It makes me feel old to start counting time in decades, but alas…I guess that time has come, and as I’m wallowing with my puffs with lotion surrounding me today as I fight a cold, I’m also reflecting on how much change has happened int he last ten years.  Either the sappy genes are taking over, or I took a little too much nyquil last night, so here goes…

Ringing in 2000, we were excited about the prospect of a NEW CENTURY but worried about that whole Y2K thing and our computers, fully expecting to wake up January 1 and have everything completely erased.  What a racket that was!  I even made a little time capsule to capture the moment, and filed it away in a Christmas ornament for us to revisit in future years.  We had no children, but were thinking that a baby would be a wonderful blessing to our new grown up lives.  Yes, grown up lives-we were in our second year of working full times jobs, two years out of Aggieland.  What babies we were!!  I remember how odd it felt to be in that newly grown up place, too.  Our best friends had scattered to different cities after graduation, so we found ourselves truly on our own in a world where everyone already had 2.5 kids, a mortgage, and their own routine.  My husband worked in the “City,” and I taught in the suburbs, and that was when our dream of living, working, and playing in the same town was born.  We didn’t know how or when such a thing could or might happen, but often talked and dreamed about being part of a community, the smaller part of a whole, a place where “Hope” would rise to the top.

Our daughter was born in 2001, our first son in 2003, and our second son in 2006.  We were up to our armpits in diapers and bottles for most of this ten years, just now throwing out the last of the sippy cups.  Single strollers, double strollers, and umbrella strollers filled our trunks, and sometimes when I glanced in the back of the suburban or minivan (depending on which part of the decade it was) I would freak out a little in my head, realizing I was in charge of ALL THESE LITTLE PEOPLE.  We learned to live on less sleep, but held strong in our dislike of coffee despite that.  Only recently have I succumbed to the peer pressure of that vice.  I guess that means I’m a different kind of grown up now.  We potty trained 3 kids, which I still reserve as THE MOST DIFFICULT thing about parenting thus far.  We bought three big kid beds, but I still can’t bear to part with the crib just yet.  No, we don’t plan on any more blessings, but I have an emotional attachment to that one (maybe a few other) baby things.  We enrolled two kids in school, and have immersed ourselves in the nitty gritty of elementary school routine, coupled with extra curricular activities and take-home projects.  This is the stuff of life, or so they tell me.

My husband changed jobs twice, the last one bringing us to Decatur.  I went from a teacher, to a stay-at-home mom, back to a teacher.  We realized our dream of living, working, and playing in the same time (almost).  We sold and bought three houses, never really making any money on them, but learning a lot in the process.  We celebrated our 30th birthdays, our 10th high school reunion, and this year our 13th wedding anniversary.  We buried two dogs, and lost 2 cats.  There were some fish in there, but too many to count.  We aren’t so good with fish.  We went on our first road trip as a family, and our first trip to Six Flags as a family.  I took tons of pictures of all of it-from actual film pictures in 2000 to fancy digital pictures in 2009.  I wonder what kind of pictures I’ll be taking in 2019, when I’m 44 and my kids are 18, 16, and 13.  I swear I just got a chill thinking about it.

So much has happened in the last 10 years, it takes my breath away to think about it.  Some of our hopes and dreams were realized, and some were not.  I have to keep reminding myself that My Plan isn’t necessarily the same as God’s Plan, but no matter the plan there was a lot of living in that ten years.  A lot of memories.  A lot of change.  A lot of life…you know, the stuff in the middle.  The stuff that counts. 

And I’m looking forward to a little more “middle” these next ten years.