December 3rd, 2017
Happy New Year!!
Today marks the first day of new year in the episcopal calendar, and the first day of advent. It's not a day that I've celebrated my whole life, but between the sunshine and gratitude I feel here at the Gemini super full moon, I feel gloriously happy and want to share and reflect about the past year with you, my friends and family.
This past year has been a tumultuous one for me personally, and for our family. Usually we start our family newsletter by sharing about the kiddos first, but in this new year, I want to turn everything upside down and continue to learn from the new perspective that a new vantage brings.
|Blissful at Baked Alaska for our 15th wedding anniversary.|
I started this new year feeling trapped and spiritually lost. In the year prior I had set about "finding myself" and what I discovered had brought me further and further away from Kevin. I had fallen divinely in love with myself and awakened to the fact that I had been giving him my power (plus, my sister, mother, and kids...). Add to that my sense that Kevin feared my desire to become spiritually enlightened. Add to that the feeling that I wasn't in a professional position to be able to fulfill my dharma, and felt isolated in my community. Kevin and I went through counseling, and despite a valiant effort, we both became further disillusioned, especially as I became happy through my work and poured my energy there. Without sharing my midlife memoir, I can now say that I understand why my favorite astrologer/guru calls this year "The end of Illusion." At the beginning of this new year, I feel grateful to have a loving husband and three amazing children, who are growing faster than I can fathom. I also am blessed to be working and serving our community. My official title is Juvenile Prevention Specialist for Clatsop County, but I'm really the coordinator for Northwest Parenting, and hope to be known as a "Family Education & Empowerment Specialist." The last exciting news that I would like to share is that I've become certified in Imagination Yoga, and I am thrilled to have a vision for bringing this playful practice to the children and families in our community, region, state and beyond...
|After Kevin's run and my sunrise stride across the mighty Columbia River.|
I usually try not to speak for Kevin, but as he's out hiking on this beautiful day, I'll do my best to give a brief synopsis from my point of view. I know our marriage struggles took a grate deal of energy from both of us, but thankfully, since our celebrating our fifteenth wedding anniversary, we've been focused on sharing our love and rebuilding our foundation. Despite having his "dream job," the luster of serving as Community Development Director wore off, and in September Kevin chose to take a tremendous leap by leaving his salaried position. I am proud to share the new name of his business is West Coast Cronin Clan Co. and despite not even having a web presence yet, he just billed his first three clients and has some very exciting development projects he'll be working to help create. Kevin's new journey includes taking up running, meditation and yoga, on top prioritizing of lots of long walks and hikes. He was happy to compete in three races this year, check out his post entitled (Yes, after ten years of having a family blog, Kevin decided on his own volition to write a post...it goes to show that old dogs can learn new tricks! ;-) I selfishly hope that he'll be inspired to write more, as I know he enjoys creative writing... Kevin has also been fulfilled by serving as the President of the Lower Columbia Youth Soccer Association, and is excited to have his first paid coaching gig and is also planning to start refereeing, as part of his life/career transition. Needless to say, he's a different person than he was just a year ago, and I'm proud of his ongoing transformation.
|Kieran giving Teagan a ride on our trip back East for Gram's 80th birthday.|
This year has been a year of huge growth for Kieran as well, as he will likely be taller than me by his twelfth birthday, next month. Kieran was eager to enter middle school, and now enjoys the freedom of going to Friday night skate nights with one of his best friends, Noah, who he got to know by participating in the Columbia River Maritime Museum's first ROV Club. Their fifth grade team competed in the Seattle area, after five months of working together, and got Rookie of the Year. The competition included an oral defense, and even though he sweat bullets through it, Kieran was clearly the oratory leader. He also had the chance to serve as Treasurer, and good at ordering meals for the club. Lastly, Kieran enjoyed a great season of pitching, and looks forward to playing in the spring. He experienced his first soccer injury this summer, and sat out the fall, but is back to playing on a winter North Coast United team.
|Thumbs up before Makenna's big 10k walk/run. :-)|
Makenna also happily transitioned schools, and is now at Lewis & Clark Elementary. She enjoys having lots of friends, and is quickly getting up to grade level with her reading. She's also loves playing soccer, and is quite the natural, according to Kevin. She still loves making art, and is banging away at the piano as I write. She's had fun in gymnastics and really wants to get back into swimming more. And here's a cute photo from her second walking race, the Great Columbia Crossing (she came in after her Dad, but in a few years, she'll surely be lapping him). Makenna's also more and more interested in "screens" and really wants an tablet like her friends who have started messaging me...she even coaxed her sister into asking Santa for an Apple watch yesterday...Teagan: "I want a talking unicorn, who can fly, and play and do anything I want! Oh, and an Apple watch!" ...I think he saw right through her. ;-) As a middle child, Makenna savors her rare alone time with Kevin and I, and most of all, loves being a Big Sis to Teagan. She dreams and talks a lot about growing up and living in Paris. Her dream of having a small white dog came true when we got a new puppy...
|Our first hellos to Lulu, who is part sweet, part crazy dog. Lulu fits her. ;-)|
Teagan's birthday wishes came true when we welcomed our four-legged family member, Lulu, a Schnoodle (mix between a miniature schnauzer and poodle). Lulu has tripled in size since she came home three months ago, and is getting closer to being "potty trained." Lulu adores Teagan, who loves her puppy kisses. Teagan also loves preschool, and according to Makenna, she is an "awesome artist." She certainly is proud of her expanding coloring and tracing skills. She remains a very emotionally sensitive and intuitive person who often seems ahead of her four years...precocious doesn't describe her entirely though, as she has a wicked sense of humor. New neighbors described her well after meeting once at the park..."Teagan. (thoughtful pause) She's a riot!!" She certainly has a riot of curls to match.
If all our personal lives weren't busy enough, we had a full year as a family. We finished turning our Theater into an Airbnb suite, and with the income from our first rentals, we renovated the basement. We've had some fantastic short term renters who were all young professionals, and super kind and respectful (our first longer term renter had the sweetest dogs, Zeno and Maggie, who inspired us to get a puppy!) I was surprised to just check out stats to see that we'll have hosts over thirty sets of guests this year! I actually earned far more from our rental income than from my day job, and it's only because of our rental income that Kevin was able to make his career leap ahead of his intended schedule. Our historic home still remains a truly expensive labor of love, and it's great to be able to share it with guests from near and far (we had the sweetest young lady stay for a week with her infant son and mother, and our last longer term renter was from Maine :-)
OK, I know this is way longer than practically anyone actually reads these days, but the sums up the true highlights of 2017 for us. It feels so incredible to have made it through the darkness of the great eclipse, and to be gearing up for a truly beautiful new year. Today was simply amazing in so many ways, and blue skies in December didn't hurt. We've got so many fun advent plans, and are looking forward to making special memories with family and friends.
Lastly, even though I've always enjoyed sending my love in the form of a holiday card to our loved ones, I used to feel awkward and apologetic for writing a "brag" newsletter. But this year it feels like we have so much to authentically brag about, and we are indeed so very grateful to have family and friends to care enough about us to share our lives virtually. As always, we would love to plan a visit or camping trip for the new year, and we hope that our paths will cross in person, rather than just online.
As Teagan is going to share as the Star in her preschool Christmas pageant: "For Mary and for Joseph, the would be a special night. For Jesus would be born, and bring the world hope, joy and light." No matter your beliefs, we wish you a season of beauty, wonder, and believing in magic.
Peace be with you,
Darcy and family
PS I don't want to post our personal info here, but feel free to reach out to Kevin or I by Facebook.
|Family pic after our big walk/run in September. Kieran was still out of commission with his knee.|
|More first Lulu kisses!!|
|First day of school: 6th, 3rd and preschool.|
|Beautiful sunny fall day at McClure Park, where next year we'll be celebrating the new hillside slide...wahoo!!|