Where This Meets That
It’s hard to believe it’s already been over a decade since the new millennium was born. Seems like only yesterday we were holding our collective breath that the countdown wouldn’t climax in a global Y2K blackout.
And yet, here we are closing out 2010, a year full of electricity that sparked with new experiences for my family.
The home front
January saw me bask in the afterglow of having completed my MBA; I did as little as possible and just hoped Christy wouldn’t notice. She eventually did.
Aidan graduated elementary school and started middle school. We challenged him in August to take more ownership in his education as he moved to this new level, and I am very proud of how well he’s made the transition. His grades have been strong, and he’s made great strides in learning to play upright bass in his school’s orchestra.
Aidan’s exit from elementary school promoted Maddie to “senior” status among our kids in the elementary school. Success in school has always come pretty naturally for her, but 3rd grade gifted math has really challenged her. After the initial shock brought by early elements of algebra and geometry, she has adapted well. We are defined so much by our struggles, so it’s encouraging to see her persevere.
Caleb has really taken Kindergarten by the horns. A friend of ours asked during the summer if Caleb was ready for kindergarten, and Christy aptly corrected that the appropriate question was whether kindergarten was ready for Caleb! He is such an exuberant and imaginative little lad. His teacher had previously taught (and loved teaching) Maddie, but her first comment about Caleb during our first parent teacher conference was, “You do realize that he believes he’s a werewolf, don’t you?”
And Ava, our baby, of course, continues to live a life full of firsts. Now 14 months old, she’s a studious and determined little girl, always watching her older siblings for lessons they don’t know they’re teaching (and some they know full well they are). Ava’s an all terrain vehicle by now, pretty much accessing anywhere she desires to go. It’s a blessing that our dog and cat are both so tolerant, as they are frequently the terrain she seeks to cross.
Christy and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary together, and I’ve so enjoyed having her around the house more. She took about 7 months totally off from work after Ava was born, before her employer finally called, saying, “By the way, are you planning on returning?” Since then, Christy’s still been able to limit herself to four shifts per month. What a far cry from the previous two years when my schooling and her working pretty much kept us apart Monday through Friday each week!
2010 was very family-centric in our travels. We spent a wonderful Easter with family and friends around Louisville, Kentucky on a trip that would prove to be our farewell to Christy’s 94-year old Grandma Weckman. We returned to Louisville only a couple weeks later to attend her funeral.
In May, we trekked over to Mississippi for our first McCormack family reunion in years. It is always special to see so many of my cousins I grew up laughing and playing with during our family trips to Mississippi, and it adds so much to now see my own kids making their own fun memories with our greater family.
In addition to travels with my family, I also traveled to support my job. I made two trips to my employer’s headquarters in San Jose, CA, where I was able to spend a bit of time getting to know my teammates. Working on a team that’s members span from California to Utah to Georgia to Hong Kong and Taiwan, I appreciate any opportunity I have to meet with them in person; truly a great bunch of guys.
My “big” trip of the year came in October when I traveled to South Korea and to various cities in China to tour several factories for my work. What a fantastic experience that was! There I tried a number of new foods, learned many interesting historical facts, and witnessed many different communities and cultures.
In February, my brother, sisters and I managed to pull off a surprise party celebrating our mother’s 70th birthday. We had a great time setting it up and were glad to see all the family and friends from past and present who were able to attend. It’s too easy to overlook the countless ways our parents have impacted our lives, and it was an honor for us to do something to show her even a small fraction of our appreciation.
Christy and I have gotten involved in a fledgling new ministry at our church involving young married couples. We have been blessed throughout our marriage to share such a compatible relationship with God, and so we seek to build on that relationship through this ministry. In addition, we have met many new friends through it, and we look forward to growing closer in those relationships in 2011.
I have also gotten involved with our church’s middle school ministry, which has given Aidan and me some good opportunities for fellowship outside of the standard “father-son” model. A notable exception was a group trip to a local corn maze where Aidan watched as my attempt to launch an apple using a large slingshot went terribly awry and darn near left me a gelding.
We closed out our 2010 by tying off a number of loose ends around the house. We had the exterior and some of the interior painted, installed doors on our dining room to convert it into a home office, and a number of other smaller tasks that had been plaguing our “to do” lists for some time.
So many other things that I’m neglecting to mention but that I’ve hit upon in other posts in this blog (i.e., starting this blog, the magical Falcons season, etc.), but more important is the recognition of 2010 as another in a long line of blessed years, full of struggles, achievements, lessons learned and taught, love, laughs, and, of course, surprises.
I only pray for more of the same in 2011.