My first post of the new year is a review of last year. I had wanted to do this last year (I think it’s fun to say that, “last year”), really yesterday, but I didn’t have all my pictures ready. Therefore, today, the first day of 2012, I’m taking a little walk through 2011. I’ll get to the new year resolutions another day.
I so enjoy seeing other people’s photo walk through the year. I first saw one on my sister Emily’s blog perhaps a few years back, so I worked a little bit harder to make this years a little bit better than the last (see here), which happened to be for 2009. I must admit as I was browsing my pictures for different months, there were definitely some hazy months where I couldn’t recall much. Sign of old age? Most definitely!!
I find it only appropriate to start off with the haziest of months. What happened in January? Um, uh, well, hmm, yah, let me go ask the huzband. Nope, he was of little help. He just gave me the “uh well” look. What I do remember is that my little V was three years old, she was loosing her baby-ness, truly entering toddlerhood and began her speech therapy through the local school district. I was extremely thankful and content with life as we had just ended the year before with a lot of big changes.
February started off on a high note. The huzband and I closed on our very first home. It was a long awaited process (9 months) and we were in a bit of shock that the day was actually going to happen. It was not an easy road; I can look back now and see how God used it to fine tune patience into me (among other things). He used the process to stretch me and correct me. I can look back now thankful for what He did as I have moments now where I need to walk in this new patience and exercise trust in His timing.
There were lots of little wonderful moments in March. We continued working on our home and at the same time, moved in phases (you can read about those phases here). There was an overwhelming sense of awe, astonishment and a whole lot of thankfulness mixed in when it came to our home. Still, almost a year later there are moments that I walk around in wonderment at this blessing in the shape of a house. There were other moments that I appreciate from March but the ones that stand out the most are the special moments with my ever growing daughter. When there are days that I am tired, frustrated and maybe even annoyed by her clinginess, I take a deep breath and remind myself that one day, she won’t want to sit in my lap anymore. I want to breath in all of her and the love she has to give!
Spring is here, flowers are blooming, noses are sneezing and the huzband’s first Team World Vision race has arrived. April started off with 13.1 miles in Flushing Meadow Park. Since taking the new job in October, the huzband had been putting all his work and effort towards this race. Over 1000+ runners came together to raise $225K for clean water in Africa. I was so very proud of the huzband that day. He truly was in his element, calmly leading the troops, making sure all was as it should be and congratulating runners. It was a really great day and what do you know, tomorrow starts the official training for 2012’s half marathon with Team World Vision! Yup, I think YOU need to run it!
2011 was a year that I really put a foot forward on focusing on my photography. I challenged myself to learn more, know my camera well and begin to find my ‘style’. I am still learning, I have a new camera to get to know now and I am still discovering what I have to give, however among all of this, I have begun to cultivate and develop and I am excited about it. What does this have to do with April? I felt in 2011 that as I progressed, opportunities opened up for me; opportunities that challenged me and have helped me grow. A great friend of ours, Ben, has been an encouragement to my photography (that I am very thankful for) and I was honored with the chance to document Shelter Rock Church‘s Easter service at CW Post. I have enjoyed all the different photo challenges of 2011, though SRC’s Easter service was one of my tops!
May was a month with joyful celebrations and extremely painful goodbye’s. The huzband and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. I celebrated my 4th Mother’s Day. There were memorable moments with special friends and we began construction on our basement, which is only exciting to the huzband and myself. All joyous moments in life!
At the same time, a woman I love so dearly, my sister Emily, had to say goodbye to her mom. Her mom, Barbara passed away this past May. Little V and I took a quick trip to Oklahoma to just be there for Mike, Em and the family. We just wanted them (and still do) to know how much they are loved, how much we cry with them and how missed Barbara is! Barbara is a rare jewel whose life I am so very thankful for. You see, her daughter Emily became a woman, a wife and a mother who loves big, she is kind, sensitive, patient, she takes the time to listen and ask, she is a woman I admire as she daily lives out Christ’s love. She is a mother I look up to. She is so very special to me, a friend, a sister and she is who she is because of all her mother, Barbara, poured into her. The painful goodbye was Emily’s but one that is in my heart forever.
May was a month of joy and sorrow.
June was a busy month. The huzband competed in his first Olympic Triathlon. We took little V camping for the very first time; and in case you were wondering, it was a success, she recently has been asking when we are going again! The huzband’s sister and her family came to town for a visit; their first since their move to Tennessee in January. Oh, there’s the big January event. Thankfully I remembered it before I finished the blog! I’m not as old as I thought I was, hooray! Our little family went to Aruba for a second time with some really great friends! I have always wanted to vacation with friends and there’s no better place to do it than Aruuubbaaa! Finally, the huzband turned 34. I like to occasionally remind him that he is six years away from turning 40, I’m just sayin’!
July. Sweating it out in the new house because all I see is dollar signs when I turn on the air conditioner. It’s a new way to roll as a home owner! Besides that, another highlight for my camera lens was my first newborn session. I love new babies, I love new babies smell and I love taking pictures of new babies and all their goodness!
I celebrated my 31st birthday and Hurricane Irene came through the neighborhood and took out all the power.
September was the mark of a new era in our household: school day’s. Little V had some very big firsts in her life: she started pre-k and rode the school bus. She also started back to seeing her speech therapist Tina; there was a bit of a lull as we changed school districts and had to start the approval process all over again. School day’s have brought with it a new schedule to our lives, one that has taken time to adjust to. September brought with it also my very first sprint triathlon, meeting one of my closest friend’s firstborn son Samuel for the very first time and the closing on HSCC’s building to The Point Community Church.
October will forever be one of my most favorite months, which is no surprise to me that it was full of wonderful memories. I took one of my most favorite pictures of the year. When I sat down later at the computer to look at it, it was the first time I looked at one of my pictures and felt that I was really beginning to reach a place I wanted to be. It is hard to explain but it truly was a moment that I could see growth, or the result of learning, pushing to be better and enjoying it along the way. There is so much ahead of me but I felt I was one step closer.
We had our first school program for V: Hispanic Heritage Celebration. Our little family hopped on a plane for a surprise trip to Alaska to bless some of the HSCC missionaries; oh what a trip that was! My little V turned 4 years old while there and we got to celebrate with some very dear friends. Little V also had her very first big birthday party! Finally, October ended with celebrating one year of the huzband working at Team World Vision and honoring one year since we closed our church.
The huzband ran the ING NYC Marathon for a second time. We attended our first wedding of the year and I wouldn’t want it to be any other than two kids from our old youth group getting married! I took a very special trip to visit family in Oklahoma with my little V and my grandmother Velda (who little V is named after). We all came home sick from that trip and therefore by default, celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our new home! I loved every minute of it!
We continued to battle little V’s bronchitis. After two antibiotics, several other medicine’s, a lung x-ray and numerous visits to the doctor, we finally concurred it and are on a strict maintenance schedule to keep all bad yuckie’s away! We hosted our first ‘game night’ in la Casa Nueva. We spent time with old and new friends. I tried bubble tea for the first time. We celebrated Christmas with my whole family for the first time since I can’t remember and we brought in the new year in our new home.
Oh, and we have a new addition to the family: a puppy named Lola.