Tonight John and I hosted a surprise birthday party for John's brother, Richard. He turned 50 today. What a wonderful time we had. Food, dessert and fun for all. Before the end of the night we sat around recalling wonderful memories of us and Richard. There sure were some great ones.
When everyone went their separate ways, I began reliving this past year. A year ago tonight we were celebrating with our little family and recalling our own family memories. We call it 'I remember when game'. We play it often which helps our children remember events of long ago.
As we recall this years events many things we look upon fondly.
1. Many trips to Dallas to hang out with our good friends Kimberly and Nick. Long nights sitting by the fire, (real wood burning), talking till the wee hours. Learning new things, sharing ideas and dreams.
2. Family reunion at the Rockin' R Ranch. This was our 13th one. We get together every other year for good times and making memories.
3. Traveling back and forth, Kansas to Utah. Many people would hate the long drive but I actually don't mind it. It gives John and I the chance to be together uninterrupted.
4. See our friends, Karen and Wade, be sealed in the Mt. Timpanogus Temple. What a joy that brought to me.
5. Visiting my sister Dawn and her family in Washington. Can you say 'vacation'. When we get together there is always so much laughing, visiting, shopping, cooking and just plan old good times.
6. Our amazing Alaska Cruise. John and myself along with my parents. Now that was a vacation. There were so many sights to see and fun things to do and see. I would love to do that one again.
Our year has also been hit with life changing events.
1. We moved out of our home in Wichita that we lived in for 10 years. Many memories we have made in our home.
2. My dad was diagnosed with cancer, again.
3. Christian's health has always been great until Oct when he started having unexplained syncope episodes. We hope this year the doctors will be able to get a handle on this.
4. Nicole's event has changed our lives forever. On July 4th, Nicole was burned in a fire at our home in Lehi. For 140 days she was in ICU at the University of Utah Hospital. The first 45 days she was in a medically induced coma teetering on the brink of life and death. The next 55 days awake yet not totally with the program most of the time. Still not out of the woods. Being by her side every day, hoping and pray for Gods will to be known.
This year has been a growing one. Good and bad. Our faith has been tested. Our strength zapped. Our relationships strengthened. For the journey we have traveled this year we are certainly blessed beyond measure. Blessed to have many friends in our corner, blessed to be strengthened by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Blessed by our loving families.
Nothing anyone can say or do can change our year. We wouldn't have it any other way anyway. What lessons we have learned this year cannot be replaced. I am not the same person I was 6 months ago.
I hope I am a better person for it.