Wednesday, January 4, 2017

It's a Brand New Year!

1.  Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.

Just one???  It was showing up at the hospital very early Christmas Day to be with Kevin to open presents and to Skype with our youngest son.  It was simply having all the family together, even if it wasn't our ideal situation, what mattered most was that we were ALL there enjoying our time together.

2.  What was the best thing you ate over the holidays?  Was it homemade or store bought?  If it was homemade did you make it?

You said holidays, so we are going to go back to Thanksgiving.  Everything that day was wonderful.  We had turkey, of course and we roasted it in a roasting bag upside down this year and when it came out of the oven it literally just fell off the bone and was very tender.  I don't know if we will cook the turkey that way again simply because it was hard for me to handle getting it out of the oven and out of the pan, but it was very yummy.  We also had a honey baked ham and that was absolutely wonderful.  I let Danielle take that to her home to heat up, since our over was full of turkey, and it was nice and warm when it arrived.  Then we had all the sides.  My wonderful stuffing, two kinds of potatoes.  Mashed and gravy and the Mormon funeral potatoes to go with the ham.  Then we had corn on the cob and green beans.  Then we had a huge veggie tray and a pickle and olive tray.  Plus homemade rolls with real butter.  For dessert we had homemade pumpkin pies, and we also had a lemon, chocolate and pecan pie.  Oh, and chocolate eclair for Kyle.  All in all, Thanksgiving was great!  We aren't a sweet potato or yam kind of family so we didn't make any of those.

3.  What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

Our church has a beautiful Temple here in Mesa and at Christmas it is even more beautiful with all of the Christmas lights.  This year the wards and stakes that devoted all of that time to string lights out did themselves.  It was just stunning.  We never got the chance to walk around the grounds simply because I couldn't be out in the cold and Kevin wasn't up for it either.  We did get the chance to drive by it once or twice to see it and it was gorgeous!  We also saw some amazing things around downtown Mesa we would have loved to check out, but didn't because of me.  There was an outdoor ice-skating rink and this awesome tree.  Lexi and I took a picture of the tree from our car.  Isn't it pretty?

This is the view of the Temple from the car.  

4.  What does fresh start mean to you?

A clean slate, a new beginning, the beginning of a new period in time.  I love new years, although it just means that time continues to fly by. ~ugh!~  I think it's just making up your mind to do things differently.  Moving, changing jobs, getting new friends, starting an exercise routine, losing weight, etc., isn't required unless you want it to be a part of your fresh start.  That's the beauty of this, you get to make this your very own.

5.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being?  Explain.

I don't think 2016 rates higher than a 7.  It wasn't the greatest year for our family and we were uncomfortable most of the year....but that's usually when you learn and grow the most, right?  2016 was financially difficult, personally rough and generally difficult.  I think the things that saved 2016 for us was seeing our oldest child sealed in the Temple and making those sacred covenants with Heavenly Father and her new husband, and the way our Bishop, Relief Society President, and ward family went above and beyond to help us in every way possible, and last but certainly NOT least...the things we learned about ourselves, our relationship as husband and wife, our family, and the closer relationship we gained with our Heavenly Father.  Of course, there is always room for improvement, but over all I'd say the things we gained far outweigh the loses. 

6.  Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English.  Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before. 
Here's the 2017 list of banished words- 
You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

These are all a bit on the stupid side as far as I'm concerned.  I think I would like to see words like "sucks" banished, or a few of, shall we call them, four letter words removed.  Banishing words will not stop people from using them no matter how ugly or nasty they are.  I guess I never really thought about banishing any words other than those swear type words.  I can't think of any other words that annoy me enough to banish them.  I guess that's something to think about.  

7.  Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.

I think the one big one is to make it to all of our church meetings.  Last year I could only make it to Sacrament Meeting most Sunday's because if I stayed for the other two meetings Kevin would be home alone and that doesn't work most of the time.  This year church is earlier so Kyle is home if something happens (last year Kyle would leave right in the middle of all of our Sunday meetings) so I can make it all of the meetings.  Yay!

My other goal is to act less like an introvert.  I know I tend to be more on the introvert side of things and sometimes that gives people "permission" to treat me like I am invisible.  I'm determined to present myself more confidently, to speak up in conversations, and to tell people when they have hurt me rather than letting it fester inside of me and figuratively saying, "It's okay" for others to treat me this way, because it's not.  It's also not okay for me to not try harder.  I may not be able to change completely what other say or do, but I can decide and change how I react and how I present myself.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

A friend of mine was telling me about this family they know.  She said she wanted to tell me about them because she doesn't want me to take the time I have with my husband and our children have with their father for granted.  She said they received a Christmas card from this little family this year.  At the time this family had no idea that in a matter of days their lives would change forever.  On December 15th the husband and father was diagnosed with brain cancer.  On December 29th he died.  Yes, my friends, just that quick!  He had a teenage daughter, a young son, and a beautiful wife.  My friend couldn't help but share their situation with me and I could tell she was hurting for her dear friends.  It made my heart so incredibly sad.  I cannot even begin to understand how this wife and mother feels as she faces the future without her sweet husband and the children as well without their Dad.  I can only imagine they are all still in a state of shock that the reality of it all may not have fully registered as of yet.  

If there is anything this last hospital stay for Kevin has taught me it has been to not take a single moment for granted.  Things can change in an instant as we have witnessed far to often with Kevin.  AND.  Time is to short to let things be left unsaid or to wait.  Kevin had severe sepsis this past Christmas and he is still trying to regain his strength.  I worry about him every single day.  There are times I walk into our bedroom and think I hear him talking with someone saying, "I can't go with you right now.  I have to wait."  I don't even think he knows he is saying these things and I'm to afraid to ask him.  It scares the crap out of me.  Then there are the dreams he had before his hospital stay where he sees his father.  Kevin told me he feels guilty.  For what, I'm not sure.  It all just scares me to much.   Thank goodness since his hospital stay those dreams have stopped.  The talking to people in his sleep just happened last night.  Yikes!  

In a book I was reading the author talked about warning signs that her husband was going to pass away.  Her husband who also was a writer shared a statement and offered to allow his wife to use it in her future writings if she wanted.  She said this was something he had never done before and looking back she wondered if he knew just a week prior when he said it that he would never get the chance to use his statement.  As I thought about that, I often wonder if I will be able to see those so called "warning signs" or will I miss them.  In some ways, I want to see.  In others, I don't.  I think knowing would make me cry if I knew when I was going to lose someone important in my life.  I have to trust that my Heavenly Father knows what I will need if and when the time comes.  All in all, the important thing I need to remember is that our time on this earth is precious and cannot be taken for granted.  It's time to wake up and pay attention.  Enough said.  

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