2018 was a challenging year; it had its highs and lows, as does every year, but, the lows were pretty damn low, which, made for the challenges, I guess.
On the bright side, in just mere hours, we will shrug it off like a well-worn coat, exchanging it for something new and fluffy, and far less threadbare. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look back at it one last time, before we donate it to the annals of history.
We sent the Man-Cub back to Hawaii for his second semester at HPU. It was a bittersweet parting, but, it was clear that the Cub was ready to be back on sandier soil.
We celebrated Queen B’s 22nd birthday with a Girls Day Out that included an art project, wine, cheese, and a scary movie on Netflix (her choice, weirdo) . I am still wrapping my brain around the fact that she is 22 (well, hell, now she's almost 23!).
I also got to take a trip with The Girls, which was highly overdue and entirely awesome; we went to Santa Fe, for spa treatments, wine, authentic Mexican cuisine, and bonding like only life-long friends can do.
I hosted a table at the annual Spring Luncheon fundraiser hosted by the women’s club to which I used to belong. I hadn’t hosted in several years, but, it was just like riding a bike. Mom, Queen B, Jana, and Emily were guests at my table and it was a really nice way to spend a spring afternoon.
We welcomed Boomer into our home and hearts. I still wonder what his story was, prior to becoming part of our family, but, whatever the beginning of his story, I’m glad it ends with us.
The Man-Cub arrived back on Colorado soil and promptly got a job in Neighboring City, moving in with Queen B, Katie, and Mikey. All of my “children” under one roof made for a very happy mama.
And, in May, one of those children graduated from college! I could not have been more proud of Katie if she were actually my own biological child. She’s an amazing young woman and, watching her mature continues to be a privilege that I cherish.
Summer months generally start to blend together in my memory, long, lazy days seem to overlap and the activities associated with them blur into one long stretch of gardening, sipping drinks on the porch, watching the Man-Cub play baseball, and breathing in the scent of food cooking on the grill; this summer was no different.
One thing that stands out about June, however, was the afternoon that Queen B and I spent with Mom, my sister Barbie, and Barbie’s college roommate at the winery in Neighboring City, where Queen B was doing her college internship; it was a gorgeous day and a very relaxing way to spend time with people I love.
I also had the opportunity to hone my photo skill in June; the Rodeo Prince and Princess asked me to take their engagement pictures, which, turned out pretty damn great, if I do say so, myself.
And, I got to do something that had been on my bucket list for ages: I went cherry picking with Jana! It was just as awesome as I always thought it would be and I enjoyed it, thoroughly.
Then, we went to the winery for cheese and wine, as one does after a morning of cherry picking.
July started off rough, and, looking back, that’s when the year sort of started sliding downward. I don’t really want to dwell on that, though, so I’ll focus on the better parts of the month, including; a road trip with Queen B! Stampede has not been the same since Dad passed away, but, the Queen and I made the trip to the Valley, anyway. We got to see people we don’t get to see very often, and, we got some much-needed downtime. That’s always a positive thing.
I attended the local corn festival for the first time in ages, and, was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had. Of course, I was with Jana, which always makes for a good time, but, still. I also experienced the most amazing Caprese crepe, and, am still trying to recreate it at home.
I also got to travel to Mayberry again, this time to host the Rodeo Princess’s bridal shower, which, went amazingly well.
Then, the Man-Cub returned to Hawaii and Queen B started her final semester at CMU; two events that heralded the arrival of fall.
First up was the Rodeo Princess’s wedding! It was a beautiful event, on a gorgeous day, and a good time was had by all!
Speaking of good times: in September, Queen B, Katie, and I completed another item on my bucket list: a bicycle tour of the wineries in Neighboring City. We had a great time, and, it was completely worth the saddle-soreness that we all complained about later in the day.
Also in September, Hugh and I quietly celebrated our 25th anniversary. It’s true what they say; the days are long but the years are short.
Let’s just get this out right away; I did not like October. What is usually my favorite month of the year was a nightmare in 2018. Events conspired to bring us all down, and, combined with it being the anniversary month of my Dad’s passing; made for a month that I was happy to see in the rear view.
With that said; my Halloween decorations were at least on point.
And, in an effort to provide a yin/yang perspective of the month, I submit the following:
Yin- My old Tahoe began to show signs of imminent death, and, we were forced to put him out of
our his misery/Yang- Mama got a brand new ride.
Yin- My garden was overrun with tiny-and, not so tiny- bugs/Yang- It was already harvest time and I was mentally over it by then, so, ripping it all up felt cathartic. As a side note, I will not be planting a garden in 2019; the effort is no longer worth the vegetables, nor does gardening bring me the therapeutic release that it once did, rather, it causes stress and anxiety, neither of which I hope to cultivate in abundance in 2019.
Yin- My kids walked through hell on individual journeys/Yang- They all came out on the other side; singed, certainly, but, capable of healing.
And, ending the month on a prettier note; Queen B’s senior photo shoot was a success.
I turned fifty and the people in my life showed up; there is no greater blessing.
Queen B graduated from college. Hugh and I could not be more proud of her; she worked hard for the honor and, while she did great, I know that it didn’t always come easily. Her determination and strength inspire me.
The Man-Cub was also home, and, he humored me with a date; nothing says Christmas like freezing your ass off looking at lights.
We were all together for Christmas, and, we are fortunate to have had gifts under the tree, a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and love in our hearts.
But, mostly, we were together; I don’t take that for granted.
And, that wraps up 2018. Tomorrow, we will welcome a brand new year; an opportunity for new challenges and experiences, and, God willing; for love, laughter, happiness, joy, and peace.
Happy New Year!