It's a new year, with plenty of new things in store for our family in the next 12 months. Six of those months we will spend here in Madrid, and the following 6 in our new "M"-- Montgomery, Alabama.
...and all of the sudden nobody wants to come visit us anymore. Ha.
Yes, our next address will find us back in the US of A, for another all-too-brief assignment of 12 months.
Josh will be attending another military professional development course.
Code name SAASS, which stands for...something.
I believe this next assignment will set us on a course for 4 years in a row with a move.
North Carolina to California-- May 2012
California to Spain -- Jan 2013
Spain to Alabama-- July 2014
Alabama to ??-- July 2015
Whew. I'm tired thinking about it. I feel like we just unpacked.
But instead of looking ahead to 2014, I thought I'd ponder a bit over the year that's just ended. Mostly because it's been one of the best years to date!
1) We lived outside of the US for the first time ever. What an experience! Not always easy and sometimes lonely, but the good has outweighed the bad by a landslide.
2) We learned (ish) a new language. Take it with a grain of salt, because I would not claim to be fluent in Spanish, but I now have a group of friends who don't speak English and we get along just fine. I'm sure I miss out on several jokes and tidbits along the way, but we can pass an evening together with lots of laughter and conversations, which still blows my mind.
But not as much as number...
3) My tiny infant babies speak a second language! It's just incredible to watch them play with friends and realize that an outsider wouldn't know right away that they're foreigners. Their first trimester grades at school were a huge improvement from last year, and they're being graded as if they were native speakers.
Hearing them speak Spanish is quite possibly the cutest thing since Theo and Beau went viral.
4) I learned to play Gangster's Paradise on the ukulele.
So there's that.
5) I can still do a handstand.
So there's that, too.
6) Josh wrote a monografía (thesis) on the Goldwater Nichols Act. I proofread it, and managed not to fall asleep very often.
7) We got our money's worth from our Abonoparque passes by going to the amusement park, zoo, and cable car more than anyone ever in the history of Madrid.
Or at least it felt like that.
8) We lived in an apartment for the first time ever, and also had a housekeeper for the first time ever.
Yes, a housekeeper who came once a week despite the fact that I don't work and the kids were in school for 8 hours a day.
And she's also our babysitter, and she also cooks for us when she comes to clean.
Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam.
I feel guilty, but as they say, "When in Rome..."
9) After three deployments and lots of hours flying fast aircraft, Josh almost died going on a morning jog. But he didn't.
10) Let's finish strong...
I spent 2013 being the most horribly inconsistent blogger in da world.
Um, sorry about that.
Here's to doing better in Dos Mil Catorce, and thanks to those of you who are still out there in the interworld checking in on us!
Wishing you all many blessings in the year to come...may you all learn to play old rap songs on a shrunken guitar!