Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Look Back at 2008

Another New Year's Eve is here. I can't believe 2008 is coming to a close tonight. We have plans with our friends from Otsego - who we have spent New Years with for the past four years.

This year has overall been a great one. In January I became pregnant, and that is obviously how I spent most of the year. Lucy changed more this year than she did in her first year... it has been quite amazing to see her grow. When I look at photos of her from back in January (like the one to the right), or even the summer, she looks so different! What the photos don't show is how she has grown intellectually and socially. It just keeps getting more and more fun.

In May, Ron turned 30! Wow!

Our summer vacation was spent leisurely enjoying the beaches and parks, as well as a sweltering trip to John Ball Zoo, while I tried to conceal my hideous compression stocking. Of course there were times when I felt that it just wasn't worth it, and let me extra tan leg show in all its glory. Yuck. Fortunately, the issue has now almost completely resolved itself and I no longer have to wear it.

Late in August we got a phone call that we've been waiting for ever since we met our soon-to-be brother-in-law Heath. Kelly and Heath got engaged in Traverse City and we both guessed that they'd end up together, so it was exciting to hear the news. I remember the first time we met him back in 2007, we were living in our old home on Taft in Wyoming. From the start he was easy to get along with and fit right in. Lucy was 6 months old and she warmed up to him pretty quickly. Although I think Lucy is still under the impression that Kelly and Heath appear and disappear like magic elves because they always arrive and leave while she happens to be sleeping. She seems a bit confused by this, but we think it's pretty funny. Now they're planning a destination wedding in June and we're very much looking forward to celebrating with them in Mexico, and at their reception in Grand Rapids later next summer.

By the end of the next month, our little family grew by 21 inches and 9 whole pounds! Henry was born September 28 and surprised us by being a boy (since we were both sort of guessing it might be another girl). Now, I couldn't imagine things any other way. I love all the boy stuff, the little man clothes. The days seem to fly by even more quickly with our second child than they did with Lucy.

In November our country elected the first African-American President: Barack Obama. I felt very proud to participate in this year's election, as it was an exciting race and so historically significant. I will never forget the excitement of the day, and the record voter turnout.

I also officially started my photography business, Mindy Leigh Photography, and after a few sessions with clients, I am starting to build more and more confidence. I find this very fulfilling artistically, and enjoy the outlet. I am looking forward to watching the business grow, and I am trying to be patient, remembering that I've only been at it a couple of months. I get excited to think about what it will be like a year from now.

The holiday season felt like a whirlwind from Halloween right through Christmas. Isn't it weird with all the anticipation of this time of year how quickly it's over? What's weirder: I am baking more Christmas cookies today for Ron's side of the family's get-together tomorrow. The party we were going to have was canceled due to one of the biggest snow storms in my life.

Looking back I know this year had its fair share of tragedy. So many people in the world are suffering greatly, and that makes my problems seem pretty insignificant, but in they still matter. Family members have moved away, friendships have dwindled, our church said goodbye to a wonderful pastor and now is searching for someone new to embrace. But then, we have become closer than ever with other relatives, old friendships from years ago have been rekindled (some of them thanks to Blogger and Facebook), and now as members of our church we have found a place we feel very welcome and secure. So it seems life has a way of balancing itself out. Whatever ups and downs I've been through, I have come out of them still a happy, and extremely blessed person.

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