Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dear 2011.

Dear 2011,

I want you to know you've been my favorite year so far.

My daughter turned 7. My son turned 6. We celebrated 9 years of marriage. I turned 31. The Hubs turned 32. Nothing in there is spectacular, but yet we're here, we're healthy, we're a happy family... in this day and age, that IS spectacular in itself.

That's not to say it was all easy this year. We faced the biggest decision in regards to JT's autism and treatment that we've faced. We'd been avoiding it (they told me at his diagnosis he'd need meds... not 'he'll probably need meds', but 'he'll need meds'). Looking back, that was one of the hardest decisions we've made as a family. Medication is a serious subject. But I now know we undoubtedly made the correct choice for us. It has changed our lives.

We dealt with bullying of both Audrey and JT, and were happy with the response of one school and at least semi-satisfied with the response of the other. Either way, neither of our kids are tormented now, nor are they broken because of it. We've had some valuable discussions about bullying and what that says about the bully - and tried to set up a plan of action if it ever happens again. It happens far too often now, to far too many kids.

We've seen JT go from an entirely self-contained class to now only having two 'blocks' (social studies/science and english/literature) where he's NOT mainstreamed, and he has no aide - he's doing it all himself! He's made a real friend. He's gotten notes from kids at school. He's finding his place. He is one astonishing little boy.

Audrey's testing has shown that she's even smarter than we thought (which is pretty freaking smart). Her math benchmark was 100%. She was above grade level in everything. Her reading? At a 6th grade level. And this is a kid that will fight tooth and nail to NOT do homework or read... Thankfully, Captain Underpants (another 2011 discovery) is a new favorite - but she's almost done with the series. Frantically trying to find a new 'friend' for 2012! Her artwork has gone from 'that's cool' to 'that is AMAZING'. We have to get her in art classes, because for a child her age to draw with perspective and to be able to replicate what she sees so perfectly... she needs to explore that talent.

The Hubs got promoted. He's got an awesome store now, with great people. He's still good at what he does, and enjoys doing it. You really can't ask for more in a job.

I got a job (YAY Starbucks!). They helped me transfer, even though they didn't have to. I get free coffee. They have awesome benefits. And I get free coffee :)

As 2011 comes to a close, I can say we're in a really, really good place. Our kids are doing fantastic. We're doing fantastic. Our family is doing fantastic. Everything really did turn out okay...

So, thank you, 2011.

I can only hope that 2012 brings us more of the same :)

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