As 2013 comes to a close, I cant help but look back at all the laughs, all the tears, and most important all the lessons I have learned.
This has been a year full of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  So to recap my year I’ll start off with the happiest times!

 
Brazil Trip 2013!
The hubby had to go down to Brazil for business purposes and so on a whim we moved our vacation we were thinking about for the winter of 2014 and went as a family in the spring of 2013!  We stayed for a month, enjoyed the beaches, shopping, and food.  Took time to relax on the family farm, enjoyed the crowds in Rio at the Cristo Redentor Statue, and reconnected with family and friends we had greatly missed.
 
 
Who doesn’t like Camping on the 4th of July?
We took our usual family camping trip over 4th of July weekend to the campground we used to go to for years when all us cousins were little, Pine Acres.  Most of my fondest memories of summer have always revolved around these summer camping trips.  S’mores, swimming, fishing, dancing, and laughing around a fire till security came.

 
I turned 30!
Really, like yikes! I don’t feel thirty at all but man I guess I’m all grown up now.  I got to celebrate with a bunch of family up at Old Orchard Beach for the weekend and it was a blast. 
 
Anthony got to see New York City!
After asking, and asking, and well asking some more, we finally cracked and took the drive down to NYC.  We spent a couple of nights and saw some of the main attractions that were on his list. It was a bit stressful with Aidan and the busy city but in the end we went home with a very happy boy.
 
Finally got to see the South!
We made it down to South Carolina to see my brother, this was Antonio’s 10 year wedding Anniversary gift to me, and my amazing man new exactly what I needed most a mini vacation, awesome, but seeing my brother, the best!  He had moved down there in the Spring and I was devastated that he wasn’t a short ride away anymore so this was a perfect surprise.
 
We had a Blizzard that gave us snow totals higher than the kids, we finished potty training both twins, We had an awesome Easter egg hunt, Had lots of summer cookouts and Pool fun.
Then to wrap up the year we did all the Fall favorites, apple picking, pumpkin picking, and many farm visits.  Then Christmas brought another visit with my brother and lots of family time.  Looking back, focusing on the good, I must say it was a pretty amazing year and God blessed us in so many ways!
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However in the midst of all the fun times, inbetween the vacations and the parties, inbetween the laughing and memories, my family was falling apart.  Or at least what I once thought of to be “family”.
Fight after fight, the drama seemed to just keep making circles through out the year.  There has been lies and rumors started but some cant see through the dysfunction to understand it.  There has been tears and screaming, name calling and backstabbing.  Yet though it all my loyalty never shook.  I am loyal to a fault (I guess its the Italian in me, or so I’ve heard).  I couldn’t let go of these people I loved, these people I’d lay down my life for, the ones I always thought would be there no matter what.
Unfortunately I had to learn the hardest lesson yet.
~Family isn’t always… Family~
I can forgive so much and have but when my position in the family was called into question, I learned I had to just let go.  Some words can never be erased, they can be forgiven in time, but never forgotten.  Some words can be spoken in the heat of a fight and destroy an entire family, making the most loyal of the bunch turn and walk away with the knife still in her back.
So when the mention of me not being a “real” family member started, that was what I had to do, with tears in my eyes and the knife in my back, I walked away.
My Dad has been my Dad sense I was in diapers, I never felt the need to doubt his love for me, he chose to take the place he has in my life and that’s something that wouldn’t need to be questioned.  Especially by the people who I called my own,  but when a family cant see through their own dysfunction to understand a love that’s not obligated, my Dad and I did they only thing we could think of to stop any doubt and at 30 years old, after the diapers were changed, the stories read, the walk down the isle, and the grandbabies came, I was officially adopted.
I gained a piece of paper that never really mattered, and lost the “family” I always thought did.
 
This year I learnt so much!
I learnt those things your parents tell you when your growing up, but you shrug off, there true.
I learnt to guard my heart and to be loyal based on actions not on position.
I learnt I am stronger than I ever imagined.
I learnt my heart will always heal with Gods help.
I learnt sometimes moving on is harder then fighting.
I learnt all I need in this world is God and my Babies.
I learnt this to shall pass and I will be OK,
AND SO MUCH MORE!

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