Saturday, December 28, 2019

A Review and Reflections of 2019

I thought I would do a review style that I used to do on my blog years ago. I don't know why I fell out of the habit. It was fun looking back. You take the first sentence or two and the first picture of your first post of each month of the year. I skipped the first post if it was a transcript post for one of my kids and had no photo. Here we go.

The night before my Father's passing.
Our Christmas break was filled with great joys and a few deep sorrows. We are in Washington, D.C. My father is critically ill.

Trying to stick to routines...
Wow, I feel like every week recently I am saying it was a hard week.

Family togetherness pulls us through.
It was an exhausting but good week. I can feel energy, ideas and hope coming back into my life. 


This is the time of year when I really feel pulled to check boxes and wrap things up. It can be a time of year when I forget about what is best for the whole child and concentrate only on the student part of my kids.

Walking his cat!
We are blessed abundantly and are feeling strong and encouraged by our routine.

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor
Cecchetti Exam

Anne spent the week in more than 12 hours of rehearsals for the big show this weekend.


We have just returned from a wonderful family reunion with my husband's side of the family.

Best friends for seven years.
Wow! It is August already. I can hardly believe it. The summer is racing past us and I have so much more I want to do.


This was the hardest trip I have ever planned. On paper it looked almost too hard and in reality it was too hard at points. However, it was also an amazing trip filled with many wonderful moments.

My girl can fly!
It was a good week. We had a nice balance of fun, work, and school.

Image may contain: tree, house, sky and outdoor
We had planned on renovating the back house some day in the future, so it turned out to be a blessing!
Our insurance covered much of the costs, except for our deductible. 
We had some wild rain followed by crazy wind over Halloween night. The result is that we woke up this morning to a neighbor's tree that fell through our yard and hit our back building (which we refer to as the back house).

One of her six costumes for Nutcracker this year.
The 10th anniversary of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is complete. My girl completed her 10th season of dancing The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. 

Wow! Looking back it was a year filled with many, many challenges. Where there are challenges there are great opportunities for growth -- and, boy, did we grow this year! Some of the accomplishments and changes this year are as follows:
  • Dean started on an anti-depressant, which has helped him a lot. He still needs so much more help with anxiety, and we will be continuing to look for answers on that in 2020.
  • I have always had the viewpoint that "less is more" when it comes to belongings, but this year I have been cutthroat in attacking our belongings. We have reduced our material possessions by about 25% and I am not done yet. This week alone, we got rid of 111 items (many of them extra hangers, but, hey, every item that leaves the house means less work for me). We are all feeling more freedom.
  • Our relationship with our adult daughter, Katie, is in the best place it has been in years. She moved to a much more positive mental health residential facility and they are encouraging her to maintain a much more positive relationship with us. The last few months of communications have been pleasant, and we even had a nice visit with her last week. I hope it continues into 2020.
  • We continue to find new and inventive ways to keep our family tight and filled with love. It is challenging when the youngest neurotypical child is spreading her wings and flying, while the older two living in the home are struggling to maintain what they have currently accomplished. It sometimes causes jealously, anxiety and tears of frustration all around. However, family is our core and we keep finding our way together. Love is powerful!
Blessings, Dawn


  1. I just want to wrap my arms around you and thank you for the wonderful example you are, to encourage you in your hard work, and to share my love for you. I really liked this post, and I'm so glad that Dean is having some success with his new med. I'm super glad that your relationship with Katie is improving!! I pray for God's blessings to rain down upon you in 2020.

  2. Great post, I love the way you wrapped up the whole year. Happy New Year to you all!