Welcome to the future, everyone!
We made it. For better, or for worse, 2016 exists only as a memory. On behalf of the family here, I’d like to wish you all a happy and healthy year.
I just checked… and it’s been exactly 99 DAYS?!?! since we updated the blog. I could say “oops.” I could apologize and give you some reasons for the time warp. Or… I could just say–hey, we were busy living our life and the world is crazy.
So… What’s been happening since the end of September?
Great question! Let’s go through the highlights:
The 24th marked our 1 year anniversary as a married couple!
We ate, we drank, we were married (last year). We celebrated by going to a Red Wings Game, visiting the Zoo, eating at a fancy restaurant, and reflecting on what we loved about the past year, what we learned the past year, remembering details about our wedding, what hopes and fears we have for the upcoming year, and how fast the first year went by.
We also adopted a dog! (Her name is Cleo. This brings the animal count to 4 and the species count to equal the number of people in the house. Well, you know what they say about cats and dogs and lesbians… 😉
We were lucky enough to be able to spend nearly 2 whole weeks visiting my family in California. We played with babies, and hung out with family, ate a lot of food, and had a great time. We missed my brother and sister-in-law who had some last-minute bad luck and couldn’t visit.
We also got to visit Portland. It was an awesomely nice time for both of us for slightly different reasons: Since leaving Portland for Michigan in 2009, I haven’t been back. And Jen has never been to that part of the country!
We got to see one of my old friends who still lives there and her wife, and did just about all the Portland-things that can be done in exactly 2.5 days.
*Bonus* was hearing just about every popular song from the 2000’s and today at least 5-6 times on the satellite radio of our rental car on our 10.5 hour drive from California -> Oregon. (I realize now that the satellite radio probably had other stations, eh?)
My very first Michigan Christmas experience was magical! It snowed and we watched A Christmas Story and ate all the cookies and Cleo opened a present that didn’t belong to her and Santa brought us new socks and a snowblower!
We also met my sister-in-law’s girlfriend for the very first time! Which was also exciting. And got to spend some time with the two of them. Which doesn’t happen too often since we live in different states.
New Years (Eve)!
Was fun! We were safe and stayed up way past our bedtime and felt like old people because of it. That, coupled with our lives involuntarily juxtaposed against the lives of seemingly-22-year-old-party-girls, reminded us that we’re happy with how life has been going lately and the trajectory our lives are headed in the year ahead.
Just seeing how many vocabulary words I could use in that last paragraph. 😉
The bad stuff!
Wait… Are we talking about bad things that happened? Eek!
As we all know, he-who-must-not-be-named won the US Presidential Election. Which is disappointing, horrifying, shocking, scary, and a bunch of other negatively-charged adjectives I’m sure you already know.
I don’t want to waste too much time here in sad-ville-twilight-zone. There are a million things that come to mind, and a ton of snip-it reflections I wrote over the weeks following the election that may surface one day. And while I wonder and worry about what the future will look like for my family, and while I wait and fear for some of the known and unknown repercussions to come… In my ponderings I realized some better things:
- How lucky I am to live and work in communities that validate and support who I am, who my family is, and recognize value in persons of all sorts of diversity.
- How happy I am to have found friends who love harder than they hate, and help me laugh harder than I cry.
- And how comforted I am that I was raised in a family who taught me acceptance of all people, who showed me that there is always room for more at the table, and instilled in me that there is always a place for kindness and love even in the dark and scary spaces of our world.
I wish this could be true for everyone. How badly I wish this could be true for everyone. I am reminded that the world is complicated, and the people of it even more so.
And yet, we belong to each other.
Regardless of where we come from, what we look like, who we love, or how our bodies or minds function… we are all here on the same planet. We are all here in the same place. We are all human.
We must be here to create and show love for one another. To explore what makes our world unique. To be for one another what we cannot be for ourselves. To celebrate the differences that create a whole picture of what humanity can be.
I guess what I mean is… Be gentle. Be kind. Give someone a hug or a smile. Life is hard enough, okay?
So… we find ourselves in January!
New years are hopeful things, and as a family and as individuals, we have a lot of hopes and looking-forward-tos for this one.
So here’s to all our hope for: positive vibes, good health, time to spend with each other, and friends and family, meeting new people, exploring new places, and having many new and different challenges and adventures. For growth, kindness, love, and for everything we don’t yet know awaits us in this next year.
And the same hopes for you and your family, wherever you may be… Happy New Year, and best wishes for good things ahead! I hope you, too, have new adventures, meet new people, challenge one another, love one another, change, grow, and live your life!