Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Good morning, it's 2012! I guess it's a sign of my age that that number seems a little startling to me. But before we get to talking about what 2012 means for us, let's take a quick look back at the highlights from 2011 to say a proper farewell.

We started the year with an 8 month old baby.

Just a couple of days in, we started babysitting my nephew Austin and that pretty much took up our days until we decided it was time to move on ten months later in mid October. We also had some fun family events in those months though. We celebrated C's first birthday in April with a beautiful day in the park just down the street from our house.

In July we also took an amazing vacation to Corolla, NC with my whole family. It was a much needed break and turned out to be so much fun for every one. We started planning our return trip before we even left.

Soon after we got back from vacation we found out that J got his new job. This was huge news for us for a few reasons. The biggest being that the new job would carry his government clearance (which he would have lost if he stayed at the job he had at the time), and the benefits were leaps and bounds above what he already had. In September we took C to the zoo for the very first time. I think we loved it as much as she did. In October we took our annual trip to New York City, but went big this time and stayed for four days! In the past it was always a day trip, so this was a huge deal for us to spend so much time in the city. We loved every minute.

After returning from New York, we were no longer babysitting so C and I were on our own to do whatever we wanted during the day again. We had lots of play dates and I started running regularly again. I was even able to work on and complete some fun craft projects. We spent Thanksgiving in the usual fashion, dinner at both of our parents' houses. It's a little hectic but we like being able to share the holiday with everyone. My step-dad had surgery on December 22nd for esophageal cancer. It was very successful and he has been getting better every day since. It did change up our Christmas celebration just a little, but it was still fantastic. And finally, last night we rang in the new year by having dinner with my sister and my mom and my sister's kids. The cousins were adorable. They ran and played and had a dance party in the middle of the floor.

Somehow this kind of new year's celebration seems so much more appealing to me these days than going out into a crowd of drunks and trying to get home without one of them killing me on the road. You just see things differently when you've got a baby to get home to.

Anyway, that brings us to today. Happy 2012! We had lots of fun in 2011, and are just as excited for the fun things we have planned in 2012. Of course, we know things don't always go as planned, and then there are always the unplanned events to keep us on our toes. It's all good. But as for the things we have planned, here's the current list...

1) A major kitchen upgrade. Tile, appliances, paint, and possibly the addition of a peninsula. Our kitchen is basically a functional wreck (more on that later) so I can't wait. Stay tuned.

2) Lots of paint. You probably recall my post on choosing a paint color a while back. That project is about to be under way.

3) Adding some stairs to our deck. Doesn't sound exciting, but let me tell you why it is. We currently have to drop everything, take C from whatever she's doing, haul down to the basement, and stand at the back door while the dog goes out to do his business. Sometimes he's out there for 5 seconds, and sometimes he's out there for 5+ minutes. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but trust me it's a huge pain especially if he needs to go three times in an hour. Adding stairs to the deck means we just walk to the kitchen and open the door.

4) The Big 3-0 <-- I'll be turning that in June! :-O

5) Weddings, weddings, and more weddings. Three this spring, and J's sister Jennie in the fall. Whew!

6) We're probably foregoing an official summer vacation this year in exchange for some much needed home improvements, but we're still looking forward to a nice relaxing summer of doing whatever we want. Compared to being house-bound last summer, that in itself will be a vacation.

I'll be honest, I'm pumped already. It's so nice to look at the year from January 1st and see nothing but fun and excitement ahead. I mean, sure it would be a little naive not to anticipate any hiccups or roadblocks along the way, but it's still fun to think of a whole year ahead, fresh and clean, with only the events you're looking forward to on the calendar. Here's to praying your calendar and mine remain that way. All the best for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year to everyone :)

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