2013 – A Year In Review

I ran exactly no more times than I could count on one hand.

I gained about 5 more pounds, got what my sister-in-law sweetly referred to as a “muffin top,” and subsequently bought new jeans that don’t leave my ass crack less of a mystery to the public at large.  Probably because I stopped running.  Or love.  Yeah.  That’s what it is. Love.

Owen has grown a ridiculous amount of growing, as evidenced by my feverish shopping for the last boys’ size jeans I can buy before he moves up to young men’s.  No easy task – I am convinced he is in the majority of boys all wearing the exact same size – the size that is always sold out.   He now stands 5’ 5 ½ ” tall, nearly 4 inches taller than me, though I still outweigh him by almost 30 pounds. 

We survived the Science Project of 2013.  It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as I predicted – there were no tears, no screaming or yelling, and no angry foot stomping.  And even Owen handled the project well.

Ava got a brand new insulin pump in the beginning of the year, and exactly 11 months later the  actual case of the pump cracked.  We breathlessly waited 2 harrowing days from this New Year’s Eve until Animas Corp reopened so that it could be replaced.  She is now on her 4thinsulin pump since 2008, and her 3rd pink one.

The Ravens won the Superbowl!  It was an awesome game and an awesome win…witnessed at my brother-in-law’s townhouse party and afterward we drove downtown (Baltimore) to experience the rush of crazed fans celebrating the win.  This exciting experience crushed any future desire I might have for attending any Superbowl celebrations in the victor’s home city.  The helicopters circling overhead, crowds surpassing any New York street at Christmas, people falling down, and inimitable policemen on horseback made me feel like I’d been dropped into the middle of a bad sci-fi movie.

My Facebook page appeared on the local news station on a segment they call Facebook Flash.  Anyone with a Facebook page can submit, and I shamelessly told them how I reunited with my high school sweetheart because I knew they couldn’t possibly pass that up.  (Obviously, it worked.)

My baby brother turned 21 in February.  I wasn’t able to celebrate with him (I’m old now and not as “cool” as I was when he was 4) but I am proud he didn’t get arrested or injured.  He did, however, later break his back snowboarding in Colorado. (I’m going to assume he was not drinking at the time.)

I finally returned to New York, and took Ava with me for her birthday.  It was awesome, like going home, even though so much has changed (the towers are gone) so have things remained the same.  We had a great day – seeing my college, having lunch together, Ava’s first trip to New York and ride in a real yellow cab, walking more blocks than she has in her entire life, and visiting the American Girl store.  Most expensive day.   Ever.

Early in the summer, we found out that we were having a baby.  11 weeks later we would learn that it wasn’t meant to be.  I never in my life thought I would ever have to go through such an experience, and it was awful and painful and disappointing.  I am thankful for the love and support from the few who knew about it and especially C for being there and understanding like no one else could.

Meanwhile, an old dear friend of mine had her first baby!  It was very exciting, planning the baby shower and celebrating, and then the breath-holding wait for the arrival.  She gave birth to an adorable baby girl who has yet to realize just how cool her parents are. 

Todd and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Father’s Day at the restaurant with my dad and stepmom.  Despite the early interruptions to my inner peace (nasty and innumerable text messages), I was able to down a few shots of the finest, most expensive tequila and revel in the joy of another year living what once seemed like the impossible dream.

In July, after 6 months of nonpayment of rent, a district court ruling, two sheriffs and two animal control trucks – Todd’s renter, 4 kids, her 10 dogs, and an unauthorized squatter got the final boot, ending months of stress and anxiety for us.

The kids finally got to go to Disney.  I wasn’t the lucky parent who got to take them though – so my most favorite place on earth remains untarnished by my whiney, demanding, ungrateful wonderful offspring.   They enjoyed their vacation, though dad and his contemptible girlfriend got to bear the brunt of the sniveling drone that often accompanies any trip lasting more than 3 hours.

I paid $6000 toward my attorney’s fees accumulated over a year and half, roughly 1/3 of the total owed.  Yay me.

We were blessed with 2 separate events planned by dear friends (with enormous talent and great big hearts) to raise money for Type 1 diabetes research and the JDRF – the 1st, a collaboration at Taylor Backes which mom catered, brought some 60 people out, and the 2nd,  a Caribbean carnival,  was held at the restaurant with over 70 in attendance.  Total funds raised were in excess of $5000.  It’s a start.

There has been a good deal of news around the internet and Facebook of new breakthroughs, technology, ongoing research and testing.  Unfortunately, 2013 was not the year.  We are still without a cure for Type 1 diabetes.  But each year brings us closer, and the promise and hope for that one day when my daughter can say, “I used to have Type 1 diabetes.”

We took the kids to Hershey Park – the first in a series of vacation mini-adventures.  Ava loved everything about it, except the height restrictions that kept her off some of the more terrifying coasters.  She and I rode the Sidewinder together, which pulled us up to a cold-sweat high, blew us through the track like lightening and back again, and the adrenaline I felt afterward shoved my grief front and center.  Now THAT’s a thrill ride.  Owen, on the other hand, rode NOTHING.  I could’ve left him at home and flushed the $60 down the toilet, but I would’ve missed him.

We drove to Washington, DC for the second leg of our mini-vacations on the hottest day of the summer, walked the manicured grounds of the monuments (before the government had their little shut down), stepped inside the Lincoln Memorial with about 200 other sweating tourists trying to cool off, and walked the Vietnam Veteran’s wall.  Owen found a “Keene,” which I photographed, though I don’t know who he is or whether we were related at all.  We also visited The Museum of American History and ate hot dogs for lunch in the café for $65. But hey – the museum was free.

Got my hair cut short for the first time in over 12 years last Fall.  I’ve been wanting to return to short hair, just didn’t want to give up the pony tail.  I am loving the time-saving and easy-breezy style.  However, like a true Gemini – I’d like to have long hair again too.

I now officially have a teenager in my house.  My baby boy, the little man who melted in my arms for the first 5 years of his life, who gave me his first kiss on Christmas eve 12 years ago and endured a thousand more of mine, turned 13 in October.  His hugs are little less melty, and more wham-bam-thank-you-maam, but I’ll take what I can get. 

We made a lot of new friends.  We have met many more people who have come into our lives via the restaurant, mutual friends, new schools, bowling, and even in our neighborhood.
And the biggest, most enduring news of the year….We moved.  We were finally able to move into Todd’s house in Maryland after much discussion, a few arguments, some nasty text messages, a court document, several lawyer meetings and would rather not mention undisclosed legal fees, and finally – an agreement to everyone’s satisfaction.  We couldn’t be happier.  We’re no longer living on top of each other in a tiny rental on busy road, the kids are happy in school, I get to see my husband every day, we live in a great neighborhood with kids knocking on our door, we have neighbors who socialize,  our expenses are no longer divided and we are now able to fully combine our resources.

My ex and I have raised our white flags.  I am grateful that he agreed to the move and I hope that he truly believes that I want our children to have a strong and solid connection with him, as I strive to give them all the time they need with him.  Todd and I invited him to stay for dinner on a day he’d come to visit the kids, coincidentally his birthday, and he humbly accepted and later thanked me for it.  We aren’t friends, but I hope – allies – in the journey of raising these children because, somehow, for some unknown reason, we ended up on this path together long ago.

All in all, it was a decent year – and I am a firm believer in, “it’s only uphill from here.”  I didn’t flip my car and camper on a family vacation in Florida, get caught in Boston during the Marathon bombing, dissect my arm with an exploding blender, or break my ankle, but I know one person who did.  It was still an eventful year, with many blessings that far outweighed the disappointments, and many friends and family who stand “for me” and for that I am forever grateful.

One thought on “2013 – A Year In Review

  1. We are so happy that you and Todd connected again.

    This last year for us has been fun just being around the two of you and the children. Having you for dinner once a week was really great for us. The wine and discussions are something that any parents can cherish for life. We love you guys and enjoy being part of your lives.

    The Chanuka dinner and party was something that we will also remember for a long time, especially the colored sprikles which we are still vacuuming up, and then there was walk-through of Christmas lights at 34th Street. Just seeing the brightness on the faces of Owen and Ava was fantastic.
    Then seeing the kids run ahead of us as we walked back to the cars, reminded me of when Uncle Leslie and I would run home from synagogue on holidays with my parent walking slowly behind us.

    We were to happy to be be with you, Todd, Gracey and David this holiday season, and also having a chance to let Aunt Marilyn see the happiness of our wonderful family.

    Love you always, Mom and Dad


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