As I took down our Christmas tree this morning I found my self thinking about the year that lays ahead. What does 2013 have in store for us? Only time will tell for sure. Will it be a continuation of 2012 or something completely different? Will we have new adventures with never a dull moment? Will moments of incredible frustration be intermingled with fantastic opportunities that makes even the toughest days worth it? Yes, yes, and yes again. With just a year remaining of our time in Albania I'm realizing that from here on out everything will be our "last". This May we will celebrate our last Armed Forces Day and in July will stand in our last Independence Day receiving line in Albania. We will swelter through our last long hot summer in Tirana and relish in our last limitless harvest of figs, mandarins, and pomegranates. We will have one final holiday season of wondering whether our mail will arrive before the big days and I will put together one final Thanksgiving dinner with make shift substitutions taking the place of real American ingredients. Yes, this coming year is sure to be an adventure.
At this point next year we will once again be packing up our house and preparing for our next move. Where to you ask? We don't know and the answer really isn't in our hands. Rather, the U.S. Navy will decide where we land next. (Or will it; if Glenn retires then the future is completely in our hands but in turn, that will open up a whole new set of possibilities, complications, and decisions that need to be made). Sure we'll have some input but in the end the decision isn't really ours to make. Will we be researching neighborhoods, commute times, and house hunting stateside or searching for rental property overseas? Regardless of where we call our next home, for the first time schools will factor into our housing decision. As hard as it is for me to believe, Sidney will be starting school during our next set of orders. Do we go the public route and buy in a good school district or do we opt for private and live in a funky neighborhood where our money will go farther? Will I be adding a job search to my list of things to investigate? If so, what type of job do I want? Full time, part time, in my career field or something completely new. The possibilities are endless............
In the meantime there are many things we want to accomplish in the year we have left. Of course there is the pesky thing called work. For both Glenn and I work, along with all of its dueling responsibilities and commitments will continue to be in the forefront of our lives. But, during our final year in Albania, we will strive to keep it all in perspective. We hope to finish our European travel bucket list before we depart. Already trips are planned for Greece, France, England, Italy, and Poland and in honor of my celebrating a "significant birthday" this year, plans are underway for a girls getaway to Spain. And of course there are places right here in Albania that we want to explore. On the home front things will be changing. I will make a concerted effort to mend our fragile family ties that have been tested over the past few years. 2013 will also be the year that Sidney, despite his stubbornness and refusal to cooperate, will become toilet trained. (Accomplishing this will make traveling so much easier and lighter!). I also vow to take better care of myself and my little family in the coming year. No longer will we be last on my long to-do list. Proper sit down dinners, with at least one new dish a week, will be a new family routine. Play time, hanging out time, and opportunities for pure relaxation will now be a priority. And I will make time for myself. Whether it be cooking, blogging, reading, or sitting and doing absolutely nothing, I will make the time to do it each and every day.
It looks like 2013 will be quite the year. Regardless of what it holds in store for us, every moment will be an adventure!
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