1.01.2015

Peaks & Valleys: 2014 Year in Review



For years now our family has enjoyed a little conversation kick-starter during the in-between times or around the dinner table. We share our "High–Low" for the day. We listen to the high points, and the low points, in each others day, and conversation ensues.

Looking back on 2014 I recall some tremendous highs, and some significant lows, in our life. If I was to pick a common meeting spot, I might choose our home, "The Pickle House," or perhaps my parents' house, or quite possibly the emergency room! It seems we've spent quite a bit more of this past year as doctors' patients then ever before.

This has been a terrifically wonderful and awful year. 2014 was completely filled with hard days. So many hard days. It was also filled with good days, much wonder, and lots of love.

January:
Low: Danielle fainted to start the year. On New Year's Day in our master bathroom, I held my wife as she fell to the floor, eyes rolled back, and she was gone for a short time, maybe 30 seconds. It was quite a scare to be sure. She recovered quickly as I laid by her side and prayed. Thankfully she returned to normal and the rest of the day was a swell start to 2014. This spooky day one was followed by extreme cold temperatures and massive snowfalls throughout the month.
High: I was most thankful for a warm home and times with my family. We enjoyed one another greatly and had plenty of Minnesota fun shoveling the driveway and front walk.

February:
Low: I was fired from my job. I can't say it was the greatest job in the world, but it was close to home, paid fairly well, and I'd put a great deal of effort into getting the facility up and running.
High: Abba revealed his provision through many unexpected gifts from friends and family. Danielle turned 38 years young. We enjoyed many nights home together, keeping warm in spite of the bitter cold weather

March:
Low: Danielle twisted a vertebrae in her lower back at work and spent months in rehabilitation (almost all summer long).
High: We continued to receive support from friends and our local community while searching for work. The bit of extra time allowed for more creative pursuits as we endured the long, cold winter.

April:
Low: Danielle fainted again and was rushed to St. Cloud hospital via ambulance. Scares ensued as we tried to determine if there was a larger medical issue. It was a month filled with medical mysteries.
High: I celebrated my fortieth birthday with some new reading glasses, and a surprise birthday breakfast at Nelson Bros. with 28 family and friends attending! Jonny turned 11 years old.

May:
Low: Continued medical mystery hunting.
High: Transitioned from Spring to Summer. Accepted a job at FlexSeals. Boggs homestead came back into the family. Drew turned 13!

June:
Low: Thankfully nothing major other than continued rehabilitation for Danielle's back injury.
High: More Summer plans with mini-camping trips. Had several simple fun family days. Danielle and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary.

July:
Low: Another good month with only some rehab appointments to continue.
High: Danielle and I led our 4th missing trip to Bheveni in Swaziland. So much good packed into two short weeks abroad. Lots of travel chaos too!

August:
Low: Our budget took an unexpected hit that drained any savings we'd had and made back–to–school planning a bit of a nightmare.
High: The boys attended separate weeks of summer camp. (This was a great time for them, though I missed seeing them especially after being gone for 2 weeks in Africa.)

September:
Low: All shot to crap after my Dad experienced a small stroke (lacunar stroke) on Sep 23rd, the day before his 61st birthday. Rehabilitation is the name of the game.
High: Back to school, football, and regular schedules.

October:
Low: Spent the month focused on Dad's recovery plan and the major life changes for him. Jonny fainted at school, hit his head on the way down, and got two staples in his scalp to boot! Made for quite the finish to the month.
High: Halloween at the Pickle House was great fun indeed! I was able to take Drew, Jonny, and my Dad out to the woods archery hunting too!

November:
Low: Defended Danielle against some pretty bizarre accusations. Jonny was sick 2 weeks with some strange feverish pink-eye.
High: Deer hunting success (shot a decent nine-point buck)! Continued with Dad's therapy and a stint added to his heart.  Thanksgiving fun!

December:
Low: Danielle sprained her ankle on a family outing - three plus weeks of recovery and acupuncturist visits.
High: Traded in the Avenger for a Journey! Dad had another successful heart procedure, a PFO Closure, closing a congenital hole in his heart. Lots of family fun over Christmas break!