This year is coming to a close. As I think back about 2104, there have been wonderful changes for our family. The three of you (ok, four if you count Sydney, our Airedale Terrier) continue to make my life full. I love coming home because of you. Here are the highlights that I remember:
- Connor, you finished your sophomore year and started your junior year. You continue to mature and grow in your approach to handling your schoolwork. I am so proud of you.
- You are still dating the same girl you were last year when I wrote my 2013 letter. Maintaining a relationship takes work. Maintaining one that is now long distance since she moved on to college, takes even more work. Congratulations on this milestone. She is lovely inside and out. We like the two of you together. And, you attended her senior prom. From out point of view, it seemed like a fun experience for you.
- You found your first part-time job, lifeguarding. As much as you complained about being on the swim team, it’s ironic that you continue to earn a paycheck as a lifeguard. I admit that I am having the last laugh on this after all the push back you gave me. You have taken your work seriously and I am proud of you. You also turned down a beach vacation this summer with your best friend to spend more time with your girlfriend before she left for college. Very telling son, that you know where your priorities are at your age. Your loyalty to those you love is astounding.
- Connor, you not only earned your driver’s license, you also purchased your first vehicle. I thought I had left jacked up trucks with big tires behind when I moved from Alabama, but your truck is a constant reminder of where I came from. And, that’s never a bad thing. You are now beginning to understand that money does not grow on trees. This is a major milestone in anyone’s growth and I am glad that you have realized this at your age. I am so grateful that God gifted me with you. Your future is so bright and I am happy to be a part of it.
- Abby, you transitioned from junior high school to high school this fall. I am so happy that you like high school. You are such a serious child. I think that you have an old soul. Based on what I know about you, it makes complete sense to me that you enjoy being around people who are more mature than the kids your age.
- Despite my pleading that you join the swim team (you do sustain less injuries), you made the basketball team. You are working hard to improve yourself. Even as a young child, you always had fantastic hand-eye coordination and this is now paying off for you as an athlete. I am so proud of all that you have accomplished.
- You currently are 10th in your class academically. Abby, you are super smart. I knew it the minute I first looked into your eyes. Your future is so bright and I am happy to be a part of it.
- Abby, this spring you were confirmed. In our Catholic faith, this is not only a sacrament, but a major milestone. My heart is so full as you continue on this faith-filled journey.
- I am not going to lie, Abby. Our relationship has been strained this year. Friends with older teenage girls say this phase is normal for girls your age. I am glad to hear this, but I will also be glad when this phase is over. It really hurts me that we don’t seem as close as we used to be. But, I am still extremely grateful that God gifted me with you. And, if I ever made you feel anything less than that, I am truly sorry.
Mike, we celebrated the big 23 years of wedded bliss in 2014. What a journey we have been on. In church recently I looked over at you while you were on your knees praying. My heart was so full of joy and love for you at that moment, I am not quite sure how to express myself. I will just say that I cannot imagine being on this life journey with anyone else. Thank you for being my husband. And I am most definitely glad that God gifted me with you because without you, who knows what my life now would look like. Thank you for your support as I left my six-figure job to start my own business. Out of all the people I know, I knew that you would understand the most. Thank you for believing in me.
I love you all. Here’s to an even better 2015.