2012 was a year of ups and down. It began with me losing my last remaining grandmother, who lived a very long and fruitful life. She is rejoicing with Jesus right now (a year on the 7th). The year began with my oldest son a senior in high school preparing for college. In June he graduated and three days later left to work the whole summer in Minnesota. I believe that job was a wonderful growing experience for him. My middle son was enrolled in drivers education and my youngest was finishing up middle school. Then after summer, oldest son moved to Ft. Myers to attend Florida Gulf Coast University, my youngest child entered high school, and my middle child became the second driver out of my three boys. Each one of these alone would make a mother’s heart beat a little faster, but for me it was overwhelming.

Our family got use to our new normal of only two kids at home. Mothers with older children told me you will always feel like something is missing, and they are right. As proud as I am to have my oldest son learning to live on his own, it is still a new normal. The first semester was rocky with a roommate involved in things he should not have been (they were not friends) and struggling with several of his classes. We are covering him in prayer and praying that this second semester goes better.

December was a rough month. We put our beloved dog of 12 years down just a few days before Christmas, which was the hardest thing I have ever done. You truly grieve like you have lost a member of the family. I had the awesome opportunity to fly home to Phoenix on Christmas day, but unfortunately was sick in bed the whole trip. That has been the sickest I have been in awhile. Even today I am still not 100%, but almost there. It is so depressing to spend your Christmas break sick and tomorrow I have head back to work again.

I am looking forward to 2013. There is one mission trip in October that I am excited to be able to go on. I am looking forward to my youngest getting his learner’s permit. He is also going to be able to spend extra time in Minnesota with his grandparents this summer for his big 15th birthday.

I have expectations for 2013. I can’t wait to see where the Lord leads. My husband and I realize in 3 years all our kids will be in college or moved out. It is hard for me to fathom that, but also excited to see where God leads.