Hello ChicagoNow, thanks for having me!
Well, I know it's not an original thought for today, and this being my first entry for ChicagoNow, I really should be more authentic, but yes I will reflect on 2012 leaving and 2013 barreling on in within the next few hours.
Last year this time I was gearing up for another year of driving kids to and from dance class and dance competitions, theater rehearsals and theater performances, cleaning, cooking, laundry, caring for one dog and one cat and writing lots of stories for Chicago Tribune and three magazines.
And things pretty much went on as planned.
I watched my daughters flourish in their dance and theater. They each had an amazing year and I could not be happier for them.
My girls and I had some really special, spur-of-the-moment, experiences together this year.
Emily, 17, and I took in a couple shows in the city, In The Heights and Sister Act, then met some actors afterward outside the stage door, took photos with them and got autographs. Emily literally rapped the main song from In The Heights with the lead actor who played Usnavi! A circle of strangers gathered around them both, it was amazing. We were cracking up and will never forget that moment!
Abby and I spent a night together for her 13th birthday at a beautiful hotel on Michigan Avenue, just the two of us. We shopped, we ordered really expensive room service, everything was wonderful and just the way SHE wanted it. Just an amazing blessing to me.
I know these moments with them both are fleeting and I hang onto each and every one, and fight so hard not to forget any of the details.
I wrote many stories about people and their lives, whether they were up or down. Stories including tales of what life is like as a bartender. I looked into the growing trend in women getting tattoos, covered a federal trial in which a man was convicted of trying to poison his wife with some exotic fish toxin. (BTW, the wife was in the courtroom begging the judge for a lesser sentence so they could resume their lives together). I met Gov. Pat Quinn and a Holocaust survivor and was honored to share his story of deep sadness, love and courage.
I was troubled by an assignment where I wrote about an animal hoarder, who I think thought she was doing a good thing for these dozens of animals - cats, dog, birds, rabbits -but dealing with a mental illness, it all just turned her good deed into a sad disaster.
But then I also was moved with joy this year when I covered a story of hundreds of volunteers gathering to build a park and help out strangers with household projects in a rundown Chicago neighborhood.
That is just a brief sampling of what I contributed to the news this year.
In other 2012 news, I, with the world, watched sadness unfold as famous faces died, some leaving this world far too soon, watched helplessly as natural disasters destroyed lives, and tragedies permeated with senseless and horrific killings across the globe.
Personally, I looked on as a dear old beloved woman of 95 drifted off peacefully to her death. In that same day I also watched a dear friend grieve for her cousin, a young man of just 51, who died too soon from a horrible cancer that ravaged his body.
I also took on a new project in the form of my first blog and have now embarked on this, my second blog for ChicagoNow. And this is my first post.
Today, like this time last year, I anticipate 2013 to bring more of the mundane tasks of driving kids to activities, household chores and stories. Oh and now taking care of two dogs and a cat. We adopted Minnie, who ironically, was rescued from a hoarding situation.
Looking back --and forward-- it's all kind of Bittersweet, isn't it?
See you next week!