2013 was maybe the hardest year yet. Much of my inconsistent presence in this space was due to how crazy hard the past year was.
There isn't much visual cohesion in this post. But it was such a scattered smattering of months and moments. So, image-wise, this feels true.
Here's some of what went down in 2013.
Our housing situation fell through in December of 2012. Sebastian hadn't had work from September to late November, so we were pretty much broke. I had some financial aid money coming from school, but not until the end of January. So, we had to make a really hard survival decision.
Sebastian and the boys moved to Kansas to stay with my family while I finished my last term of grad school in NYC.
We all did the road trip from New York to Kansas at the beginning of the new year, and spend the first weeks of January getting the boys settled, celebrating Quinn's third birthday, figuring out my living arrangements in the city.
And then, the day before I was scheduled to fly back to the city, Sebastian's father passed away.
I've never known anyone to have a closer, more beautiful relationship with their parents than Sebastian has with his. Tom's passing was devastating for him. And it came at a moment when we really weren't ideally situated to cope with it.
February is a month of figuring out some kind of temporary normal.
I find a lovely little room in our old neighborhood in Brooklyn, dig right back in to school work, find a great tutoring gig that takes up all my evenings of the week.
Send lots of packages in the post.
Receive wonderful phone photos of the boys from our wonderful family in Kansas. Each one makes my heart both so happy and so lonesome for them.
March was a month of movement.
Fly to San Francisco for a week with my sisters.
Jump out of an airplane.
Send out applications for writer-in-residences.
Remember that if ever I'm sitting, it's to be reading and writing. Not knitting. Knit anyway.
Miss my beautiful, muddy boys. All three of them.
In April, see old friends, from all over the country.
Fly to Spokane for Tom's memorial service, and see husband for the first time in three months.
Boys' hair grows long.
Become a drinker of tea and green smoothies.
May finds the wedding ring I'd been looking for for five years.
I decide to only ever wear Danskos ever again.
Finish Proust. (In 3 months. While also reading 8 other novels. And writing my own.)
Finish coursework for my MFA.
Finish living in NYC.
Head upstate for a two-week residency at Byrdcliffe.
Write more in two weeks than I'd written in my two years at grad school.
In June, Them.
Head to Nebraksa in July, to Art Farm, for a month-long residency.
Write 130 pages of new material for thesis.
Never leave this desk.
In August, Sebastian flies back east to get out things out of storage. Drives cross-country with them, back to Spokane.
Seb returns to Kansas and we all load up and drive west to Spokane.
Move into Sebastian's childhood home.
Drive out to Seattle for a weekend family reunion.
Drive back to Spokane to settle. Kind of.
Sebastian finds work at a local restaurant.
Pan starts school for the first time.
Sebastian finds a second job at Pan's school.
I get hired to teach English composition. A week before classes begin.
We get a puppy.
In October, we try to figure out how to do "normal" life again.
I have my thesis conference via Skype.
Sebastian has a sculpture piece at Terrain, for First Friday.
Grading stacks of forty papers at a time is hard.
We do the work / care shuffle, where one of us is with the boys while the other one works. All the time.
In November, I am officially mastered!
I work up until the midnight deadline for a job that I really want, but don't finish the application. And it's okay.
I don't cook Thanksgiving dinner.
My sister flies up from San Francisco for a visit that makes us all very happy.
Pan turns FIVE FREAKING YEARS OLD.
Get an A+ on my teaching evaluations!
The puppy learns how to jump / climb / dig under ever fence we build for her.
Sebastian's mother receives an offer on the house we are renting from her.
This little dumpling joins the world in the beautifully capable hands of a dear friend.
Quinn joins Sebastian and Pan at school.
The boys "get" the holiday season. This is both very fun and overwhelming.
We go to a christmas carol sing-along at the movie theater. Pan wins a prize for his ceaseless effort at singing along to all the songs he doesn't know.
I'm not sure if I will have work in January.
Celebrate my 28th birthday quietly, with a nice long ride on my new bicycle with the boys.
Remember that I do not handle transitions well, and proceed to handle the transition from teaching to not-teaching at the start of winter break very poorly.
Get offered not two, but three! classes to teach in January.
Spend lots of time snuggled on the couch with my boys.
Take deep breaths and think about next year.
Think about next year.
Thank you for being here, with such patience, this year.
All my love,