Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

Happy New Year's Eve!

I arrived at work on Wednesday, backed my daughter's car into a parking space, and looked up to see this magnificient, swirling, cloud-laden sky.

Just lovely.

As I sit in the quiet on this last day of 2011, I am tired. I'm sleeping well but think that too much sugar, not enough veggies, not enough movement (read: treadmill), and a year of fulltime employment have exhausted me. My thoughts have been swirling around much like the clouds pictured above.

New Thing

I am 50 years old and have braces.

I've had crooked lower teeth for years and noticed in the past couple years that I was experiencing pain in one of my upper front teeth. It was shifting into my other front tooth and soooooo I "treated myself" to a visit to the orthodontist who gave me the options of Invisalign or regular braces. The reason I chose regular braces is I will have them for a shorter period of time (estimate from 10-14 months) and the orthodontist said that I would have better success with braces.

At my last appointment, he asked what I wanted for Christmas....I told him straight teeth in the new year.

No pressure! :)

New Experience

I am a grandmother.

The old saying is true, "If I had known grandchildren were gonna be this much fun, I would have had them first!”

Our granddaughter (Youngest Sweetie) is 7 weeks old and I think of her as my "free entertainment." She is amazing and becoming more alert. She loves looking at the lights on the Christmas tree, the Nutcrackers, and a framed picture of herself. She is a blessing!

Life Happens

A deer ran into the side of my van the night before Thanksgiving. The damage was a big dent in the passenger side door and a crinkle down the slider door. (I don't know the damage to the deer but am hopeful that it was stunned and now lives in an open meadow not near a road.)

The day before dropping my van off to be repaired, I hit the garage with my passenger side view mirror. Wonderful Husband immediately went and found the duct tape and off we went to run an errand.

If people were avoiding driving near me because of the dent, I think they really gave me a lot of space after seeing the duct tape!

2011 was my year of van body work. And P.S. I dropped the van off on December 19 and it might be ready on January 6. Fingers crossed!

God Spoke/I Listened

The One Year Chronological Bible - reading the Bible and following Wendy Pope's blog/vlog. A blessing! New in 2012, Wendy is teaching through the Psalms and you can check out her plan here.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. I spoke about my experience from reading the book to my Bible Study buddies and how I began counting toward 1,000 gifts this year.

The Fitting Room: Putting on the Character of Christ by Kelly Minter. Terri and I continued our weekly phone calls and after catching up on life, we'd talk about a chapter or two. I love this book based on Colossians 3:12, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Jesus Calling A 365-Day Journaling Devotional by Sarah Young.

Some Books I've Read

A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages by Kristin Chenoweth

Good Hope Road by Lisa Wingate

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Words of Wisdom

"Hope comes in more concentrated doses if you are getting it from someone IN the moment, versus in the memory." Quoted from Annie at Annie Blogs. You can read her entire post here.

After reading Annie's post about writing more about her life in this season of single-hood, I wonder if I should write more about my life in the moment of emptynester-hood and grandmother-hood. I struggle with how much my story intersects with my family and the fine line that I need to walk in protecting their privacy when including them in my writing.

And then my mind turns to silly technology issues like how to post two pictures side-by-side on this blog. My thoughts continue to swirl like the clouds. Ha!

Won a prize

An e-book called Notes to Aspiring Writers: Your Dream, God's Plan by Brooke L. McGlothlin.

Do you have a New Year's Resolution(s)?

Mine is the same one I've kept for the past four years. I am a card sender. I will continue to send cards of encouragement, sympathy, hope, etc., to people who I see in need of reminding that they are thought of and prayed for. (I love that my Bible Study buddy, Charlotte, calls it my Card Ministry.)

2010 was the year of hope for me.
I learned to place my hope in God.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

2011 was the year of grace for me.
God covers me with grace, and I made great strides in sharing grace with others.
So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.
Ephesians 1:6 (NLT)

I'm not sure what word to focus on in 2012. I'll have to let you know.

I pray you have a Happy New Year and pray personally for less swirling thoughts in 2012!



  1. I'm with you on the grandchildren thought!! Aren't they just the BEST?!
    Love Jesus Calling! The Fitting Room is on my nightstand and going to buy 1000 Gifts as a treat to me! So glad that you, too, leave your Christmas up until February! I don't feel so strange! I think I wish we were neighbors... HaPpY NeW YeAr!! May it be Van Repair Free!

  2. That photo is lovely. God is an amazing artist. I look forward to hearing what 2012 brings to you!


Thank you for stopping by and if you leave a comment...well that's just icing on the cake!