A Decade of Changes

As this decade draws to a close, I can't help but look back and reflect on what these last ten years have held for me.

I would have to say that the past 10 years were the most eventful of my life. They were full of changes - huge changes.

When the new millennium began, I had absolutely no idea what was in store for me in the coming ten years. If you had told me on December 31st, 1999, what the next ten years would bring, I wouldn't have believed it.

It all started with a new baby. In the Spring of 2000, I discovered that I was expecting a surprise baby. I had a seven year old and a four year old, and no immediate plans of having any more. But God had other plans....and he gave us Elayna, in January of 2001.

I stayed at home with the kids and loved it, although my marriage was stumbling along as it almost always had. And on New Years Eve of 2002, that blew up in a major way. 2003 began with my (now ex-) husband and I separating. Needless to say, it was a hard year. My baby turned two with a lot of chaos in the background. I didn't realize it at the time, but the hardest thing was just my life turning absolutely upside-down. I had to go back to work in the midst of a divorce and leave my baby for the first time. Meanwhile my older kids were confused and hurting. We also had to move and they had to change schools. It was an incredibly difficult time.

But 2004 was so much better. The divorce become final in February. The kids and I were adjusting well and I was becoming truly happy for the first time in a long, long time. I was discovering who I really was as just ME, not somebody's wife or just somebody's mom. I was finding myself. I was also working full time and going to school. It was tough, but it was good.
And then, on my birthday in 2004, I met a man who would change my life yet again.
I was burnt out on dating but something told me to give this a chance....and I am so glad that I did.

John and Andrew came into my life and brought me so much joy and love. They were literally an answer to prayers. Andrew was four years old, and my kids were 3, 8, and 11.

In April of 2005, we officially blended our family. John and I got married in a pretty little backyard ceremony with our children as the only attendants. It was lovely and sweet and the best day of my life. John loves me for who I am, and is so good to me. He has healed me.

In 2006,we almost moved to St. Augustine, and I sometimes wish we had. But instead, I got a job in the medical field, fulfilling a goal of mine, which is what I had been in school for. This was a good thing, for the most part. Also in 2006, my oldest son moved in with his Dad. Which has been another mixed thing; good and bad and sometimes I wish it hadn't happened. He is now with me about 1/3 of the month and his dad 2/3, and it works out quite well.

In 2007, we achieved another one of my major goals, which was to move back to the town I had lived in before my divorce. I loved the schools here and the small-town atmosphere. It was very important for my kids to get back here.
Unfortunately, in 2007 Andrew briefly went to live with his biological mother. That was disastrous and something we wished never happened. I also started this blog in November of 2007.

Shortly after that, I had yet another huge life change. In February of 2008, I had gastric bypass surgery. I lost almost 120 pounds. It was the best decision I have ever made for myself. Emotionally and physically, I have never felt better. It's been almost three years, and I've had no complications. I just bought my first pair of skinny jeans! I'll be doing a big update post about that a little later.

Later in 2008, Andrew came back to live with us, thankfully. He's been in therapy since then because of that brief time with his mother, and hasn't seen her since.

In 2009, I reconnected with a good friend of mine who I've known since high school. She was going through a rough time and she and her daughter moved in with us for a little while. It was so good to renew our friendship and help her out in a tough time. I joked that I had a wife; she cooked and cleaned and watched the kids some nights when John and I were both at work.
She is now married and doing well and we are still in touch.

We also found our wonderful church and became members. Finally, a place where we felt that we fit in and people were there not just for a fashion show, or a gossip fest, or to look good. We are like family there, and we love it.

So that brings us to 2010. We moved in to this home that we love. Elayna turned 9, then Tim turned 17, then Andrew turned 11, and finally Shelbie turned 15. My son started dating his girlfriend, who we love. My husband and daughters were baptized by our preacher and friend. I left my hospital job after many changes, and plan to do something else within the medical field, with less hours and less stress. I have juggled softball, soccer and volleyball and a teenager's social life. My oldest son started his senior year of high school and my oldest daughter started her freshman year of high school (and that threw this mama for a loop!). Andrew's bio-mom just came out of hiding to demand her parental visitation rights, and we're grappling with that. Life is not perfect, but we have wonderful friends, family, and faith, and we will be okay.

It has been a truly amazing decade. That word, "amazing", is so overused, but it fits this past ten years so well. I think I've experienced every emotion possible, and then some. But it's ending on a wonderful note. I am content, happy, and at peace. My heart is so full of love.

I can only imagine what the next 10 years will bring, as my older kids leave the nest, start college, maybe even families (hopefully at the END of the decade!!). But I know that my best friend, my husband, will be at my side, holding my hand, walking through it all with me.

If you made it this far, thank you for going on this journey down memory lane with me. I wish you a wonderful decade to come!


April said...

Hey Cyndy...wishing you a HAPPY and BRIGHT 2011!

brainella said...

Wow. What a decade. I'd be scared to patch together the last ten years.

Here's to ten more amazing years. Happy New Year!

John Deere Mom said...

Wow! That's impressive. I am having a hard time thinking of something for the past year, let alone 10! :) Congrats on all the wonderful happenings over the past 10 years. I hope the next 10 are even better!

Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Cyndy
Wow a lot has happened in the last 10 years. I enjoyed reading your post today. I wish you and your family all the very best for the next 10 years. Happy 2011.
Thanks for your card which arrived today. I hope you got mine.

Tara R. said...

Such a wonderful decade of growth and change. I hope the next decade is even more impressive and exciting. Happy New Year!

Tammie said...

what a full decade youve had! happy 2011!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Excellent post. I didn't even think of it being the end of the decade. I'm not sure I could remember all the details of my life like you did. I went through a separation and divorce back in the early 80's, it was so hard. I don't know if I remember you talking about your bypass surgery, good for you. This year has brought a lot of awesome things to your life. (except for Andrews mom)
Wishing you a wonderful new decade!

Shannon said...

What a decade, huh? I guess now that I think about it, my life changed quite a bit in the last 10 years, too!

Happy New Year! Here's to a great 2011.

Amy said...

Sounds like a pretty good decade for the most part. I had gastric bypass too. One of the best choices I ever made for me.

Hope you have a great New Year!

C said...

those of us who have walked thru the fire and come out into the light are stronger because of the trials. i truly believe everything happens for a reason and that something good can come out of even the worst of things... if we just believe. you are one of these people and i think that is why you are where you are today. you deserve only good things to come your way and surround your family. have a most blessed new year....

hugs cindy loo hoo,


Kat said...

Wow. That is a lot of change. I think this past decade has brought the most change to my life so far too. I wonder what the next decade will bring.

Hope you have a Happy New Year!

Erin said...

Wow, you have been through a lot, but sounds like things are looking up! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Kim said...

What a way to start off 2011!! It sounds like you have done so much growing over the past decade. I look forward to continuing to see your growth in 2011!! :)

qandlequeen said...

Stopping by to wish you a happy new year!

The Nice One said...

I really enjoyed reading htis. It almost made me cry. It showed how things can seem disasterous...terrible...then, when you're working hard, they canturn around when you don't expect it. Thanks for your inspiring post!

Karen said...


I came over after you came over and I am so glad that we are meeting. I love this blog post of reflecting over the last 10 years. Wow, I should do this too because the last 10 have had so many life changing things happen. I am now going to get your feed updates, follow you on twitter and fb. I can't wait to talk to you more. I have this feeling God led us to each other for some reason. Have a blessed night!

Brandy@YDK said...

wow - what an eventful 10 years~

shortmama said...

Wow what an eventful ten years...Id have to really sit down and think about everything that has happened in all that time...a whole heck of a lot though for sure!

Unknown Mami said...

You certainly went through a lot of changes and growth in the last decade.

Here's to another decade filled with growth and joy.

Elaine A. said...

Wow, it HAS been quite the decade for you! This post helped me get to know you better too. Here's to a healthy and wonderful 2011 and new decade ahead! :)

p.s. thanks for reading and commenting at my place. It means a lot to me. xo