Wow. 2011 is over. I, uh, just don’t really know what to say. This has been kind of a GINORMOUS year for me and Benjamin. And now 2012 is coming. And something’s supposed to blow up on my birthday or something, but I don’t really think the Mayans meant that. I think they meant 2012’s going to be a year of change. And THAT I can totally get on board with. Let’s recap 2011…
January 2011: I left my job in social services. Which I got a related degree in so I could go do that very thing. And boy did
I ever jump in feet first, and it was truly amazing. But I fell in love with Benjamin, and for the first time in my life I wanted a home and a family. Like the old-fashioned-ish kind of way. And you cannot do that with two people working in social and/or health care, with both of them being on-call 24-7. So, I left to try to build a company with my father in the field of fence material wholesale. And fell in love with that too. My job is quirky, and noisy, and sweaty and never easy BUT I LOVE IT, and I’m actually really good at it, and I get to be outside alot (see #17 here).
February 2011: The 6th day of the second month of the year is Benjamin’s and my anniversary. Our “actually dating” anniversary, not our day-we-met-anniversary (that was 4 days before at a Lost party). And we’ve hardly been separated since, because we don’t have as much fun unless the other one is there too. Feb. 6, 2011 marked 2 years. And we’re right around the corner from our third. I never knew I could love anyone like this, or that anyone could love me so much in return. I feel lit up inside most of the time, and even on my worst days I feel an undeniable sense of completeness. Love is just…WHOA.
March 2011: I experienced the true rush of the fence-building season for the first time in my life. People get CRAZY y’all. I had to post rules in my office to get fevered sleep-deprived persons under control. I worked 12 hour days. My phone never stopped ringing. I had one day off a week, and then only sort of (see phone ringing above). It was astounding and glorious and I haven’t been that tired since they thought I had mono in high school. There were days I was so delirious all I could do was stand in my living room and cry. This year I will be more prepared. I’ve worked out my “in 0ffice” schedule, learned a whole ‘nother language, and have learned to budget my time. Also, I make people text message me. This keeps my brain from falling out of my right ear.
April 2011: We find out the first grandbaby is coming on my side of the family. My little sister is gonna have a wee one!! She was the most adorable pregnant person ever. Her hubs whisked her off to Jamaica for a second honeymoon and brought her home preggo. They’re all about doin’ things in a timely manner. It was a beautiful moment. A moment which has spanned almost the whole year, and becomes more beautiful by the day.
May 2011: Benjamin has the second round of a recurring infection on a cyst on his tailbone. He’s gonna need surgery, and there’s no sugar-coating how much it’s gonna suck – that much is made clear to us by the ER physician. That we had to go see at 3am in the middle of the week because Benjamin was in so much pain he was as white as the sheets and couldn’t speak. Not only is the cyst infected again, not only does it need to be removed, but the infection has created a tunnel that’s headed for his spine, and consequently his spinal cord. An infected spinal cord is no bueno, just in case that wasn’t obvious. So after a couple months of waiting, and over a year of off and on pain, the cyst is removed. In it’s entirety. By an amazing surgeon who stopped Benji’s pain and infection in it’s tracks.
June 2011: The last Harry Potter movie. We’d already finished all the books. I had personally finished all the books about 7 times. Heartbreaking. I LOVE Harry Potter. I know I’m 32 years old. So what? We had a blow out HP party at our friend A.L.’s house on my sis’s birthday. Two days of Harry Potter awesomeness and food. *Sigh*
July 2011: WTF WAS UP WITH THE WEATHER IN TEXAS??? SERIOUSLY?? WAS ANY OF THAT NECESSARY??
August 2011: We find out Benjamin has narcolepsy. After almost 2 years of him experiencing the most intense exhaustion, and frustration at feeling foggy-headed, sick, confused, and overwhelmed – and dozens of almost car accidents. We went to the doctor because I thought he had sleep apnea. This would account for him stopping breathing in his sleep, his house-shaking snoring, and his daytime sleepiness. So I found a highly accredited and board certified pulmonologist. He spoke with Benjamin for less than 5 minutes and diagnosed him with narcolepsy. To be confirmed later by a sleep study. Benjamin was stopping breathing in his sleep because he was paralyzed y’all – it’s part of the narcolepsy. Sleep paralysis. Ben takes a pill each day now, and it’s a miracle – unless he gets really stressed it’s like every day is a perfect day. But our life has required a lot of adjustment, and after reading every book I could afford on Narcolepsy, we had to makes some changes to our future. For anyone that may be dealing with this diagnosis, I highly recommend Narcolepsy: A Funny Disorder That’s No Laughing Matter by Marguerite Jones Utley. We also owe all our thanks to Dr. Grodzin, Ben’s pulmonologist who took the time to listen to us, changed our lives, and has helped us every step of the way.
September 2011: Like I said before, I worked in social services for a few years. And I quit so I could have a family. Well, that wasn’t the only reason. Social services took over my life. I hadn’t had the laundry caught up in almost 2 years, and I was beginning to lose friends and neglect my family. In fact, between Benjamin’s and my work schedules, most of our friends had
just stopped calling us because we were either too tired, or one of us was on-call and we couldn’t leave the city limits. SO – Y’all know who Jell-Jell is of course. Well, during her entire pregnancy and the first year of her daughter’s life I went to visit her twice. TWICE. How horrible is that? Once was the day of her very first doc appointment to confirm there was a bebe in there. And the other occasion was her baby shower. I didn’t even meet EeBz until the family came up to our end of the state, and then I only saw them for an hour or so. Que horrible, mala Jamie. But in September, I hauled it to Austin with my mom because my other cousin (Z.N.) was about to marry a wonderful lady and she was having her shower. I got 3 whole days of heaven with my family – Aunt, Uncle, cousins, and EeBz – the whole shebang. And I’ve hardly stopped pestering them with phone calls and emails since. And Eebz has combo’d Ben and I into one name, because she’s a clever girl – she does a forehead slap (sign language for “Jamie” – we made this up and it’s SO appropriate) while simultaneously saying Ben. AWESOME SAUCE.
October 2011: I have a stroke. Just…WHAT!?! I HAD A STROKE!! At 31 years old. Because there’s a hole in my heart. And I’m all numb on my left side. Read about it in Archived Confessions – they’re all there, I promise, look for the sick kitty pics from Jells. Long story short, I need heart surgery and an assload of doctor’s appointments plus daily blood thinners and aspirin.
November 2011: My nephew gets waybored with being gestated and decides he’s ready to come hang out.
So my sister is in labor for 60 HOURS. And I was in Omaha with Ben’s fam and my other adorable nephews and had to fly home super fast. I left all my luggage behind with Ben, and got targeted as a terrorist at theOmaha airport. You can read about that here.
December 2011: I have heart surgery. And it hurts ALOT. But they gave me some lovely meds that made Benjamin look like bigfoot, and I got to watch the whole thing on a monitor because I never completely went to sleep. So now we can make babies – cuz evidently that would’ve been a super dangerous, like deadly dangerous, thing to do before. Which is really good to know – because we were totally trying to get pregs. WOWZA. Process that for a little bit. Anyways. I’m all healed up, mostly. And jogging’s totally my new thing. Also, I turned 32. And my NY (New York) best friend flew in and surprised me and made me cry after I hadn’t seen her for 11 months. It got a little bananas y’all. Cuz that’s how we roll.
So January? I welcome you with open arms. I’m grateful for the chance to wake up in this beautiful life every day, and I resolve to not eat Taco Bueno like it’s one of the major food groups. Thank you for the family and friends that I have, and I resolve to add one more to their numbers some time after December 1st cuz that’s when baby-makin’ will be safe for my heart. I love and adore my job, and I resolve to make time for my business daily but not to let it take over my life. Most of all, I send tears of joy and warm fuzzies to the powers that be – simply because I am here, living in this time on this planet when my mere conception, that little combination of chromosomes, was just luck. I see it, the enormity of the chance that I wouldn’t be here at all, and I offer a heartfelt resolution to live each and every day in recognition of that gift. Happy New Year friends – may it be filled with laughter and may each day be better than the last XOXO