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The Obligatory New Year’s Post

2 January 2008

HappyAnother new year has started, in case you hadn’t noticed. Typical signs include after Christmas sales, raging hangovers from too much champagne, irritability due to a sudden return to work and, soon, the appearance of Valentine’s Day crap at your local discount store.

I’m not one for resolutions. Mostly because my life tends to not follow a predictable path, instead preferring to ramble along merrily, taking me places I never would have guessed I’d be had you asked me a year before. Instead, it’s more fun each year for me to think back to the previous new year and compare notes, in amazement at everything that has changed.

Last year, I was living in Arlington with Tim in our house on Quebec Street.  There was no Blueberry, although he may have been a twinkle in Tim’s eye already. I was enjoying work at a company that launches rockets (from 2006’s list of “who’d’a thunk it”) and looking forward to a busy year at the office. I had enrolled in classes at community college so I could finish up that ever-elusive degree. Spring was only a few months away and our motorcycles beckoned seductively from under their covers in the driveway. Life seemed pretty simple.


That month, we found out that there was a 99% chance that Tim’s unit would deploy later in the year. It was disappointing news, but it seemed so far off that it wasn’t a big deal. We had plenty of time to prepare, right? Less than a month after that revelation, I found out I was pregnant (and started this blog). That’s pretty much when things took a turn for the breakneck insane pace I have come to love and accept as the general pace of life for us.

Tim proposed (and I later found out he had had the ring since last year!) and we planned a private wedding and honeymoon in Scotland. When we returned, it was time to get the house ready to rent out so we could move in to a smaller place by the time Keyven was born, one more easily managed with a new baby and deployed daddy. We were doing all the extra work necessary to prepare for a homebirth. Work at my job was insanely busy and Tim was trying to balance running his own business with working part-time in a corporate office and being a weekend warrior. In the midst of that, we were riding Tim’s motorcycle up until Memorial Day in Rolling Thunder and trying to keep up with family and friends. Tim went off to three weeks of Army training, worked on his promotion to sergeant (which he got), and we had to start thinking about the deployment in more detail.

Fast-forward through the past few months: a birth that took longer than we planned and resulted in an emergency c-section (“birth plan” is an oxymoron at best), more deployment training that called Tim up much sooner than expected, a trip to stay with family that became a cross-country move and resulted in me quitting my job here but also led to finding a gig as a substitute Arabic teacher in (of all places) Kansas, twenty miles from my parents’ house. Whew!  When it rain, it pours, I guess.
VanOlsonsSo far the new year hasn’t been much fun — it’s only the 2nd and I’ve already had to send my husband off to Iraq (he left this morning) and go in to turn over my work stuff, pack up my office and bid a shorter-than-expected adieu to co-workers with whom I actually enjoyed working. This weekend, I will say goodbye to friends and family in Northern Virginia again to return to Kansas.

In spite of all that, I’ve decided that I’m going to make the best of this year. I don’t know what amazing adventures will come my way before it’s over, but it’s got fabulous potential… I don’t have to work and I get to spend the year with my beautiful baby boy. I’m going to see and spend time with friends and family whom I haven’t been around in years. I get to go back to school and at least get some classes knocked out, if not finish a degree. I have the chance to pursue potential business opportunities like never before, and enjoy an experience in teaching that I never imagined myself doing. I’m in a place where the pace of life is slower and simpler and I’m going to use that to my advantage instead of missing the rat race. Quite simply, I’m determined to make this another year to look back on in awe.

Happy 2008 from the “VanOlsons”!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. .Bittersweet. permalink
    3 January 2008 11:37

    Very cute pics … is there a clearer/larger one of Tim’s ink? I want to see the “real deal”. =)

  2. 5 January 2008 17:40

    Good for you, Lori! You hang in there – you’ve done a wonderful job so far. How lucky we Americans are to have you and your family sacrifice for all of ours. Tammi

  3. 10 January 2008 10:47

    I still reserve the right to have a post in the future where I whine and complain about how much having him gone sucks… because it does. But so far, we’re trucking right along. 🙂

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