February - still cranky about being single - actually ratcheted it up a notch with Valentine's Day coming. I hated Valentine's Day. Really, I was - for years - a raging bitch between November and February because everything is so "couple" and "family" oriented that it seemed like I was constantly being slapped in the face with my singledom every time I turned around. Add to it that Monster had been acting up at school and finances hadn't gotten any better - I was a PLEASURE to be around. Right up until I threw a temper tantrum a couple of days after Valentine's Day and did a search (again) on Cupid.com. Found an interesting profile for RockCrawlinChef so I sent off an eye-contact. He responded positively and we began daily email communication.
March - Monster was still acting up in school and had been suspended for trying to pass off Advil as Vicodin (idiot). Digger and Ashee-butt, along with the daily emails from RCC, helped keep me sane. After emailling almost constantly for six weeks, we decided to meet in person. Less than 24 hours before the face-to-face, Monster told me he was moving in with his dad. He ripped my heart, still beating, right out of my chest. Thank God for RCC; I had offered him an out, told him that my life was a shamble and told him that he probably didn't need all the drama in my life, and yet he still wanted to meet me. Came home from the meeting 5 hours later and Ashee-butt told me I was going to marry him. Silly girl, what was she thinking?
April - I'm twitterpated! No doubt about it. Stick a fork in me I'm done. Done. Don't know what happened, thought I had my heart guarded pretty well, but that damn RCC just rolled right on by my defenses and stole my heart. Took him up to the Lodge to meet the parents, to Denver to meet Staci, to my Defensive Pistol match, introduced him to the herd. Guess that boy's not going anywhere now.
May - Life just keeps getting better and better. In addition to falling in love (yes, I finally admitted it to myself - everyone else had it figured out, I was just a little slow), the equine love of my life, Estes, became mine. Estes is perhaps the only animal I could love more than RCC. He completely understands that because of the canine love of his life, Allie-bird. My baby, Monster, turned 13 and was abducted by aliens (how else do you explain the huge personality change from my sweet little boy to the teenaged Monster?).
June - Estes and I travelled with Mom and Ashee-butt to Salida to Julie Goodnight's ranch to appear on her show, "Horse Master with Julie Goodnight." While I was gone, Monster and his dad got into a big fight and Jim kicked Monster out of the house. RCC, God bless him, drove Monster to Loveland to pick up his stuff from his dad's and helped him move back into my house. Two days after I got home from Horse Master, RCC proposed. Guess Ashee-butt knew something afterall back in March. Wow, can life get any better?
July - Monster was initally a saint when he moved back home, but began to slide back into his old habits and things got a little rough at home, but I handled it a lot better than I had in the past. Just having someone other than Digger and Ashee-butt to talk to about the house drama made a huge difference. RCC, Monster, and I went camping in Wyoming with my friends Angie and Matt; Monster and RCC spent some good quality time together and came back fairly close. Digger and Ashee-butt had been able to spend more time with him than Monster because they still lived with me - Monster kind of had to play catch-up.
August - Time to meet RCC's family in Utah. I don't know what I was most nervous about - meeting his Utah family or a road trip involving his mom, sister, and brothers. Both turned out to be a lot of fun and we came back with a couple of stories and new experiences (sleeping in the Excursion was a new experience for me at least). The kids' dad moved to Arizona; the boys, who don't spend much time with him, are handling it ok. Ashee-butt, on the other hand, is such a Daddy's girl that it's really hard for her. Digger turned 17. Where is the time going? There's no way he should be so close to adult-hood.
September - Monster's having trouble in school again. He had kind of anticipated it considering everything that happened during spring semester with his suspension. School for him started on a positive note, but slowly back-slid. Digger also was struggling - that damn disease of his sometimes controls him, not the other way around. Even though he was scheduled for one on-site class, most of the time he couldn't make it and ended up completely Homebound. We've settled into a routine - even Ashee-butt is getting used to being at home all the time, not just during the week.
October - Because of his situation at school, Monster made the decision to move to Arizona for a "fresh start". Ugh! I tried to talk him out of it multiple times, but he was determined to leave in November. Good luck and God speed. On October 30th, Monster was hit by a car while skateboarding in his aunt and uncle's neighborhood. Perhaps the worst news a mom can hear is, "your son's been hit by a car". No updates on his injuries, just that he's in room so-and-so at PVH. Turned out to be "just" a broken arm. He was lucky. Again, I was reminded how wonderful RCC is and what a help he's been to all of us.
November - Monster moved to Arizona. The house is much quieter, but I miss his energy and wit. The drama has gone with him. I hope he finds what he's looking for in Arizona. RCC, Digger, and I had our first Thanksgiving together (Ashee-butt was visiting Monster in AZ for the holiday). I really could get used to this being in love and having a "complete" family thing.
December - My baby girl turned 16! And got a hole in her nose, that I paid for (what was I thinking?!). Seriously, it's darling, but I can't believe how expensive it is to poke a sharp, pointy object through one little nostril! We had our first Christmas tree in 7 years. Christmas was fabulous and came off without a hitch! Digger finally got the tattoo he'd been wanting. And I fall a little more in love every day.
What's next? Who really knows? What I know is that my life a year ago really sucked and it affected the kids. We are all in a much better position to face the new year. What I do know is that good things can snowball just like bad things can. I never really believed that, but I do now.