It’s New Years Eve. I am on my computer typing while my husband is watching a baking competition on the Food Network. Clearly we are not “New Years Eve people.” Not sure what that means, but this has never been a very rowdy holiday in our lives. (Except for the New Years Eve that my husband and I danced to Gangnam Style and sent my then-ten-year-old running out of the room embarrassed.)

We have been away for the past five days; with friends in Miami and then with college friends: one of my teammates and her family. My teammate (who works in a hospital) told us that on New Years Eve (and the 4th of July), hospitals schedule extra transplant staff because they know there will be more organs available for donation on those nights. Tonight I pray for those families whose loved ones will give and receive the gift of life.

I know that’s a sobering thought. But it was all I could think about as my now-sixteen-year-old-son drove to his friend’s house for the night. (They are staying in, thank goodness.)

As we wrap-up 2018, I am grateful for pretty much everything. This year hasn’t been without its challenges, but those too are blessings. They are opportunities to grow and to learn. And when the real challenges set in, they are opportunities to be embraced by family and friends. I couldn’t do what I do, and I would be who I am, without my family and friends.

As 2019 approaches, my hopes and dreams remain the same: the safely, good health and happiness of my loved ones. Those seem like simple asks, but they are everything. If we are happy, have good health and are safe, life is good.

Happy New Year.