As I sit here with third cup of morning coffee on my day off, I admit to having a very emotional day. I've been reflecting on the past and at the same time planning the future, mostly around Sparkpeople and finances.
The two opening pictures are of me, the fat kid on Santa's knee when I was about 3 or 4. Not just tall for my age, but heavy! Next picture is me with Mom when I was about
7. Mom LOVED to fish! This is a 21" pickerel she caught that summer when we stayed at my aunt and uncle's. We used to go every summer for a week. How I loved going to my aunt's! Her and I were close until she passed in 2007. My aunt wonderful lady that raised 8 kids, 3 stepkids, 1 grandson and for awhile took in short term foster kids. Patience of a saint and knew how to stretch a dollar. We lost Mom to Altzheimer's back in Feb. 2013.
I am glad I got my finance managing from Mom. I just wish my now-husband was the same. I am 10 years from old age pension come February and nothing to show for it. That was pretty much my now ex not making much and me trying to work and keep bills paid. After we split after 21 years and his re-awakened gambling problem, I didn't make enough to save and kept my head above water. Enter hubby #2 whom I have known since childhood. We married last year and have been together seven years. I am finally making him realize finances but we will see. I manage the money now and we both have raises starting in the New Year. For that I am TRULY thankful! We should have enough to pay off bills and save some. Plus he wants to go on a trip to Jamaica this year. Plus two weekends away. Our (my) hunting camp desperately needs repair, so that will have to be budgeted for to start as well.
Thinking off topic here.....thinking out loud. I apologize!
Fast forward from late 1960's to Christmas 1978. Me with my late brother Gary, my sister Sharon, me at 14 and my brother David. Much happier times. I remember this dress well because I loved it so much. I got it at Sears to start high school. Anything from Sears was a treat! We usually went to my sister's for Christmas. There were little ones around then! My brother on the left passed suddenly of heart attack in 1992.
Going forward to 2009. Although not a Christmas picture, I want to cry when I look at it.
On the left is my Dad's last surviving sister, Ruby. She is 94 and along with Altzheimer's she had a stroke on Dec. 5th. I was very close to her so it is really hitting me hard. Her and I used to talk on the phone once or twice a week and send cards to each other. Also once a month or so I would go down with my two kids and her and I would pass an afternoon knitting over a pot of tea while the kids played. She raised seven kids and helped raise a lot more as she was close to a LOT of her nephews and nieces. She loved Christmas and the more the merrier at her table. She started knitting on Boxing Day for the next Christmas. She would knit for about 40 or so of us! Men got a toque and/or socks. Women got dishcloths and/or slippers. When she found out I wore my hubby's socks as slippers, I got socks too. Kids all got mitts and scarf.
Behind Aunt Ruby is me near my heaviest weight. I look like a chipmunk!! Beside me is my late dad, my best friend. Dad died in Jan. 2010. He was a well loved man as my brother and I counted about 200 names in the guest book from the funeral home. We remembered talking to some who hadn't signed. It was standing room only at the funeral. Even his May burial had almost 100 people driving for miles for a final goodbye. I was very blessed to have him for a dad.
In the front beside Aunt Ruby is my sister Sharon. We used to be close, but she has chosen not to speak to me for reasons known only to her for the last seven years. She is not speaking to several family members but we can only pray for her that she comes around. She is 67 now and time to grow up, so to speak.
My now husband Dana come back into my life in 2011. My ex and I split in 2006. He was also separated from his wife.
This is our first Christmas together. My cousin, who works with kids, said anyone would think these kids grew up together as actual siblings the way they acted. My son and Dana's daughter sharing earbuds listening to a song on iphone; my daughter and Dana's son playing with Nerf guns! We had a lot of fun that day. Many changes since then. Granddaughter is now 7, Dana and I married, his daughter is now married, my son (the redhead) has serious girlfriend, stepson and girlfriend bought a house....
This picture is Boxing Day of 2014. We were at Dana's parents' house for dinner. His mom is now gone as well. We lost her to cancer in Sept. 2016. His dad has remarried and is now with his cousin's widow. Dana's parents were married 56 years when she passed. I do miss her as her and I shared many a pot of tea without my mom around when I was around 19 and 20. A wonderful lady she was! She told me a few times she wished Dana and I had gotten together years before.
But now we have 2018 almost gone.
This past year had a lot of milestone birthdays!
In Feb., Dana's brother turned 60. In March, my daughter turned 30! Unbelievable. In June, Dana's brother's ex turned 60. Wasn't I a bridesmaid for them just yesterday when I was 13? 1977 WAS yesterday, right? lol In July, Dana turned 50 and his dad turned a youthful 80. If the Lord lets me live that long, I hope to be in the shape that man and his wife are. They travel, they go dancing, you literally need an appointment to visit!
Here is my father-in-law with Dana and his sister and brother back at Dana's 50th.
Something was funny as they are laughing about something!
Looking back, we had a busy year. In Feb., Dana and I crossed the border to Niagara Falls, NY and stayed there for two nights and three days. We went to Jamestown to the Lucy and Desi Museum, as I am a big Lucy and Desi fan. It was amazing. Jamestown is a beautiful town. We also visited Fort Niagara. We both enjoy history. The guys there were very welcoming and full of information.
In June, we traveled to Ohio and visited Cedar Point amusement park and also the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. Both places were great. Beautiful place.
In Sept., we went to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. We went with my daughter and granddaughter. We had a good week and some experiences that were awesome such as the waterfall jumping and cable car ride up a mountain. Dana wanted to take me to Puerto Plata for our honeymoon last year but didn't happen because of Hurricane Maria. We ended up in Varadero, Cuba which we both enjoyed. After discussing both places with friends and family who have been to both places, seems Cuba is the winner for hospitality and warmth of the people. Myself included in that vote. 2019 he wants to go to Montego Bay, Jamaica. I have a niece who has been there with her hubby and family 5 times to different resorts and loves it there. We'll see.
With 2019 on the horizon next week, I hope and pray it is better for all of us. Hubby is moving up in position in the trucking company he works for after only one year. I am now a shift lead for the security company I work for at the same trucking yard. Grateful for our jobs and our family and friends.
I am grateful to Sparkpeople to keep me going every morning. I check in and I have some on here that I have been friends with for awhile now. Nice to be able to hear what they are up to and that someone actually cares. I am determined to make this my healthiest year yet!
Thanks for being there for me.
To everyone who took the time to read my "novel", thank you. Stay blessed and may you have a joyous and prosperous 2019!