I usually do a year-in-review post with links, but one thing I'm working on is letting go of the pressure I put on myself. Our Christmas letter kind of summed everything up and if anyone is interested in browsing through my blog posts this sure, the blog archive is in the right-hand column. :)
2011 was a year that will always be very important, because it's when Liam joined our family. From January - October (when he came home), it was a roller coaster of emotions, preparations, and seeking God. Also in those months, we were able to cherish Evy Kate by herself and I wouldn't trade those months for ANYTHING.
This was a good year for relationships. I feel like I settled into friendships and really connected with people this year. I struggled at the beginning of 2011 to figure out where I fit in and wondering if I would ever be able to crate lifelong friendships that both parties are committed to. However, I saw a lot of things evolve in that area and I am so, so thankful for the friends God has given me here. It's amazing how I can honestly say I have a rather large friend/Mommy/support group. This year Kurt and I got to take our trip to Branson in September and we still talk about how wonderful that was. We enjoyed every single second!
Within my family, my brother left for college. I've continued to be thankful every single day that we're able to live in the same town as my parents. I've said it before and I'll say it again - it was NEVER something I or my family expected, and that's why we're still so amazed at the blessing of it. We also welcomed our nephew, CJ into the family and he is just a chubby chunk of cuteness. :)
At church, we grew in our leadership roles. Like I mentioned in the Christmas letter, Kurt was elected a deacon! He will be ordained next Sunday. Kurt and I also started an adult Lifegroup class with another couple, with Kurt being the lead teacher. We continued in worship ministry, and singing with Travis Cottrell was a highlight of my life.
Overall, this has been a year of growth - upward towards the Lord, sideways as we've expanded in so many ways (family-size, vision for the future, etc.) as well as downward, as we put down roots. I think that's a pretty great year if we've grown in every area.
I'm so thankful for blogging! I've been able to document our lives and I can look back on everything that's happened. I appreciate all of you and your incredible love and support over this last year, especially through our adoption of Liam. I can't thank you all enough.
I'm so excited about 2012! Here are some things we have going on:
-I will be visiting some precious friends in Mississippi!
-Evy Kate will turn 3 in February. I'm in party-planning mode and we're so excited!
-I'm also hoping to possibly make a trip to Northwest Arkansas to visit my grandparents in February.
-I will attend the Created for Care adoption retreat in March (I switched from the January date).
-In April, Kurt and I are taking a trip to Boston/possibly New York City to celebrate FIVE years of marriage!
-This coming summer I will be making reservations for our Disney trip in January 2013. I'm so thrilled because my family is going with us and we haven't done that in years!
-We're always leaving this open to the Lord, but there's a good chance we will expand our family again through pregnancy in the coming year. We will see what God has in store!
We're so excited to see what God does in 2012!