It has been a while since my last post, sorry. I am sure no one is hanging by any threads of anything I have to say. I feel I have lots to say but not sure what I want to share with the entire world and what I don't. I will start with some random thoughts. Today, on the way to pick up the kiddos from school I was thinking about the past year. Yes, we have officially (by the way, in Iowa, officially is pronounced with a long o) been in Iowa for over a year now. But, I was thinking about the craziness of that year. Some of you know what I am talking about, it is like we brought a plague with us or something. Hmmm...first there was the girl who rear ended my van in November when my in-laws were visiting. Our furnace kept randomly going out and we would be without heat, us poor little Tennesseeans here in Iowa. Then winter came nasty and early and lasted forever. We got ice on the FIRST weekend in December, and that same 4 inch thick sheet of ice (plus ALOT more snow) was still on my driveway in March. People said it was the worst winter here in something like 12 years (sometimes they joking blame us for bringing it when we moved). Let's see, I fell on the ice while ice skating with the family on New Year's day. I got to have my first broken bone (right ankle), my first surgery (eight screws and a metal plate), my first non-baby related hospital stay, all in one shot. Ooh, and I got to use a walker and have pretty purple cast, and go to physical therapy. Also, I had started a paper route to try to help out with the financial strain of not selling our TN house, yeah, that lasted two weeks until I broke my ankle. Hmm...then my wonderful mother-in-law came and took care of me for about a week or a little more. Then my wonderful mother came for, gosh, was it three weeks. During this time, my poor mother had a small accident with my van, the day after my new insurance started on my vehicle (she can't laugh about it yet, but really, I CAN). Then it was time for her to go home and my mother-in-law came back for nearly a month. On Feb. 5, I started my job at Harley-Davidson of Mason City. Then on Feb. 9, my poor mother-in-law (Linda) caught a patch of ice while driving my van to Minneapolis to pick up my brother-in-law from the airport. After a devastating experience for her, the van was totalled. (All involved were fine, but we are getting to that part). So our insurance covered most of the amount due on the van, just left a couple thousand dollars unpaid, it could have been much worse. So then, when Linda and Kevin were finally able to make it home (though I really wanted them to stay much longer), it was nearly March. Yeah, they don't like Iowa weather so much. Then later in March, coming home from parent-teacher conference, a guy rear-ended my car as I was trying to turn into my driveway (road was pretty slick). It did no damage because it was barely a tap, but I remember thinking, should I just walk EVERYWHERE I go? Also, the guy didn't stop to check on me or anything. Then about a month ago, we learned that after a year of trying to sell our house, and struggle to keep both houses afloat, we are losing the TN house in Foreclosure. Then the Harley had to go, which hurt Brian more than it hurt me, but it hurt me for HIM. So, it has been quite a year. But, this afternoon when I began thinking about it, I began to think of what the good was instead of the bad. For instance, in all of the car accidents, NO ONE was hurt. And my kids were in one of those. So for that, I am THANKFUL! Also, I have wonderful family that took such great care of me and my family when I was unable to do so. For that, I am beyond THANKFUL!! And yes, we are losing our property in TN, but once it is gone, we will have a relief from that mortgage, that electric bill, and that water bill. That will be nice. It has been a vicious year in some ways and I won't even dare say that I handled it all with grace, because I know I didn't. However, I found opportunities to grow and become better, even if it was in hindsight. At the moment, life is hard. It is difficult to face financial ruin and be a good person through it. But, I am trying not to lean on my own understanding and know that 'my ways are not His ways'. Please know, I am not writing this as a way for people to feel sorry for me. Rather, I want to remember that there is always something to be thankful for, even when it seems there isn't.