It's time for the end of year post, where we count our blessings ... despite the hardships of the year (losing my job earlier in the year, the stress of a move), there are many:
1. That both Lauren and I are still alive and unharmed to celebrate the New Year, given the car wreck after Thanksgiving that totalled our previous car, and that our insurance came through quickly enough to snag a new one off the lot ... and a thank you to the unknown person who had originally ordered the car, but refused it when she found out that they weren't including a full-sized spare tire with it! Now if State Farm could come up with the reimbursement for the car rental ....
2. That we're in good health. Mine has much improved after leaving an unhealthy and stressful (in every sense of the word) job situation, and Lauren, at least, has been spared the possibility of having gallbladder surgery for another year.
3. That we're both as much in love with each other as ever, and everything is on track for our wedding in March.
4. That we have the continued blessing of friends and extended family, both mine from Des Moines and from years past, and Lauren's from various places (Urbana-Champaign and here in Maryville), who have all enriched our lives in various ways. What makes it amazing is that several of them (at least 3, at last count), are also getting married sometime next year as well (and in one case, the wedding is directly attributable to me, because I introduced them last year).
5. For the blessing of our kitties, who continue to remind us that we need playtime in our lives: for Opie, who (apparently) has kitty Alzheimers and can't quite find the litter box anymore, but can still find the food dish and our laps; for Kitty, who has made the transition to indoor cat quite well (except for the occasional hairball chucking); and even for Stinky, who has finally started to grow a bit and still gives us headaches in going into places and on top of things she shouldn't.
6. For the guidance and blessing of our minister, Mike Kyle, who shepherded us through the pastoral pre-wedding counseling process, and our diocese bishop, who pronounced his blessing on our future wedding.
7. For the blessing of a decent winter so far; although it's been cold, apart from a dusting or two, we haven't had any snow this year, but we have had enough rain to keep the lawn in decent shape. EDIT: I spoke too soon. The next day after I wrote this, we've gotten two inches of snow just in time for New Year's Day. Go figure ;-).
I dare say we've been quite blessed this year ... here's hoping it continues next year as well.
Happy New Year everyone!