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Goodbye 2023...Hello 2024!

This is a few weeks late, but oh well...

What a year 2023 it has been!

This past year had many ups and downs, but I think it ended on a high note.

Except for the cold I caught on December 29...but I digress.

There has been lots to celebrate...more so than I expected, especially with how the year started.

Last January, not only was I dealing with back problems left over from December 2022, (which come to find out was a herniated disc), but my shoulder decided to join in the fun.

Several months of PT without much benefit led to an MRI in May and a definitive diagnosis of not only a torn rotator cuff, but also a torn labrum.

Not good.

Of the four muscles that make up the rotator cuff, 3 were torn. The labrum is the cartilage in he shoulder joint. Whereas the rotator cuff muscles will heal on their own, the labrum won't. The only thing that can fix it is surgery. Luckily, the PT exercises can mitigate surgery, by strengthening the muscles (once healed), so the labrum won't be irritated and cause more issues.

Surgery is probably on the horizon, but not yet.

A combination of continued PT, strength training and a cortisone short has allowed the shoulder to heal.

It has been a long road and even though my shoulder hurts at times, it is to the point where I can swim again, and with caution, do almost everything I could do before.

A huge difference from January, and PT continues--no longer every week, but once a month--to make sure that labrum tear doesn't get any worse.

2023 also meant a switch for me with my job. I shifted from museum education, onto museum collections, and it was the perfect move for me. Just like before, I was starting over but was much more comfortable with process and the projected outcomes. Collections are my jam!

In April, my husband and I celebrated 30 years of marriage...WHAT????

How did that time fly by so fast? I'm still 32, right? Wrong.

I told him several years ago that I wanted 2 things for our anniversary.

A trip with just the 2 of us, and new dishes.

I got a trip. And what a trip I planned for us!

Our 15 day journey on the Ring Road in Iceland was absolutely incredible. I'd go back in a heartbeat. The people, the food, the scenery was unbelievable. Almost as soon as we returned in June, Iceland decided to show off. First, by having a third "tourist eruption", and again just before Christmas , letting it be known that when you settle on the continental fault, you may lose your town. But gain more land.

The recent eruption in Iceland, December 19, 2023

Watching footage of this most recent eruption...just a few miles from where we lounged in the Blue Lagoon brought tears to my eyes. My heart breaks for the people of Grindavik and all of Iceland. Even though the recent eruption has ended, there are still a lot of earthquakes around, and some are predicting that there will be another eruption soon. I hope the lava stays away from the town, and in the case of another eruption, which seems likely, it hope it does not start under the town. Either way, I know their lives are forever changed.

This fall, my husband started a new job, which gave some new opportunities for the boys to step up and contribute more around the house. They started doing their own laundry, mowing the lawn, even cleaning their bathroom!

Speaking of new...our extended family gained a few more members. Our niece and nephew both got married this summer.

The father of the groom with my husband and our boys.

My boys are now both teenagers...and we are getting to the point of both in high school. There is even talk of driver's education.

And boy have they grown!!! I'm now the shortest in the family. They also clean up pretty well too.

But the big news...and this is actually pretty huge in this day and age, is they both got phones for Christmas.

It was time...especially when I was receiving more texts and calls for them than for myself. We lasted as long as we could, but in the end we caved.

I'm not going to miss being B's executive assistant. Lol!

One thing that did not happen this year was a triathlon. Yes...the Museum Geek Triathlete is slowly losing her triathlete card. There were plenty of opportunities to race the local sprint, but weather seemed to always get in the way.

Granted, the race still happened, sometimes cancelling the swim, sometimes the weather never materialized at the race venue (although it did at home). But the point is...can I call myself a triathlete?

For now yes.

However, I continued to get crazy...why not run another Vermont 10 Miler...with very little training. I highly recommend you do not do this!

And speaking of weather...what is up with Mother Nature???

At one point the weather folks touted that 15 of 17 weekends had rain since the beginning of summer. And it did not stop in the fall. There were several weekends where multiple inches of rain fell.

I'm talking flooding rains.

In December alone, we had 2 rain storms that produced 4-5 inches of rain...each!!! On top of that, both had high winds. The poor ski areas which made snow during the cold nights lost almost all their snow. One local ski area finally opened for Christmas.

I believe it was in the top 5 for wettest years on record. Which is impressive considering we did not have any tropical storms or hurricanes here in New England.

I'd rather have snow. And luckily we finally got some. Almost a foot of the white stuff...and then 3 days later, 4 inches of rain. We just can't win.

Go #20!

J had a good freshman year of school, enjoying Unified Basketball in the spring. Flag football did not happen this fall, but instead, he participated in Best Buddies, celebrating Thanksgiving with classmates, and even decorating Christmas cookies--that he made! In just a few weeks he will turn 16. Oh boy! We've already told him the driver's license doesn't automatically show up in the mail. And luckily, his sophomore year is going better than 9th grade!

B achieved two milestones this year. While we were away in Iceland, B passed his Black Belt examination in karate. Then a few weeks ago he completed the requirements to rank up to Life Scout. He now begins to work towards his Eagle Scout rank. And all this before his 14th birthday!

Our family has been blessed this year. And we are looking forward to a positive 2024. We are going to keep the good times rolling. I hope your 2024 is off to a good start. Cheers, and thanks for continuing to read about my misadventures.

Happy New Year!

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