Well. That was a year. There were 365 days, and we lived every single one as best as a family could. Some days that was good enough, and we relished each of those little victories. The other days, well, we tried to learn from each other’s failures and vulnerabilities.
This shit isn’t easy, after all.
But we tried. We learned. We fought hard, loved intensely and grew closer than ever. We saw the worst of people we thought the best of; we witnessed miracles and inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources.
We have more bruises.
But we also have more smiles.
And you know what? So what. Forget the scars. No one wants to remember mean and petty people, tough times or sad moments. They have their place, but it’s now. Tonight is about looking back and appreciating the blessings of the year, and looking forward to what lies ahead.
For me, I was truly blessed in 2014. I’m grateful to VW Group, Audi in particular, for taking me on as a contractor and paving the way for a dream job as a writer with Dealertrack; I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to take up running so vigorously and have it impact my life in such a positive way. I’m especially lucky to have had the opportunity to coach Meredith for almost 10 years — who now moves onto travel — and to play soccer myself, with Christina on what some would call the BAD NEWS BEARS OF ADULT LEAGUE SOCCER.
No matter. I will never again take the ability to be physically active for granted, and I bet there are a number of folks reading this post who feel the exact same way. As for the year, it went by fast. I remember going to Rehobeth in August and New York in December, and trying awesome Bojangles fried chicken for the first time on a visit to North Carolina. Mmm.
Mostly, we stayed home and stretched our dollars. Meredith made the Reagan Middle School soccer team, and competed in her first-ever horse competition — thanks to Mia Rickenbach’s guidance. As much as I don’t want her to grow up, Meredith is turning into a smart, independent, strong-willed and beautiful person so very much like Christina Huff Chee. Hard to believe that she’ll be in High School this September.
As for Abigail, she started riding in 2014. It was amazing, watching such a little person ride Buddy the horse around the ring! She also learned Tae Kwon Do, tried gymnastics, swam year-round and sang and danced her heart out through all those 365 days. From hour-long poops spent reading to openly pointing out grammar errors, that young lady is bursting out everywhere, all unbridled joy and love, pure and sweet. The little freak also lost a bunch of teeth, and still hasn’t figured out who plays Santa at the Alvey Elementary Christmas breakfast.
Christina was her awesome self last year. My best friend once again spent much of her time and talents helping others and taking her children to some of the most amazing places. They went to see the Presidents on MLK Day; spent hours in museums and on local farms.
Chris, Meredith and Abigail even volunteered for a day at the Claude Moore 18th Century Colonial Farm Site, making pies and serving food during market days. Summertime at the Chee house are always full of adventure, thanks to Chris, whether it’s fishing trips on a closed (shh) lake or going to Twilight Polo at Great Meadow. We have lived in Haymarket for about seven years, but she has made it seem as if we have been here for much longer than that.
That was pretty much our year. Here’s hoping we have another one like it, minus at least a few of the bruises.
Happy New Year!