Saturday, December 15, 2007

So many things going on...

The actual date is Wednesday January 2nd, 2008. I can't fix this date?
Hi all. So much going on lately, much to talk about, and not a lot of time being dedicated to the blog. Sorry.

First, Happy New Year! Theo and I made it up to midnight for the first time in years. We are party animals, you know... ee watched Law and Order reruns. We are L & O addicts, and get sucked in if we see 3 seconds of the next episode in a back to back circumstance. Before I had Ben we were bonified L & O experts, but then it became to emotionally dificult to watch dramatic episodes that involved kids or mommy's. I took a long hiatus, but recently have been able to watch me some L & O no matter the subject matter. So, that was how we spent our New Year's Eve. Didn't watch any fireworks, no ball dropping, nothing celebratory in any way. And most importantly, we didn't make any snacks or explicit fattening goodness. We order pizza, a treat, from a local place we have not ordered from in a long time. You know, it was so good! The pizza dough bubbled up in spots, which is my favorite. And it was not at all greasy, like some other places we' ve ordered from in recent years. We ate the pizza pie in moderation, sensible portions, and no booze. Yeah us. More on this later.

I have taken down all of the Christmas decor. Earlier than usual for me, but I just needed the clutter to be gone. I have sure enjoyed looking at everyone's Christmas cards, filled with incredible stories and pictures. The passage of time is most prevalent this time of year, as our entertainment center fills with pictures of friends and family who are growing older and changing. I had a few requests for my annual Christmas letter, so I will resume next year. I already bought paper on clearance for it. I'm prepared.

2007 was an interesting year for me. I started watching my caloric intake, only to lose control of my eating completely by February ( see paragraph on Theo's seizures). I joined the YMCA in the summer, and used the membership enough to get more in shape, but not to lose weight. I could do an hour on the elliptical without huffing and puffing, but I just could not seem to cut calories comfortably. By August I lost a little weight, and gained it back on vacation in California. Come December I had enough, and started weight watcher's again. I lost 7.5 lbs, gained 2 back at Christmas, and now I'm on track to lose some serious poundage.

Sidenote: Did anyone catch Biggest Loser last night? So awesome. I am in love with this show. My ears were ringing. I know those of you who have followed the rise and fall of my weight know I could SO do that show... never fear, I am on my own plan here at home, bound and determined for greatness, and health. I will keep you posted.

Other resolutions from last year? I tried to stop biting my nails/cuticles, and did so for about 10 months out of the year. I was trying to control my swearing, and I think I've made some serious progress in that department. I vowed to become more technologically savy, hence the blog turning one year old this week, & my creating a facebook account. I also figured out how to work photoshop, but have more to learn there. I promised more rapid response time to e-mails, and have succeeded with that. I tried to purge unused items in our home, rather succesfully, although that is still a work in progress. I have some goodwill piles, and some garage sale stuff awaiting spring. I also think I had some resolution about cooking for my family more & having a healthy garden. The garden this year was awesome, so pleased with the pepper, squashs, herbs, tomatos, all of it. And the aesthetic portion, well, you all watched me blab about that all year; I learned how to overwinter tender bulbs, a big goal for me. I cooked with the garden goods: tacos, mostachoili, homemade chili's galore, burgers, veggies. When the garden season was over I taught myself to make homemade hamburger stroganoff, made Leena's suggested muffin recipe & stopped buying muffin mix, and I mastered the cookies and fudge this year, which were flawless. I made art almost every single day, too. I submitted several pages for publication, but have yet to be picked up. My scrapbooks are fatter than ever. I am totally NOT burned out on this hobby yet. Oh, and I vowed to drink more wine. I didn't. But that's okay.

As a family, we started the year excited about the Bear's heading to the Superbowl, and were let down when they lost hard. This season was a disappointment, outside of whomping on the Packer's. Theo was recovered from his Nov 06' reconstructive foot surgery by January. We bought a used truck, bringing our vehicle count to two for the very first time. We acquired a high quality set of dining room furniture for the super cheap deal.

A week later, just before we celebrated the 6th anniversary of the day we met, Theo had sudden seizures. You can see the blog about it here, and here. I can't explain that part of our year again. I thought I lost my husband. I have never been so scared. The events changed our marriage and our outlook forever. Thankfully, Theo recovered comepletely, although he is still under the care of a neurologist, he has to have his driver's license approved by doctors, and he still takes anti-seizure meds when he can remember to. Currently, the Army is investigating whether or not he can remain in the service. His seizures, coupled with the disabilities associated with his foot, have caused the Army to take a close look at his health. His unit will deploy to the Middle East, likely Kuwait and Afghanistan for another 12-15 month tour, a year from now.

After Theo recovered from his seizures, our year was rather normal. I had a spectacular gardening season, the kids grew and progressed healthily, we got a new dog, and took our very first family vacation to California.

This fall it has come to our attention that the city we live in is looking to expand their fire and city works departments. As many of you know, we live right behind these buildings. In December the expansion was approved; our town has a new 1000-home subdivision coming soon, and will need a full time fire-deparment, and a larger fire station and city works facility. the city has to decide whether or not to add onto the existing buildings, or create all new locations. Either way, it looks at though our home will be threatened by eminent domain.

Yes, this information is alarming, but it's also a bit refreshing. Our home is like 114 years old, and needs serious renovations we don't want to make. The Army will inevitably move us in about 2 years anyway, so we will be selling our home in the next couple years regardless. The difference between eminent domain and selling is huge for us. With the city taking our land and home, we would be given fair market value for our home, likely about what we paid or slightly more. If we had to try and sell this house, I worry about us getting what we paid, or making any money off this home. In addition, if we know the house will be torn down after the city buys it, we do not need to invest in a new roof, windows, siding, bathroom renovations, and new floors in severel rooms. Instead, we can use what we have until the house is no longer ours.

We hope for good timing. If the city begins to expand and tear down our house while Theo is deployed you can imagine I'd be in a sorry state. That would be SCARY shoots people. If they try and take eminent domain before he leaves, I'm also in a situation where I may have to buy a new home and establish ourselves in it all alone. The scariest outcome would be this: the Army moves us, and the town is not ready to do their project & give us fair market value for our home. See, the expansion would be public knowledge, and we could not sell our home without disclosing our awareness of the impending situation; we'd be in a new town, and would have to pay to live there, while still paying our mortgage here. Impossible. I guess only time will tell, but you can certain the Rex's will be attending City Council meetings from now on. I'll keep you posted, but I can feel in my blood, change is a-brewing.

Our resolutions this year involve weight loss, weight loss, weight loss. I plan on getting the kids to expand their flavor pallete, with a big shove away from all the crackers. I plan on getting rid of the dysfunctional furniture and appliances in our home & gradually replacing them with heirloom quality furniture. Theo is starting school in two weeks, in hopes of getting an associates/transfer type of degree before leaving for Iraq, to aid in his promotion overseas. Ben should start pre-school in the fall, if we are financially able to provide this for him. We are still thinking more babies, but we waiver back and forth. We're not taking birth control, but we are being cautious. If it happens, we do a happy dance, if it doesn't, we go on as normal. I have some very specific scrapbooking, photography, and gardening goals for 2008 as well. I'm sure I'll be blogging about those things later. The kids are working on manners bigtime. I know my husbands a redneck, but my kids need to be a little softer around the edges if they are going to pass my class. We plan on replacing our computer, and getting a real television. Theo has some hunting goals in mind, including a turkey hunt in the spring, and big plans for deer & water fowl this fall. As a family, we need more fun time. We've got plans brewing for a visit to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and camping as often as possibe locally. I want to hit some trails in the Kettle Morraine, too.

Happy New Year Kiddos. Best wishes for all of you in 2008. I will continue to blog... more pictures to come soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great summary of your year! Sorry to hear about Theo's seizures - sounds so terrifying.

I am with you on the losing weight New Year's resolution. My hubby & I started NutriSystem yesterday. Here's hoping!!

As always, love reading your blog & catching up on you & the fam.

Happy New Year! ~Stumpf