So it’s January 1st and time to take stock of the last year. While others like to make resolutions, I think I would just like to count my blessings and take a cue from my teaching partner Kerri and instead of a resolution, pick a word . . . a word that will be my ‘go to’ word this year.
But first to count my blessing . . .
One of the amazing blessings I was able to share with my family this year was a real, honest to goodness vacation. I had never thought we would ever be able to afford a trip to Disney for the boys, but thanks to a little foresight about 10 years ago when I applied for our one and only family credit card, we had a three days at Disney and it didn’t cost us a dime. (I promise I will blog about how I did it, because anyone who has ever wanted to visit Disney can really do it and it’s so easy! So stay tuned.)
It was a perfect time in their lives and we didn’t have one bad day the whole week. It really was magical.
Readers and Blogging Friends
One of the greatest blessings of being a teacher blogger are the incredible friendships that I have been able to develop with amazing people all around the world. Often those ‘blogging’ friendships become even closer than you could ever imagine, and when you have the opportunity to spend time with them in person, those bonds are even stronger.
Maria from Kinder Craze, is my blogging bestie from Michigan. This year was especially great because we’ve been able to spend tons of time together and I even attend her wedding in June.
It was breathtaking . . .
We were also able to get together again with our friend Jodi from Fun In First when she visited Michigan last summer with her family. It was a sweet pre-Vegas visit for the three of us. Because Vegas is a full fledge blogging family reunion.
Vegas is when I get to see my far away friends. I can’t get enough of dear friend Annie from The Moffatt Girls . . .
and it’s always a great day when I can be with Maria, Mary from Sharing Kindergarten and Jodi.
Never would I have imagined three years ago when I started blogging that teachers from all corners of the world would end up being some of my closest friends, but they truly are! During some of my darkest moments this fall, it was my blogging buddies and my readers who would send me a note or a text to make sure that I knew they were thinking of me. I wish I had pictures of all the sweet teacher friends who have prayed for MacKale over these last several months and continue to pray. I consider you my family, and I love you dearly. Thank you for keeping up with our journey and days as we continue to fight the cancer than has invaded my sweet boy’s body. #MacKalesjourney
This year I have also had the blessing of working with some amazing business partners. My partnership with Astrobrights took me to Atlanta for three days to hang out once again with Maria and the amazing, Reagan from Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits.
Time spent with their professional team was so valuable to us as teachers and bloggers. It was an amazing experience that took us out of our comfort zones and made us grow in ways we never imagined.
Our family had the opportunity to celebrate some amazing milestone blessings this year too. My middle son McCoy celebrated his First Communion. (He looks so grown up!)
MacKale, my oldest who has hemophilia, learned to infuse himself–a HUGE milestone in the hemophilia world.
Definitely two proud momma moments for sure.
School Family, Community and Friends
The blessing of living in a small, close-knit community was never more apparent to me than this fall when my son MacKale was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. My school family and community have enveloped my family in their arms and have held us up when we didn’t know if we could stand. I don’t know what I would have done without my Franklin Elementary family there to take care of my classroom and the two little boys while I’ve been away with MacKale.
Likewise, the support shown from MacKale’s middle school classmates, soccer team, parents and staff in organizing a shirt drive to show MacKale their support, has been mind-blowing.
They have gone above and beyond to make sure that he knows he is loved, supported and that his community is fighting with him. Our cup overflows with the blessing of their love and prayers.
Our family . . .
our friends . . .
and our community
has done everything they can to show us they are there for us. It has been a blessing beyond all comprehension.
I am so blessed to watch my boys love being brothers . . .
to go on adventures with . . .
to explore with . . .
to hang with . .
to torment each other . . .
to do ‘good deeds’ with . . .
and to support each other when they need each other the most . . .
And for all our extended family who have been there for us, to care for us and cover for us . . . loving our boys and our dog and doing all the little things that we’ve needed help with . . . what an amazing blessing.
Thank God for blessing us with laughter . . .
for funny faces
and feeling goofy
for silliness and belly laughs.
And Most Of All . . .
There are really so many many more things and such a large number of people who I am so blessed to have in my life. I can’t possibly list them all, but the underlying message I’m saying here is . . . I am . . . we are . . . blessed! Beyond measure! Beyond reason! God has been very good to us in 2015 for so many reasons.
But as for the one thing that has been the BIGGEST blessing to me throughout my entire year, the thing that has kept me whole, moving one foot in front of the other . . . well that has been my faith. How do people live their lives without it is beyond me, but I can not. And so now, as I end one year and begin a new, I am not interested in making a resolution but rather, I think I will pick a word to be my guide. It will be the word that will help me keep my center, my go-to, my source of peace and understanding. This year my word is FAITH!
There is no other time in my life that I have needed it more. I know that. I also know that this road will not be easy for my family and especially for MacKale. It will be difficult. It will test us. But somehow and someway, God will make good come of all this, and I believe that our faith will continue to feed and sustain us whatever comes our way.
Thanks to everyone that continues to read my little blog. You are like family to me. Here’s wishing you a happy, laughter and faith-filled New Year. May you be as blessed as I have been.