Let’s have a look back at 2013

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We all love the annual In/Out list in our local newspaper every New Year’s Day.  At my house we fight over who gets it first, read it out loud, laugh and depending on the item either the younger or the older generation will not understand either a political reference (younger) or newest twerk or band (older).

I thought I would have a look back at this blog over the last year. What have I written about? What have been common themes? What has been fun and funny or sad and painful?,  and what has just been a dud of  a post?

I began the year talking about reflections (not resolutions) and self-care, especially for overdone moms that rarely have time for themselves.  I posted one of my favorite ditties from my website to share my view of the therapeutic experience and finished up January posting about a presentation I did.

During my own  walk down memory lane  I wrote about parenting, both younger and older children and how things change so much over time. Posts on snow days and spring break  allowed us all plenty of family time. And, I enjoyed many a post or more pontificating about my work, my progress and how much I love my job.

Throughout the year a common subject that has recurred is one of cancer.  This both saddens me and inspires me.  I completed my third Avon Breast Cancer Walk, I volunteer for a wonderful group, Bite Me Cancer, and, tragically a little girl in our community lost her battle with cancer in October.  Another vile recurrent theme has had to do with violence; this leaves me feeling furious and powerless and yet we continue to encounter cruelty on a much to regular basis.

A few posts stood out as just plain fun and positive.  I love Mother’s Day, a highlight of the year was filling up my Bucket List, and for some reason summer often wins out as having the most fun posts.

There have been more than my average posts about launching a child to college as I have suddenly found myself knee-deep in the parenting-a-college-kid experience.

And, as for duds: I just re-read this one and finished wondering what in the world I was talking about.

I feel like the narrator of one of the Christmas specials.  He sums up the hour long animated show with tales of the reindeer, the snowman and the furry squirrels turning in for the night.  As we prepare to bid goodbye to 2013, may we have less sadness, depression, cancer and violence and much much more joy and rich experiences in the year to come….”and to all a good-night!”

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Cousins

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My favorite photos of all the Thanksgiving/Chanukah/Thanksgivukkah photos that have been flying around the internet this week has been the “cousins” photo.  Happy kids embracing one another and smiling big for the camera.  I saw cousins on the beach, cousins in snow, cousins around a turkey and menorahs, cousins piled on couches and more.

What is it about these happy cousins that warms my heart?  (For the record, I didn’t grow up with cousins.  I have two first cousins a decade plus younger than me that lived far away.)  I watch my kids and their cousins and love the connection they all have.  Their ages range from college to toddler and yet, there is still a sweetness and camaraderie amongst them.

As adults, we siblings, enjoy seeing our kids connect with each other.  Since cousins often live in separate communities  and/or states there is the loving, fun and “vacation” mentality that they enjoy with one another without the day-to-day conflict that we see amongst siblings.  There is less competition, need to share and work together with cousins. Cousins spend a week at the beach together,  bond at holidays and other family gatherings that are surrounded by fun, celebration and low stress.

Although  many extended families have their share of tension, it seems like the young generation of cousins is spared the age old family spats and disagreements.  The cousins don’t care that their great aunt whoever has a ten year grudge against uncle so-and-so; they just care about giggling, beating their older cousin at the X-box and warm memories of these annual events.

I do hope that you and your family had a wonderful holiday  and their was some good cousin time shoved into the mix.

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