2014, you were a roller coaster. The year started with drama, as our oldest nephew decided to call exactly 1 minute after midnight and stir a little shit. Heavy with hormones, pregnancy, and sleep deprivation, I ran my mouth and have not talked to the boy since. This makes me sad in a lot of ways, but it was also a necessary evil meant to protect myself from even more stress. I was already at my breaking point and still don't feel as if I've recovered fully from all that was thrust upon my shoulders at the end of 2013 and into the early months of 2014.
4 days into the year, my yenta gave birth. 40 hours of labor after a very uncomfortable and nausea-filled pregnancy begat a beautiful child that goes by the name of Zoey Quinn Medicine Woman. Active and alert since the second she was born, and in 4 days we'll celebrate her 1st birthday. It's been fun watching her grow, with Presley just a month and a half behind her. I have so many hopes for their friendship as years go by. I want them to be close. Presley wasn't born into a close-knit extended family, but our friends have become our family and I hope that Presley and Zoey will benefit from that relationship and be more like cousins than friends. And until they say otherwise, myself and my yenta will take countless pictures of the two of them being adorable together. (Who am I kidding? We'll make them take pictures even when they're old enough to say otherwise b/c that's how we roll!)
Then came 1am on February 23rd. I woke up with contractions and 6.5 hours later I was looking into the face of my youngest daughter. I had no clue then that this child would both challenge and strengthen me more than any other human being ever had. The moment she was born, the loss of Judy was so profound it threatened to swallow me whole, yet my 8 lb 3 oz little nakey baby anchored me in reality, reminding me the intense joy life occasionally throws our way. Presley is a constantly changing personality. She goes from sweet to crazy within seconds, and flashes back just as quickly. I am learning patience and acceptance daily. Above all, I'm learning the art of giving love even when a child's actions make you want to turn tail and run. Yes, at 10 months old she is truly that intense of a person. Could it be because the majority of my pregnancy was rife with stress and anxiety? Maybe. As hard as it has been to learn to be calm in the midst of Hurricane Presley, it's also been a pleasure. I feel honored to be the mother of this wild little monkey child. She's beautiful and smart and full of wonder. I have experienced life with an "easy" child and now I'm experiencing it with a more high-maintenance child. Both are rewarding in different ways and even though I still waffle about whether I want to have another child one day or not, I wouldn't change the two I have for anything in the whole world.
March 10th, 2014 was the day we officially closed on Judy's house. That is the day it became ours. I didn't hang pictures on the walls until a month ago. The emotions that came when I got the call that the house was ours were mostly of relief, but there was also sadness. This was not how it was supposed to be. We were going to buy the house one day, it was always something we planned to do and something that Judy had wanted to do in time. She was ready to move on and into something smaller and she knew that Justin's ties to that house were too strong to break. Justin and I had talked at length about moving in, taking over the loan, but talking Judy into staying there with us. It wouldn't have been easy, but it seemed like that's the way it should have been. It's unfortunate that her sudden passing and the chaos that ensued afterward changed the plan, but the result is that we live in the house we always said we would end up in. It is the last house I'll ever own. Without question, I never want to buy another house.
The next few months came and went in a blur. Watching Trinity and Presley grow, hitting their many milestones, trying to make a new home, working, etc. As with everything, it's a learning process. Adapting to our new life hasn't come without it's share of obstacles. We sort of coasted through Spring and Summer on autopilot. Trinity was in counseling because she was clearly struggling to cope with all the major changes in her world. I felt like a failure for not protecting her from it all, and at the same time was taking care of an infant and trying to be a good wife. I fell short in every aspect. My marriage went on the back-burner, work went on the back-burner, and I sort of doggy paddled my way through shit creek in hopes that I'd reach the shore soon.
September brought a big milestone for Trinity: the beginning of middle school. Not only was she starting middle school, but it was a whole new district and she barely knew anyone. Her grades have taken a huge hit as she's tried adjusting, but the best thing to come out of all of this is music. She decided to join band and choir, and I don't hesitate to say that was the greatest choice she could ever make. She is naturally talented in both singing and playing instruments. Having a new outlet for this creative talent has really brought out the confidence she had long since lost. At the same time, she's going through the stage in her tween-dom that requires her to isolate from her annoying parents and baby sister. She spends every possible moment in her room, playing her keyboard or bells, or singing along to her favorite songs. She draws a lot, too, which is another facet of her artistic personality. While pushing her to do better in school, I have to say that I'm extremely proud and impressed at her creativity. She's always been an exceptional child and it's frustrating that her grades don't reflect her intelligence, but she has cultivated this wonderful skill that she is passionate about and that makes me happy for her. To see her finding herself is as beautiful as it is frustrating. I want her to be successful in life and not struggle the way I do, so of course I drill into her the importance of school and paying attention to the "boring" stuff just as much as the fun stuff. At the same time, I envy that she has this natural ability to do something she loves and hope that whatever way life takes her, she is able to find a profession that allows her to be her unconventional and wonderful self.
Fall brought the end of my contact with my Mom. I'm not going to waste any time rehashing that bullshit because it just makes me angry. That woman is a train wreck and I'm tired of being a spectator. Done. Over. On we go.
This winter has been tough financially, but also gave my girls the blessing of random acts of kindness from strangers on the internet. And not in the creepy kidnappy way. The bloggess wrote a post encouraging folks with the means to give to project night night, an organization that helps animals, or purchase items on people's amazon wish lists. Things being what they are, I shared my wish list containing 7 small gifts for my daughters and the very same day, multiple people bought them all! It was shocking and beautiful to be blessed in such a way. I'll never forget it as long as I live.
As I move through these last few hours of the year, I recognize that I'm not ending it on a high note. To be quite honest, I'm in the midst of a pretty significant depression and it's dulling life's greatness. As I've done many times before, I'll get through this. Do I have a choice? I've got 2 beautiful girls depending on me. Drowning in sadness just isn't an option.
I do have hopes for 2015. I don't know if I'll make them happen or even how to begin, but here's what I want to accomplish in the coming year:
1) Dig out of the financial hole that is holding us hostage.
2) Find my way out my funk.
3) Go on dates with my husband.
4) Get back on the health bandwagon and start working off this baby weight.
5) Have some time to pursue things purely for myself. I've been feeling very deprived in this respect. That goes with the mommy territory, I know, but my family could pitch in with the baby in order to give new some minor freedom. I don't think it's too much to ask.
6) Win the lotto.