Monday, December 31, 2012


My head has been full of the possibilities in 2013 for the past few days, but I wanted to take a moment to remember 2012.  Remembering gives cause for much thanks to God.

Last January we rang in the new year celebrating KJ's birthday with friends.  A few days later I got the sickest I've been for a long time, running a fever for four or five days straight and being so dreadfully stopped up.  That sickness ended with a trip to the doctor, which resulted in an x-ray and the discovery that my spine was dreadfully crooked.  I celebrated my 30th birthday, which my husband made very special, started keeping baby Luke full time, and KJ made his first trip to Haiti.

In February I attempted a Valentine-themed photo shoot with the kids.  Ella got her annual short haircut, and David told us he was going to propose to Hillary and brought the rings over for us to see.  KJ dug out his old choir tux and took me to a party dressed like James Bond.  Our television wouldn't turn on, so we bought a smart TV, but then KJ was able to fix our old TV for $5 with the help of YouTube, and we got a TV mounted on our bedroom wall!  I also took pictures of David and Hillary after their engagement.

March seems like it was a celebration of everyday life:  kite-flying, visits from family, trips to the grocery store.  We learned that Josh and Nicole were adopting, and we celebrated Granny's birthday with a big family gathering.  Ella was home for Spring Break, and it felt so good having her there.  We began really thinking and praying about what we wanted for the summer and the next school year.  We welcomed an early Spring, and I photographed my first bride; KJ officiated the wedding.  I also had a good report from the specialist about my spine:  no problems foreseen and no surgery required.  We were so thankful.

April brought Easter and the best Easter picture ever by James.  I love his sneer.  The Mission Community at Capstone was well underway, and Easter was KJ's favorite time, getting to share the gospel story and answer the questions of several Chinese students.  I took some pictures of Josh and Nicole for their adoption profile and tried to hold on to James' baby-hood.

May was so busy!  I went to Arab to celebrate a best friend's first baby, and we had a fun visit with the Kizziah cousins.  Ella graduated from Kindergarten (highest GPA in her class!), and we were able to visit with grandparents who live far away.  We took our first family vacation to the beach, and there was another super-moon.

June was a month of breathing deep and of life being a little easier, the way the first month of summer used to feel when I was a child.  School was out for Ella, so the rush of the mornings was over, and we didn't have to stress about hurrying home at night from church to get her in bed on time.  My job keeping Luke ended.  Big Daddy and T bought a pool, and the kids spent time swimming and playing in the sprinkler through the long summer days.  We celebrated Father's Day with Cici's Pizza and cinnamon rolls and milkshakes at McDonalds.  Ella started gymnastics, so she now had that weekly outing.  We also planned a party for our neighbors for the first weekend in July with members of our Mission Community.

In July James hit his first baseball out of the park, while Uncle Kam celebrated with him.  We celebrated the 4th at Josh and Nicole's and learned the news that they were moving.  We were graced with double rainbows over our neighborhood on two separate occasions. There were more gymnastics lessons, and we made the final decision to teach Ella first grade at home.  She was so excited we started school on July 30.

School continued on in August.  I shot my first wedding with a good friend from college, and KJ took his second trip to Cuba.  Potty-training was going well with James, but he spent most of his days without pants.  While KJ was in Cuba, Josh and Nicole got the news that they would be parents in just 5 days, and Olivia and Kameron welcomed Haddon into the world.  The Mission Community spent its last night meeting at Capstone Church.

September brought Ella's birthday and the Highland Games to our home.  I went to a cousin's wedding, and baby Haddon came to town.  We received a hand-me-down trampoline that some wonderful people worked hard to set up at Big Daddy and T's for the kids.  We were able to attend and take part in the 100th anniversary of my home church, where I got to meet Kristen's sweet baby girl.  We went to baby Luke's first birthday party and anticipated the changing seasons.

Wow.  Looking back through October pictures makes me really thankful.  There was a lot going on and so much enjoyment of people and places.  James turned 3 on the first, and I put a lot of time and effort into his multi-layer cake.  We also made it to the zoo with Uncle Jesse and Aunt Sandy to celebrate James' special day.  We celebrated the coming of fall with some great pictures of the kids at the pumpkin patch, and got really excited when we got the news that baby Karis had arrived.  Ella started reading to James as a regular part of her school-day, and my husband consented for me to take a road-trip with the kids.  It was a highlight of my year getting to take my kids to one of my favorite places.  We stayed in North Carolina at a beautiful place on the lake and got to meet sweet Karis.  It was such a great trip.  

I helped throw a party for David and Hillary and took lots of pictures of my kids as the leaves started to turn.  I didn't want to miss all those beautiful colors in the background of pictures.  There were visits from friends, family game nights, and dressing up fun.  It was such a great month.  Oh, and let's not forget that it was the month of a certain little boy beginning a love affair with Mario and Luigi.

November brought much to be thankful for, too. It was the last time David and Hillary would sit on my couch together as single people.  My husband let me get an early Christmas present, a new lens that I put into good use capturing fall color and Christmas card pictures.  We got to go with KJ when he preached a revival and had a beautiful place to stay, thanks to the generosity of friends.  This really made KJ appreciate homeschooling, getting to have us with him instead of being away for a week.  We got to see lots of family that week, too, and then of course, came Thanksgiving celebrations.

December came with joy, lights, and anticipation, as it always does, and I am thankful for all the grace that has been poured out in 2012.

And that's a wrap on 2012.