Favorite things from 2011

Yes, I realize that it is now 2012, but I have been trying to think of things that I loved from 2011 and thought I might as well share them. Someone else might find them interesting and they just might make a good scrapbook page one day and at any rate, it is a good exercise to make myself sit down and record them. 

My favorite things from 2011:

1.   One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp--honestly, if I had to pick one thing that really 'marked' me in the year 2011, it would have to be this book.  I started reading it at the beginning of the year and read each chapter at least twice in the first reading then read through it again in the summer months with a group of ladies at church.  I saw the word/principle  'eucharisteo' come up in so many Bible studies, I heard snippets of it in my head throughout the year, I repeated quotes to others, it challenged me and helped me grow in my faith as I opened my eyes to look for God's grace in my daily life

2.  Just how much my boys love to color and craft--give them some markers/crayons, some paper, glue, and scissors and they will sit for hours.  I have a lot of photos like this from the year and it is a common 'picture in my mind' because it is most often the view from the kitchen as I am cooking or cleaning.

3.  Going hiking (or our easy version of it) with the boys.  Even though I am not a huge outdoors fan, our getaway to Broken Bow and small explorations of the hiking trails close by have been a fun addition to family life.

4.  While the reason for so many trips to Nashville is not a favorite thing, the extra time with family and friends has certainly been special.  From the hours spent with Melissa in the hospital to the late night hysterical laughter with Kari on one trip to shopping with my mom and sisters or seeing The Help with my sisters and the quick little visits for coffee that I squeezed in with others, all of those things together made for some really sweet memories.

5. Cupcakes--we started watching Cupcake Wars at the beginning of the year and I baked a LOT of cupcakes.  This recipe for Red Velvet ended up being our favorites and I used that recipe for cake balls this year.

6. Finishing up my books with the the Pictures of the Day from the first year of the boys' lives.  I don't think I ever blogged about finishing them up, but I DID get them finished and printed up for Micah for Father's Day.  It was a bit of an ordeal project, but I am so happy to have them done.

7.  Making a new friend and seeing relationships deepen.  I have had the privilege of having a lot of really sweet and close friendships with some amazing women.  Unfortunately, most of those women live in other parts of the country or world.  I have often dealt with loneliness since we have been in Oklahoma.  And if I am honest, some of that has been my own fault.  We are in a crazy season of life with Micah in school, the reason we moved to Oklahoma, working from home--there are a lot of factors.  But, one of my favorite things from this year was meeting another mom at the boys preschool.  Her daughter was in the boys' class, they had just moved from Colorado for her husband's job, they had lived in Germany while he was in the Army---from our first lunch together at a McDonalds so they kids could play, I knew that we were going to be friends.  They ended up going to our church, she loves photography, and we have been walking/running together since school started.  I am so thankful for her friendship and how God brought her into my life at just the right moment.

8.  Finishing Project 365.  I love our book, can't wait to get it printed and am excited about doing it again this year.

9.  Soccer--it was so much fun seeing the boys play and improve.

10.  Micah finishing the classroom portion of med school.  You have no idea unless you have been there, serious joy and definitely a favorite thing from 2011. 

11.  (I figured I should have 11 since it was 2011)  By far my favorite thing about last year is knowing that it was the year that my boys decided to follow Jesus.  Since they were little, we have prayed and talked to them about what it means to ask Jesus into their hearts and follow Him.  We have said prayers together.  We have learned Scripture together.  At several points this year as we had been reading a devotion or listening to something and the topic came up, I would talk with them about asking Jesus into their heart.  The mom in me wanted to be there to hear them say the words and to 'lead' them to Jesus.  But, time and time again, as we would talk about heaven and how we know whether or not we are going to heaven, they would both tell me that they had already asked Jesus into their hearts 'a couple months ago' (in Xavier's words).  So, we would talk about what  that means.  In their sweet little five year old way, each of them separately and multiple times have told me what it means and that they most certainly have asked Him in and that He lives in their hearts.  So, who were we to argue with them?  So, while I didn't get to 'hear' them ask Jesus to come and live in their hearts, I am confident that He does, because I see them growing in their prayers and their knowledge of Him.  And that without a doubt is my favorite part of 2011.


Christine said…
What a wonderful list... and a wonderful year!!
Anonymous said…
Oh, Becky, that is such a wonderful thing that the boys have asked Jesus into their hearts!!!!!
And yes, you can see them growing!!
(both ways, physically, and in the Lord)
I read once that "little Christians will still be little boys, etc., but the one thing is, that when they recognize their actions as wrong, then they are willing to 'confess them' and try not do them in the future." New creations in Christ Jesus! Wow! And they will soon have their 6th BD, right?
Love, Gma E.
Anonymous said…
This is a wonderful list with so many blessings!! I have to say I feel honored that you consider me a blessing. I feel the same way about you. I was pretty sad when we moved here and felt pretty lonley. God also brought me you at the perfect time. I LOVE that we have so much in common and that we are able to inspire/push eachother to grow. Now, if we can just get back into our running habit:)
listgirl said…
Becky I love this list! Those cupcakes look delicious, I'm salivating right now at work. I totally get you about making a new friend. As I've gotten older it's so much harder to make good friends and deepen the relationship. You've been blessed! And my sister accepted Jesus into her heart at age 5 also. Coincidentally so did her son Andrew, my nephew. It took me a while longer, I was 11.

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