Defining 2012

ROUTINE: a regular course of procedure; habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure

When it was time to send the cards this year, I flipped through our 2012 Dr. Seuss calendar for holiday letter fodder.  The majority of days have something noted but it’s not necessarily the type of thing that makes the annual letter cut: a playdate, field trip, parent meeting, dinner with friends, work meeting, swim lesson, sport practice, doctor appointment, etc.  Individually, those events aren’t noteworthy.  But twelve months of hindsight shows how those individual events merge together to make our life.  In fact, there is much of our life that doesn’t even make the calendar: lunch packing, school drop-offs, work, homework, dinner, baths, bedtime stories, Facebook, and television shows I will not name to protect what is left of my dignity.  This is our new normal.   It doesn’t make for great holiday letter anecdotes but it sure does fill the time.

SUCCESS: favorable or desired outcome

After our abandoned attempt to hike it with a fever in 2005, and the Great Boot Disaster of 2011, Husband and I finally checked Olympic National Park’s Enchanted Valley hike off our bucket list.  27 miles, 3 deer, 4 bears, 7 elk, 19 banana slugs.  New boots. Blue skies. Spectacular waterfalls.  The third time was indeed a charm.

ESCAPE: to get away (as by flight); to issue from confinement; to run wild from cultivation

Because Husband finds requests from redheaded/blue-eyed women difficult to refuse, I managed to escape town a couple of times this year without children.  I spent a weekend with my mom, aunt and cousin in Vancouver, BC enjoying lots of talking, walking, eating and Bananagrams.  I also managed to fend off what looked like a looming midlife crisis by joining my brother on a four day trek through Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness.  I returned blistered, happy, and (thanks in part to a chance meeting with a young woman hiking from Montana to the Pacific Ocean) ready to put on hold my plans to drop everything and head to the woods for an epic hike on the PCT.

COACH: one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy

Son played (and Husband coached) two sports this year: t-ball and soccer.  Son learned how to function as part of a team and Husband learned about crowd control.  From my perspective coaching is the male equivalent of childbirth…an often exhausting and painful experience where the joy is what sticks in your memory and makes you agree to do it more than once.

TRADITION: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior

We embarked on another summer road trip this year.  It was an ambitious trip – one car, two kids, three states, four national parks, 2,654 miles.  We drove to California and visited Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite and Redwoods National Parks.  We also visited family in Walnut Creek and Napa. We came home with one bear sighting, four new Jr. Ranger badges, several bags of candy smuggled into the kids’ suitcase by Uncle Leroy, hundreds of photos and heaps of laundry.

TRANSITION:passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another; change 

Our family had several big transitions this year – Son to kindergarten, Daughter to drop-off preschool and me back to a “real job” three days a week where I put the skills and perspective I’ve gained in the last five years to work.  It has been a steep learning curve for all of us, but we have adjusted to our new roles and responsibilities.

HIP: having involvement in the newest developments or styles; trendy

Thanks to my new job, I now have a fancy phone and have learned to text.  I also joined the blogosphere this year.  Those who know me well can insert their own flying swine joke here.

So long 2012.  You’ve been many things…some of which Webster can’t quite capture. 

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