Remember back in 1992 when Queen Elizabeth II declared an "annus horribilis"? Prince Charles and Princess Diana were divorcing. Andrew Morton wrote a scathing tell-all. The former Duchess of York had pictures of herself on the beach as her toes were sucked by a financier. And then Windsor Castle caught fire.

2016 has been something of an annus horribilis for a lot of people. Current Presidential elections excluded, it seems a steady string of beloved celebrities are going on to their Great Reward. We've had hurricanes, floods, fires, droughts, earthquakes, police shootings (both of and by), ensuing riots, rifts between friends and family over things that seem to divide us more and more even as our world becomes smaller and more globally-focused.

I can't say this has been my favorite year, but it's certainly not been a dumpster fire either. We've faced a lot of challenges as a family, but we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I've not blogged, because a lot of what has been on my mind has been raw, or fueled by exhaustion and fear. I know we're "supposed" to be transparent and honest, but if I'm being transparent and honest, I've doubted myself a lot over the last 10 months or more.

But finally. Finally we are seeing forward progress. We close on our first home next week. John's job, while not ideal, is working well and has been very understanding of his trips to El Paso when his mom wasn't well, and then again to get her when she had to come stay with us. My job is going well, no complaints, other than my usual two year itch, wondering what the next step will be. But for now that next step will be about getting myself ready, rather than just being bored and changing.

Sarah started kindergarten, which has been a blessing for us. Many of the behavioral issues we saw in preschool are going away, and even though she pushes buttons and wants to do things herself, we're seeing improvement.

And we have friends. Friends here, in Kingwood, that we visit with, talk to regularly, and enjoy being around. It finally feels like home (even though "home" is always where you're from, or where you Mama is).

So while I will be somewhat glad to watch that calendar roll over to 2017 in a few weeks, I am grateful for the opportunities 2016 has brought us, and will continue to bring. And maybe my brain and my heart can put together the right words again to share. That's the hope.