This is my final post for Hallmark’s 2012 “Life Is A Special Occasion” campaign. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my family’s everyday special occasions as much as I have cherished being a part of the campaign. Many thanks to Hallmark and and the folks at Fleishman-Hillard, especially my friends Jon, Liz, and Deidre!
I’m pretty sure I say it every year, but 2012 really flew by. I can’t figure out if time seems to be passing so quickly because my kids are getting so old, or if it’s because we’re busy all the time, or if it’s because we really squeeze as much as we can out of life. I guess it’s a little bit of each.
My family had lots of everyday special occasions this year. We kicked off 2012 with a mad dash to get Lenny Kravitz concert tickets and, when he came to Chicago in February it was a huge night for us, even though J decided he’s not really a “concert-type of person” (HUH??) and D didn’t want my sister and me to enjoy the concert WHILE DANCING. (Whose kids are these, anyway?)
We also painted—follow me if you can–D’s old room red and gray because when we moved into the house D picked a dark blue for his walls but when he went to college it became J’s room and J didn’t like the blue. Of course, now that three of the walls are gray and one of the walls is red, it occurs to us that in nine months, J will be off to college and a few months after that D will graduate from college and will probably want his old (bigger) room back until he is able to move out on his own. Jim and I have decided in that case, he can repaint the room himself. Mostly. I might get him drinks and snacks.
Springtime brought “LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER”, and my family celebrated with Tracey and me as we pulled off a beautiful show for the first time in Chicago.
That night was amazing and one of my biggest professional accomplishments, ever. I’m so proud of my cast, my co-producer…and myself.
Also in the spring, J said goodbye (and good riddance!) to his Junior year. The third year of high school is notoriously the most difficult, due to the typically heavy course load and the addition of college searching, not to mention the extracurriculars that so many kids this age take on. We were doing the happy dance on the last day of school, and haven’t looked back. His senior year has been stellar so far: another reason to celebrate.
When summer came, we said goodbye to D for a while: he headed west to work at a Boy Scout High Adventure Ranch in New Mexico for three months.
It may not seem like that would be a special occasion, but it was. It was an honor for him to be chosen to perform his dream job–a backwoods ranger–especially because the ranch gets thousands of applications every year. It was also a celebration of his growing up and being able to demonstrate how responsible he is, as his summer was spent leading young boys and their leaders through survival training and then setting them loose in the mountains before traversing the backwoods alone to get back to basecamp.
In July, Jim and I were forced to start the bathroom renovation that I’ve been waiting for since we moved in twelve years ago, when our master bathroom tub sprung a leak that found its way to the downstairs bathroom. We are completely finished with it, except for the curtains. I’m thrilled that my mom is making them for us and “after” pictures will be coming soon. For your entertainment, let me post the “before” picture again:
I wonder if Hallmark makes custom invitations and paper goods for a “Our bathroom is done!” party. Oh wait, they do.
Speaking of parties, in September we threw a surprise retirement party for my Dad, who recently retired from nearly forty years of managing hotels. The party was awesome, and one of my favorite parts was watching my parents use technology to reconnect with old friends who couldn’t be there in person.
This fall we also officially celebrated the end of having to deal with puberty in this house. (Yes, I said it.) Good riddance, puberty! That said, what you are left with when puberty is done wreaking havoc on the family is pretty awesome, so that made it worthwhile.
My sister found employment this fall after being out of work for an extended period of time. She works for a fantastic company with wonderful, creative people and is excited to go to work every day. Not everybody can say that, you know?
In November I wrote a love letter to my husband Jim, which is always a nice thing to do AND to receive, but luckily we both consider every day of our marriage to be a special occasion.
This month I provided the assist on important milestones for my boys when I ordered J’s cap and gown and helped D apply for his first credit card, which brings this post full circle: I have to mention again how time flies. The best remedy for that is to make the most out of each and every day with those we love.
Celebrating life as a special occasion in itself and appreciating all of the little moments in between the big milestones is the way to go. Try it with me in 2013, won’t you?
Also, by the way, Hallmark has some awesome tri-fold cards that you can customize to show your friends and family your own year in review recap! Click here to check those out.
Disclosure: I am BEYOND thrilled to be partnering with Hallmark on their “Life Is A Special Occasion” campaign for 2012. As a Hallmark LIASO blogger I am being compensated to write about every day moments of all sizes, family traditions, the relationships I cherish the most, and much more. All words, opinions, and photos are mine. Thanks so much to the folks at Hallmark for selecting me for this campaign: it’s an honor for me to be a part of it. Oh, and by the way, you can sign up for special offers and new product information from Hallmark by clicking here (and why wouldn’t you, really?).