2014 both started and ended with us in Mexico. And in between, we moved to a yurt on the Lost Coast of California, learned to skin a deer, kill a bear, harvest fruit (before the animals get it), use an outhouse and outdoor shower and deal with mice that make nests in printers.

And the kids started school.

And Moxie started horse therapy.

And we finally got a washing machine so I can say goodbye to the Baja Maytag.

This was a crazy year and I think it was my favorite one yet. We did SO MUCH, we lived SO RICHLY, and I mean that in the very best sense of everything. We did what we truly wanted to. There were some steep ups and downs, rollercoaster learning curves, but WOW! This is how I want to live! This is exhilarating, full-on life learning; this is the stuff that I know without doubt I’ll look back if/when I’m old and nod my head, smile at.

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Looking back on the year, I think some of the personal posts with the most holy-shit-ka-POW! were:

Forsaken: where we had to re-figure out our lives. ouch.

6 Months on the Lost Coast: kind of summarizes it. ooooh.

In terms of disability posts, well, I compiled for a book for you. It’s 4 years’ worth of my best essays on disability, from this blog. And it’s free, so if you want to download the e-book, it’s here. The PDF is here.

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 Goals (Not in Order of Importance)

1. Fitness

We’re supposed to be talking about goals and stuff here now, aren’t we? New Years and all. I lost over 30 lbs this year, thanks to the whole Beach Body thing.

I’m starting my training now to run the Half Marathon at Avenue of the Giants in May (shortly after we get back to the Lost Coast from Mexico).

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2. Disability/Writing

I wanted to get published this year, and I was. I was happy to be accepted by News.com (Australia), Huffington Post and a smattering of other publications. I missed being published by Slate by own stupidity (- I sent them something, they accepted it immediately and then I wondered if they were really that good if they wanted something I wrote so fast? So I sat on it and then missed the moment. Oh, what a lesson there was in that!).

I realized through being published that it’s not being published that means anything so much as contributing to the conversation on disability.

And disability: I am passionate about. I am searching for a way to really shift the perception of disability, promote acceptance. Do what I can to take it from this outdated, archaic, medical-model to one in which it’s commonly understood to be of value. That those of us with a disability have so much to offer our world, and if the world lets us, we can help change it. For the better.

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I’m not sure how best to do it.

But I’ll keep trying.

3. My Kids

I had an epiphany when I took my roadtrip to Portland with just me and the kids: traveling makes me happy.

Traveling makes me really, really happy.

Happy mom = happy kids

this is really true.

I thought about it so much, I travel, I’m happy. My happiness spills over, the kids are happy. When I was solo parenting on the farm with Mikey gone for 14 hours a day, with loneliness as my main friend and few (if any resources) around, completely overwhelmed by the exigencies of rural (hard) living, I was breaking.

So goal this coming year is to split when Mikey gets too busy to co-parent. 

The kids and I will take a roadtrip (or 3? or 4?) FOR SURE next year. I plan on visiting friends around the US, maybe meeting friends in places of mutual interest? I want to go to DC and show Micah the cool museums there (and friends!), I want to go to New Jersey and visit my friend Meredith (if she’s settled in enough), I want to go back to the midwest because I adore the midwest. Visit Melissa and JoAnne and Katie’s family and everyone else that I can. I’d love to go to Kansas and Oklahoma too. They seem so exotic to me.

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I had planned on the Deaf Tour with Katherine, but I’m not sure if Katherine will be able to make it. If she can, that will happen. If she can’t, then it’s me and the kids, solo.

4. My Marriage

I love Mikey more than I’ve ever loved another adult human being. And yet I was ready to leave him this year.

I think – I know – that we need to make time for us. Like, a serious commitment, a do-it-or-die thing. He and I get so wrapped up with work/raising the kids – the kids are always our first priority – and we forget about US. We need to borrow a page from the “happy mom =  happy kids” piece.

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I’m pretty sure that’s about it.

And I have to thank you for reading this blog and hanging out with me along the way. It means more than I can say.

Love to you.

Happy New Year!!! 2015 will be our best yet!


And I think I can just stop taking photos now because Mikey took all of these – clearly the man is a genius.


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