We've enjoyed a wonderful 2012 and I'll try to summarize the high points....
- In April Arissa turned 13 and was on the receiving end of the Stratman family tradition and received her birthstone ring. This ring also doubled as her purity ring. It was an estate piece that I searched high and low for and was perfect. She adored it and wore it proudly.
- About this time, Arissa tried out for the school cheerleading team and once again made the squad.
- In May Isaiah turned 16! No, he isn't a driver yet but hopefully that will change. Steven and I don't think that 16 automatically equals driving and when we feel he is ready for that responsibility he will be driving.
- School finished up and both kids did well....ish. Arissa, yes. Isaiah? Not so much. We spent our summer working with a therapist & a psychiatrist and FINALLY got a diagnosis and treatment started for him. If you know Isaiah at all "ADHD" is probably the last thing you would ever think of to describe him. Turns out, ADHD isn't just "misbehaving"...with Isaiah it's what we refer to as tics... subtle moves, blinks, taps, rubs....he is almost always in some form of motion. The tics were of zero concern to us...his inability to complete his school work, him being in tears wanting to make changes but unable to find the will to....it was awful...on all of us. Not just him. A little pill once a day changed so much for him.
- In June I was in my very first dance recital ever. When I started taking dance I was adamant I wouldn't be in the recital. Not *this* Momma. No way Jose. Um. Yeah. There I was in full on costume and stage makeup dancing in front of half the town. I had quite the support group there and it was a total BLAST! I loved it!!
- The end of June brought our family beach vacation. This year we went down to Cape Coral and rented a perfect house for the week. We had plenty of room, our own pool, rarely wore more than swimsuits, had zero schedule...slept late, stayed up late, read magazines and books, swam and swam some more. It was perfect. Weather could have been better and we decided we'd rather be closer to the beach but those things were minor. We all enjoyed ourselves. As I watched the kids play in the pool I thought...you're gonna miss this. And I know I will. Our time with our kids is getting shorter and shorter.
- We weren't back long and it was time to deal with church camp, cheer camp, and get ready for school to start.
- Not too far into the school year we had a very scary situation with Arissa. She managed to contract viral encephalitis and waiting on the diagnosis was awful. She had amnesia (and still can't remember several days and likely never will), had 4 lumbar punctures, CT scan, EEG, tons of blood work and a weekend stay at Children's. She also lost the ring she got for her birthday. We were blessed with a) the good news that time and rest would fix her and b) a dear friend of ours worked with the jeweler to find and purchase an almost identical ring for her.
- Steven is still at AT&T; I am still at Duncan & Sons'. I really love my job. I love the people I work for and with. They are an awesome family and I'm one of "them"...not just an employee.
- The first part of December we participated in the Faith Walk: Knoxville Steps Up for HIV. This was a HUGE deal for me....Isaiah and Arissa were there beside me, all of us in "Team Amazing Love" shirts (the team I formed for my support group), and I had about 15 people there plus lots of out of towners wearing their shirts that day to support me. I shed more than a few tears.
- We figured out that gluten isn't my friend....I don't have Celiac but do have a strong gluten intolerance. The less I eat, the happier my guts. Most days I do really well and I do allow myself cheat days for special occasions (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc).
- I still deal with the migraines...I suppose I always will.
- We got the good news from Isaiah's specialist that he doesn't have to return...he is now a mere 1/2 inch shorter than me & is still on track to be 6'. His bones are still only aged to 14 years but that will catch up over time.
- Isaiah got 4 wisdom teeth pulled last week and did terrific! Very little pain, barely any swelling and he's back to normal.
- Christmas was terrific! Both kids were spoiled a bit more than normal (more for my benefit than anything), were very surprised and very grateful.
- Steven did great for me this year....after several years of no laptop I got a new one! So...maybe now that I can blog from upstairs I will do better.
I'm sure I've forgotten plenty but at least it's a start. Check back soon....you never know when I'll be back!!