Then I feel a little guilty because another year has gone by and I haven't sent out any Christmas cards to my friends I've made over the years.
"I'm not married or have babies!" I tell myself. "They don't need a card from me!"
But let's be honest - it's just another way I fail at this whole adult thing. And that's what a blog is for. Right? Right.
Well... at least for this year.
So, since I didn't send out official Christmas cards this year. Here is your virtual one from Bandit and me. Because having a dog is the same thing as having a kid. Right? Right.
This year was a year of change for Bandit and I. At the end of 2013 we moved back to Chicago, just in time for Christmas, and started over. When I moved I didn't even have a job lined up yet, even though I had been applying and interviewing.
Then, sure enough, a friend of mine called saying she had been offered a full time nursing position and was leaving the preschool aid job she was working and was wondering if I would like to step in. Of course I would! A job is a job, and I'm good with kids.
With that, as the second half of the 2013/2014 school year rolled around I started work with the preschool and have been there ever since.
Since then I also started working at an elementary school for their after school care, and now over the holidays I've begun working at a company downtown as a work from home customer service representative. Which basically means I answer phones. I also have tried to dip my toes into some freelance writing, but haven't had the time to really dive in head first yet.
To be honest, on the job front things aren't what I thought they would be at this point. But I'm learning patience, trust, and going with the flow. I'm still working on trying to find one full time job, but for the time being this is working for the most part.
The biggest focus of my year was my sisters wedding. Natalie is outrageously happy in newly wedded bliss. Planning for the wedding was fun - but stressful at times. Overall though, the wedding was a wonderful day.
Bandit has adjusted well to Chicago life. Although, the harsh winter of 2014 was a bit of a shock to my poor Missouri dog! Most of the time I had to let him out in the garage because it was too cold or I had to put him in a little doggie coat so he wouldn't freeze outside. He and my mom's dog Indy play together all of the time and he's had to learn how to share his toys. Bandit has also had to adjust to life with the cat, Peanut. That is probably his only complaint about living here in Chicago now. He and Peanut do not get along at all. I was hoping by now he would have permitted her to come upstairs from the basement and explore during the day while he's awake. But alas, that hasn't happened yet. Here's hoping for 2015!
Mom and Dad are doing well. Mom was even busier than I was with wedding plans. She did so much work! But she also did a wonderful job. I think both Mom and Dad are glad it's over though because now they can relax a bit more. I will say, being back at home with them has it's perks. It's nice being able to spend so much time with them... and I don't have to cook for myself as often. ;-)
2014 has been full of change, but it's also been quiet. I think this was my year to rest and recoup from all of the crazy of 2013 and the big choices I made and all of the stress of ministry. While I'm not one for resting too much - I think it was good for me.
Now, it's Christmas Eve. A whole year since I moved back to Chicago. Crazy, isn't it? I've loved being back up here. I've been able to reconnect with old friends while still keeping in touch with those in Missouri (as well as I can... but I know I can do better). I love being able to go downtown again and see the city and go to shows and explore. I even have gotten used to driving around downtown Chicago if you can believe it. Not that it's my first choice or anything...
Some things haven't changed though. Jesus. My family. My friends. Love. The things that matter have stuck around even with all of the change in my life the last couple of years, so overall I think 2014 has been a good one.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all spend the holiday with those you love the most and enjoy the season.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. - John 1:14
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great job for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." - Luke 2:10-12
"Love is raining down on the world tonight, there's a presence here I can tell. God is in us. God is for us. God is with us Emmanuel." - God With Us by Casting Crowns