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Goodbye 2014, Thank You

It's been a not so great year. We gave one of our dogs back to her original owner, who now has a place for her. It was sad but necessary. However, the hurt came when we lost four of our beloved family members; Frazier to seizures early in the year, he was just a little guy. Then T.J., Kiki, and Tanji later in the year to cancer. T.J. we'd been expecting to go soon, but expected he'd go in his sleep, he was old. Then suddenly one day it looked like he had a bug bite on his right cheek, it pretty quickly progressed to blow up the right side of his face so that he couldn't even close his eye in just a couple of days. The diagnosis ended up being cancer. Kiki and Tanji were only 13, but had a history of mammary cancer in the family, we had to have their mother put to sleep for the same problems. We weren't prepared to lose all three of them within just a few months of each other. That was hard. Really hard. But I'm thankful that they're no longer in pain. They deserve that peace.

It's been a tumultuous time for relationships, health problems, pet problems, difficult people, kids' grades, bullying and harassment, and job uncertainties. But we've weathered through and I finally feel like we're coming through the worst of it, stronger than ever before.

The past couple of weeks around Christmas have been filled with a ton of Kelly-time, which has been hugely helpful to my mental health. Whether it's just some downtime sitting in a booth talking to one another, doing some necessary shopping, driving around exploring, or sitting on the couch dissecting the quality of a Care Bear movie with her and Audrina, every moment is a precious gift that I find hard to turn down. It's even hard to not want to ask for more, MORE, MORE! But we're making progress in our relationship, learning to communicate more (and hopefully better), and keeping the winter sadness away as best as we both can. I'm thankful for the moments I get.

Props have to go to Kelly's mom for her patience over the last two weeks too. Since I've either been at their doorstep or taken Kelly out every almost every night, she's seemed to take it in stride and I really appreciate the time she's allowed us lately. I still feel an overwhelming urge to prove myself to her, but I feel more at ease than I did earlier in the year and I'm thankful for that.

Even though my relationship with Kat is fundamentally changed now, I feel like we've connected more lately around our friendship, began to talk more about boundaries and feelings, and gotten better alignment with regards to parenting the kids. That's huge progress from where we were earlier in the year and really even from just a few months ago. I'm so very thankful for that.

I dodged my 16th round of layoffs at work. So I'm thankful for that.

I finished up some necessary schooling and I'm thankful for that. (Plus Kelly was going to break up with me for being a slacker if I didn't do it, and I'm thankful for her holding me accountable AND for not breaking up with me.)

I just have to remind myself that despite the bad that happens, I still have plenty to be thankful for.