Live a Life You Love

New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite nights. It didn’t used to be. Every year there was so much pressure to have the best night- end the old year and start the new year on a high note. You needed plenty of champagne, the perfect dress, a great party and a midnight kiss. My first new year’s in Austin changed everything. I did not have a midnight kiss, but I danced my first dance with the person I want to dance all my dances with. Since then I look forward to the holiday and my midnight kiss every year.

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of that first dance and the first one I spent away from Tyler. Instead I celebrated the new year with my sister, mother and the members of our “chosen family” that I wrote about recently. We were so excited to be a part of the wedding and celebration of our uncle Rickles (okay, he typically goes by Rick) and Teresa. Do you have these kinds of aunts and uncles in your family too? Family friends you were taught to call Aunt and Uncle? Ones that your parents had to explain how they weren’t actually related? It was the first time I’d seen my “cousins” in twenty years. These were the little boys I played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with and now they’re awesome musicians.


My mom, Uncle Rickles and Aunt Marsha


Loved starting the year with so much sister time!


My sister and I with the younger of my “cousins” Andrew

Rick and Teresa’s wedding incorporated their family a great deal, something I had not seen before. It was also emotional and intimate one minute and incredibly playful the next. We were in tears as they said their vows and laughing as they leaped off stage Dirty Dancing style into the crowd. I couldn’t imagine a better way to end 2015.


The wedding was on stage in a beautiful theater with their children by their side.


Are your uncles this cool?

2016 starts as it normally does- feeling under the weather (damn you beer!) and thinking about the future. What do I want this year to be? I want it to be focused. I want to be present. I want to be brave. While I have several things I’d like to accomplish this year:

  • Work on making our house a home
  • Continuing to improve how we handle our finances in the long term and the short term
  • Get back to knitting
  • Take swimming lessons,

what I really want to do is stop being afraid to write. It’s the thing I enjoy the most, but I run from it. Sometimes I refuse to type or put pen to paper. That’s how afraid I am of not being good. For the next twelve months, it doesn’t matter if I write total trash but I have to do it. No more running.





3 thoughts on “Live a Life You Love

  1. I was in Waco with your mom, your Dad, Marsha and Heyward while the guys, including John, were working towards their doctorate at Baylor. Your words brought me back to a time of closeness, enjoyment, and a sense of comradery. I do hope you are brave and write. You do not want to go forward with a regret. With every authentic step forward You learn and those around you benefit. Thank you for sharing. Linda

    • Thank you Linda! I appreciate your encouragement. The time you were all together is one that is remembered fondly and regularly in my family. Have a wonderful New Year!

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