Last day of the year, so a few moments to reflect are in order.

2015 was a strange year. Many good things. A few not-so-good things. Some frustrations mixed in as well.

The year got off to a bad start for me. As many of you know, a close relative was going through some serious health issues this time last year. In fact, on New Year’s Day we had a series of phone calls that were a pretty terrible way to kick off the year. On January 1, 2015, it seemed like the next few months, or perhaps only weeks, would be very difficult. I spent the next weekend in a hospital in Missouri, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. Amazingly, things did turn better. I’m convinced this relative has nine lives, and while they are not exactly the picture of good health today, they are still with us.

Being a procrastinator of the first order, I allowed that to keep me from using early 2015 to figure out what to do with the hours in the day when the girls are in school. Once that cloud had lifted, spring break was right around the corner. Then the end of the school year. And so on. So as I sit here on December 31, the picture is no clearer about what I can and should do to fill that time each day. I’m hoping to be a little more motivated in the coming weeks and find something to occupy myself.

On to the good things. That spring break trip to Florida was fantastic. Well, other than the drive.
The girls had fun playing volleyball, soccer, softball, kickball, swimming, and running cross country.
Another summer of great memories at the LVS, which dodged an epic series of storms in early July.
There were lots of bike rides and walks through nature parks.
The whole family read tons of books.
Each girl grew just a little older, which is truly a bittersweet process. This Christmas season especially I missed the raw happiness that comes with having a bunch of little ones. It’s not that they didn’t enjoy the season. But their collective mood was definitely changed from years past.

S. continued to be successful in her job. I played a very small part in it, but the paper I work for was named best in Indiana this year, after winning best sports section a year ago.

And as much as I hate to admit it, the Royals winning the World Series was likely the highlight of my year. I mean, all the kid stuff came first. Obviously. But any time I think back to those four weeks in October, I get giddy like I’m 11 again. I loved getting Christmas cards from friends in KC where the family was posed in Royals shirts, or at a game, or the World Series parade. It’s silly that sports mean so much to me, I know. But in a year that was stagnant personally, a bunch of guys who wear the jersey of my hometown team winning the World Series was about the greatest fun I had over the past year.

A few of my close friends have had more trying years than I. To them I say, despite the pain, loss, and despair, we made it through. The simple act of hanging a new calendar tomorrow doesn’t change any of that. But 2016 is an opportunity to make new beginnings, create new relationships, and have amazing new experiences. Embrace the new year.

Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for reading.