With less than six hours remaining in 2011, I’m forced to think about everything that happened this year. I cried when 2009 and 2010 were over. They had been such pivotal years in my life. The birth of a child. Graduation from Boston College. And all the other stuff, too.
But this year, I cannot wait for the calendar to change. To send 2011 on its way. To usher in a year that will be good for all of us. This time last year, Justin was telling me how difficult 2011 would be. He wasn’t happy in his job. He had what seemed like a thousand classes to finish his MBA. And I tried to dismiss it all, desperate to convince both of us that 2011 would only bring wonderful things.
And it did. It brought Justin a new job where he can work from home. It brought his degree a semester earlier than we thought – congratulations are in order, as he “officially” graduated yesterday! We had extended time with our family – a cruise with Halaree and Uncle Hunter in April, several weeks in Kentucky, Halaree’s trip to Boston in September, the Bourbon Chase, and a family Thanksgiving for the first time since 2004.
But 2011 also proved to be the hardest year either of us has yet to face with the very sudden death of Augusta. Facing a loss that neither of us was prepared for. Learning about the new depths our relationship would reach and finding out how we dealt with our first crisis. And although we weathered our greatest crisis, something good has come from it. It brought us closer together, renewed our need and love for each other. Reaffirmed that we made the right decision in choosing each other.
Now that we are facing a new normal, we are doing our best to look forward to 2012 and leaving the pain of sadness of 2011 behind – careful not to forget the lessons it has taught us. 2012 will be a year of creating family memories, with a trip to Disney World scheduled next week. It will be a year of new jobs and moving closer to home – keeping our fingers crossed on that one. It will be a year of health and happiness (my goal is to lose 30 pounds and run a marathon over Memorial Day weekend).
And now I leave you to go ring in 2012. We are dressed in our best pajamas and ready to take Robbie to his first New Year’s Eve party. After all, what better way to bring in a new year than with a few of your closest friends, some homemade pizza, and your pajamas? Look out 2012! Here come the Mannas!
Erin: just wanted to say that I think of you guys often. And that I’m so in awe of you and proud of you for getting in shape over this past year — you are truly looking the best I’ve ever seen you! I’m excited about the hints that you guys might be moving back to KY (please, oh please!) and that Justin graduated early (I’m jealous!) and that he’s found a job that he’s happier in. Robbie seems to be so happy and so adorable, and you’ve really grown as a person as a mother — I’m hoping that one day I’ll be blessed with my own and he’ll bring out the best in me as well. Most of all I see the renewed love that you both have for each other and the strength you gain from each other and it continues to renew my faith in love and in marriage — you guys are doing it right. I wish you all so much love and luck for 2012, and I know you’ll reach your goal for running a marathon this Memorial Day weekend! If you are back in KY for good soon (and in Louisville, which is where I was gathering you might relocate to), let me know if you’d like a very slow training partner! 🙂
Thank you so much, Andrea! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I needed that right now. We are hoping to be back in Kentucky (ideally Lexington, but Louisville is still much closer than Boston!) in six months. There are a lot of pieces that need to fall into place, but I have faith that we’ll land where we are supposed to be. And I would love a running partner – slow or otherwise! We are planning to be in town again in February. Let’s try to get together. It’s been way too long!