Each year, Tom and I have a ritual. On our anniversary and the kids birthdays, we write in a journal reflecting on the year.
The ritual started in the weeks before we were to get married. Everyone kept telling us "remember this time". Since we have shoddy memories, the best way we could think to do it was to write it down. What a gift! We now have 2 books filled with memories of our married life... Day by day leading up to our wedding, the wedding weekend itself and the honeymoon afterwards. We re-read it each year and always get a good laugh. This proved to be so much fun and such a great way to appreciate all our blessings, that we kept it up. Each year we write in this journal.
When we were adopting the kids, again, we wanted to remember each tiny detail. So, they each have their own book detailing the wait for them to "come home", the trip to meet them and their 1st few weeks at home. We also then have yearly updates on their accomplishments (Plus this is way easier than trying to scrapbook a baby book after each "milestone". Call me lazy and uncreative, its OK. Its true!)
Since these books are so incredible and important to us, we left them in Minnesota. Naturally. Now, what to do...
You, lucky readers, will, for the next year, be "previe" to our deepest thoughts, secrets and remembrances from the last year. Consider it a love note to ourselves and our family:)
Hence "Reflections on the 9th year of marriage"
Holy Cow - 9 years. Each year has gotten progressively more busy, high speed, fun and comfortable (in the best possible way). But, I'd have to say, this year takes the cake. Not only did we make it, we made it through moving to India, countless trips, kid milestones like school, potty training, talking and .... we are still together. How lucky am I?!! How lucky are we!
We started the year with a great adults only retreat to Bayfield WI. It was GORGEOUS. We saw bears, went mountain biking, drank wine, ate fish, and basically enjoyed our only alone time for the next year.
We snuck in our annual trip to Glen Lake to be with the Hickey side of the family for 10 glorious days of grandmas/grandpas, moms/dads, sisters/brothers in law, cousins, aunties/Dadu, swimming, sand dunes and ice cream.
We had a fabulous weekend in Victoria Minnesota at Grandpa and Grandma Murphy's cabin where we took photos of the whole family and had a great time just being together.
Next, the BIG trip to Bangalore India. Zoinks, 30+ hours on a plane with 3 kids followed by 2 weeks in a hotel. I am not sure that I would recommend this for everyone but it was a great learning experience for our family. I guess that's what this blog is all about:)
India trips included; Mysore, Cochin, Munnar, Cauvery fishing camp, Delhi, Agra, Hampi, Kabini, Maldives and Ooty. Whew... I am getting tired just thinking about it again.
We also had a fabulous 2 weeks in Australia. We saw almost all of south east Australian. Again a once in a lifetime experience. How lucky are we?!
Welcome to the world this year !! - Baby Herbie Basil (my sister Tammy) . Marley Cady (good friends Pat and Mary). Baby Girl Loignon (college roomie Lynn, sorry I cant remember her name right now:) ) Jordan Berkner (wonderful house sitter Heidi)
Besides ours - The Cady's moved to Arkansas. The Milbrath's to Seattle. The Miller's, Herkelmans and Webb's to India:) Claude to Canada. Damien to France. The Wilson's to Ireland. The Agostini's to NJ. Lindy and Chris to Singapore, The VanMeters to Dayton. Spirit in Action to their NEW home! The Petersons to a small cottage on lake Minnetonka.
To India:) Besides all the wonderful work friends and coworkers that brought us fruit snacks, tortillas, People/US magazines and red wine we had wonderful friends and family visit, helping us stave off homesickness for just a little while .... Jeff Van Meter and Mike Swenson, Mom and Dad Hickey, Mom and Dad Murphy, Aunt Sue Hickey, Julie Hickey, Jessica Stoll, Beth Rozga and Manda Murray.
Jimmy - Learned to ride his bike WITHOUT training wheels, went to Kindergarten, rides the bus to school, knows how to use the computer (and the cell phone), can write, sound out words and actually READ, is learning Hindi, speaks in an Indian English accent (but only with Indian people) and can understand our cook/maid/driver when they speak Tamil. The top of his head is at my arm pit and he weighs over 65 lbs. Yikes! (Plus he can eat a whole chicken!)
Kay - Was potty trained!! Learned to ride a bike with training wheels, picks out her own clothes and gets herself dressed, started "school", started riding the bus to school, speaks Tamil with our maid/cook, had her fingernails/toenails "done", "writes" us notes, is a damn good painter. She comes right to my hip and weighs 28lbs. (yep still in 2-3T clothes - thanks Shinbee:) )
Billy - Stopped using a NUK, started talking (non stop), understands Hindi and Tamil, feeds himself (both with a spoon and fork AND the Indian way with chapati), imitates Power Ranger moves, sleeps in a big boy bed - not a crib:) He can easily still stand between my legs and weighs 30 lbs (yes, he weighs more than Kay and his head is 50% bigger too! They still share shoes, tshirts and shorts...)
Mom and Dad Hickey - They BOTH turned 65!!!
Mom and Dad Murphy-They turned 72 and Grandpa Murphy celebrated 50 years since he graduated college.
Tracy's girlfriends - 1st annual 39th birthday parties are the "theme" of the year:)
Tom's friends- They will have to stop at the store this year on the way home from the annual fishing trips to purchase some fish since I will not be their to catch the fish for them.
New Jobs - Jim Fellows (MAJOR marketing genius:)), Treena Shosten (left Sonia Kosik and found a new love), Ann Wohlforth (movin' on up!), Scott Brill (VP :) ), Peterson's & Mary Foster (their new job is to ENJOY life), Ben Milbrath (continuing to turn air into gold), Alexis Seiler (great new boss and location), Wendy Reed (seriously well deserved), Michelle Manderfeld (big wig), Des Kamman (self employed creative genius), Brian Murphy coming into his dream job!! and Carl landing a new Sales Manager job will he will not have top travel anymore.
So, I think I need to go to bed. This has been an exhausting year.
But... I'll sleep well knowing that we and ALL our loved ones (family and friends) were immensely blessed this year.
How lucky are we to have each other and all of you to share these joys, pains, and milestones!?!
You make it all worthwhile. Can't wait to see what's in store for ALL of us in year 10:)