On other birthdays I've made a list of important things from the past year and this has been a fairly notable year for our family, so I feel compelled to make a list of thirty-three things I don't want to forget.
1. Isaac learned to eat. He still has the feeding tube for his medication and in case of an illness. He is on a strict feeding schedule and it can be quite trying to feed him but supposedly at school he feeds himself and doesn't need any prompting--I'm not bitter about that at all.
2. I lived away from Walter, Isabella, and my dogs, in a hospital room for five weeks, and survived.
3. My friends are amazing and supportive, and I couldn't imagine this journey without them.
4. I want a pack of German Shepherds. They are weirdest, most sensitive and emotional dogs (I guess that means we have a lot in common) but I love them.
6. I enjoy working on projects with Walter.
7. I find it slightly hilarious that Isabella is a "cafeteria worker" and is 'paid' with a free lunch on Mondays.
8. I learned how to play the guitar...and recently gave up playing the guitar.
9. I took a surfing lesson. This was a serious boundary breaker for me. First of all, I don't like water; I don't even really like to shower. Secondly, I'm not one to go out of my comfort zone.
10. I flew to Dallas, Texas for the second time to visit my sister and didn't spend the whole flight crying and imagining myself spiraling from the air to a messy death.
11. I work for All Dogs Go to Kevin and get to work some amazing people.
12. It's refreshing to have friends who don't have kids.
13. Walter does most of the unloading and loading of the dishwasher now.
14. I love cooking for my family, but I'm also okay with less-than-healthy quick meals on busy nights.
15. Sometimes I buy Cheetos and hide them from Walter and then he finds them and says, "you've been eating these without me?!"
16. I love to knit.
17. A few years ago we started going to a church in a diverse community and it's been a wonderful experience for our whole family.
18. I like to sit quietly.
19. I enjoy walking through the woods alone with my dog.
20. I like to make people laugh.
21. I love when other people make me laugh.
22. I don't take life too seriously.
23. I love good coffee.
24. I take naps and don't feel guilty.
25. I'm going to take a drawing class.
26. Both of my kids are in school and I have more freedom than I've had in the last nine years. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with all of this freedom. But most days, it doesn't work out as I'd expect because I'm bound to get a call from the school about one thing or another. This freedom has also afforded me the opportunity to be readily available for friends in need, and this is something I appreciate being able to do.
27. Charley has brought new life to our eleven year old Stella. This is good because I don't know what I'll do without her.
28. I think I'm finally at peace with being a mom and a wife. I know that sounds weird, but I've often felt desperate for something more and felt like I was just waiting for the kids to be old enough for me to live my life, but I've learned that I am living my life, and I don't need a higher degree, or a special job to feel better about myself.
29. I still want to write a book. I'm sure it will happen, but I don't think it's going to happen the way I expect it to, and I'm not in a rush.
30. I like houseplants, and I've actually managed to keep a few alive. Particularly the one that "thrives on neglect".
31. My book club still meets once a month and these are the women I feel safest with.
32. Taking a liquid iron supplement and a high dose of Vitamin D is probably the best thing I could start doing for myself. It makes me feel like a different person.
33. Our little family of four, plus two dogs, in a relatively small house, is exactly what I want and where I want to be.