Goodbye 2014

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post, but there just doesn’t seem to be a succinct way to write how I’ve been missing for too many weeks, after a promise for stories during advent. The long and the short of it:
I’m not sure what happened.
We got sick — me first and then Andy — and that kind of rocketed our little world out of alignment. It did, however, remind me of how we are a well-synced team and it takes both of us to make things work. 
Christmas season is a tough one for our kids. There’s a smash of emotions all whirling for attention inside of young bodies. As parents who have adopted children with a hard history, you find yourselves stepping carefully, trying to keep emotions from exploding. It takes extra time, but it is time well spent.
Then we got a dog. There’s a story (of course) and one I’ve promised myself to write, so stay tuned to meet Kate.
My parents got stuck in Hawaii and so I picked up their dog from the kennel. Buffy is an old dog, but she tolerated our new puppy. Buffy was happy to be with us, having more energy than we’ve seen for many months. But, as the day went on, her energy level dropped.
By that evening, Buffy’s body shut down as my parents were flying across the country trying to get home for Christmas.
We held her and loved her and were so glad she was with us and not in the kennel.  Not that it made it any easier to say goodbye.
This was our Christmas season: 
new and old
beginning and ending
traditions and adjustments
slowing down and speeding up
pushing away and pulling together.
It was a season of unexpected blessings found beneath days that didn’t go how they were supposed to go. And somehow in the midst of it I lost my footing in this public space for writing. Even this turned into an impossible blessing. First, I didn’t stop writing, words are being stacked in my next book. Second, I realized the dear friends I have who checked in on me.

Goodbye 2014. You were a good year.

Let's Be Email Pals!

Teaching writers doesn't have to drown us.

Enter your information to receive my free eBook, plus weekly tips and encouragement for teaching writers.

Don't worry, I won't send you spam, and you can unsubscribe any time. (I'd hate to see you go, though.) Powered by ConvertKit


  1. And this is how it goes, that life of ours. I'm sorry for your loss of Buffy, your illness, glad to hear from you that Christmas came and went, writing moved, and here comes a delicious new year, one to crow about already. Hugs to all the family and you, Ruth.

  2. So glad to hear your voice. I have been thinking about the Ayres family a lot- can definitely identify with kids struggling with those holiday feelings ! Glad everyone is feeling better! And congratulations on the new puppy. Can't wait to meet her! So sorry, too, about the loss of your Buffy, losing pets really is as hard as losing a two legged family member! Best wishes for His richest blessings in 2015!

  3. Oh Ruth! What a story!! I am so sorry for your loss of Buffy. I lost my Leo less than a year ago and it is so sad. Prayers for a healthy family! I'm so glad you're back. You've been missed! “Unexpected blessings”…they are the best, aren't they?

  4. I am so relieved to see a post from you. I was praying that you and your family were okay. I am glad that you recognized it was important to hit pause on your blog and focus on your family and health. I am really sorry to hear about Buffy. Here's to a great 2015!

  5. So glad to see this post. Sorry you and Andy were sick. It's a rotten time of year to be sick, but I'm glad that you were able to keep writing. Sad to hear of Buffy's death, but glad he was with family. We're looking forward to Kate's story and pictures to come. Happy New Year!

  6. What an emotion-filled few weeks it has been in your lives! The joy of adopting Kate alongside letting go of Buffy was surely enough to navigate–pile on illness and holidays, and you have, well, what you would call A Beautiful Mess! It is so good to read your voice here again.

  7. I like how Christy said you had a “beautiful mess.” So often life gets in the way of our plans, but you seem to have the wisdom to know what your priorities are. Social media can always wait. Glad all is somewhat well. Look forward to hearing puppy stories.