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new year

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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!

PS

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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We were watching Back to the Future II the other night.

In it, Doc Brown is taking Marty to the high-tech space-age world that 2015 was to be.  We laughed long and hard – 2013 is, after all, only 2 years away from the flying cars self-drying jackets that the movie says we’ll have in 2015.

But I got to thinking about it.

Really thinking about it, while I was sorting through photos from this past year.

This time last year, we were at the Mexican border. We were starting our month-long camping adventure that made us want to alter the course of our path. I wasn’t pregnant. I didn’t know how to run. Moxie wasn’t fully walking. Micah wasn’t reading. Mikey’s omelets were not divine perfection.

So in one year, Micah learned to read – and at 4 years old, is around the second grade reading level. Maybe higher. Moxie learned to walk – and runs. I got pregnant and had a baby. Mikey learned to make the best omelets on the face of this planet.

If all of that could happen in just one year, I suppose flying cars and self-drying jackets can too.

All things are possible, right?

Here is a collage of some of the photos I liked best of Moxie in 2012. Not fancy photos, not the ones everyone else liked, just a sample of some of the ones that are especially meaningful to this mama:

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They remind me of moments like how she’d wake up before Micah on the beach, come on out with Mikey and me, drink her milk and watch the sunrise with us. Remind me of how she loves make up and juice (and the delightful way she signs “juice”, swinging her whole hand down in a big loop and saying “joo!”), and how she scrambles up to the top of the play gym at McDonalds. Her love of people, her zest for life, adventure.

Moxie. We named her well.

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And Micah, Little Man, “Number One”, “Mojo”.

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The consummate Big Brother, first born. Cautious, hard thinking, goggle-loving, tool-welding Mac n’ Cheese lover. He dives into stories with the same gusto he’ll apply to play. I tell him that he’ll probably invent warp drives and transporters, and in all honesty, I’m not joking. He’s that kind of kid.

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MacQuinn.

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 So new, only 2 months in to this thing we call “life”. I wonder what kind of person he is.

I’m still getting to know him.

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Three kids. One man that I adore.

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 A new year, all ready to be unpackaged, explored.

A year that will likely give birth to a new life and a new way of living for our family.

The Pan Am Overland is hypnotically beckoning us.

The truck is being fixed.

We’re looking for work.

It’s pulling together, it’s happening.

And as impossible as those flying cars and self-drying jackets seem in the 2015 of Back to the Future II, so too seem our dreams sometimes. But one step back – and a good look at what we did accomplish in the past year – and I feel a smiling glow in my gut that whispers in a (corny yet) certain way, ‘as you believe, so shall your reality be

2013, you are going to be good.

 

 

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