Thursday, January 3, 2008

2007-In the Rearview Mirror!

I am finally posting-Yeah! We had a great Christmas holiday with lots of family time , food and some plain and simple down time-I really need to get all my Christmas decorations put away!!! I have been thinking about how to approach the 2007 in review post-since I can be kinda long winded-so I figure I will JUST DO IT! So without further ado-the year like no other-2007 in review!

January 2007:Lots of adjusting starting this 1st month of 2007 as well as a great deal of searching for answers to our many questions about having a wounded soldier. I can't even begin to tell you the number of hours I spent on the Internet and on the phone trying to find out information that I still hope will be in one place at some point instead of so many different agencies etc.. We were getting adjusted to living as a family again and starting to heal. January brought KS Spectacular dance competition for Taylor dance team as well as her solo. She did awesome as did the entire team. One of those last times since she was a senior.

February 2007: Rodney and I were so blessed to be a part of a couples retreat offered to military personnel. It was an amazing opportunity to meet other couples and to reconnect with each other. Our rooms didn't even have TVs which was so couples would spend time talking and connecting :) It was at a beautiful rustic resort near Dallas. TX. We made some lifetime memories, learned so much and were treated so very special by staff. We were lucky enough to spend Valentine's Day there and had a dinner and dance. What made it all more amazing is it didn't cost us a penny! I have the link on my blog-not sure if they are booking new retreats yet or not. We would go again in a heartbeat if we had the chance! Rodney and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on the 22nd.

March 2007: This month was a special month because Rodney was awarded his Purple Heart in a Ceremony in Topeka by the Adj. General of the State-Todd Bunting. Rodney and Staff Sgt. Ernie Gonzales were both injured in the same mortar attack and both from the 714th. It was a nice event in which we had many family and friends in attendance. Taylor finished up her High School dancing career with their Spring Show.
Carley and I did the slide show for it as usual-it was very bitter-sweet this year-I have watched and enjoyed Taylor's dancing for 15 years and now she is done, she decided not to dance in college for health reasons (knee injuries) and the time in entails-she is tired. I will miss watching her so much!

April 2007: This month was a lot of preparation for our trip to Florida. We were given a trip to Orlando by Wounded Warriors and a Florida Bowling/family Center had a fundraiser for us. It was an awesome trip. The second time for the kids and I. We went to Animal Kingdom, MGM, Disney Boardwalk, Downtown Disney,Cocoa Beach, and Sea World. We also spent one day just hanging out at the pool of the beautiful resort where our condo was located. It was a trip of a lifetime for us! We stuffed a lot into 7 days and still didn't make it to all the parks-guess we will have to go back :) Thank you to all who made it possible!

May 2007: A busy month with Rodney's knee surgery, Connor's tenth b-day,Taylor's 18th b-day and graduation from High School on the same day and Carley graduating from 8th grade-whew! The month flew by... Taylor did decide on attending college!

June 2007: Kids are out of school for the summer. Carley had her entire summer planned with not much downtime-church camp,mission trip, babysitting, drivers ed and band camp Taylor worked again as a lifeguard and swim Lesson instructor. Connor is playing baseball on a competition team so we have games at least 2 nights a week plus practice 1 or 2 nights. He also took swim lessons-he is a fish like Taylor.

July 2007: Rodney, Connor and I Take off for a road trip to see Rodney's roommate from Iraq who is home. Our van broke down on the way, luckily not to far out and my parents saved the day and we went on. It was nice to put a face to a name and Chris and his family were so nice! I finally after 9 months heard what happened during the mortar attack and what exactly happened to Rodney that day. I never knew anymore than what Rodney thought he remembered-which wasn't very accurate. so we got Chris's rendition and that started putting together some of the pieces to the puzzle. This was huge for us!

August 2007: Taylor moves to college! A pretty emotional event but one I think we were pretty prepared for. I will always remember riding with her in her car listening to the CD I made her-the first song was by Carrie Underwood I think it is called "Remember Me"-as the song was playing I handed Taylor a $50 bill, a map and a bible-she was crying so hard-it was a priceless moment-because my daughter is not very sentimental-I hope you all know the song I am talking about. Connor and Carley started school-5th grade and freshman in H. S. so they were both at new schools.
The 714th came home from Iraq!!!!!! We went the the homecoming and I got to briefly meet so many of the soldiers. It is an awesome feeling to know they are all home-except that in the last couple weeks we lost two men-the last 2 weeks and we had causalities. Say a pray for Courtney Finch's family and Travis Bachman's family. It hit the entire unit really hard!

September 2007: We had Rodney's best army buddy down for a visit=so we had some more closure after hearing Darby's rendition. We had also been blessed to have spent some time with Doc Edwards and his wife Judy after the unit returned home. Doc was the medic who Rodney says saved his life!

October 2007: Time for the one year anniversary of Rodney being wounded-we celebrated instead of mourned. We finally got a new vehicle to replace the blown up van! A silver 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara-we like it a lot!

November 2007: Rodney turned 44 and Carley turned 15. It was one of the more difficult months emotionally. We find out Rodney will be on medhold for another 6 months at least. We attend a 714th event and I get to meet more soldiers and families. Many of them are struggling with issues after returning home.

December 2007: Tracy has another b-day and the holidays are upon us. We received so many blessings throughout this month from amazing giving "Santa's". We can't even begin to name all the organizations and individuals that helped us survive this year of ups and downs-thank you to each and every one-we are forever grateful and hope to give back in some capacity in the near future to the brave soldiers and their families. Thanks for sharing our Journey!
OK that is what it looked like as much as I can remember off the top of my head-I am sure I missed something or someone-but hopefully I will get a chance to get into more detail on some of the retreats and events that happened at a later date. Happy New Year to all!
Keep Imagining!

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