Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s time to ring in another year. We all survived the end of the Mayan calendar. We’re waiting to see what happens with the fiscal cliff. And I’m reflecting on another year gone by! 2012 was definitely a year filled with ups and downs. We lost Ryan’s beloved Aunt Mary on New Year’s Day. We also lost our 13-year old West Highland White Terrier, Joey, in June. And then we went through the loss of Perry, our puggle puppy, who died from a defective toy on his first birthday. But we were also fortunate enough to have many more good times this year than bad times. We traveled to Walt Disney World twice. My husband and I got away on an adults only trip to Northern California. We went on a 7-day Disney Cruise. Our 10-year old daughter received her First Communion. We added Nitro, our rescue dog, to the family. And as usual, many lessons were learned this year. I had to learn the hard way that sometimes I have to put myself first in friendships and realize that if I am the only one trying in a friendship, then maybe it wasn’t a true friendship to begin with. That was probably one of the hardest lessons to learn, but it was definitely an important one.
The year started off on a bad note, when Aunt Mary passed away. Like I said above, she passed away on New Year’s Day. She was a wonderful lady, and she was more like a second grandmother to Ryan than a great-aunt. She was generous to a fault, and she always made sure that those she loved had all they needed. What made her passing even more sad was the fact that her sister, Ryan’s Grandma, passed away in December 2011. Ryan’s Aunt Agnes, who is the youngest, of the three is now on her own without her sisters. We think of her often, and I am glad that we were able to see her this year when she came to Texas. We learned through Aunt Mary’s passing that we always need to tell each other that we love one another because you never know when it will be your time.
Things picked up in March when we were able to surprise the kids with a trip to Walt Disney World- a short trip, but a trip nonetheless. Ryan had to fly to Orlando while the kids were out on Spring Break so we figured “Why not”? I will never forget the look on Riley’s face when we told them we were going to Walt Disney World in the morning. And Jack’s squeal of excitement made me realize without a doubt we did the right thing in spending the money on the airfare (it wasn’t cheap due to Spring Break).
In May, we were able to enjoy time with a lot of family who came in town to celebrate Riley’s First Communion. The ceremony was Mother’s Day weekend so it was a double blessing. We were able to celebrate Mother’s Day at the Melting Pot (one of my favorite places) with my parents, my in-laws, my grandparents, and Ryan’s Aunt Agnes and Aunt Marcia. It was definitely a weekend I will never forget! And the next weekend, my baby girl turned 10 years old- hard to believe.
June brought us some travel time which wound up coming at a well needed time. Our long-time pal, Joey, passed away at the age of 13. This one was a hard one to swallow as he fell ill so quickly. Up until the last month, he never seemed to act like he was 13. That last month though, we really saw it. He died at home in his sleep where he belonged. To this day, I still get teary eyed when I think about finding him that morning. Thankfully, after that, we were able to go places to get our mind off of Joey. The kids went to Oklahoma and Branson to spend a week with their grandparents. It was Jack’s first time, which was hard on me, but he had a blast! Ryan and I took advantage of the time alone and went out to San Francisco and Monterey. I must admit, as much as I love Disney, this was a close second. What a fabulous trip! As soon as the kids were home, it was Jack’s birthday. My little Bubba turned 6! How could that be?
August brought us another trip to Walt Disney World! This time the four of us with my mom. I always value the extra time we get to spend with her. And this was such a fun trip. I accomplished a few firsts on this trip that I am pretty dang proud of- I rode on Tower of Terror and the Rock’n Roller Coaster. We had to send Ryan back home, but we were lucky enough to be able to head over to Tampa to see my Aunt Pam and Uncle Russ for a few days. While we were there we went to see Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. What a cool experience.
September just plain sucked. Perry, our puggle, got sick at the beginning of the month. We couldn’t figure out what happened to him. He wound up having to have surgery, in which we thought he had recovered from. He had to have about 6-8 inches of his small intestine removed and reattached. He came home, and things were looking up until about 10 days after we had him home. I noticed he wasn’t eating, and his gums were gray and he was very lethargic. A friend who is an emergency vet consultant told me to rush him to the emergency vet. They wound up having to perform a second surgery where he wound up not waking up from. He died on his first birthday. This one hit home. I cried non-stop for days. During this time, I got mad. Mad that this happened. I decided to make others aware of what happened to Perry. I started a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PerrysMission) to help raise awareness. That page is now dedicated to helping animals both in terms of products and rescues. I also went on to our news (my 15 minutes of fame) to tell about Perry (http://www.woai.com/s/oATNdgE-g0e3EGBK45oLIw.cspx). It was a very surreal way to start October.
About a week afterwards, we were able to go on a cruise. What a great time to get away. The week leading up to it was chaotic, given all that happened with Perry. But what an amazing cruise. We went on the Disney Magic out of Galveston, and it truly was the perfect vacation. Ryan and I had some time on our own to enjoy just being with one another, but we also had some great family time and created some awesome memories that will stick with us forever. When we returned home, we added a new member to the family. Our 3-year old Golden Retriever, Remington, was miserable without any of his friends. So we decided to adopt a dog. We searched on www.adoptapet.com, and we found Nitro, a 4-month old pug/chihuahua mix. He has brought some much-needed happiness into our home. And Remy is wagging his tail again.
In November, I turned (gulp) 37. Ryan and I also celebrated our 15th Anniversary- what a special day. Ryan and I have been through ups and downs over the years, but through it all, we have wound up stronger. Every day we are together is a blessing, and one big lesson learned this year, was how thankful we are for all that we have.
At the beginning of December, Ryan had to have shoulder surgery. Poor guy has been in his “robosling” for almost a month now. I’m almost as excited as him to get it off! It’s been a long month for him. All told though, it’s been a great month. Christmas snuck up on us this year, but what a Christmas we had.
We have lost ones that we loved this year. We have spent a lot of time with the ones we love, too. Friendships have been lost, but we have gained many new wonderful friends this year, too. Throughout 2012 though, the one constant in our lives have been family. We have and always been there for one another, and this year reminds me all over again how very lucky we are. Here’s to an even better 2013 filled with all good and no bad! Happy New Year!