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2011 – A Year Review

This has been a big year for our family, for me and for this blog.

New things:

I’ve found a new love – crafting/diy/decorating.

My hubby has moved from working with high school students (which he has for his entire professional career) to working with middle school students.

My baby is out of diapers AND out of his crib.

Things that remain steady:

I want (need) to travel, read about traveling, plan traveling and teach my kids to love traveling.

We read.  For fun.  All the time.

We still live in the same house.  For those of you that helped us move three times in one year, you must be enjoying your break.

My family is amazing.  Really.  I know a lot of people say that about their family because they are supposed to.  But it’s really true about mine.

Let’s take a look back:


In January I was especially conflicted and felt a huge gap between myself and the people around me.  My husband and I had just decided it was time for us to leave the church we’d been going to for 10 years and figure out what God had next for us.  It was a tough decision as it was based more on us (who we are) and less on the church.  We just felt a true confirmation that we needed to move on, like God had other things in store for us.  And, though we had no idea what that was, we followed.  It was a hard month of doubt, self evaluation and a bit of feeling lost.  I felt as though I didn’t fit anywhere, but I knew I was being who God made me to be.  I was thankful, secure, frustrated and wandering all at the same time. It forced me to take a look at just what I believe and what I hold as important.  That’s when I wrote this:  The Edges of What?


In February I had A Freeing Epiphany (which was much needed after the seriousness and wandering of January).  Maybe, just maybe, it’s ok to be creative for the sake of creating.  Without a purpose or an end goal or a profit margin.  Maybe it’s ok to just make something.  And then when I want to make something else, that’s ok too.  If I’m bored with a project in the middle of doing it, it’s ok to stop and do something else.  Just keep creating.  Just keep being me.


In March I decided to blog more as my lent focus.  And I wanted to focus on the GOOD in life, the blessings.  I wanted to share more of myself…or maybe to find more of myself.  I wanted to get my thoughts out of my head.

So in March I blogged about this:

Table Reveal


And this:

Canvas Wall Art

I also found out that my oldest and bestest friend was going to have her first bambino!  And it was so good for my heart to begin to count and name and recognize my blessings.


April was my month of projects.

I painted our family room:

Valspar Homestead Resort Tea Room Yellow

I finished my chairs:

Chair Transformations

This led to being featured on one of my favorite blogs, All Things Thrifty, which led to my highest traffic day of the year!  Woo Hoo!!  Her feature was picked up by other bloggers and I was suddenly seeing my chairs (and my shag carpet) everywhere!  It was pretty cool.  I still see them all over Pinterest.  My tiny little claim to fame…the place we set our tushies when we eat our meals.  Kinda funny, if you think about it.

April was also when I started my gratitude journal.  Wish I could say I was still writing in it often, but it’s more like once a month or so.  It has, however, changed my perspective considerably.  I am so much more grateful and much more apt to recognize the blessings around me.  It really is a practice that creates an attitude that changes the heart.


In May we finally came to a place where we could articulate our church journey.  I think we’re still on it and it keeps changing and evolving, but it was such a turning point for me.  I still dread the question though…”Where do you go to church?”  I just want to say, “I don’t GO to church.  I am the church.  We are the church.  It’s not, and has never been, a location.”

In May we also finished our banquette:

So much storage space!

This project was huge, and totally my fantastic hubby’s handiwork.


June brought a new blog look, new name and new theming.

It also brought some new bits of honesty from me.  It isn’t always sunshine and roses you know.  And I’m not always a nice person.  Sorry.

In June the hubs and I celebrated 10 years of marriage and I found my cast iron love times two:

only to have them recalled a few months later.  Turns out the enamel can crack and pop off, shooting across the room and causing lacerations.  So far I’ve replaced one of them with a new red cast iron beauty. But I do miss them terribly.

We also got to spend an extended amount of time with family, which was great.



Most of July was spent either on vacation or on renovating our kitchen.



Mess. Everywhere.


Ta Da!!

We also snuck in a trip to the Dominican Republic (to celebrate 10 years),

Straight from the coconut…mmmmm.


A camping trip:


And a visit with friends:



August got me starting the planning on our cross country RV trip that we still can’t afford.  It was also when my oldest baby turned eight.

We headed to the Olympic Peninsula to visit Grandma and fish off the dock.

And my oldest two went back to school!  With no tears from me.  Way to go Mom!




In September I admitted what most of you already knew: I am a contrarian.  A person who disagrees with everything.  Yup.  That’s me.  Unless you tell me that I am, then I’ll disagree with you.


In October I celebrated my birthday, spoke at our MOMS group, ran a half marathon, and took our family pictures:


In November my baby turned three surrounded by friends, family and red cupcakes:

Happy Birthday To You!


I also started making necklaces for my etsy shop:


In December we were blessed to spend the month focusing our minds on the story of the season.  Most of this was due to our new Christmas music and advent book.  I cannot tell you just how thankful I am for the Behold the Lamb Of God music and book.  It changed Christmas for our family.  My kids asked more questions, we talked about God’s plan and his love for his people, we spent our days in peace and gratitude.  It felt different.  It felt holy.  It was so, so good.  We put up our Hot Mess Of A Tree and sat around it grateful for what we have.

I think that was the theme of our year…gratitude.  We did a lot, learned a lot, grew a lot.  I am so thankful for the journey we traveled this year.


2011 Stats:

Most Viewed Post:  Work, Purpose, and the Sweetness Of Doing Nothing

Most Active Month:  April

Most Active Link: All Things Thrifty’s Dining Room Table Transformation

Blogs I Was Featured On: All Things Thrifty, Centsational Girl, Just A Girl, Tatertots and Jello

2011 Hits: 31,958

Pretty good for a tiny little blog with no sponsors, right?

Watch out 2012!


The BEST holidays

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