I've tried to write this year in review a few times without it sounding too maudlin. Speaking candidly, 2011 is a year I am glad to have over and I am looking forward to 2012 and the promise that it brings.
As the year draws to a close, I have weathered some significant storms. There were moments when I thought, 'Can there really be anything else coming?' Some things will take more time to play out fully, but I think that at the end of 2011, things are looking a bit brighter.
We all know the hard things that have happened, but there have been some wonderful moments as well. Emma and John are the stars of the circus that is my life. They have been super though all of the changes we have seen this year and I am so happy for all of their achievements. Emma is a happy and determined little ballerina and John makes the most of his talent on the baseball field every day. The best times I have had this year were watching them do the things that they love. The kindness they show each other and to their family and friends makes me wonder how I got so lucky. I am lucky to know a lot of great kids, but they are the best of the best!
My brother Matt and Heidi got married this summer in a beautiful place that we all love. I was honored to speak for them on their special day. It is without any irony in the world that I say that they deserve each other. I will always be grateful for advice and support he has given me over the years. She is a beautiful person who I am so happy to have as a sister.
My parents and sister and rest of the family have been with me at every moment along the way and the kids and I have appreciated the gifts, kindnesses and the places to sleep as we have made our personal adjustments. They say blood is thicker than water and this has been a year where I have fond that be be a very true statement.
That is not to say that I could have done it without my friends. You guys (and ladies) have been an amazing well of support, helping me move in the heat, feeding me, entertaining me and the kids, checking in by text and email and dropping by to say hello, you have made things fun for me again in a way that I cannot begin to thank you for fully.
I'm most sad for the friends I have lost this year, both for me and for my kids. We are who we are today in large part because of all that they have meant to us over the years. However, I am also very happy to have met some new friends int he last few months. With every change there is opportunity and I have appreciated getting to know some new people.
While things have been difficult at times, I have to say it's been a great year in a lot of ways. I have re-discovered my writing voice, both here on the site and in some other work I am doing. At my core I am a writer and that re-birth has been an exciting journey. As someone said to me a few months ago, 'You write better sad.' I don't know about better, but I certainly write MORE. I've also been able to take a lot of photos this year, mostly of the kids, but also of places I have visited, games I have covered and generally everything that is around me.
Sometimes I write, sometimes I take pictures. Either way, I am trying to be more than a journalist of my life. I appreciate all that you friends have done to be part of my life this year.