January 2, 2012

Twenty Photos from Twenty-Eleven

I can't believe it's already 2012. 2011 was a strange year--tough in some ways, but very happy in many others. One thing is for sure, I took a lot of photos in 2011. I tried to narrow them down to 20 shots that, to me, capture 2011.
1. In my fifth year as a teacher, I was finally able to say I kind of knew what I was doing. I also realized that I'm getting old, had my eyes checked, and had to buy glasses for the first time.

2. I participated in The Beauty Collective and shot a photo a day with another blogger. This one I secretly titled: "Home is where the heart is." I loved living in our home this year.

3. In February, Steve and I took a trip to Arizona. We visited my grandparents, went to a spring training game, but unfortunately missed most of the sun.

4. My second Glee flash mob was a lot of fun, especially with a friend or two to dance with.

5. In April we headed to Mexico for some much needed sunshine.

6 and 7. May was California month and such a busy time overall (May is always the busiest month of the year--I'm going to make a mental note of this for 2012). But there were so many wonderful moments: Trudelle family time, a graduation, and a beautiful wedding.

8. A trip to the Hood Canal for Memorial Day, and one of my favorite weekends of the year. The couples in our small group really made an impact on my life in 2011.

9. There was a lot of planning for babies in 2011. My friend Ginger's shower was in June. She later welcomed baby Julianne in August.

10. For the 4th of July I visited my good friend, Jess, in her beloved city, Denver. This dessert was part of what may have been my favorite meal of 2o11.

11. We celebrated our first anniversary on July 10th.

12. Steve turned 30 in 2011 so we partied, nerdy-30 style.

13 and 14. This summer brought a series of difficult times for my family and friends. I hope to reflect more on the lessons that I believe God was teaching me this summer. Among them-- dependency on him, and the power of prayer.

15. I feel like an honorary aunt to little Greta, who turned 1 year old in September.

16. Throughout 2011 I had the honor of helping my sister plan her wedding. On a beautiful sunny day in September she married Josh in Seattle. It was a perfect day.

17. In October we spent a weekend at the Alderbrook Resort. One of the things I look forward to the most is spending time like this with my husband. He's the best.

18. Steve is all about the 3 F's of Fall: food, football, and foliage. I already miss the bright leaves on the tree outside our house.

19. One of the highlights of my short career has been the Roots of Empathy program, which I lead at my school (with the help of some great babies and parents).

20. There was so much to be thankful for during the holidays this year. Robin and Josh flew in from New York, my Grandpa Jack was able to join us for Christmas Eve and Christmas, and we enjoyed many meals together, reminiscing on past holidays and looking forward to the upcoming year.

In 2012, I'm inspired to live with intentionality. I hope to build in more time to get to know God, listen for direction, and follow through with goals. When I think of the year ahead, I'm intimidated (what if I do a poor job with all of these resolutions?), but also hopeful. As the months pass, I'll remember that I'm not alone--God is there too--and I've been blessed with amazing friends and a loving family.

I saw this quote on a Facebook status over New Years and think it's a simple, but perfect message for heading into 2012:

I hope that your coming year will be wonderful...that you will live more courageously. That you make something that didn't exist before you made it...that you will be liked and be loved and have people to love and like in return...and most importantly when you need to be, be wise and always be kind. -Neil Gaiman

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