Fans? Still!?!

These show up in our mailbox several times each year----still.  The ones that are the funniest are the ones that say, "I am your biggest fan!" Most are from those just trying to complete collections of minor/major league baseball cards.  Mike always signs them and sends them back --- laughing all along.  Honest or not, it's still a little flattering and something the kids enjoy seeing.  They're proud of their dad.


These Things Happened

 Murphy got a new bunny, but he he quickly ate it.

We had an ice storm --- 

--- and a whole week off from school!

 Celebrated one last night being ten at the MTSU game.


Celebrating the Brutiful* on NYE

I realize that writing this is like writing an annual Christmas letter in Bizarro World.  It doesn't highlight all the shiny, happy moments.  And, honestly, when put into perspective, it wasn't that bad.

However.  However, there was a lot of yucky in 2014.  It started with six days of no heat (and the need for a new HVAC system) during the Polar Vortex that was January.  Kyle's black eye happened just a few weeks before Murphy ate one of Cameron's socks.  I ran into a mailbox (twice) this year and work got so stressful last spring that I lost 15 pounds (which I've sadly regained).  Our van's sliding door started filling up with water every time it rained, and it would oftentimes not turn off when we needed to park it/get out of it (leading to the necessary purchase of a new car). We've all been sick a few times, my arthritis got so bad that I've had to get rid of all my high heels (the horror!), and Mike continues to be tested for possible kidney problems (he even gets to enjoy an MRI on his brain this week).  Cameron has had a few difficulties with academics and 'girl drama' seems to be starting among her group of friends.  Additionally, some of my favorites passed this year:  Alice from Brady Bunch, The Professor from Gilligan's Island, Danny Zuko's Coach in Grease, Mr. Keating from Dead Poet's Society, and Maya.  Yes, I know those are fictional friends and people I admired from afar.  I have it in perspective, but it adds to the "Lots of Yucky."

And yet.  And yet, we survived.  And we laughed.  And we grew.  There were moments of amazing and remarkable and hilarious and peaceful and fun.

As Glennon Doyle Melton (whom I got to hear speak in Nashville this year!) says, "Nobody's life or family is perfect.  Every family is brutiful. And so what we are celebrating today is not how things should be --- but how they ARE.  Messy and beautiful and human.  If messy and human and poor and a little broken and totally unconventional and even scandalous is good enough for God's little family -- it's good enough for yours, too.  Let yourself and your people be messy and beautiful and human today.  Don't try to fix them, just love them.  Don't try to fix yourself, just love yourself.  Let it all be."

So we're gonna' let it be and slide into 2015 with hopes for better. We'll rest and try again.

*brutal + beautiful