Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Year in Review

The last 12 months in (about) 1500 pictures.

November 2011– I spent the first two weeks getting my students ready for their Christmas program, having a last minute Stampin’ Up! workshop, traveling to GA for a Women of the ELCA (W-ELCA) board meeting (and getting to sneak away to see my new niece), packing, and saying good bye to co-workers, students, and the members of St. James Lutheran Church. The weekend before Thanksgiving, we moved to Murfreesboro, TN so that Michael could begin serving as pastor at Advent Lutheran Church. We celebrated Thanksgiving with the Hawkins, a family in our new congregation that we have been friends with for several years. And Michael’s first Sunday at Advent was the first Sunday of Advent.
December 2011– We got the kids settled into their new school, just in time for Christmas break. The kids both participated in Advent’s Christmas play followed by the Murfreesboro Christmas Parade. I traveled back to Greeneville to direct my former students in their Christmas program. We found out we were expecting our third child! We went swimming at an indoor pool here in the Boro. We experienced Opryland Hotel all decked out for Christmas. Our Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day worship services were all lovely. And my mom and step-dad came up on Christmas Day and stayed for a few days.
January 2012– We left on New Year’s Day to drive down to Atlanta to finally celebrate Christmas with the rest of our Family. On Jan. 2, we drove a few more hours south to Leesburg, GA to visit my new niece, Cassidy, and Lindsey and Wes; while we were there with the baby, we told AJ and DJ that we’d be having a baby of our own. They were SUPER excited! Then we spent the rest of the week visiting with family members and friends and getting ready for Michael’s brother’s wedding. I made the groom’s cake for the rehearsal dinner, and the kids were both in the wedding. I had my first OB appointment. We checked out the Discovery Center, a hands-on museum, here in the Boro. And AJ turned 6!
February – Back to Atl for me, for another W-ELCA board meeting, and then sling-shot back home for Michael’s official installation as the pastor of Advent. It was a fabulous service, which included the children of the church singing “Welcome to the Family,” followed by an equally fabulous reception. The next day I began babysitting for two lovely little girls from our church. And DJ turned 9!
March – Not a very eventful month. We laid low during spring break, but got to visit the Nashville Zoo and hang out at the Hawkins’ cabin. Then we closed the month out with our first ultrasound on the 30th, and Michael and I celebrated our 11th anniversary on the 31st.
April – DJ began what may have been his last baseball season…he did not enjoy the game much this year. My mom and step-dad came to visit for a few days during their spring break. We celebrated Holy week and Easter Sunday with worship, an egg hunt, and an Easter breakfast. The kids and I traveled to Atl to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday. We began house hunting and put an offer in on a house.
May – We had a second ultrasound; later that day we had our home and termite inspections done on the house we had under contract, and we met with our mortgage officer. I had a happy Mother's Day. I traveled to GA once again for a W-ELCA board meeting…this time at Callaway Gardens. AJ finished up Kindergarten and DJ 3rd grade with an end-of-the-year skate night. We celebrated the first day of summer break at Chick-fil-A. And we spent Memorial Day weekend at the Hawkins’ cabin.
June – Craziest month yet! The Southeastern Synod Assembly, an annual business meeting of pastors and lay members, was the 1st-3rd. We closed on our new house on the 8th and moved in on the 9th. On the 15th, Michael headed to GA for AFFIRM, our Southeastern Synod Youth Gathering (where we met 20 years ago!), and on the 16th, AJ and I took DJ to camp at Lutheridge in Asheville, NC. After a girls-only week, we met up with Michael in Chattanooga on the 22nd; back to Asheville to pick DJ up from camp on the 23rd. We had our VBS kick-off on the 24th, and I lead crafts for VBS the 25th-29th. The 30th was the anniversary of Michael’s ordination…5 years; he had been recognized at the Synod Assembly.
(Oops, the bottom right two pics were from May.)
July – Possibly crazier than June!! Grandaddy and Gram (my dad and step-mom) came to visit for the 4th of July and took DJ and AJ back to GA with them. Michael’s parents took the kids with the rest of his family (20 people total) to the beach for a week the 7th-14th. The 17th was my last official day of babysitting; Michael headed to New Orleans for the ELCA Youth Gathering; the kids had an adventurous day at Stone Mountain; I drove down to Atl for a little R and R. On the 20th my mom (Nana), the kids, and I traveled further south to have lunch with my sister, BIL, and niece, and then spent the weekend with my brother and SIL at their new house enjoying their pool. Back up to Atl on the 22nd, and then back home with Nana in tow on the 24th. Thank God for my mom! She helped us get a little more unpacked, settled in, and prepared for the baby.
August – We registered the kids at their new school on the 1st, and they had a “1/2 day” on the 8th. Their first full day of school was the 10th; came home with lots of new neighborhood friends! The ladies of Advent held a beautiful shower for Baby J on the 11th. The van had been in a little accident (not our fault) on Aug. 3rd, so it was at the dealership getting repaired the 13th-20th. Uncle Thomas, Michael’s younger brother, came up on the 17th, to do some contract work with our church youth group, and to help out should the baby make his/her appearance. Also, some friends from our internship church in PA, the Hawks, came through town on the 17th and 18th. After having Mexican food for lunch (my choice), I started having some fairly strong contractions, and at 11pm we checked into the hospital. At 10:10am, Sunday, August 19, our daughter, “SJ”, was born. She weighed in at 9 lbs, 3 oz, and was 21” long! Thomas was a great help during that first week. He left on the 24th, and then my mom, step-dad, sister, and niece came that weekend. Nana stayed through the 31st.
September – Michael’s parents, Thomas, and my SIL, Teresa, came up for Labor Day weekend. Grandaddy and Gram came up the 8th and 9th. The 13th-16th, SJ and I were back down at Callaway Gardens for the Southeastern Synod W-ELCA Convention, where they surprised me with a little shower. Nana came on the 14th to help out, and Granny, (my grandmother) got to see SJ for a little bit that evening. AJ is looking forward to starting Daisy Girl Scouts sometime soon, and DJ began his first year as a WEBLO in Boy Scouts. SJ was up to 11 lbs, 8 oz at one month, and on the 22nd we had our first family portraits taken. DJ and AJ have adjusted remarkably to being big siblings; they are both such good helpers!
October – We spent fall break (Sept 28-Oct 5) down in Atl showing SJ off to family and friends. DJ made all As and Bs (only 1 B) on his first 4th grade report card, and AJ’s teacher had nothing but praise for her at the parent/teacher conference. On the 13th the girls went down to Huntsville for my step-sister’s baby shower. At 2 months, SJ was 12 lbs, 14 oz, and 24”. On the 20th we visited Lucky Ladd Farm’s pumpkin patch and corn maze. Our church had a Halloween carnival and trunk-or-treat on the 27th. And DJ and AJ both had fun trick-or-treating on Halloween, despite AJ’s coming down with strep throat two weeks after big brother had it.
Life has settled down already. SJ is such a little blessing. I was so worried about having three kids, because there were so many times during my pregnancy when I thought, “I can’t deal with my two kids; how in the WORLD will I be able to handle three?!?!?” But she is such a good baby, and our family feels much more complete with her in it.

I had my first Stampin’ Up! event at our new place yesterday. I hope to post pictures soon, and to get back to blogging regularly. We shall see…

Sweet Wishes!