Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 year in review

angel at "Mary, Queen of the Universe shrine"

            2011 started out a little rough for me.  In January, my grandfather died.  I attended his funeral on a bitterly cold day in Pennsylvania.  I came home from that trip and found out a good friend’s husband who had been suffering from cancer was quickly losing his battle.  I attended his funeral in early February.  Then in March, I was shocked by the news of another friend’s husband’s untimely death, and attended a third funeral in as many months.  I was terrified of what the rest of the year might hold……

            Thankfully, things got better after that.  April brought the beauty and hope of Easter, my birthday, and a wonderful retreat with my husband and our “Teams of our Lady” friends.   In May, the children had their annual testing and did well.  Our middle daughter made her First Holy Communion.  We finished up our school year, and Tim found out his full time job in youth ministry was ending.  June was full of worry until Tim was offered a new job teaching middle school religion.   Then, a few weeks later my whole family came into town to celebrate my mom’s birthday and, except for a nasty bout of stomach flu, we had a nice visit with my sisters and brother, and their families.  We spent July moving our youngest daughter into her sister’s bedroom, and moving our oldest daughter out of the shared room and into her very own room for the first time in 8 years.  In August,  we started back to school, and this time so did Tim, both at his teaching job and taking online courses towards  a Master’s degree, a decision we came to during our weeks of uncertainty concerning his career. September we celebrated our oldest becoming a teenager!  October was busy, busy, busy but we did find time to go camping as a family, and Tim and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.  November was all about writing novels with NaNoWriMo.  And in December, we were blessed to spend Christmas with extended family and lots of joy!  

            Other highlights include-- A day at "Mary, Queen of the Universe" shrine in Orlando, home-made butterbeer, an impromptu trip to an old fashioned ice cream parlor, watching our all-time favorite family movie and laughing and quoting and laughing and quoting and laughing some more, a surprising e-mail and resulting three week visit from a box turtle, summer library visits all over town, postcrossing, Winter the Dolphin, trips to the zoo and science center, a special meal seat of juice pouches and nachos, meteor showers, star gazing, seeing the moons of Jupiter, Cub Scouts, Little Flowers, chocolate, chocolate,chocolate, gymnastics, art class, wood carving, our oldest son’s “weekend with daddy trip”, learning about British foods and slang terms and customs, new blogging friends, renewing our marriage vows, making movies, sunsets at the beach, catching fish and exotic sea creatures, math class, field trips, Starbucks book club, saying good-bye forever to Facebook, doll house fun with Chuck, Kia and friends, pen pal letters to Aunt Debbie, Great Expectations that left us cynical, “go away baggie”, swash-buckling and air bending, a different Jesse Tree snack for each day of Advent…

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