Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Year In Review

2014 was definitely not my best year, however I have always done a year in review and do not think I should pass just because it was a horrible year for me.  Although it was not the greatest year, I did have some personal good things, some I have posted about but what I did not post is how I have such a great support system of family and friends, this includes many of you, my blogger friends.  I have also once again seen how much my Mom loves her daughters.  I heard with my own ears Matthew, Joshua, and Ethan (all separately and thinking I was not within ear shot) telling Noah what a great Mom I really am and how some day he will realize this and he needs to quit treating me so poorly. This is one of the greatest gifts I could have ever have in my entire boys realizing all I do and appreciating it.  Then of course there has been all the support from my darling husband who has been through the battles with me and has been a victim of Noah as well.  I feel very blessed having this man in my life.  So now on with the review...

Here in Iowa we had a deep freeze during the month of January. An Arctic blast hit us late in December 2013 and stuck around for a long time.  I was able to get a picture of the beauty of this Arctic blast, a sun dog.  You can read about it by clicking here.  (Just proof how you have to look for the good at all times.)

 I participated in one of my favorite swaps Books n' Bloggers hosted by Chaotic Goddess Swap, matter of a fact they are having another one soon and I plan to participate.  Sign ups begin January 5th, so head on over and check it out.  You can click on Chaotic Goddess Swap for their link.  If you want to see what I received in the swap last February you can click here.
I was paired with the wonderful Kaylee from Chair in the Shade.  She is such a sweetheart.  I still check out her blog.

I decorated my mantel for Valentine's Day in 2014.  This was the first time, I never shared that with any of you before.  I posted about my decorations and you can read about it by clicking here:
I went to Des Moines often during the beginning of the year to see my Dad.  February is my Mom's birthday and I stopped at her house before seeing my Dad and she showed me her decorations downstairs in the family room.  I was surprised she had some of our old artwork matted and framed. You can read about it by clicking here.
Actually, I posted a lot about love and a lot of songs by the Beatles to celebrate their 50th Anniversary on the Ed Sullivan show.  You can click here to listen to one of the songs, you can also check the February Archives to read about all of them if you wish.  I know I would but I am a big Beatle fan too!

I participated in my second favorite swap: Mug O' Comfort Swap.  I was paired with Ms. Tee from Where Love, Life, and Laughter.  She very much spoiled me, you can read about it by clicking here.  Chaotic Goddess Swap hosted this one again.
 I posted about an Irish Fun Fact about me.  You will have to click here to read about.  Trust me it was a good one.

I did not post a lot in March.  March was hard.  My Dad was getting worse and four of the five weeks I could not make it to Des Moines to see him.  I was not getting child support from my ex and it hurt financially so the trips were less. I did make it down the last weekends in March to celebrate my Dad's birthday.

The first weekend in April was hard.  My Dad was moving slower and was laying down, typically he did not do this.  When I kissed him good-bye and told him I would see him next weekend, he told me no I would not because he did not think he would be there.  I remember fighting tears all the way home.  It was what I thought was the longest 2 hour drive in my life at that point.  He was right, he left us on April 9th.   I did not make it in time and struggle with this still today, but God allowed my Dad to come to me the night he passed in my dream.  I was brought to my Mom's house where he was during the hours he passed.  He told me he loved me and he was proud of me, how I was a good Mom, and to always remember he loves me.  I thanked him and told him I love him too.  I heard him take one big deep breath and he passed in his sleep peacefully.  My Mom called me three minutes after I woke to break the news.  Everyone told me he would make it through the night and I would make it to say good-bye. I posted a tribute to him, you can read about it by clicking here.  I posted about him a lot during April. I cannot remember much of that month to be honest.  I do not know how I got through things.  I worked on his slide show for his memorial.  I was on auto pilot.  I cried so much, Taj was some sunshine for me during this time.  We went to the Children's Museum the weekend after my Dad passed. Todd was really hoping it was going to help me.  You can read about it by clicking here.
I did too, but while we were there I still fought the tears a couple of time. Taj would just run up to me and hug me.  I am blessed to have this little guy in my life.

Oh!  April I received a special gift.  My painting Ricki Jill from Art@Home painted for me.  I just love it!
 photo 83dc72db-38a8-4731-b0e4-4658952d6b7a.jpg
Her timing was incredible.  I needed this little pick me up.

As if April was not hard enough May was the beginning of my nightmare 2014 style.  Ten days after my dad's memorial and spreading his ashes my youngest son tried to hang him self three times.  You can read Part One about by clicking here.  

I posted about my love for Starburst Mirrors you can read about it by clicking here.  I never made mine yet but I plan to this year.  I actually plan to make two of them.  One must be done before May.  I plan to hang it one of the walls where the stairs are. 

My Spring flowers made me HAPPY, you can read about it by clicking here.

June was better to me than the two months prior.  Although Noah refused to cooperate and go on the weekend vacation we had planned.  We dropped him off at his Dad's on our way to Omaha with Taj.  You can read about our trip to the Omaha Zoo by clicking here.  
However before our trip to the zoo that month I posted about how our garden made me HAPPY.  You can read about it by clicking here. 
Taj turned three in June.  You can read about his party by clicking here. His theme this year was Toy Story and we went all out.  I posted links to all the decorations and games we made as well as the photo booth we created within the post above.  
We typically go on vacation during the end of July but chose to stay home and organize and purge.  I am so happy with what we did do but we have more.  We never touched the shed. July was no change in Noah.  I participated in the second Books N' Blogger swaps again hosted by Chaotic Goddess Swaps.  This time I was paired with Amanda from Off The BookYou can read about it by clicking here.  
Our gardens where doing well and my Mom came to stay with me during the 4th of July. I really enjoyed her being here.  You can read about my Happy List by clicking here 
I painted my Dr Who version of Starry Night.  I ended up giving it to Matthew as a Christmas present.  He was so surprised and happy with it.  He thought I was going to give it to Ethan.
The end of July is my anniversary to Todd.  We celebrated by going to Chicago but I did not post about it until August.  

Todd and I went to Chicago and stayed at a resort.  I posted a series of our Anniversary Weekend Get A Way.  We hung out at the Navy Pier, had an architectural tour on the Chicago River, went to Millennium Park.  I posted my series beginning in August but the last post were in September.  You can read the first of the series by clicking here and there are links to the others at the bottom of the post. 

During the months of May through August the Iowa City Corridor had a special art display through out the cities named Herky On Parade 2.  I was able to post about them during the month of August and did a little series.  You can read the first one by clicking here.   It was this post I introduced all 84 of them. 

The month of September was very rough with Noah.  The first time he ran away (he ran away a total of 3 times during the month of September) he was very aggressive, he pushed me and I was so proud how calm I handled everything.  He made a comment how he wished someone would kill me so he would not be in misery any longer.  After we found him Todd had enough of his disrespect and told him if he ever lays another finger on me he would lay a finger on him.  The next day when I came home from work I found the butcher's knife was missing from my knife block.  Noah had it hidden in his room to use on me and to protect himself from Todd.  We ended up having to go buy a lock which requires a key to put on our closet door.  All dangerous or harmful items are now stored in our closet.  The second time he ran away he attacked Todd and Todd had to pin him down until he was calm, during this time he kept biting Todd. 
Good things did happen in September, I blogged about, Todd and I went to one of the state parks and took a wonderful drive.  We went to Bellvue State Park, you can read about it by clicking here
I posted about a blog giveaway I won from Patty over at Patty's Pretty Things.  She too is such a sweet person.  You can read about the win by clicking here.  The same post I talked about other things that made me happy, such as painting on canvases and ceramics with the boys.
We took Ethan, Madi, Kera, Taj to Wilson's Orchard.  This was our second year of doing this and we will be doing it annually.  We just love it.  You can read about this post by clicking here.

And of course our garden products made my blog.  You can read about it by clicking here.
Noah's challenges this month besides being disrespectful and doing whatever he wanted, he was caught shoplifting.  *Sigh* While his brother was clocking in for work.  Yes, the kid shoplifted where his brother works.  This is very embarrassing and now challenging because Noah cannot even be on the property of any Hy-Vee store.  I cannot run a quick errand to the store if he is in my car, nor can he return pop cans any longer.
I did have some fun things in October.  Early in the month I went to Diamond Lake Park with Ethan.  It was an hour drive and I enjoyed the time with Ethan.  It seems he is getting robbed of my time.  We went to have his Senior pictures taken but it was nearly freezing temperatures and very windy so none of them turned out.  You can read about the little trip by clicking here.
Later in the month Todd and I went to Lake McBride State Park to take in some of Autumn's beauty.  We really enjoyed ourselves.  You can read about it by clicking here.
 I posted about the boys' Spirit Week and Homecoming Week, both boys went and they looked dashing.  I loved how they were into the Spirit too.  You can read about it by clicking here.
I started my new job which I still love.  The company is the best I have EVER worked for.  My niece, Miranda started walking with a walker, she is amazing the doctors her progress.  They never thought she would even sit.  She turned six the following month.  Noah, Taj, Todd and I went to Colony Pumpkin Patch and had a great time.  We will do this again.  You can read about it by clicking here.
We had to go to court for Noah's shoplifting.  He basically got a "Get out of jail Free" card.  We had to go to a class at the court house and they told the kids this is the only chance they get that will not be held against him.  This scared Noah.  I also came down with Whooping Cough and became very sick.  Noah ran away again the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  The week after Thanksgiving Noah started to make better choices and tried to work with everyone.  I think he was scared of being sent to a residential center, the court house, and seeing how sick I became he chose to begin to behave.  For the most part he is still trying. 

Noah and I took a painting class together.  The subject was Tree of Life.  You can read about it by clicking here.
The month of December Noah continued to make good choices, he brought most of his grades up to passing before Christmas break.  December 30th he had three hours of testing to find out if there is any mental disorders Noah has on top of depression and anxiety.  January 8th we will have results.

I was (still am) sick from Whooping Cough still because of this I only posted a total of 5 times. Christmas was good, small and for the most part stress free.  I did very little due to being sick but the family pitched in.



  1. you brave girl, having to deal with all that your son threw at you... but at least he is not into drugs, which is a small mercy that has not been given to my girl in Canada, her 16 year old has cut off all contact and into drugs... So I am sure that your son will be a good boy again with all the love you shown him...I hope that your illness is soon over, and that the New Year will be so much better than the last..hugs from across the pond, Janzi

  2. I enjoyed reading your year in review. I hope you are feeling better!


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