It’s always fun at the end of a year to look back and see what the last year was like and then look forward to see what our hopes and dreams are for the next year. 2012 was a whirlwind of a year for the Allen family.
January found David and I on Easter Island soaking up the Rapa Nui culture and exploring the stone carvings known as Moai. Easter Island was David’s number one “bucket list” destination. We had a wonderful time attempting to catch a moai at sunset, traversing muddy slippery dirt roads, dodging wild horses but most of all, just walking hand in hand enjoying the amazing sights and sounds of this unique island.
The summer found us on the highway. We traversed from Florida to a pit stop in Murfreesboro, then back on the road to Chicago. We sold Paul and Jackie’s home of 40 years in Illinois. Team Allen (and Giovanine) descended on the house like a flock of crows, picking and plucking until all the family treasures were secure in boxes headed to various destinations, the non-essential debris of life left in a pile for the estate sellers to deal with. It was a time packed with excitement, sadness, relief and worry. We all knew that eventually the house would have to be sold but it closed the door on a chapter of life we will all miss greatly.
Summer found us back in Florida finally with the last box unpacked, relaxing in the afterglow of a job well done. David and I had toasted at one of our first dinners out “To 2013, it has to be a calmer year.” No more than the words were out of our mouths’; we got “The Call”. The first came from Kenny—He and Christi will be getting married in October 2013! The second came from Chambliss—He and Jess will be getting married in April 2013!
August found us back in Chicago. Luckily, there were no packing boxes involved in this trip. My nephew, Nate was getting married to Roxanne. The whole family converged for the wedding. It was a fantastic time of family and celebration. We are delighted to have Roxann join our crazy little family!
Fall was somewhat quiet in the Allen house if you don’t count major renovation to one of the rooms in your house as chaotic. Both girls have picked locations for their weddings, dresses have been chosen, now it’s down to the little stuff of invitations, flowers and menus. Luckily for me, Jessica is a certified wedding planner, so I figure my only involvement will be to talk the two little birds off the ledge when something they fear is going wrong (oh, yeah, and to cut the check).
Thanksgiving was a wonderful time. We had our entire family home and sitting around our dining table in our newly remodeled dining room. The days leading up to the holiday were packed with tension as Scott Bennett hurried to get the room in dining order before the big event.
Christmas was celebrated at our house again this year. I feel truly blessed that we still have Paul with us. I sat and watched as my grown children delighted in the giving of gifts to the rest of us instead of worrying about what they were given. Jess shocked her Daddy by finding an old sales article for a submarine from “Boy’s Life” magazine and building him his very own USS Dave Allen from cardboard.
As the year comes to a close, I realize that I am so lucky. I have a wonderful husband, terrific children, and a wonderful family. Unfortunately as I look ahead, I realize that if I thought 2012 was a whirlwind, I can only assume that 2013 will be a tornado!
To read more from the Two Loons, check out our book Cookies for Dinner.