. What a blessing they have been to each other and us.
We tackled some big remodeling projects.
We joined a new church.
This is the first full year ALL of our children are adults and are living their own lives which has many ups and downs. I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of things and no one is ever totally ready for that.
That’s about all I can think of right now.
What are my plans for 2023? I don’t do resolutions. I want to think I try to be the best person I can be every day. I don’t have any big goals. I want to continue to help others. I want to continue to work on my issues for a stronger marriage and a healthier me. I want to continue travelling and plan on crossing South America off my bucket list in February. Other than that, the rest is just life which I will be writing about as it unfolds.
Happy New Year!!
Gratitude week 156
- Spending Christmas with my kids and their significant others.
- Spending three weekends in a row celebrating Christmas with my kids and their significant others. I am really blessed to have adult children living nearby.
- Spending Christmas Eve with my husband, best friend and her family.
- The candlelight Christmas Eve service.
- My son and his girlfriend got into a car accident on Christmas Eve. A lady blew a red light and hit them. I’m really grateful they were safe in the accident. I am really, really hoping and praying his car isn’t totaled as he has only had it for a month.
- My son Alex does not always wear his seatbelt which his girlfriend and I have been giving him a hard time about. He said previously if he thought he was going to get into an accident he would slip it on real quick. I asked him how that worked out for him. He said from now on he is going to wear a seatbelt.
- I gave and got some really cool gifts. Among my favorites are the Lake of Tears vinyl record, several books including A Father’s Story by Lionel Dahmer, and a magnet fishing kit.
- We had a white Christmas.
- The wind chills are finally above zero.
- We had a great night on Friday sampling beer, eating pizza, and watching the Bucks game with our employee and friend James plus Angel and Dan. Because it was incredibly cold and snowy not all the pizza places were open. When the delivery driver got here, she said she got stuck in someone’s driveway and was sorry she was late. I’m grateful for people who show up to work on a holiday weekend with bad weather conditions. I gave her a good tip.
- Volunteering at Christmastime. Seeing the joy of people in need receiving special gifts at Christmas time. There were a lot of clothes donations at Christmastime, so my mom, Angel and I helped with the sorting today.
- In addition to our own counselors, Paul and I started seeing a couples counselor familiar with our family history. Our marriage is not in trouble. We thought it would help us get through some difficult areas we need to work through mainly with family of origin issues. After one session, she has already been very insightful and I’m hoping it will enhance our relationship.
Gratitude week 153
- Well, since I have not left the house since last week’s gratitude list…I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to get a lot of things done online I was once only able to leave the house to do.
- Clean sheets…again.
- To be feeling better every day.
- As of last night I pretty much finished all of my Christmas shopping.
- My husband and his friend got a huge home project done. Because of them, we are ahead of schedule on the home renovation projects.
- My husband did a great job keeping everything running while I was sick. He was very supportive.
- If I had to get sick, it was a good time for it since I didn’t have to cancel a lot of plans.
- I did have to cancel going to an open house at the spa I got non-refundable tickets for. The good news was that I received a text saying I won a $1,000 gift card to the spa.
- I am eating real food again.
- My husband and I started playing a new to us card game of gin rummy.
My letter from the bride and groom
Thank you for standing up in our wedding. You and I have always had such a close bond. I cherish our many memories we have made together. Some of my favorite memories include running with you in the mornings, going on the train ride at Disney, and the many community theater shows we were in together. I remember sitting down while you attempted to put makeup on my twitchy eyes. You will always be my best friend and person I turn to during hard times. You are strong, hard working, and patient. The love I have for you can’t be put into words. You are the best mom a girl could ask for. Thank you for the time you put into raising me and the investment in giving Dan and I our dream wedding. You always have my back and I love and appreciate you so much.
Thank you for all of your contributions to our wedding, and for raising such a wonderful daughter. I feel very fortunate to have you for a mother-in-law and future grandmother to our children. I look forward to becoming a member of your family.
Angel gave me this note right before the wedding ceremony. It was hard to keep a dry eye and this was a very special touch. I am so excited for them as they start the next chapter of their life together. I know my daughter married the right man. I can’t even describe how joyous their day was to me. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
My daughter’s wedding
I awoke early after a restless night of sleep. Once the day started it went by fast, although I felt like I was moving in slow motion. Although tired, I was feeling pretty good. All the bridesmaids showed up around 10 AM. Afterwards there was a flurry of activity. My friend Lisa showed up to do my daughter’s hair and we ended up going to the store to buy ingredients for mimosas. I also opened an expensive bottle of champagne sent from our foreign exchange student from France. I was just waiting for a special day. It wasn’t long after we got back that the photographer arrived for pictures.
It was a gorgeous autumn morning. Angel bought us robes to get ready in that said bridesmaids on it. I got ready here and there. Angel didn’t sleep much the night before and her stomach was too upset to eat or sip champagne that morning or even the evening before. There were a couple little problems like the light burning out in the bathroom everyone was getting ready in. Arabella found they never removed the big plastic tag from her dress at the store and left in a hurry leaving her dress shoes behind to get the tag removed. I set out snacks for everyone. Just like that it was time to leave and I left the house a mess. Angel was getting very anxious about leaving on time and everyone else started getting anxious too. Angel lost her phone and we couldn’t find it anywhere. She was ready to leave without it, but it was found at the last minute.
Angel was a big mess at the church. She put her dress on and started crying. She gave everyone little notes to read. I will share mine at a later date. It was hard not to cry as well. The ceremony itself was excellent. They rented a wedding chapel and minister. I was really pleased with how everything turned out. After the ceremony was over, I felt immensely relieved. We took a couple family pictures outside. Paul’s step-dad asked me where my dad was. I guess we never told him and probably never will. I told him my dad was not well enough to be there. Darryl sighed and rolled his eyes. No one mentioned my dad again the rest of the day.
After a few pictures, the limo was ready for us. We stopped at several places to take pictures. For a picture, the guys pulled out some cigars. I said the girls needed cigar pictures too, so we did. We cracked open all the leftover bottles of champagne from earlier that morning. We even had a picture in the park where Dan shook a bottle of champagne and it sprayed everywhere. I can’t wait to see the pictures because I really didn’t take many even though I was supposed to.
It was really a lot of fun to spend the day with Angel and Dan. They were so happy. After pictures, we still had some time left in the limo so we stopped at a bar where the best man bought everyone a round of Fireball shots. Then it was off to the reception hall for the grand march and dinner. I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea. Go big or go home. Paul did an amazing job with his prayer. I was so impressed. The maid of honor also had an amazing speech.
I probably had a little too much to drink. I wasn’t the only one. But it was a great night and we all had a lot of fun. I tried to make the rounds and talk to everyone. Most of the night, though, you could find me on the dance floor. The music was great. I was hugging everyone which is pretty out of character for me. When I wasn’t on the dance floor I was outside with the smokers cracking jokes, giving unsolicited advice, and telling people to stop smoking (even complete strangers). Then I came right back to the dance floor dancing and sampling random people’s drinks. Everyone had a great time, especially the bride and groom. Everyone clapped and cheered for them. The atmosphere was that of festive celebration because everyone was happy for them because they are great together. It was the best wedding I’ve ever attended. My daughter did a great job with planning and picking the right guy.
I can’t believe by this time tomorrow my daughter will be changing her name. It seems surreal to me right now. They are getting really excited for the big day tomorrow.
My husband will be saying the dinner prayer and he is really nervous about it. I told him no one is going to remember it unless he accidentally says the f word or something. My son is going to be an usher and he is nervous about that. I don’t feel any different than any other day really. And that is the joy of struggling with anxiety. I’m used to feeling this way. There has to be some perks.
I’ve spent the last couple of days just getting ready. Mom and I went and got our nails done. I made the beds for guests tonight. Angel will be staying over with a bridesmaid. Arabella and Will will be staying too just to make sure they are up and ready in time. Angel is getting ready here with her bridesmaids so I bought some easy lunch foods. I expect somewhere around a dozen people being in and out of the house tomorrow morning. Then we may or may not have overnight guests the night of the wedding.
In a couple hours will be the rehearsal and dinner afterwards. I expect it will really hit me and I will be nervous then. Hopefully we will be able to sleep tonight!
Tomorrow Dan and Angel will begin their married life together. I can’t believe my daughter is getting married tomorrow. I am so happy and excited for them. I hope they will be blessed with many wonderful years together. One more day…
My dress fits! Yeah!! The alterations didn’t take too long and I was able to see my daughter in her wedding dress which looks absolutely gorgeous on her.
Angel is keeping up with the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Her future MIL is taking my grandma’s wedding dress and making a little handkerchief out of a piece of it. So, in a way, my grandma will be a part of the ceremony.
I remember when I was 12 years old, I tried on my grandma’s wedding dress. I told her when I got married I was going to wear it. That never happened. My grandma was a short woman and the dress pretty much fit me at age 12. Grandma never had a daughter or even another granddaughter so I ended up with her wedding dress. It was a very plain dress. It sat in a box untouched for many decades. It’s almost been 80 years since she got married. Over time, the dress started to fade. The buttons on the back of the dress rusted and bled into the dress.
I never thought the dress would be used again, but now it is. It’s special to me because my grandma was the number one positive influence in my childhood. I don’t know where I would be today without her. Now a part of her will be with us on my daughter’s special day.
I can’t believe we only have 4 more days to go until the big day. So far the weather is looking really good for Saturday. One less thing to worry about. And our dresses are ready to go, even my grandma’s.
Gratitude week 138
- I’m trying to enjoy what’s left of summer. In August we have the best weather here in Wisconsin. The stormy hot days of summer have mostly reached their end with warm days and cool evenings.
- This past week I ate, slept, breathed, cooked, cleaned, and shopped everything bridal shower. The bridal shower for my daughter Angel went better than I even expected it to.
- We had some difficult people attending the shower, but even they were on their best behavior. My sister-in-law Carla who we had issues with earlier this summer was a model aunt. She was over the top friendly towards my family which was greatly appreciated.
- I couldn’t have done the shower justice without the help of my daughter’s future mother-in-law. I’m grateful for all of her help. She’s one of those crafty type people and made a majority of the shower gifts. It seems like everyone went home with at least two gifts. She did pretty much all the decorations as well. She bought a balloon arch which I still have set up in my house with another 30 to 40 stray balloons everywhere. (I’m not too entirely grateful about that).
- I’m grateful that Angel, her future MIL, and myself stayed healthy. There is no way the shower would’ve happened if we were not able to be a part of it. My daughter Arabella had to miss the shower because she has COVID. It seems like everyone is sick again.
- I’m grateful that my daughter received a lot of nice gifts for their house. It seems like there will be a lot of cooking for them in the future.
- I’m grateful that after this past week the following week looks like it’s going to be low key.
- Leftover party food so I don’t have to do a lot of cooking.
- I’m grateful my daughter picked a great guy to marry.
- I’m grateful I don’t have to do any weeding for awhile after all of the weeding I did this past week.
- Everything has been cleaned up from the shower (except the balloons!!).
- My sister-in-law Emily spent the night with my two nieces on Friday night. It was the first time I saw my sister-in-law this calendar year. We don’t get together with family often enough, especially since COVID so it was nice to catch up.
Gratitude week 136
- I checked Montana off my bucket list. Nine states left to go and I’m planning on crossing off another state in a couple months.
- My new phone takes amazing pictures which I am hoping to share with you this week.
- I love to travel but nothing beats sleeping at home in my own bed.
- Visiting Yellowstone.
- Getting caught up on my long to do list after getting back home.
- Uneventful flights.
- Being married to a wonderful guy for 25 years.
- Having a husband who is as adventurous as I am and likes to travel.
- The house was still standing when we got back home.