January 2, 2014

2013 Year in Review - Ben's Point of View

As we move into a new year, it is important to look back at the previous year and its ups and downs.  2013 was filled with many more ups than downs for the Burmans.  There were some items in our lives that stayed very consistent and there were some major changes.  All in all, 2013 was a great year and we will be lucky to have 2014 top it.

We began 2013 in our same jobs.  Amanda is still teaching, coaching, and leading the Tiger Dance company at Bluffton, and Ben is continuing to teach and coach at Southern Wells.  Both of our seasons finished up in February and March.  Overall, both the swimming season and the basketball season were successes.  It seemed like our entire year was leading up to June, but we did manage to have a little fun before school let out and our lives changed forever.

In March, Lindsay hosted a baby shower for Amanda here in Bluffton.  This was no small feat, considering that she managed to plan all of this (with some help from Rosemary) from Albuquerque.  We had quite a few people come in for the shower, including Bobbi, Glenna, Dee, and many of the Burmans as well.  It was so good to see everyone.  After the shower, we spent a few days at the lake over Spring Break.  It was good to get away from school for a few days, recharge our batteries, and gear up for what was to come.

After Spring Break, we expected our lives to slow down, but they did not.  Amanda was in full swing with Tiger Dance Company, and I was coaching baseball.  Yes, baseball.  I was asked to coach in late January and in order to make a little extra money before the baby came, I agreed.  It was certainly a very different experience.

Along with our work duties, we also worked to get the house ready for Amelia.  We completely redid the guest room to convert it to the nursery.  We re-carpeted, painted the walls, and Amanda even convinced me to paint the trim.  We also refinished a dresser that was donated to us.  All of this was hard work, but it was great to see the finished product, and we think that Amelia really appreciates all of our sweat that is in that room.

In late May, we made several trips to Indy to be with my Dad after his heart surgery.  Although this was a scary time, it was good to be able to be at the hospital with my mom and see Dad after the surgery.  Even though he was heavily medicated, he still had his typical Steve Burman sense of humor.  His recovery went well, and the surgery allowed him to spend a lot of time with us this summer.

After school got out, we made one final push around the house to prepare ourselves for what was to come.  Steve and Steven came up from Florida the week before the baby was due and really chipped in around the house.  We put in a new mulch bed with a retaining wall that looks great!  They were so helpful.

When Amanda had her 39 week check up, the baby was measuring at 41 weeks.  After some discussion with the doctor, we decided to plan an induction.  This was such an off feeling because I had always pictured the crazy drive to the hospital with the screaming wife in back seat.  Instead, we were able to go out to dinner, calmly pack our bags the night before, and spend some quality time together.  On the evening of June 13th, we went into the hospital to stay overnight and begin the induction process.  27 hours after we went into the hospital, Amelia Kay was born.  The delivery went very well and the little girl did just great.  Amelia was born Friday night and we were able to go home on Sunday night to start our new lives at home together.

The summer was less than traditional to say the least.  After we figured out what Amelia's sleeping schedule would be, we worked out one of our own.  We adjusted and Amelia adjusted.  We spent the first few weeks at home, and then began traveling out into the world.  We spent some time at the lake with Lindsay, Elizabeth, Abigail, and Mom and Dad over the Fourth of July and celebrated Amanda's birthday with the family.  After we got home from vacation, I started to run to get myself back into shape.  I was able to increase my distance over time, and between running and eating healthy, I have lost 30 pounds since the beginning of August.

The summer after Amelia was born was not too exciting, but that is just what we needed with a new baby in our lives.  At the beginning of August, I started football season.  This year I coached at Southern Wells after being at Bluffton last year.  It was an up and down season in terms of wins and losses, but it was a great experience getting to know the kids better and integrating into a new coaching staff.  I am already looking forward to next season!  When school started, I was the only one who returned.  Amanda was able to take the first nine weeks off of the school year.  I know her days were hectic with a new baby, but she did a great job of always having the house clean, laundry done, and dinner cooked when I got home.

In September, we had Amelia's baby dedication.  This brought a crew into town again.  Grandma Glenna came out from Colorado and stayed after the dedication to spend some more time with her great granddaughter.  We sent her back with lots of kisses from Amelia and a few staples in her head from an Emergency Room visit.  It is a long story, but no one handles situations like that with more dignity and a better sense of humor than Grandma Glenna.  Stephanie also came out for the dedication, and brought her fiance Tim with her.  We all gave Tim the seal of approval after meeting him.  Bobbi and the boys even made it up from Florida to spend some time with their granddaughter and niece.

Amanda returned to school October 15th, just in time for swim season to start.  With Amanda returning to school, Amelia started going to Miss Ashley's during the day.  Ashley and her family have been such a blessing to us and Amelia. A few weeks after swimming started, basketball started for me.  Our lives were very hectic at the beginning of the season, but we quickly fell into a rhythm, and luckily we are not short on people who want to help babysit our sweet little girl.

We are realizing that with a baby comes more time at home and less time out doing things, but we are ok with this.  We have some plans for 2014 already, but we are mostly looking forward to spending time with our little girl over the course of the year, especially this summer.  We hope that you had a great 2013 and an even better 2014.  It seems that our world and nation are becoming filled with more and more turmoil and strife, but we take heart in knowing that Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that the Lord" knows his plans for us, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope."