In preparation for this entry, I flipped back through the archives, re-reading things from this time last year. Back then, my belly was tricked out in pre-birthin' style, as we all eagerly awaited Bobby's arrival and I had enjoyed a fabulous 40th birthday. I'm not sure if we had any grand hopes for 2009, other than the safe arrival of a healthy baby boy... but here's what else we got:
January: Celebrated Tyler's 17th birthday and braced ourselves for sub-zero temps which resulted in the kids having more days off from school then any parent should have to endure.
February/March: Celebrated Sam's 7th birthday and enjoyed counting down to the baby's due date around March 21. Imagine our surprise when the OB told us he wasn't comfortable waiting that long. We chose March 14 as the new date (I loved calling him our "Little Pi Baby"... 3.14... get it?) Then he said choose something sooner. Hello, Sunday, March 1... Bobby's Birthday. Also was fortunate enough to welcome friends and family into town that weekend for a baby shower, and meeting the newest family member the next day. Celebrated Kate's 15th birthday on the 17th with a party here at the house. Looking forward to Sweet 16 in 2010!
April: Celebrated Easter (Orthodox) and marveled at how wonderfully Jeff executes home improvement projects. He would continue to amaze me the remainder of the year with these projects.
May: Enjoyed a lovely Mother's Day. I love that Jeff and I are blessed with six children in this incredible "yours, mine & ours" family. I would change nothing. Ever.
June: Jeff and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. One year down,... and looking forward to countless more. Never imagined a love like this was really out there to find. And I am so grateful to have found it. Also celebrated my nephew's graduation from high school, which led me to realize that, even though he was born at the end of my senior year of college,... I can't possibly be that old. Yet.
July: Was witness to the first ever "Cameron Brothers Fireworks Extravaganza." If you ever want to see Jeff and James regress to, say, 10 years old and giggle themselves silly, give them a bag of fireworks and a fire source. Then stand back. Waaaay back. We also celebrated Jeff and James' 39th birthday this month. (Jeff and I reminisced back to one year earlier when we learned I was pregnant on their birthday. This resulted in a few photographs featuring Jeff wearing a tense, polite smile on the outside, while freaking the hell out on the inside.) A much more jovial party this year, despite my job having been axed mid-month. Yet another lesson on learning to roll with the punches.
August: Jack and Charlie began their first season of PAL football, and proceeded to love every last minute of it. They also celebrated their 10th birthday at the end of the month. Additionally, I celebrated the start of school this month, and we all were happy to see Bobby sprout his first two teeth.
September/October: These eight weeks -- give or take -- were a blur of Jack and Charlie's football games and Tyler and Kates marching band competitions. Spent a lot of time in the car, and kudos to Sam and Bobby for being tolerant and supportive of their older siblings' schedules. Jack and Charlie's football season ended with a tough loss in the championship game. They had a shot at redemption when they were invited to play with the intermediate squad at their championship game. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side and they endured a loss there too.
November: We were fortunate to see great honors bestowed on our kids for their hard work. First, Jack and Charlie were awarded Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, respectively, at their football awards banquet. I may have nearly burst with pride. Next, the Snider Marching Band placed well enough at semi-state to perform at the state competition at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy. Their season ended with an eighth place finish at state. I think I can speak for Jeff when I say we are enormously proud of all the kids' accomplishments and honors, and mostly the hard work they put into their activities. The month ended with Tyler and Kate enjoying a marching band trip out East to march in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade. They also visited NYC and had a blast. We missed them over the holiday, but we also traveled East (not quite as far, though) to spend the holiday with my family near Buffalo. While we were there, we took Jack, Charlie, Sam and Bobby to Niagara Falls. A bit cold and misty, but a breathtaking sight nonetheless.
December: With everyone back home from traveling, we prepared for the holiday with our traditional tobogganing trip and enjoyed spending time together. The day we left, Tyler received notification he'd been accepted to Butler University. Then, on Christmas Eve, the mail brought an acceptance letter from Indiana University as well. Talk about two great Christmas gifts!Despite losing power from 7am to noon Christmas Day, it was wonderful. We welcomed family members over for dinner, and--somehow--everything came together beautifully for dinner. I celebrated my 40+1 birthday... with Jeff surprising me with my favorite lunch from Chipotle, a really good book and a crossword-puzzle-a-day calendar. This, I am sure, we BOTH will enjoy throughout 2010.
I noticed we had a lot to celebrate this past year. Sure, we faced challenges and stressful situations, but those aren't even worth mentioning. Looking forward to 2010 being a wonderful year, full of happiness, health and laughter... and wishing that to you and your family as well!