Monday, December 31, 2012

Year In Photo-Review

Instead of thousands of words
or links to previous posts,
this year, I'm posting our year-in-review in photos only.

And by "photos only," I really mean that this will be a really long list of photos with NOT AS MANY words from me that you would normally be accustomed to if you are a regular here on the blog-block.

Without further ado....2012:

Me:  Writing Work.
Spent this year on writing for the QC Times.
Love the work and the editor I work for.
I cannot explain how satisfying it is to get the assignments about people who are passionate about what they do, and get to write about them.  Makes me want to live out my own story better.
I'm hoping to build on the work that I do for the Times in a more personal way in the next year.  Either as a blogger or by putting some of the "stories behind the stories" together for regular readers to follow-up on as far as what goes to print.  

Claire Studies.
Yes, sometimes we have to get creative around here with making studying "fun."
Even if that means educating the cat.

Brady signs with Iowa Central Community College.

Nathan gets his school permit.
I'm putting this to good use by making him drive his sisters to practices.
And invoking fear on all of them.

Marisa sings a solo/duet in 8th grade in front of a crowd including just about the entire town we live in.... the grandparents.  
She is braver than she gives herself credit for.

Photo of me and my baby.
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Claire went out for the Youth Sports Foundation Track team this year.  
She found a sport she loves.

Speaking of "sports we love," this kid loves to golf.

And this kid also loves track.  She has goals of going to state in high school.

Which brings me to talk about state track in high school:
This kid went to state in the discus and shot.
And he did amazing things there.  
Placed 2nd in the shot and in the top 8 (i can't remember exactly where in the finals) in the disc.

Tookie at her very last elementary chorus concert:  My little bug giving me a flower.

Spring Sports:  
Tookie playing softball.

I'ts not a sport, unless you are a writer...then obviously, yes it is.
Claire wins an essay contest in 5th grade.

My 8th grader moves up to high school softball.  
Marz is stealing 3rd base here.
(rest assured we only encourage stealing in softball and baseball)

The last day of school in May, 2012
it feels so wrong that the Wildcat drove them to school.

Brady graduates from high school.
I took lots of photos of him at the 11th hour and found out that I'm not too bad at taking senior photos.

Tookie is my disco star.

Summer, 2012:

Nathan playing 2nd base.

Tookie and Claire go to church camp.
Who knew they could pretend that they love each other for a week straight?

I re-activated my massage therapy license.  
The writing work is GREAT work,
but this writer needs to pay the bills too.
I started out at a local salon and then stumbled upon an opportunity to work in the neighboring town. 
This came as a blessing I could not have even anticipated as the weeks and months of 2012 marched on.  The people I work with and for have taken such good care of me.

Photo of the Year:
This one was taken at the Miracles Can Happen Boys Ranch in the Fall of 2012.
Notice "shades" on the left
And the tongue-sticking-out right next to "shades"
And the cute smile next
And the big brother trying his best to deal with it all.
This photo
Sums up the dynamics in these kids.

School starts and Tookie takes up band.
She plays Marz's old saxophone.  

First day of school, 2012

Fall softball

Brady moves to college.

Nathan plays football:
Here he is after a game with Marz.

Nathan did a lot of QB the beginning of the season.  
By title, the QB does alot of leading.
The end of the season this kid was on the sidelines....
...but was still able to prove his leadership qualities while there.
This mama is proud and inspired at the same time.

Brinn played volleyball.
All of the photos I have of her are from a distance during these few months.
Because that is what she wanted:  distance.  
Probably my first real test in this area.

A visit from a best friend-to-the-wildcat
I got to know this girl over 2012 while I wrote letters of recommendation for her for scholarship applications.
She still chooses to come visit us when she can.
And let me know when she is town.
I am certain that she will prove every foster-child-in-the-system "statistic" wrong.
and she will have her foster family 
to thank for that.
I feel honored to be a character in her story.

2 sisters-and-a-friend
Spending Wednesday Night Family nights at church.
These nights prove that God loves and wants to be a part of 
camp, rock climbing, weird games and funky food-eating contests.  

The Wildcat singing in front of the high school for battle of the bands contest:

Homecoming Photos:

Oh my, where did this gorgeous beauty come from?

Nathan and his date.
Just friends, but still a sweet story.

Brother and Sister
Sophomore and Freshman

My first very own volleyball player:

Late Fall and Early Winter:

In the hospital with the Wildcat

See the smile here?
That smile, along with the mama instinct/adrenaline is what kept me going.

Here is what I want to say about this photo...
When Nathan was hooked up to every monitor you could imagine in a hospital, he set them all off on a regular basis.  He couldn't help it, it was the condition he was in.
But what was so funny, was that he found the "funny" in the middle of all of this!

Every time he sat up or stood up, the monitors that we could't hear but the nurses station could went off.  

And as much as he could, he made a game out of it.

....forcing my hand as mama to make a game out of all of the wires hooked to his head.

Isn't he cute trying to smile with all of this?

Test after test forced us to be transported by ambulance (with a side of blood transfusion)
to the University Hospital:
(still smiling for mama)
(did i mention that this smile kept me going?)

Bored at the University
Having sister push him around in the wheelchair.

And sister watch inappropriate-for-the-little-sisters movies on the laptop:

After the bone marrow biopsy test for leukemia came back NEGATIVE! 
The nurse takes the IV out and we are released to go home.

When we got home, our cat went missing.  
1 week and a small miracle later, she was returned to us.

Marz was in the fall musical.  
She is the granny in the Little Red Riding Hood scenes.

Football games with Ty:
Praying before the game.

Doing work in the game:

Saying goodbye to the old house:

Dressing up for home basketball games: 

Home game warmups:  Brinn # 24 Marz #42
Sort of a mirror image:

In the waiting room for more blood tests for Nathan.
We still aren't out of the woods with all of this health stuff with him.
But we do know that he does not have leukemia, which makes all of the health stuff we do need to deal with a whole lot easier to swallow.

Taken at a funeral home in the Quad Cities.  
I hate what this photo reminds me of, but subsequently am reminded of the life beyond the grave at the same time.  
God is good
Even when life isn't.

Photo in front of our new home: 

And in front of our new tree:

Christmas eve movie at our new home with Brian and Brinn:

Still not out of the woods yet with testing and follow-up at the University with this kid.

But there is definitely something to be said about being "SCARED TO DEATH" 
that can
Scare You To Life.

My high schoolers are always saying "YOLO."
Meaning "you only live once."

At the end of every year, I am always reminded of how you only get one chance to live the year out.
And make resolutions for the next year.

I have some resolutions.
And they are different now than they would have been a(ny) year ago.

These resolutions have more to do with each day than the year.

And when I think of my long-term goals that deal with each year, i realize that it can actually be broken down into each day.

For me
For my kids.