40 was great. It was an age I was kind of dreading--having memories of my parents' funeral themed 40th birthday parties--and it was a great age. (Full disclosure: 41 seems like a really old age to be.) I think I felt better at 40 and I was happier at 40 and I had more hope at 40 than at any other age (overall).
But when I title this post "Whew. . . what a year!" I mean it. WHEW! I'm not sure we could have packed many more changes into 2015. It is literally exhausting to think bout! We rang in the New Year in Cabo like always and I think that is the only time I could use "like always" to describe anything for this year.
Our family was involved in so many new things. Braces (X4). First loves. First kisses. Snowboard competitions. A broken collar bone. Club volleyball. A couple's trip to Cabo. A new dog. A new dog that is a little dog. A new dog who made our lives so much better. (Fine, I'll name names: Brad Ray!) House for sale. House shopping. Closing camp (I'll be touching on that later). Moving (that, too, will get more details). New friends. New schools. Family hikes. Girls hikes. Me and the dogs hikes. New favorite places to eat. New grocery store. New mail box. Foxes. A Junior in high school. Making lists of college visits. A Freshman in high school. Two fifth graders. (No middle schoolers.) A third grader. New car pool routes. A new dance studio. Adding jazz and hip hop. Varsity golf. Visitors in our home all of the time! New Gap Year destinations. Working from home. Sharing an office with my husband. Living at 10,000 feet. Broken ribs. Collapsed lung. Multiple overnights in two hospitals. A church where I feel at home. A community I feel loved by. Snow shoeing! Mountain views. I could go on and on. This year was a wild ride and looking back, I am happy.
Closing camp will probably be my biggest change for 2015 even though I don't really feel the effects of it yet. It was such a whirlwind and closing marked the end to something so exhausting that I don't know that I've mourned what closing camp actually means in my life. 2016 will be my first summer since I was born that I will not have summer camping in my life. I'm sure when summer rolls around I will have many more feelings about that change. I don't want to ignore it, but for now it hasn't hit me.
The biggest change that I am so very aware of is moving. I am home! Breckenridge is home. I am so happy and content and thrilled to be living in Breck. There are a zillion things I love about it! I think the highlights are:
- The mountains. Seriously. You know those cute signs that say, "the mountains are calling and I must go". . . ? That is how I feel. The mountains take my breath away every single morning. Being in Cabo has been such great confirmation for me. I love Cabo. I love waking up every single morning to watch the sun rise over the ocean and hear the waves crash on the beach. But even that doesn't compare to the way that the mountains both take my breath away and draw me to them in the same moment. I love the mountains.
- The people. I feel a community in Breck that I haven't had in a long time. It is amazing to me that I've only lived here for four months and I can already say that. The friends I've made here are keepers! They pursue me and love me. I have an overflowing handful of ladies who I am so thankful to be able to call friends!
- Location. Not only is Breckenridge a beautiful little town, but I get to go to golf tournaments in Aspen and Steamboat and Vail and Beaver Creek and Keystone. I get to go to snowboarding races in those same places. I take Dax to Copper Mountain three times every week. Our orthodontist is in Beaver Creek on the days he isn't in Breckenridge. I am just over an hour from Denver--a real city that I can visit and enjoy and love and not live in!
- Company. The people I have had coming in and out of my house have brought me to life again! Durango was so isolated and guests were rare. It seems like everyone is in Breckenridge to play and they are so generous to share parts of their vacation with us! I love having company. I love that I can have KCO/KIVU reunions at the house every month. I love that people come to ski and will come to dinner. I love that I can run down to Denver for those not making it up to the mountains. I love that I can invite the Japanese and US ski teams to Thanksgiving dinner (even if they didn't come). I love that I can give rides home to the German snowboarding team when they don't have a car. I love that I had a house-full of ladies at my Cookie Party. I love that one week hasn't gone by yet without a visitor!
- Me. I feel like me again. I didn't realize it, but I've apparently been lost for the past seven years and I am me again. My motto for this year is YES! I'm saying yes! If someone needs help, I'm saying YES. If someone in church has a baby, I'm saying YES to bringing a meal. If the youth group needs treats, I'm saying YES! If someone asks me to go for a walk, I'm saying YES! This is my year of YES because I don't want to miss a thing. And because of that, I am me again. I'm cheesy and giddy and so happy to be living in Breckenridge.
And best of all, this year was a great year for family. I love my family.
- I have a fantastic husband and even with all of the bumps and bruises from changing jobs and cities and everything, we are in a great place. My husband highlight is for sure snow shoeing!
- Hays is so grown up and such a great young man. He wasn't happy at all about moving, but he handled the hurt and disappointment with so much class. It has been fun to grow with him through the pain and to watch him handle the transition. Dreaming of colleges has been fun (and oh so tearful) with him and I am looking forward to see what the future holds there. Our time together in the hospital was priceless. I wouldn't want to do it again, but I'm thankful for the one on one time he and I had together.
- Maggie is a dream. She is so dear and so sweet and so funny. I'm so thankful for the friendship I have with her. I could have never in my wildest dreams imagined having a daughter who would truly mean so much to me.
- Tiki is coming along. I've noticed real progress with him this Fall and I have hope for his future. I cannot wait to see the kind of young man he grows into.
- Dax has gotten so independent this year and has found his wings to a certain extent. He has a good friend in Breck and he loves being involved with the snow boarding team. I'm thankful that he is coming out of his shell.
- Gabby is growing up so quickly and she has shown me the true meaning of tenacity this year. I know for a fact that she is going to blow my mind as she grows up because she will work harder than anyone to achieve something she sets her mind to. I cannot wait.
- And I cannot forget my dogs. Baylor is a dear sweet old soul (only 3). And Brad Ray has changed our lives forever!
So, all in all 2015 and age 40 was amazing. I couldn't have asked for more. I am happy. I am thankful. I am hopeful. I love where God has me right now for this time. Wow! I'm blessed!