2013 – The year that was ‘Melissa’

As we age, it becomes a bit more difficult to swallow the pill that is our age.

But to be honest, 35 wasn’t such a bad year. In fact, looking back, it was pretty spectacular.

And just like every year, there are trying times mixed in with wonderful memories.

So, bear with me as I journey back in time and reflect on 2013.

BACK TO THE ADULT WORLD

In January, I started working in the newsroom at least one night a week. It took about two months to get into the groove of working outside the home, but finally, the kids know what happens on Friday nights – Dad comes home from work; tosses a pizza in the oven or hotdogs on the stovetop; and it becomes “Friday Night Fun with Dad.” He probably will never openly admit it, but I think he likes to be in charge without me hovering around like a helicopter. And besides, the kids tend to listen to him more than they do when I am around.

SAYING GOODBYE TO A “GREAT” GREAT-AUNT

One of the more difficult times for my family was when we received word that my Great Aunt Mimi died of a heart attack only one week after having heart surgery. Her doctors were astonished with how well she was recovering, especially for a woman of her age. But as my husband says, “When it’s your time to go, it’s time to go.” And one day in June, as Aunt Mimi was beginning her physical therapy, she collapsed and was gone. To this day, my entire family is still waiting for her to pop in at a family function. It wasn’t the same without her this Christmas – and her presence was definitely missed and made us all realize that all those years, the best present she could give any of us was to be present in our lives.

FAMILY VACATION GRISWOLD-STYLE

In June, eight members of my family traveled to Myrtle Beach to embark upon a family vacation. And the memories we created were priceless – “Harold” trying to set up a tent on the beach, by himself with massive wind; KK having an epic meltdown over melting ice cream; running to the store the first night with the rest of the million tourists for three hours; family game nights; a sailboat washing up on shore creating a buzz on the shore; and finally, trying to catch elevators with our shopping carts while figuring out what floor we were staying on. These may not seem comical to you, but if know my family, which some of you do, try to picture it and add in my parents and brother.

GARDEN-A-PLENTY

The garden of 2013 was amazing! Green beans, onions, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, broccoli and watermelon filled my garden. Tomatoes, well, they didn’t make it this year, or last year or the three years before that either. But I can live with having to buy tomatoes in the summer. If you have the space to create a little slice of homegrown heaven, grow a garden. Or, if your community has a community garden, see what you can do to become part of it – you will definitely reap the benefits!

SEEING MY BYLINE NEXT TO A COLUMN

In November, the newspaper for which I work for gave me my own column every-other-week. (On the off-weeks, another mom entertains our readers with her take on parenthood). I have wanted a column for, well, ever. If I can allow one mom/dad to feel like they are not alone in this crazy world of parenthood, than I have done my job.

Overall, 2013 was a stellar year in my books. I have finally become comfortable with who I am as a mom and wife. I have grown as a writer and I hope to continue to improve upon my God-given talent (because we all know I can’t cook.)

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About Parenthood: The New Crazy Train

Parenthood is no easy task, and there is no reason to go at it alone. So, if you are feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, dump it off, grab a beverage and hop onboard Parenthood: The New Crazy Train -- where we are all permanent riders and new riders are welcomed daily. Follow me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ParenthoodthenewCrazyTrain Twitter @train_crazy *Photo credit Kristin Bauer*
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