Where This Meets That
What a Year!
Hard to believe another year has come and gone! Crossroaders might have noticed that my posting has slowed to a trickle, and that’s no coincidence; this year has been a doozy of activity!
Christy and I kicked off our year in big fashion, getting away by ourselves for a three day trip to New Orleans in January. There’s nothing like strolling the French Quarter holding hands with your best friend, and it’s a memory I’ll always cherish!
I returned home only to exorcise the lone kidney stone that carried over from the year before. I quote Forrest Gump when I say, “That’s about all I got to say about that.”
Shortly thereafter, we saw Atlanta metro transformed into a winter wonderland with two separate winter storms, one of which gridlocked the city in infamy across the national media. Tales of commuters stuck in traffic for up to 20 hours inspired me again to count my blessings for the short commute downstairs to my home office, which I’m happy to say I finally completed in 2014.
For spring break in April, we loaded up our four oldest children and broke for Cumberland Island, Georgia for a single, raccoon-filled night of camping. There, we toured the island and loved watching the kids brave the chilly but sun-sparkled waves. Back on the mainland, we spent a night with my old friends and “second parents,” the Bakers on their farm. The kids enjoyed meeting all the Bakers’ rabbits, goats, and cats, and they even discovered that catfish, if cooked right, is quite delicious!
In June, we had a great family weekend at Stone Mountain Park. I camped two nights with our older kids, while Christy kept our toddler, Catherine, at home with her and hung out with us for the day and evening activities.
Over Labor Day weekend, we made our way up to Louisville, Kentucky to see family and friends, which is always a treat. Then, in September, my oldest daughter, Maddie, and I got away for a weekend of camping with the Girl Scouts. During our getaway, I rode my first ever horse! Poor horse.
My work also took me through some nice country that I’d not seen before, including upstate New York and eastern Wisconsin.
You Say It’s Your Birthday?
In 2014, we celebrated a number of milestone birthdays. Under our roof alone, we celebrated a 1st, a 5th, a 13th, a 16th, and a 40th birthday! In April, we also had the joy of celebrating my father’s 80th. Funny how all those lined up this year. We are richly blessed to have so many lives to celebrate!
To celebrate Christy’s big birthday last month (hint: hers wasn’t the 1st, 5th, 13th, 16th, or 80th above!), her parents kept the kids for a night so that we could enjoy a night to ourselves at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta. There, we just enjoyed falling off the world for a solid 24 hours, free from all responsibilities.
The Kids are Alright
We started teaching Aidan to drive over the summer, and he is doing well. His biggest challenge is having regular time to practice among our busy schedules. As teachers of young drivers know, repetition is key. Repetition is key. Aidan still plays upright bass in his school’s orchestra and also plays basketball in the community league.
Maddie is still making the most of middle school. At the conclusion of last school year, she was honored for maintaining all A and B averages all year and for maintaining perfect attendance! She is learning violin and still enjoys playing softball. She’s beginning to work volleyball into the mix, as well. And as always, she still loves cooking all kinds of dessert treats!
Caleb is still fanatical about Minecraft and exotic cars. Per his Christmas list, I took him to a Lamborghini dealership the day after Christmas, where an assortment of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens, Aston Martins, and Lotuses effectively blew his mind. He’s also developed a big interest in collecting old coins and made a cameo television appearance when a local news team visited his school.
Ava is just about the sweetest five-year-old around! She is loving her last year as a pre-schooler and recently starred as Blessed Mary in the Christmas play; not a bad first gig! She played her first season of soccer this fall and, as seems to be the case with most young children these days, has recently been totally swept away by Disney’s Frozen craze!
I’m I’m happy to report that after nearly two years, Catherine has finally learned to consistently sleep through the night! She enjoys singing and being sung to and has working hard to learn how to sing “the Birthday Song”. She’ll probably be ready to lead the chorus when she turns two years old in a couple weeks!
Carry that Weight
As for myself, I’ve had another challenging year of growth at work, but I’m blessed and thankful to remain employed. I am also happy to share that I regained traction on my efforts to lose weight in 2014, losing 40 pounds over the course of the year! Of course, that statistic slyly refers to my pre-Christmas weight . . .
In summary, 2014 was another year that found me perhaps more blessed than any before but also rich with reminders of just how blessed I am. I am so thankful to God and humbled for the people he has placed in my life. It means so much to mean it when I say that these people with whom I share my home with are my very favorite people in the world, and I pray that I may spend 2015 striving to become worthy of so many blessings.
I thank my readers for following Falcone’s Crossroads for another year. I can’t promise how much new content I’ll generate in the coming year, but I do hope you will continue to check back from time to time to see what’s new.
More than that, though, I wish you all a 2015 that will be your best year yet!