Year's End

  Our family has been through so much this year. There have been new jobs, a college graduation, weddings, broken bones, and my husband's ordeal with peritoneal cancer. A chance to stretch, grow, and dig deep. God has been gracious and each one of us has made it to the end of the year with recognition of grace, triumph of the highs, respect for the lows, and thankful for healing.

As I think of a reference of time, the year's end, coming to a close, my mind has been drifting through the years and all its encompassing seasons. I'm no longer raising four boys as they've all reached independence. That season is over. Now is the season of appreciation for the men they have become. The strength with which they approach the hard times, the care they extend to each other during the struggles, the joy that exhilarates when good things are happening, the band of brothers, loyal. They've been all of that and more to each other and to my husband and I over this past year. I'm so thankful for each one of them.

The above photo is a long time favorite. First there's my all grown up National Guardsman as a little boy with his beloved cap. I love his adorable expression of surprise when licked by a scratchy tickly calf tongue. And then, most indicative of that season in life, is the classic sweater pulled on inside out with tags under the chin for the photo shoot. And the distracted mom behind the camera who never noticed until the film was developed. (Yes, I was using an old fashioned film Canon AE-1. Remember them? 😀) Should I mention the accomplishment of getting a calf to wear a wreath around its neck 😂 One calf out of two isn't bad. Their names were "Star and Bright". Names lifted by my second son straight out of Laura Ingalls Wilder's book "Farmer Boy". His copy was completely well worn with a tattered cover. For those unfamiliar, Farmer Boy's calves were named Star and Bright.

So many memories of days gone by wrapped up in a single photo. Fitting for the year's end because it reminds me that through it all, no matter the season, no matter how many shirts are worn inside out, life is crazy and wonderful and sober and given to us. It is given to us! Meant to make the most of.

Celebrate it with me, in all its quirkiness and beauty.



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