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Hello, 2023

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Wow. 2022 went by too fast! (Although, I probably say this every year.) I had to go through my Google Photos app to see and remember all that happened this year.

January started off rocky. First, I got Covid. Then, I began working nights at an Amazon warehouse to supplement our family income, and on January 19th, our daughter had a grand mal seizure and was diagnosed with Focal Epilepsy with Secondary Tonic-Clonic Seizures. In better news, our son had a blast playing flag football. What a month! February was an extension of January, with more flag football and adjusting to the new normal of giving our daughter medicine daily and monitoring her for seizures.

In March, our son--who I'll refer to as Stuntman--had a field day at school and completed an awesome art project for a book report. We celebrated both our kids' birthdays with a trip to Florida to visit family and go to Disney World. In other news, I quit Amazon. Hallelujah.

In April, we celebrated my husband's birthday and then had a belated party for the kids with their friends. Our neighborhood put on a huge Easter celebration with a petting zoo, bounce house, and egg hunt! Then Stuntman and Barkley went to a Cub Scout Campout, only to return home after one night because our son got sick. I started a new part-time remote job that allowed me to continue homeschooling our daughter and work around our daily schedule.

May brought Mother's Day celebrations and trips to the community pool, daily fun with our puppy, trampoline joy, and an amazing kids' summer camp at CCV Peoria. June brought Father's Day dinners and a trip to a cabin in Prescott for my birthday. July and August were a blur of more summer fun, with lots of time at the pool and with friends. Somewhere in all of that, our daughter saw a neuropsychologist for additional testing due to a scary reaction to her epilepsy meds. We had her medicine switched, and this prompted another round of evaluations for her. Her autism was newly diagnosed at Level 3 (I don't think there were "levels" when she was diagnosed five years ago), and she was given new diagnoses of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADHD, in addition to Epilepsy. All I can say is: my girl is a trooper.

In September, I attended my very first writers' conference in St. Louis. I made so many new friends and felt, for the first time, as if I'd joined the world of writers. I cannot wait to go again in 2023.

October was a crazy month. It started off simple and then turned hectic as we learned we would be moving to Florida by the end of the month. We painted pottery at a cute little studio. Then it was last-minute meet-ups with friends and a going away party, Halloween festivities, and during all of that, my hubby took a quick trip to Florida to search for a house (and found one!) while the kids and I prepared to move.

The movers arrived on Halloween to pack up the house. Two days later, the house was empty, and on November 2nd, we were on our way from Arizona to Florida. I had hoped to catalog our move across the country with a Captain's Log of each day of our travels. I think I made notes for the first day and then promptly failed at that endeavor. Along the way, we stopped in Panama City to visit family and go to an arcade! At last, we made it to our temporary apartment about a week later and did our best to settle in and do some homeschooling. Not an easy feat. We closed on our new house, had the interior painted, purchased new furniture, and moved in the week of Thanksgiving. I think. Looking back I cannot actually recall the exact sequence of events. Thankfully, no pun intended, we spent Thanksgiving at my mother's home. What a blessing to be with family again.

December cruised on by. Literally. Hubby and I celebrated our thirteenth anniversary with a Royal Caribbean Cruise. We've now gone on seven cruises since our honeymoon! This was our first post-pandemic, and it was an adventure. We visited Honduras, Belize, Cozumel, and Costa Maya. We turned each port into a history/social studies lesson for the kids. My favorite port was Belize, where we saw ancient ruins.

We were able to get our tree up before the cruise, and our elf--who rarely sits on a shelf--even managed to go on the cruise with us! Can you believe it? I was amazed that he'd made the journey because I really thought he should wait for us at home, but our kids begged him to go along, and somehow, the sneaky little elf managed to get into our stateroom after all.

After the cruise, it was a rush to the finish line to get the house somewhat ready for Christmas, but most importantly, it was wonderful to have family join us on Christmas day.

Phew! What a year. As I look ahead to 2023, I can already see how quickly it is going to fly by. I am aiming to post more (short) blogs and to have my work-in-progress finished within the next three to six months. Next up, I have plans in the works to launch a new Facebook group for readers of my historical romances. I would be honored if you would join me there. (I'll announce the launch in my newsletter, so make sure you're subscribed!)

Thank you so much for reading my long missives. I'm honored you're here with me. Wishing you a New Year filled with love, joy, peace, and faith in abundance.

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