Looking back at this last year I can begin to see why I posted so little. I may have been a tad bit busy! I didn't even get Christmas cards out this year!
By far, the biggest "accomplishment" of the year goes to Jason's ordination. Not only did the months leading up to the big day take a lot of my mental energy, but finding our place post ordination has been interesting as well. I have always loved volunteering at the school, but after ordination I have felt the need to dedicate myself to more parish ministries. So, I have recently been commissioned a lector (a long time coming) and my biggest new joy in ministry has been with youth. I was "dragged" into SOS (Sisters of Strength) by a friend and I haven't looked back. I am really enjoying connecting with the teenage girls in the group and I am really looking forward to helping more in youth ministry in the coming year. I am very excited to be not only going on one of the confirmation retreats, but I also get to chaperone Youth Day at Congress this year! I haven't been to Youth Day since I was a teenager so I am really looking forward to it.
The other event that took a lot of my time was our move. We finally moved into town! For the last 13 years we have lived in Lake Los Angeles, about a half hour drive from Lancaster/Palmdale. With all the kids at our parish school and now more involvement in parish life, we decided it was time to make the move into civilization. We couldn't be happier! We are in a great little neighborhood about five minutes from the church. I am certainly happier not having to make the long drive twice a day!
My health has been mostly stable. Certainly I have had some ups and downs, which is to be expected with any kind of autoimmune disease. Every once in a while I get very frustrated with being dependent on my medications and I decide to wean off of them to see how I feel. Inevitably I find I actually need the medications. Imagine that! So, as long as I keep my wits about me and make sure I am on the right medication schedule, I am doing ok.
The kids, of course, eat up most of my time and I love it. I LOVE being a mom. As they are getting older I am finding great joy and satisfaction in seeing the people they are becoming. Darian is thirteen today and I love the relationship that I have with him. Yes, he can drive me insane with teenage attitude, but for the most part he is a great kid. I love that I can laugh and joke with him and I love that he still will come and voluntarily give me a hug and a kiss. Sophia is nine and she is, for the most part, a total sweetheart. She is very sweet and loving and innocent. However, hormones are starting to creep in, so we will see how we end up surviving each other. Sebastian is seven and he is also a total sweetheart. He is still young enough to want to snuggle with mommy and daddy. He has the best, brightest smile! So full of joy! Vibiana is six. She is unique. She is wicked smart. Even though she is only in first grade she easily reads (and comprehends) books that her fourth grade sister is reading. She is clever and funny and sneaky enough to really keep me on my toes. I wouldn't change her for the world.
Jason is, very happily, busy with his duties at church. Masses, baptisms, holy hours, detention ministry, youth ministry, and RCIA are just a few of the things taking his time. On top of his "regular" job, of course. Somehow, he still finds time to be with us. He continues to be a wonderful father and husband. Overall, I would say we are pretty happy.
The last year has certainly had its ups and downs for us, but as I look back most of what I recall is happy. I have had the loss of a few friendships, but others have grown and been strengthened. As we approach the new year tonight, I look forward to a year full of serving my family, my parish, and my community. I know that it is in service that I find my joy.