It’s a grey day as I write this last post of the year.  The branches are bare against the clouds and this time, unlike so many times before, I can see no sun peeking through them.  Looks like 2019 will exit just as it entered – dreary and mild.  And once again, my mood matches the weather.

My funks don’t last for long, but I have noticed them much more frequently this year and I really need to snap out of it.  Perhaps it is the threat of the “empty nest” that looms closer and closer to our reality. If you asked me this year how my children are doing, somewhere in my reply you would hear me complain that I never see my daughter anymore.  True, it feels like she is constantly on the go, what with school, her job and ever-present social life.  So it surprised me as I looked through all the photos of this past year to see that they were predominantly of Victoria.  There is not a single month of photos on my phone (save January) that is not dominated by “Vic pics.” Perhaps it was my subconscious storing up memories for when she, too, is away at college next year. Or perhaps it is only in my imagination that she is never home, and this is my reminder to be more present when she is. Either way, I am so very grateful for the remembrances this time of year brings and for its lessons.

Enough with the whining already, right?  Let’s get on with our seventh annual pictorial year in review, or, as it’s known in my phone for 2019, The Victoria Show.


Once the Christmas season ends with Epiphany, we Loozianans drape everything in purple, gold and green and jump head-first into Mardi Gras.  I got the baby in the first King Cake of the year.  I posted it on FB and was censored for the porn.  Oy.


Victoria fast-tracked her Confirmation at St. Elizabeth – the benefit of three extra years of religious ed at St. Mary’s. I was too in-the-moment to take pics during the Mass. I always feel awkward pulling out my phone during Mass anyway, so I politely waited until we were home. The ambience was not quite the same.


This is why only my tee shirts hang on the bottom rack of my closet.  I love putting on a shirt to find the left sleeve covered entirely in dog hair.


Ahhh, April.  The month of Prom.


During our vacation to the Big Easy, Stacey and Lee insisted it is tradition to pose on the Pontchartrain Bridge. Aaron and Vic were mortified that we stopped on the bridge, and then promptly wished they had grabbed sunglasses.


Marion C. Garretty is credited with saying, “A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” So it is for Lucas and Victoria, both Seniors and both chomping at the bit for life after high school.


After the July Fourth holiday, when I had traded out the patriotic pillows for the summer décor on the front porch, Max claimed my star-spangled pillow as his own.  To date, he still has not relinquished it. And that look says I can fuhhgeddabout it.


Our first foray into sausage-making without Bishop Duca.  I texted him photos of the sausage to let him know we miss him but are carrying on.  He agreed that we didn’t do half-bad.


More proof that I did actually get to hang out with my daughter, even if she thought I was crazy for snapping odd-angle pics of her.  We never see the beauty in ourselves when we are young.


Max is not allowed on this couch, but was apparently feeling all full of himself one evening. He kept eyeing us like he knew he was disobeying, and we just kept waiting for him to explain.


One.  Happy.  Family.


There’s always one text conversation that makes the end-of-year cut. Dom and I texted the same reply at the same time. The reference here is to Sixteen Candles.  But surely you knew that already.  Seriously.  Tell me you KNEW that.

As this decade slips quietly into the shadows, I wish you every joy that the new year can bring. I pray that we all remember to live the moments and be truly present to those in our lives. Take the weird photos – maybe they will remind you, as they have reminded me, that we have so very many blessings.  And when the sun comes out again, may it shine brightly on you (as long as you have sunglasses). 😉

Peace and love to you, my friends.