Happy New Year! A Look Back

To my wonderful family and friends,

HAPPY 2012!!!...
Photo from Flickr

and thanks for being you! Each of you have contributed, in some way or other, to my many successes throughout 2011 and for that I'm grateful. The past year has brought many, many fun and exciting adventures, some happy and others not so happy. But it is those unhappy times that strengthen and provide me the opportunity to grow, and that too I'm grateful for. This post, however, and like every other post I put on this blog, I'll be focusing on the positives. :) I mean positives are so much more fun to read than negatives. Dontcha think? I mean, I'd much rather rave than rant and I'm confidant you'd much rather hear a rave than a rant.

First I should admit that 2011 is quite fuzzy and I'll probably be adding on to this post as more events come to mind. But for now here are my five "stand out" events that happened in 2011.

In July the hubby, two of our kids, and myself went on Trek. This is a four day event that happens every four years and is a life changing experience for most that get to attend. The purpose is to re-create the Trek that the pioneers made from the east to the Salt Lake Valley in the mid 1880's. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is a re-creation. From the hand carts to the clothes worn, food eaten, bedding, shelter and everything in between is set up to simulated the experiences of those pioneers who traveled thousands of miles to escape religious persecution.  An event designed never to be forgotten.

We Moved....UGH!
I say ugh, not in sorry we moved but, as in moving really, really, REALLY, sucks! Okay, I don't like that word and I almost never use it but, on occasion, there isn't any other word that fits the bill. Sorry, and I don't mean to offend. That's it. I think you get the picture. Now, the upside of it all is the house we moved into on September 1st is one FABULOUS place. You can read a tiny bit of its history here, see its lovely staircase here, and have a peek at a couple of re-dos here. I look forward to updating my blog and the progress we've made thus far on our home. A new years resolution, perhaps? 

Emily Moves Out....Whaaahahaha. :(
In September, just shortly after we moved, Emily decided to spread her wings and venture out on her own. The decision was certainly bitter sweet; sweet for her and bitter, of course, for her dad and I.  It's always a tough thing to watch your child grow from a cute, can never do any wrong, little child to a young adult that can't wait to leave the nest. No matter how hard it was for her dad and I, I'm very proud that she had the courage and enthusiasm to venture out on her own. I mean aren't some twenty and thirty somethings still living with their parents? Okay, to be fair, I know that some leave the nest and then situations come about that force them to move back home.  I'm not talking about those kind. I referring to the ones that are permanently set in the nest and are reluctant to fly. Our Emily spread her wings and flew to seek out new adventures. 2/28/2012 Update: she's moved back.

All Five Home for the Holiday

 Yep, there they all are. Our whole family was blessed to have everyone together for Thanksgiving. Why is this such a big deal? Well, because its been two years since we've had everyone together. It's been two years since we've seen our oldest son, one year since we saw our oldest daughter, and two years since we've all been together. That's a  BIG deal. Photo op! 

Undergraduate Studies DONE!
Not a lot to say here except WOO HOO!!! On to the next level......stay tuned. Update: Thought I was done but, transferred to a new college and evidently the joke's on me. :/ Got a few more class to complete before moving on.

Our Family Has a New Addition 
 Meet Carly. Isn't she BEAUTIFUL? Yeah, we think so too. :) Carly came to live with us last month. She belongs to my oldest daughter, Leah, who lives in Nashville, TN. Ha! However, Carly lives with us in WV. So, I'm thinking that she now belongs to us(?) Or perhaps we are just dog sitting for an extended period of time. Either way, we are thrilled to have her. Carly was rescued from a horrible home in Nashville. If you knew this dog you would wonder how anyone could ever be so cruel. She is an absolute gem and we are incredibly blessed to have her with us. 
See how she fits in? Here she is shopping the Black Friday sales with Collin.
  How was your 2011? Any "stand out" events you'd like to share?