Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top Ten (and then some) of 2011

Brian mentioned today that he wanted to start an end-of-the-year tradition, and while it's a great idea, modge podge and two toddlers does not sound exciting for me.  :)

However, the idea was writing down our top five blessings of the year and creating canvases each year to represent them.  I loved the thought of looking back to see what God has done this year.

So, here they are, my top ten moments and blessings of the year 2011 in no particular order:

  • Finding joy in the days following December 31, 2010.  We said goodbye to our fourth child that day after a miscarriage, and despite the sting and pain of loss, we were able to rest in the JOY and sweet excitement that little baby brought.
  • The success of Samuel's surgery...  We knew it was non-invasive, but the idea of our 11 month old being put to sleep and going under the knife was quite tramatic.  His skin tag was removed, and it turned out to be even more of a miracle when we learned that the tag was actually a part of his ear, which currently shows no signs of problem.
  • Celebrating Daniel's 2nd birthday in our backyard with a train party!  He was too cute when he saw his very own train tracks spray-painted silver through his yard and again when he ate his third cupcake of the day.
  • Taking a trip with my husband to Alaska and sharing life and memories with dear friends.  Nine days away (without the boys) did us such good, the revival services were uplifting, and the experiences and sights we encountered will last us a life time.
  • Visiting Michigan and Missouri for revivals and spending time with our brothers and their adorable wives and children.  From zoo trips and Silver Dollar City to honest talks and hilarious laughs, we spent our time in church and hearts were bound with our friends.
  • Watching Samuel push his 1st birthday cake away...  He did NOT enjoy all of the attention, and his brother ended up eating his cake.  We had an amazing picnic party in the backyard and shared sweets and fun with Samuel's friends and family.
  • The suspicion that I might be pregnant and the reaction of the positive pregnancy test on September 11, 2011.  While we weren't trying, the two lines shocked us!  We were so excited and scared of what was to come.  Here we are 20 weeks later, and we still don't know the baby's gender. 
  • The unexpected job offer that landed Brian working for the Nashville Rescue Mission.  We knew the Lord wanted him back in the work force, but we had no idea Brian would end up working for the place he volunteered at for eight years.  His faithfulness was rewarded in such an awesome way!
  • The provision and protection that God brought to our family this year.  From surgery and emergency room visits to airplane rides and daily walks down the street, God always kept us safe and healthy.
  • The pure innocence and enjoyment of the holidays with toddlers.  Daniel and Samuel melted our hearts this year with their love of lights, presents, and spending time with family.  Daniel began calling every nativity scene, "God-Jesus," and Samuel started saying, "Love you."
Honorable Mentions:
  • The scares, laughs, and memories of spending four hours in the ER with both boys who had managed to drink 40 mL of hydrocodone cough medicine. 
  • The fun and excitement of our family vacation in Gatlinburg.  My mom and dad spoiled us all so rotten and gave us one of the greatest vacations ever.
  • The surprise wedding of my sister!  It was such an honor to share that with her.  I couldn't have imagined it any other way.
  • The alligators and sharks Daniel claimed to see at bedtime.  He began sleepwalking and talking this year, and it's been quite entertaining.  Daniel's stories and explanations are hilarious!
  • Seeing the "light" come on in Samuel's little mind...  He speaks so incredibly well, and he is picking up on personality despite his usual timidness and shy disposition.  He says sentences and explains things very clearly at 18 months old.  Samuel amazes me!
  • Watching my husband find pleasure in both preaching and working...  He strives to be the best at every single thing he does, and I'll be honest in saying that I wasn't sure how being a pastor and a full-time counselor would work for him and our family.  However, he doesn't just make it work; he excels at it and still finds time to love our family.  I'm honored to be his wife, friend, and biggest fan.

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