I blinked my eyes and 2015 was gone.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m a mom trying to hold on to my kids’ childhoods or because I’m just so busy that the days slip by so fast, but either way another year has gone by.

I was actually surprised my blog editor still worked. It’s been almost a year since Deena and I have written anything, yet we won’t let go of the domain. We must be keeping it around for something.  Since we’re not using it for anything in particular right now, I’m going to use it as a journal of some sorts. Not sure what I will be journaling or how often, as I am NOT making any New Year’s resolutions, but I could just write about whatever comes to mind, who knows.  So why no new year’s resolutions, you ask?  Because they don’t work for me.  I set myself up for failure EVERY YEAR.

So instead, let me reflect on 2015.

Early 2015 my dad was in the hospital (hey, I didn’t say I was reflecting on all things positive!). It was a rude awakening for me. One, that my parents are getting older and my time with them could come to an end sooner than I’d like to imagine. And two, that life is just SHORT. I’ve had this realization a few times in my life, obviously, as most of us have.  But it was just another reminder. My dad is well, by the way, and I’m expecting many, MANY more years with them, but I will count every day as a blessing.

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In February my brother and sister-in-law had their second baby. If there’s one thing that makes you reflect on life, it’s the creation of NEW life. Gosh how I miss that time in our lives when we had newborns and there was so much emotion, change, love, happiness and fear all at once. The love, hopes and dreams you have for this new, little human being that you created is so great that you feel like you could burst. So to experience it once again with my brother and sister-in-law was such a blessing. I never thought I could love other kids as much as I love my own, but nieces and nephews pretty much squash that whole thought for me. Which is why there’s definitely an emptiness felt with my brother’s family living so far away.  You reading this, little brother?!  😉

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In May, my youngest (2nd grader) made his First Communion. I’ve had many powerful religious experiences in my life, but for some reason my kids’ First Communions really just left me in awe of everything….God, my children and even myself. I was his religious education teacher this past year and it was probably one of the best volunteer positions I have held in my life. Now I know why teachers do what they do. I had 1.5 hours a week with these kids, hardly the time a full-time teacher gets with a group of kids, but this 1.5 hours a week was so rewarding.  To think that I was given the opportunity to impart some sort of knowledge on this young group of sponges truly gave me so much pride in myself and my class. Don’t get me wrong, it was NOT easy. I respected teachers before, but now?  Whoa, they deserve so much more recognition and thanks than they get. When I had a desk job, if I was having an off day, I could hole up in my office and keep my interaction with people to a minimum. But when you are on the job as a teacher, there is no holing up.  You are ON all the time.  It’s exhausting. Rewarding, but exhausting. Kudos to all teachers out there!

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There are many highlights of 2015…my charity organization, The Step Sisters, continues to do great things for local breast cancer patients and we had 3 successful events, once again. Our kids excelled at school and sports. I celebrated 7 years of breast cancer survivorship. But the events that stand out every year, consistently, are just times spent with friends and family. From my annual girls’ weekend in the spring with my long time high school friends, to beach vacations and holidays and just every day life with family, the consistent theme of happiness in my life revolves around the love I have for others and the love they have for me. My friends and especially my family, are who drive me to be a better person, to live a better life. When things aren’t great, we lift each other up, when things are great, we celebrate together. In the end, they are who matters most to me.

May 2016 fill you with the love and support of family and friends and may you help each other be better people and live better lives. In the end, that’s what most New Year’s resolutions are pretty much about, doing better and being better.

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