Saturday, December 31, 2011

Adieu - a recap

Extra good luck for the new year if I spelled that right?

2011 has been an interesting year. My husband and I keep joking that if we can survive this year, we can survive anything. And lo and behold, we appear to have survived.

I realize I may be stating this prematurely, seeing as it is only 7:19 in the evening on the last day of 2011 as I write this. But in light of the happenings of the past year I think that it is both safe and fair to say that there is nothing that is statistically likely to happen to us in the next 4 hours and 40 minutes that will trump any of the other events of the year. So, a brief recap:

January/February: Dearest's divorce went through and we began to stop paying the bank for the house. It was, for us, like a stone off our chests. We could breathe easier, even if financial things were tight.

March: Dearest quit his job suddenly, unable to withstand the environment he was working in. He'd hung around with the company since before it was what it is today, moving with the owners like a piece of furniture, and that was exactly how they saw and treated him. Two days after he quit, his re-hire was negotiated because his boss realized just how much the company needed him.

April: We set the official date for our wedding - May 25th. A few days later we set the date for his surgery - May 2nd - and he promised me that the surgery wouldn't interfere with the wedding.

May: On the 2nd we had his surgery and the hospital stay was longer than expected. The next two weeks were allright, his pain somewhat controlled by the vikodin. On the 25th we were married despite the fact that he'd just run out of meds. He even set his cane aside so it wouldn't be in the video. He did his best to make it a wonderful day for me, and it was.

June-September: Recovery was an up-and down process due to the soy allergy we only recently caught. Any time we'd think he'd be getting better, he'd suddenly take a turn for the worse. The medications he was on drove him to the brink of insanity, almost hurtling me over the edge in the process.

October: We finally started to see some real progress, starting when we began to look at the things he was eating as a possible cause of all the issues. We got a new car, and began considering finally moving out of the house.

November/December: Stressors that were adding to the mental burden we've been carrying have one by one begun to stop being significant. Things, finally, are really looking up.

It's been a year of pain for us; physical pain for my darling with his surgery and his soy allergy and the various complications in his recovery, as well as mental and emotional pain for both of us throughout his recovery and all of the things that happened as a consequence of him essentially not having any brainpower for the better part of 8 months. In 2011 there were only a few bright spots, and they were far between. It has been a dismal, difficult, painful year for us. However, we have survived and we choose now to look forward.

We start this year with many blessings, opportunities on the horizon, and I have the audacity to think that some of them may be rewards for our perseverance this past year. We will wake up tomorrow, as we have for the past few nights, in our new home. We're not fully moved in yet but it is our new home regardless of whether all of our possessions are here. Our new year begins with an extra day together, extra time to spend enjoying each other's company and exploring our new neighborhood. Within the next week my husband will see his new employment agreement and the process by which his company will be acquired by a larger, much more successful company will begin - which most likely means our financial situation will improve significantly and give us more breathing room.

We have made a few important decisions about the coming year, decisions that will help us make progress in our journey. I suppose you can say we've had our aha moment, though not in a moment. Our aha moment has taken several months for us to begin to see, but now that we are seeing it we have the power to move onward and upward.

So that's our recap. Tonight, to celebrate our first new year's eve as a married couple, we went to the Irish pub down the street for dinner. We didn't expect the wonderful live music, but that just made it better. Now we're sitting in our livingroom, waiting for the fireworks to start. Since we are going to be able to see them from our comfy chairs by the fireplace, there's no reason not to watch.

With a sigh of relief I bid adieu to the old year, and welcome to the new.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

As 2011 comes to an end

We are finally seeing some real progress on closing open - and thus stressful - threads in our life.

  • MOVING!!! We're finally doing it. Finally.Tonight we bring the second carload of items to the house (the 2008 Prius holds a surprising amount! Between the fuel economy and the passenger and trunk space available, I absolutely would recommend this to any family). Tonight, we spend our first night in the new place. I'm pretty excited. There's still a lot to do. When you only have a couple of totes and boxes to work with, it can be difficult. Plus, the space we're moving into is a little smaller ... actually a lot smaller ... than our place in terms of space to put things so your laundry, dishes, etc aren't just all out on the tabletop.  But, it's a sign of our new start, our new beginning. We're *finally* shedding this house and most of the bad memories along with it and moving on. We will, until the bank finally sells the house and evicts us, be living between the two spaces, to make sure that we can keep an eye on this one. A vacant house begs for squatters and other such things so we're going to be switching back and forth between the houses to watch over the property and make sure we don't get blamed for something that is not our fault. Still, it's a step in the direction I want to be going in, and just in time for the new year.

  • Dearest's eight month road to recovery is finally looking upward. We've made a new discovery. The surgery that he had in May probably had nothing to do with the real issue, with what was causing him so much pain. It did fix an issue that needed to be fixed (an extra foot of colon is a lot) but that issue wasn't what was hurting him. As it turns out, soy allergies run in his dad's side of the family. We had a chance on Christmas to talk to a cousin who has a severe allergy to soy - to the point of blacking out, passing out, etc - and most of her more mild symptoms line up with the ones he's been experiencing all this time. In addition to that, we did some mental backtracking and realized that his pain didn't really start until we started using our products A LOT - and almost all of our edible products contain soy. I'll be lobbying the company and the advocacy board to get more whey-based products available. Count in the fact that there's soy in a lot of normal stuff (like bread from the store, potato chips, ramen noodles, and many seasonings...just to list off a few) and we've basically been poisoning him without realizing it. But we're going to be working with that cousin to help get our diet to a regulated, safe-for-Dearest place and after that I'm sure that everything will be fine. That cousin, and her entire family, has worked really hard to make sure she can still eat normal foods without having to eat soy (they've searched and searched ingredients lists for hours on end to find what does and doesn't have soy or one of the chemical derivatives thereof) so I'm confident that we can trust them to guide us through this. It really is great to have family.
Those are the two major points. More end-of-year stuff to come later. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

On the 2nd day of Christmas...

Today's pictures: Holiday lights. I was hoping to add a few pictures from my neighborhood, but we didn't get a chance to make it out last night to look at them. We're going tonight instead.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

On the 3rd day of Christmas...

I only just now realized that I'm doing this backwards but oh well.

Today's pictures: Christmas food!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the 4th day of Christmas...

I love dresses, I love Christmas, and I love weddings. So here they are, a bunch of pictures of Christmas dresses...most of which are also wedding dresses :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the 5th day of Christmas

I decided to assail you with Christmas pictures for the next 5 days. Today: Christmas ornaments!