Now I'm blogging out of order. I know. I haven't even posted Christmas. But if I don't post my "year in review" now then I just might never get around to it. Or it will get so late that it will seem irrelevant. Whatever... here's 2011 in the life of the Bessmans.
The beginning of the year brought nothing much extraordinary. In February I got the chance to leave Joe and the kids for a long girls weekend in Hawaii. It was a difficult task convincing Joe to actually let me go but I truly believe we all benefited in the end. I got some much needed rest and relaxation and spent some good quality time getting to know some really great girls.
My uncle passed away on New Year's Eve 2010 and I travelled with the kids to California in early February for his memorial service. The meeting hall at the local fairgrounds was filled to standing room only as people came from all over to pay their respects. It was incredibly touching and eye-opening to realize just how many lives he had touched. We then travelled back to California (with Joe this time) in April for the family's first Easter without him. Beyond the rain and clouds and somber disposition we were still able to find joy and happiness in just being together.
Preschool graduation kicked off the start of our summer which involved travelling to California (while Joe did is annual army training), our big family camping trip at Harris Beach, soccer camp, swimming lessons and lots of friends and family time. Then Brendan started Kindergarten in the fall and life for this mommy changed drastically. Our every day lives now revolve around school... getting him there, picking him up and everything before, after and in between. I joined the PTA but have yet to make it to a single meeting.
We spent one of our best Thanksgivings here in Bend with my parents. My dad and stepmom made the journey through the mountains with turkey and fixings in hand. The food was delicious, the company outstanding and our stress-free holiday left us feeling joyful and blessed. Christmas was wonderful, just our family of four. Then we travelled (yet again) to California in an attempt at more family togetherness.
Joe continues to enjoy the work he does for Kittelson & Associates and I'm continually grateful for his ever-growing career and the opportunity it gives me to be at home with the kids. His army career brought changes this year as he retired his position as Company Commander of the 224 Engineers and moved on to be with the Battalion. A huge role change for him, as his new position involves none of the "fun" and camaraderie of his role as commander. A lot more sitting and "planning" and not a whole lot of doing. He enjoyed being in the more "active" role but has made the decision to just stick it out for now.
I still work an average of one 12-hour night shift per week at the hospital. I enjoy the people I work with and feel like I've become part of a "family." But my main focus is still on being a wife and mother and those are the things I plan on strengthening this year.