2009…in a surgically repaired nutshell

As 2008 waned and we cheered in 2009, I am more than certain I never expected to be writing this KIND of holiday letter. But, as they say, c’est la vie!

Our year did start with a bit of a bang…or crack perhaps is more accurate. On February 1st, JR was walking our pooch around the lake, slipped on the ice, and promptly snapped his ankle and fibula in a classic spiral fracture.  Unfortunately, he didn’t know it at the time, so he stood…which didn’t exactly help the situation. Many many painkillers, a metal plate, 7 screws later, JR is almost back to normal. His doc estimates total recovery to be a year or more. It was an interesting anniversary…at least the Steelers won the Superbowl that night (not that you’d know it from the current season – but that’s another letter). We experienced remarkable generosity from our friends and extended family at this time with help coming from all corners – walking our dog, transporting John, and wonderful meals.  Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it…it was very humbling.

JR continues to enjoy his job as a Project Manager. Thankfully, although the economy has been unkind in general, he has been blessed with job security thus far. On March 1st, I (Heather) was offered a new challenge as the Middle School Director at our church. Middle School absolutely SUCKED for most of us, so my personal job motto: “Making Middle School Suck Less”. If I thought for a second I could get away with it on our team t-shirts…you know I would have them printed tomorrow!

The year got significantly better as we enjoyed some wonderful visits with JR’s family and John wrapped up his Kindergarten year. John had a rockin’ birthday party at a local bowling alley and even the tiniest attendees got in on the fun.  One of our littlest ones decided to chase a ball down the lane, and as I went to rescue him, I discovered that magical waxing/grease they put on those lanes (who knew?) and landed flat on my butt. Ah, bowling AND a show. Thankfully, I had smarter friends who rescued me… in their socks…
In July, we headed out on our first real family vacation to Portland, Oregon. Getting out there was insane but John was a trooper, making the two flights without even a DVD play to distract him. He was determined to celebrate the wedding of my cousin Amber and to see “the kiss”. The wedding was phenomenal – on top of Mt. Hood in Oregon, outside on the amazing patio with the glacier rising behind them.  The bride and groom totally hooked us up with lots of things to do. All three of us rode a wicked high ski lift to 8000 ft. JR and John loved it, but I rode most the way white-knuckled and eyes closed. We made the rest of the trip in a whirlwind with a trip out to Canon Beach and Haystack Rock, Tillamook Creamery, downtown Portland for some Voodoo Doughnuts and the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls and Vista House. It was wonderful and we left ready to pack up and move out west!!

We had our first experience with summer camp this year as John attended Camp Sonshine in Silver Spring, MD. On a 60 acre campus, he had run of a huge forest for exploring, creeks, paddle boats, a camp store full of treasures and some wonderful counselors. Not only that, but he spent a week in West Virginia, running around with the Nicholson/Sporka family. He STILL talks about how awesome that was and how he can’t wait to go back.

This fall John started 1st grade & his teacher is amazing – he only has 17 total kids in his class, plus a teaching assistant! He has some attention challenges that we are all working together to address but overall he continues to be an incredibly happy (and funny) child. He has been ridiculously aware of and excited for Christmas this year, only asking Santa for a Nerf Gun, but noticing and claiming EVERY SINGLE toy advertised. Were we this annoying about that as kids? Surely not… (hahahaha).

My mom and grandmother (now 94 and still incredibly active) came up from Florida to celebrate Christmas with us, and to bookend the year with more surgery.  On December 15th, my mom had BOTH knees fully replaced.  While surgery went very well, she would tell you that she was flat-out crazy to have them both done…but I know in the long run she will be so glad. As a bonus, she is in a fantastic rehab facility and is “forced” to work out with a Wii fit! Wrestling with a Wii penguin everyday has brought back the snarky mom we all know and love.

One thing 2009 has taught us?  That there is always HOPE.  We have seen incredible generosity and patience this year and we are more than certain we could not have survived without it. We have been reminded so often and in so many ways that even in the insanity of this self-centered, chaotic, hurting world that we are also deeply loved by a God of Joy, Hope and Peace and it is these things…love, joy, hope and peace that we wish for all of you in 2010.

and here’s hoping I actually learn to blog a wee bit more frequently in 2010.


1 Response to “2009…in a surgically repaired nutshell”

  1. 1 colette
    January 2, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Great wrap up sis and thanks for sharing your journey with us. I look forward to continuing to be amazed and honored by being at least a part of the path you walk. Be blessed.

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