It is 2:35 AM on New Year’s Day … and I am lying in bed … reflecting on 2008 … having just rocked in the New Year with our new Wii Rockband 2 (Mama on drums, Daddy on guitar, Meg on the mike and Isaac on the grumpy, why-won’t-anyone-play-with-me-right-now). I am usually not one for new year reflections … but 2008 was a truly wonderful year for our family. And I am feeling the need to pay some respect to the joys we experienced.

Please join me (or bear with me) as I show some appreciation for the following events that we enjoyed in 2008 (not in any particular order & likely missing some key events):
* We sold our home in the country.
* We moved into our new city home.
* Isaac started peeing and pooping in the potty.
* I began successfully selling handmade goodies on the internet.
* Halis joined the Hampden gun club and took up target shooting.
* My health improved considerably (I am almost 100%).
* We were able to sponsor Isaac’s biological siblings in Haiti to attend school.
* We were able to communicate with Isaac’s bio ‘mother’ with the help of 2 incredible friends.
* One of those incredible friends shared a hug with my son’s bio ‘mother’ — from me, all the way to Haiti.
* One of Isaac’s bio-siblings sent us a sweet letter.
* Facebook brought my high school best friend and I back in communication after 15 years or so.
* Halis, Isaac and I paid a visit to that friend and had a great time!
* I became seriously committed to my photography and greatly improved my skills.
* Halis and I paid off all our debt!
* I was able to generate over $5,000 for some of my favorite charities.
* My Memere celebrated her 85th Birthday.
* I made some amazing friends in the blogging world (likely including you!).
* Halis and I enjoyed more “dates” than we have throughout our entire marriage.
* Isaac greatly improved his vocabulary, math, and soccer skills.
* Halis was able to spend more time with Isaac and I due to cutting his commute time by 75%.
* We increased our time spent with the Goodales by about 300% since moving to the city.
* Halis and I read several books that we have been meaning to read … including the most profound book I have ever read (you can e-mail me for details if interested).
* Halis asked me to marry him again (down on one knee & with new “bling” to boot).
* Isaac moved right next door to his Bobo & Poppy and visits them whenever he wants.
*My brother secured a good job.
* Meaghan made the local hockey team and chose Halis’s jersey number for her own.
* Isaac fell in love.
* We purchased Rockband for the Wii — how did we ever live without it? Our family totally rocks now.

*** And the list could go on and on ….

But the greatest gift of 2008 was our move to the city. Though we loved the country life while it lasted, our family life — the time we spend together and with family and friends — has improved 3-fold. And I have to say, that in all my life, I have never experienced more joys than I did this year. More laughter, more friendships, more security, more romance, more personal fulfillment, etc. I know that part of it is because our conditions have improved (financial security, closer proximity to family & friends, etc.) but I also think that some of my joy can be attributed to my new & improving ways of appreciating and participating in what life has to offer … of giving my time and energies into that which feels good and saying no to those things which don’t … feeling gratitude for all that surrounds me, etc. At least, these are the attitudes that I strive for but don’t always achieve 🙂 Life is good … and I intend to live a life of believing that out loud.

So, welcome 2009. I hope to enjoy you as much as I did your predecessor.

And to my readers … I sincerely hope you each enjoy the greatest year of your life!


Jodi Renshaw

About Jodi Renshaw

Jodi is a homeschooling Mom, a photographer, a wife, and a proud resident of the city of Bangor. She spends part of her time working at a locally-owned shop in the downtown area, part of her time homeschooling her favorite young man, and most of her time behind a camera lens. She often writes about adoption, family life, homeschooling, and community.