JANUARY--My dad spent the majority of January in and out of the hospital with a dangerous infection in his right foot. Several surgeries (and weeks later) the doctors felt confident they had the situation under control. I opted out of classes for the spring, choosing instead to focus on being around the house to help out and plan for an upcoming wedding...MINE! Oh, and Ella turned 1 and I turned 26. :o) Work on our kitchen remodel began!
FEBRUARY--Dad, again, was in and out of the hospital. A long and trying winter for sure---but the Lord's grace was sufficient. Dad is non-weight bearing until at least April. We transfer him from his living room hospital bed to the wheelchair using a slide board and picnic tablecloth. My brother Jim turned 29. Dan and I celebrated Valentine's Day a little oddly---I sent him off to work with a GIANT box containing gifts to be opened on the hour for every hour he was there. :o) Of course, work on the kitchen remodel continues...
MARCH--This month contained yet more surgeries for my dad, the biggest being a FULL hip replacement. It was a very painful experience and still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. He had been through SO much already; the hip replacement was a definite blow considering all the progress we had been seeing. THREE wedding showers this month--West Cannon, Maranatha, and my family's side. Busy, busy, busy---but still NOT participating in the countdown. :o) Yes, work on the kitchen marches on...
APRIL--nothing great or exciting to report..... ;o) Oh, so not serious! Dad is making progress--weight bearing on one leg by the beginning of the month; cleared for full weight bearing two days BEFORE our wedding. His first "walk" since the accident (over 6 months!) is a practice run down the aisle at church with his physical therapist. He was bound and determined to give me away standing up...and not just standing up, but standing after walking me down the aisle. Again, the Lord's grace was there, abundantly! Amy planned an awesome "Girls' Getaway" in lieu of a bachelorette party---we spent the weekend in Traverse City and had so much fun! Dan and I were married in a small evening ceremony at West Cannon on Arbor Day (April 27). Herman's Boy of Rockford provided the yummy food and desserts; Scott VanRyn and crew took care of running the show. It was a wonderful night! We spent our first night AT HOME! What a delight! We installed a shower curtain rod, delivered our own wedding gifts, and did other romantic things. :o) Then off for a week-long honeymoon in Michigan's UP at the Northern Exposure cabin. We hiked, toured historic sites, visited Whitefish Point, L'Anse/Baraga, and pretty much every waterfall in the county! An overnight stay at Mackinaw on the way home was a welcome end to a wonderful week.
MAY--Getting settled in and finishing up big projects. One of our major undertakings was to plant a lawn. We began with rock picking...and kept at it until the end of the month! :o) Lots of decorating work going on inside---still a wimp about nailing anything on the wall.
JUNE--Work continues on the lawn...mainly watering at this point and coaxing those little sprouts to GROW! :o) Hanging out, working on our cedar fence---lots of home projects take up our spare time. Dad has shoulder surgery for the second time--TWELVE WEEKS of no movement. It's a tough summer for all of us... :o( Celebrated Tom's 23 birthday at First Wok...we seem to be there a lot this year. The wait staff is starting to show up in our pictures as "family"! :o)
JULY--we celebrated the 4th of July up at the lake with my parents. Mom, dad, and I sat on the pontoon boat out in the middle of the lake. Dan lit fireworks with Jim and Tom at the Fase's cottage. I prefer to safety of gallons of water to the "delight" of misfires! We also honored Dan's 26th birthday with a weekend camping venture to test out our tent. I'm told we can't call it camping 'cause we weren't roughing it enough, but in my book sleeping in a tent = camping regardless of how close you are to the bathrooms! :o)
AUGUST--was huge as far as milestones go. I booked camping sites at Petoskey for mom & dad and for us. Jim modified the trailer so Dad could get in and out on his own---and use the bathroom facilities more easily. EVERYBODY eventually made it up at some point during the week. It was a special trip, but also a trip that reminded us just how much things have changed. The Lord will provide...He will strengthen! An email from my advisor/dean at the Seminary set me back on course for graduation in 2008. I am retaking two classes with one more for the spring. Labor Day was lazy....and spent working on the fence. :o)
SEPTEMBER--a belated wedding gift from Dan's grandpa & Doris had us flying out to Denver CO on the 14th. We drove the state and saw pretty much everything that was of interest. :o) We visited Bishop's Castle in Beulah; the Professional Bull Rider's Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame in Colorado City; the B-24 International Bomber Museum in Pueblo; Wolf Creek Pass; Silverton; Durango; drove the Million Dollar Highway and had dinner in the moutains; explored three of the many cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde; went on a tour of the Old 100 mine; ventured into a ghost town; experienced Hovenweep, both the BIG ruins and the outlying ones too; climbed through Arches National Park in Moab, along with a half-day visit to The Canyonlands; spent a night with Dan's aunt & uncle in Loma; and wandered back to Denver where we visited the aquarium downtown. What a trip! :o) We transferred our church membership from West Cannon to Maranatha--a big step for us. Also BIG on the list were mom & dad's 34th wedding anniversary on the 28th and Tom & Lisa's wedding on the 30th. Lots of family in town--lots of catching up!
OCTOBER--nothing much stands out; Dad is still making progress, walking a bit more with the help of his canes. We're back full-swing with the Olympian club at church--Dan is leading the 1st/2nd grade boys and I'm tackling the 1st/2nd grade girls along with Sherrie's help. We had trunk treat night at church--about 12 kids came out for it. We also held our first ever "Great Pumpkin" celebration, complete with a carving contest and road rally. We decided this would be a good opportunity to invite our new friends from Maranatha. Also, a young adult class at church has started up---Dallas from the office teaches it. Nice to be with folks our own age and get to know people better!
NOVEMBER--the fence is almost finished...the gates are not. :o) I visited Brooke this weekend along with Emily. Had my first ever Ikea experience---not exactly what I envisioned, but I found some neat things for the house. Think I'll stick to Ikea catalog shopping in the future. :o) Thanksgiving was at Jim & Maureen's this year, with Maureen's folks over too. I made LOTS of cakes and goodies...and ended up bringing quite a bit home with me. We spent Thanksgiving afternoon/evening with Dan's family. Thankfully, no, we did NOT have to eat another Thanksgiving dinner. :o) The days are counting down for my semester to end and I'm not nearly as far along as I should be....but "good news" by way of a review of my college transcripts revealed a transfer equivalency equal to three credits. THIS IS MY LAST SEMESTER if I can pass all my classes.
DECEMBER--a crazy month indeed! Celebrated mom's birthday at First Wok (two years in a row now) a couple days early 'cause Dad was scheduled for foot/hip surgery on the actual day. I worked feverishly to get my schoolwork done and yet more grace was shown. I passed BOTH classes with A-ish final grades and, sheepishly, admit to doing most of the semester's work in the last two weeks before classes ended. YIKES! That was a HUGE amount of work and a HUGE burden lifted. I am officially a Seminary graduate--I'll walk and get my degree in May of 2008. Dan's folks took us out to Logan's in honor of the occasion. Then a couple days later Em, Amanda, and I met up for our annual Christmas celebration...at Logan's this year. :o) The day after we met up with Amy, JANINE (!!!!), and Brooke at Celebration for a movie and my first-ever trip to Jimmy John's 'gourmet sandwich eatery.' Not fabulous, but good, good, good fellowship! We celebrated Dad's birthday/Christmas Eve with the Fabbris---lots has changed there. Dan and I opened our presents Christmas Eve...I went to bed early, feeling a bit under the weather. Christmas morning Dan trundled off to church without me--just felt ick! By mid-morning I was up and feeling up to going to Christmas. We spent the morning with my family and the afternoon with Dan's. Lots of fun---I love this time of year, as we reflect on the greatest gift ever given and have the opportunity to give gifts ourselves. Christmas night the Hulbers gathered again at First Wok (again) for what is fast-becoming a neat holiday tradition.
And with that, I find myself here--staring down another New Year that I will likely celebrate just like all the others: by going to bed at 10:00! :o)
Merry Christmas to all----may the New Year find you well!