Posted by: Lea | December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011…and Good Riddance!

My family

I’ve been reflecting lately quite a bit on the past year, and the one thing that I can come up with is that I am glad that it’s (almost) over. This year has been one of the toughest of my life, with many lessons learned. Now I’m not saying the year has been ALL bad. There have been some amazing parts to the past year. What I am saying, is that I am glad that I get to start over in 2012.

This blog post is one of the hardest for me to write. Learning lessons at age 36 isn’t always easy. You know the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well, that’s how I felt for a long time. I was determined that my thoughts and feelings were right. You couldn’t tell me that I had done anything wrong. But I had. I took someone who I love very much for granted. And I almost wound up losing everything important in my life. I’m not going to go into details, but suffice it to say, I screwed up. Big. Luckily, I was called on the carpet, and I had to face the fact that not only CAN I be wrong about things. I WAS wrong. BUT the good news was I had the opportunity to make up for all that was wrong. I had the chance to make things right again and to make my home a home again. And for that, I am incredibly grateful. Saying sorry isn’t always the easiest thing to do. But when it needs to be done, it must be done. I learned sometimes it’s easier to realize that’ I’m not perfect (sssh, don’t tell), and I need to realize that. I do make mistakes. And I learned that communication in a relationship is one of the greatest gifts of all.

My husband and I on our amazing NYC trip

We also lost someone who was very important to all of us. My husband’s grandmother passed away at the beginning of December. She had suffered a stroke in September 2003. She was a remarkable woman who we all considered ourselves lucky to have in our lives. She will without a doubt be greatly missed, but we know that is up above looking down on all of us and smiling.

In August, we lost our beloved 14-year old West Highland White Terrier, Max. Max had been with us since before my husband and I were married, and this loss truly broke all of our hearts. Max was a wonderful, yet weird, little dog, and our house hasn’t been the same without him in it.

Max 1997-2011

On a happy note, there were quite a bit of great things that happened in 2011, too. My daughter kicked butt in 3rd grade and is doing the same in 4th grade. My son “graduated” from Pre-K and started Kindergarten and is loving it. We took some amazing trips: a family road trip to Okalahoma to visit family, an adults only trip to Atlantic City with some wonderful friends to celebrate a friend graduating from grad school. I took a solo trip with my friends to Walt Disney World where I ran (well, walked) a 5K with some of the best friends a girl could ask for. The whole family spent 6 days together at Disney World and then went on a 3-day cruise on the Disney Dream with the Whitneys, one of my most favorite families in the world. And then Ryan and I finished the year with an early anniversary trip to New York City, which was one of the most special trips I have ever taken.

Some of my wonderful friends!

One of the things I am most grateful for this year is the opportunity to spend so much time with my wonderful friends. I have truly figured out this year what friendship is and how to figure out who those real friends are, and I am so thankful to have found such wonderful people to be a part of my life. We aren’t all in the same city or even state, but that does nothing to negate how important these families are to me. We got to spend Easter this year in San Antonio with some of these friends, and it was so much fun (more meat sweats anyone?). Here’s to another great year with the Demarcos, the Aguillons, the Whitneys, Jillian, Nicole, Rora and more! I love all of you dearly!

My Halloween Trip

I’m also so thankful for the time I have each day to be with my husband and kids. I’m glad that this year has allowed us to spend time together in such fun places. My life would be dark and gray without them, and every day I am with them reminds me how truly lucky I am to have them in my life and on my side. My family (parents. grandparents and inlaws) are always so supportive of everything we do, and I can’t imagine having a better family.

Spending Thanksgiving as a family

We also added a new member to our family, Perry the Puggle. And while he will never replace Max, we do see some of Max in Perry. The kids love having him around, and I have to admit, so do I.

Perry the Puggle

So now I am looking forward to all that will happen in 2012. I’m not making resolutions this year- they never do me any good anyways. But I am making promises. I promise that I WILL spend more quality time with my family. My kids won’t be young forever, and I want to enjoy the time with them while they actually want me around. I promise to not take my husband for granted and to realize that we are in this relationship because we WANT to be and not because we HAVE to be. He is everything that I can ask for in a husband and a father of my kids, and he deserves to know that and to hear that often. I promise that I will make time for my friends, and that I will ALWAYS be there to listen and to support them in whatever they do.

There is a lot to look forward to this year. Ryan and I are going on a trip to San Francisco and Monterey in June, which I CAN NOT wait for. I’ll have a wonderful summer with the kids out of school. I plan on spending time on the lake and at our cabin with them. And then in October, the family is taking a Disney Cruise out of Galveston, in which Ryan and I will be renewing our vows, as we will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary this year. So I have a lot to look forward to this year.

In looking back, I realize that this year will forever shape who I am as a mom, a wife, and a person. It was filled with ups and downs, and I am ecstatic that 2012 starts tomorrow- a brand new year. Who knows what it will bring? All I do know right now is I am READY to say ADIOS to 2011. Bring on 2012.

Bring on 2012!



  1. Brava! Beautiful!!

  2. I love you Lea! You were a great roomie for the 5k and we had some fun times while you were here! I can’t wait for a fabulous 2012 (when I can see you even more!!)

  3. I think this has been one of toughest years for a lot of us. The global economy, the loss of children to pedophiles and murderers. Countries ravaged by the wrath of Mother Nature and the continuance of greed by our financial institutions is maddening. I only pray that each and everyone of us can reflect back on 2011 and know in our hearts that something must change in 2012 and beyond. Less technology, less sparkle, less celebrity and more community, more humanity, more giving and less greed. Somehow we all need to look deeper within ourselves and examine what we truly need and what we can in turn give to our fellow man.

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