Like an unwelcome great uncle who overstays his welcome, 2017 finally slunk off into the dead of night, where it belonged. When I got out of bed yesterday morning, it was 2018. 2017 was nothing more than a pair of headlights in the rear view mirror of my life. This is going to be a good year. I’m sure of it!

Despite the obstacles faced by me and many of the people I care about this past year, I know with my whole heart and soul that God doesn’t give anyone more than he or she can bear. I also know that joy is in large part how one chooses to live one’s life. Looking at obstacles and considering them challenges, for example. Being careful about who you spend your time with. Yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition and with my new free-and-easy outlook, I don’t care!

So my New Year’s resolution (which I swore I was going to eschew this year, but found I simply couldn’t) is to face each day with a positive outlook and a belief that God has my back even when it feels like he isn’t even paying attention. He always is.

The year ended with our annual New Year’s Eve Day lunch at Houston’s, a really nice restaurant in Scottsdale. Bec, Jen, Maggie, Bill and I enjoyed a delightful meal and some really good wine, and an amazing dessert…..

We spent the rest of the day snug as bugs in our rugs while the fireworks popped all around us – Bec with her grands and Jen with Lilly, who was enjoying a sleepover, AKA “Girl’s Night” that included one boy – her Uncle Bill.

This year Bill and I managed to see the ball drop in NYC before we went to bed around 10:30. Dang, Ryan Seacrest looked cold. This time I think the smile really was frozen onto his face. Seven below wind chill will do that.

Yesterday our household awoke to the fragrance of the black-eyed peas that had cooked in the crockpot all night long. In fact, Lilly’s first words to Jen were, “Grammie, my nose can smell dinner.” Black-eyed peas, of course, are our traditional good luck food. It is my sincere hope they work well in 2018. Even our niece Josey — who can barely abide any type of legume — did her part to bring good luck. See her four black eyed peas?…..

In her usual practice, Bec hosted our New Year’s Day feast with a prime rib that took up most of her fridge, and then most of her oven, and was delicious…..

January 1 is also David’s granddaughter Lexi’s birthday. So arguably she gets a bit short-changed in her birthday celebration, though while other kids get pizza at their parties, she gets a prime rib. And birthday cake. These girls…..

L-R Lilly, Kelsie, Auntie Brooke, Lexi, and Jenna prepare to sing Happy Birthday!

…..and these boys…..

Austin and Carter enjoy Lexi’s birthday cake.

And this year’s celebration included a little tiny fireworks display that nevertheless caused great joy for the birthday girl. She, along with her sisters and cousins, were greatly impressed….

So, 2018 started off with a bang. We kicked it off in supreme manner, and I’m facing this year head-on!

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