A Love Letter to My Family

Written By: Kim - Dec• 31•13

I cannot believe that 2013 is already ending. What a wonderful, busy year it has been. The three of you are the center of my world. Ok, the four of you, if you count Sydney. No matter what kind of day I am having, seeing you, catching up and spending time with you all makes the day complete. And at the end of our lives, loving each other is what matters the most. Always.

Sydney enjoys the summer lake ride. ©Mike Howard, 2012

Sydney enjoys the summer lake ride. ©Mike Howard, 2012

Connor here are the highlights that I remember this year. You have:

  • Finished your freshman year on the high school swim team and received your letter. Congratulations!
  • Improved your swim times despite the grumbling about practice.
  • Started your sophomore year in high school.
  • Showed an interest in track. Let’s see where the spring takes you.
  • Earned your drivers permit. Look out locals.
  • Started dating a lovely young woman. Again.
  • Learned how to do your own laundry. Score one for you and me.
  • Volunteered to help the swim team with the smaller kids. I think you actually enjoyed it, although you will never admit it to me.
  • Mourned a friend’s second year anniversary of his early death. You were honest with me about your tense behavior and I was proud of you. I do not ever wish for you to experience heartbreak, but it is good to know that you feel that you can be honest with me when you are hurting. I know this is not easy. Ever.

Abby, here are the highlights that I remember this year. You have:

  • Become a teen. Although I suspect you were actually one before your official birthday.

    Girls beach vacation, 2013.

    Girls beach vacation, 2013.

  • Embraced your amazing curly, thick hair. You now wear it with pride. Remember to always distinguish yourself.
  • Saw Justin Bieber in concert. Again. And, you saw his movie. And, we didn’t have to pay for any of it.
  • Started a regular babysitting gig and understand a little about what it’s like to be a mom.
  • Created a thoughtful, homemade Christmas gift for your Dad. Out of all of the things that you did this year, this made me the most proud of you. You gave someone you love a gift created out of love.
  • Recommended that I read “The Giver.” I am still not happy about the ending, but I loved the book anyway.
  • Shared a girls trip to the beach with me over the summer. I learned a lot about you because we had time alone together. I cherished that trip and hope we can do one again in 2014.

Mike, here are the highlights that I remember this year. You have:

  • Positano, Italy 2011. ©MikeHoward

    Positano, Italy 2011. ©MikeHoward

    Continued to be a loving supporting, husband and father. You are my biggest fan and I love you more now than I did when we walked down the aisle 22 years ago.

As this is the last post of 2013, and sentimental, it’s because I love you all. My heart is full because all of you are in my life.

Social Media Makes Strange Friendfellows

Written By: Kim - May• 01•13

About four months ago, I received a call from a woman that I did not know while I was making dinner. She was looking for someone with the same name who lived in my area. I kept sifting my memory as she was telling me her story, catching up. I wondered if early senility was setting in. I could not remember who this woman was. Donna. School, past jobs, where did I know her from? When she said something about working for a four star general at the Pentagon, that’s when I knew I did not know her. I’ve never worked for either.

© Mihaylova 2013 courtesy of stock.xchng

© Mihaylova 2013 courtesy of stock.xchng

When I politely stopped her with, “I think you have the wrong person,” she was completely flustered. She apologized profusely. I told her that I wish I were the woman she was looking for because she was trying to make amends and repair a broken relationship. I was touched by her honestly and her story. I wished her luck and we hung up. A few minutes later, Donna called me again. She asked if we could become friends on Facebook. I said yes.

I have a few friends whom I only know through social media or whom I became friends with on social media first. I know that it seems odd, cultivating a friendship with someone you have never met. But, we did as children. Remember pen pals?

Growing up a military brat forced me to make new friends every school year. This didn’t necessarily mean that I was the new one in school. But it meant that I had to be more open to strangers. I had to find a way to fit in when I was the new kid. Or, I felt compelled to help the new kid fit in. Being the new kid in school often sucks. It just does and there’s no way to get around it but to go thru it.

That said, I don’t accept friend requests from just anyone. But, I have found great joy in all my friends, no matter the source.