What a year!  Lots of blessings – extraordinary blessings.  My second son got married in September, to his long-time girlfriend, a woman we all love and admire.  My nephew got married in December, to his long-time girlfriend, also a woman we all love and admire.  Another nephew got engaged to HIS long-time girlfriend, another fabulous woman we love and admire.  Does it get any better than this?

Anj and Emma.9.20.14

The Yiddish word for this is “nachas.”  Although it looks like it should be pronounced like that snack that involves cheese and taco chips, it is actually pronounced like “Knock Us,” except with that Yiddish “ch” sound you hear in “Chanukah.”  It means a special kind of pride a person feels, particularly pride derived from one’s children (or nephews).  I was awash in nachas this year!

My delightful grandson became more delightful with every passing day.  He started to talk and invented his own special name for me:  “Nee.”  My sons had decided my grandmother name would be “Grandi,” which I thought was really cute, but Ollie had his own agenda.  I would have answered to “Turd Blossom,” had that been his choice, so “Nee” was just fine with me.  We spend every Friday afternoon together, and as he grew closer to two years of age, he became funnier, more entertaining and more adorable.  We really have a great time, just hanging out and playing with all his toys.  We have some funny games we made up, too.  We like to make the Teddy Grahams dance on the arm of the sofa.  We make a creaking noise while Cookie Monster’s backpack slowly closes.  We like to make happy and sad faces on command, when we show each other a drawing of one or the other.  We snuggle and watch his favorite TV shows on the Sprout channel.  It is the best part of my week.

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Then I found out that each of my daughters-in-law is expecting a baby!  I will have two more grandchildren, God willing, in June and July 2015.  The amazing thing about this is that my second son and my sister’s first son were due a month apart in 1986, and ended up being born 2 weeks apart.  History repeats itself for my two sons.  What fun that will be!  It feels almost magical.

In February, I became the mother of three sons when I adopted my 20-year-old stepson.  He’s been in my life since he was 11 years old and it felt right.  I was really happy that he wanted to become my legal son.

2014 was spent in a new office in the organization for which I have worked for 22 years.  That was a real blessing as well.  My co-workers are truly wonderful people who care about the work they do and who work really hard but don’t take themselves too seriously.  They are kind, friendly, interesting and interested.

My dear husband started his second year in a job he enjoys.  He has had a difficult time staying in jobs for lots of different reasons, but this one seems to have taken hold in a special way.  He is happy and feels he is making a worthy contribution.  It is great to live with a person who loves his work and who isn’t anxious about it all the time.

I bought a new car at the end of 2013, my first one since 1997.  I spent a lot of 2014 hating it, but I have finally come to appreciate it – its safety features, its great gas mileage, its moonroof.  I try not to dwell on how enormous it is compared to my old car, not to mention how enormous the payments are.  I will never love it the way I loved my 1997 Subaru Outback Sport, but we will be good friends, I hope for a long time.

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Oh yes, I should also mention that I got to shake the President’s hand in March of 2014, when he happened to have lunch in New Britain, down the street from my office.  That will be hard to top.

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Of course there were moments that were not so great during 2014 – some disappointments and frustrations, mostly to do with my work — but all in all, this will be a year I remember fondly for a long time.  Here’s to a wonderful 2015!

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