This year's portrait. We don't know what lies ahead, exactly,  but we have a feeling it will be  awesome.
No, wait -- it already is. 

It's midnight and I just left the three older kids in the living room. We have just finished watching a movie on HBO and they say they will be tuning in for the next one. Me -- I have to write. And so I excuse myself and retreat into my room. It's a school night, yes -- but we've been over this before and it suffices that they know there will be consequences. Their call.

Sophie and I were talking earlier and she told me she had a feeling that 2013 would be an awesome year for our family. I told her that I had the same feeling.

But that's like saying 2012 was bad. To be sure, it was tough and challenging, financially. My budget was upset big-time because of a host of factors: child support was jeopardized by my ex's transition, a writing project was halted mid-stream, and the company's administrative glitches failed to deliver certain amounts on certain dates to my bank account. And don't forget the two older ones are in college.

Then again, we managed to sail through.

We did great in all other aspects. The sight of the five of us hanging out in the living room -- with some or a permutation on the computer, or playing an instrument, or reading a book, or texting, or watching tv, or playing (likely Elmo), or cooking, or eating, or telling jokes and stories -- is just priceless.

Did the townhouse's more spacious living room or the minimalist (oh well, I try) look of the house contribute to the feeling of coziness, order, direction, harmony?   I think so, but I think also it's us. Kids are growing up fast and they are intelligent and communicative and purposeful and most of all adore each other.

Awesome kids, indeed. I am so blessed.