Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Here We Are At The End of 2011

We are living in the last week of 2011. I don't know why I love time markers so much, but I tend to put a lot of thought and significance to dates that mark time. So I am writing a post of reflection to put meaning and remembrance to the last 365 days.

My Word for 2011 was Renew. It was a perfect word for me for the year because at the close of 2010 I was at the end of my rope - spiritually, emotionally and personally. Renew began as a whisper of promise that at times culminated in a crescendo of hope. I determined to focus on God and began with memorizing a scripture verse every month and a plan to read my Bible through in a year. Those small steps began a process in my heart that kept growing and developing. God brought a broken friend into my life who was trying to figure out what she believed and why. She came from a church that was only concerned about outward appearance and taught nothing about relationship with Jesus. Her view of God could be summed up in three words: Thou Shalt Not. As I mentored her, I began examining my own beliefs and claims of faith. Were they just words? Did I really mean them? As I studied and read and answered the tough but honest questions from my friend I found my faith being strengthened and bolstered. God is so faithful. Here I am a year later strengthened, uplifted, and renewed! Any my sweet friend? She has exchanged legalism for relationship and is thriving in it!

Vacations and Getaways happened this year. They don't always but this year was epic and I was able to go to San Diego in February with my daughter and two grandsons. I was the nanny. I had a very good deal. In June my husband and I went on a two week road trip that encompassed a western tour of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. When we pulled into our driveway at the end of our trip we looked at each other and said, "Let's turn around and do it again". I can't think of a better way to say we loved every minute of it. In August I went back to San Diego on a business trip but my husband went with me and in the evenings, after my conference adjourned for the day, we played hard. It was great. And then in October I went to New York City for the first time ever and to Washington DC with my mom and my sister. We had a fabulous time and made lots of memories.

Hobbies and PastTimes included knitting and quilting. My knitting has really taken on a life of its own and I have a full blown love affair with fiber going on! My dream is to raise a sheep, shear its wool, learn how to spin it and knit myself a sweater. Wouldn't that be so awesome?! I chose to knit gifts for Christmas and I also made a quilt for each of my four daughters. I have decided that I will NOT be doing that again. Sewing and knitting on a deadline takes all the fun out of my projects. While I was working on the last quilt my fancy/schmancy expensive sewing machine quit sewing. It needs to go to the doctor. I had to finish the last quilt on my vintage Featherweight singer! I found it very ironic to be quilting on such an old but solid machine while my expensive one sat by looking on! The photo is of a sweater and hat I made for sweet Ava Claire. It looks so nice on her and it is really soft and cuddly. I really wished I would have had one more sheep button to put on the hat but I didn't. This picture at the top is two of the quilts I made my girls. I really hated them by the end of the project. But it's funny, after wrapping them up and putting them under the tree for a few days my attitude changed about them. When the girls opened them up I loved them again. And they did too. So while I'm glad I made them, it won't happen again for a long while. I think next year if the gifts can't be ordered online, they just won't happen! I look forward to knitting and sewing again without an agenda or timeline.

GrandBabies oh how they are growing! Tyler and Ava Claire are now three years old and are just as darling as ever! Aiden is 15 months old and walking and talking and baby Ryan is 9 months old and has the most charming smile you have ever seen! Tyler and Ava were in the Christmas program this year and it was so fun to see them on stage. My "career change" begins in about three weeks and I am excited and ready.

2012. I am looking forward to this next year. I am looking forward to being a full-time grandmother. We have some special trips planned. I have some knitting and sewing projects in mind. I look forward to the warm summer months. I have been praying about my Word for the Year and there is a word that continues to roll around in my mind: Improve. I have a few ideas about how I am supposed to use this word and some of it seems a little overwhelming and I may even feel a little bit reluctant about it. But I trust Him and I know that He has my best in mind. And as with everything in the Christian journey, trusting Him makes all the difference.

Here's to 2012 - maybe my blogging will IMPROVE!


Kathy ... better known as Nana said...

I love those quilts. I wouldn't want to have a deadline for my quilts either ... the closest I came was when I made baby quilts for each of my grandkids. Of course, I had a good 6 months to make those quilts, and they were smaller so I was able to finish in plenty of time. ;-)

I would love to learn how to knit. Perhaps I'll have to see if I can find somewhere/someone offering knitting lessons. That sweater and hat are adorable!

Your "end of 2011" post has reminded me that it's time to start on mine. ;-)

Heather said...

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Dawn said...

What an amazing year you have had. I didn't remember all those trips landed in 2011. And a new adventure about to begin.

The sweater and hat are just so gorgeous!

My word last year was "change" and I'm not so sure I did as well with all the changes as I should have. I'm searching this year's word - improve is a good one! I love your journey with last year's. I long for that closer relationship you have found.

Today is our 39th anniversary - it seems hard to believe. I reposted, and re-vamped a post from a few years ago.

Still thinking of a trip to Nampa - Dwight mentioned this morning that if we'd thought ahead and known we would actually have a few days free to grandkid duty, we could have jumped in the car and headed that way. Sure wish he'd thought of it sooner!

Willow said...

What a great year of renewal and travel. I know you are looking forward to next year as a 'nanny-granny'.

Becky said...

I have so been waiting for this post. I just knew it was coming. Beautiful gifts. Just amazing. You seem to take on more and more every year. I am determined to start making Christmas gifts in January just so that I can actually make them instead of buying. I have a grand nephew that I met this past weekend and I love him so much. Nine months old and the closest I will come to a grand baby for the next little while.

Your quilts are gorgeous and your sweater and hat, OH MY GOODNESS.

I love your thoughts on your Word of the Year for 2012. I am just lost on what to choose. God is usually so convincing, and so far this year He has been quiet. He has a few more days. Renew has stuck in my head. I need some renewal for sure. This year has been a great one for many things and many reasons, but not much growth. I need to be more focused I guess. Hmmmm.

Great to hear from you. I am so excited for your last day of work. Let's have a party!