Today all of the Christmas decorations went back into the attic, and the tree is naked in the backyard. Evidence that this is the end of the year. You would think that the calendar would be enough evidence, but, for me, the end of the year is usually marked by putting away all the Christmas stuff. It made me think through the past year, and I realized that a lot has taken place in these 12 months. Here's a recap.
1. We moved. Not far, but the moving did happen. And our new house is fantastic, even if we did give up our beautiful lake view to get it.
2. Lily turned into a little person. It has been so much fun (and exhausting) to watch that toddler grow into a chatterbox of a little girl.
3. Compassion happened. I'm not really sure how else to put that. We added a little Guatemalan princess to our family in April, and things just steamrolled from there. I'm so glad we were obedient in that rather small thing that led to three more children in our family and a little advocacy with the organization, too. I wouldn't give up my four far away children for anything.
4. As preschool ended for Kayla, we opted to homeschool for Kindergarten. We haven't regretted it at all. It has been amazing to watch her eyes light up when she realizes that she's learned something new, and I can't imagine letting a stranger have those moments.
5. In July, we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. Date nights have happened more regularly and communication has flowed better than ever. This year of marriage may be the best yet. Not sure what that itch is all about.
6. We lost Sonny's grandfather this year, and that was the hardest thing of the year. It was hard all on its own, knowing that no one is going to see this amazing man on this side of Heaven, but it also led me to grieve again for the grandparents we have already lost.
7. There was an amazing and relaxing vacation in September where we went to St. Augustine and watched tortoises everyday and I even got to feed a dolphin with my Kayla Roo.
8. After all of these years, I also finally read through the Bible. As a word of warning, reading all of the Word will lead to things like point 3. There were a few months when I completely fell of the wagon, but I did manage to finish.
I'm generally opposed to New Years resolutions. They tend to be a setup for failure for me. I do have a few aspirations and things that I feel like God is working on with me. I feel like 2012 will be a year for me to love more. There's to be less complaining, judgement, and criticism and this needs to start right here in my house and work its way outward. There will be more and deeper Bible reading with more fasting times, too that I am convinced will help with the loving part. I think I want to take a day at the beginning of each month to evaluate how things are going instead of just letting myself get into "survival mode" where I just try to make it through. During these times, I plan to ask myself what I'm doing to love more.