Saturday, December 31, 2011

looking back.

Before we fully embrace 2012, I feel like it’s important to take a look back at the ups and downs 2011 gave us, to remember the resolutions that succeeded and the ones that failed, to relive the highlights and the less-than-perfect moments of the past 12 months.

In January, I wrote that I wanted our home to be clean and livable and full of color and life. I wanted to have fresh flowers and good-smelling candles and colorful accents that let people know our home is fun and livable and that our door is always open. I wanted to cook through Jamie Oliver’s cookbook and develop a usable, uniquely me closet. I wanted to bring music, joy, and color into our home, to celebrate milestones in a meaningful way. I wanted to establish a quiet time ritual, to make the most of our precious weekend hours, and to complain a whole lot less.

Overall, I’m so happy with how our year went.

We celebrated my 25th birthday and planned a spontaneous trip to Jazz Fest, one of the absolute highlights of my year. We welcomed two new babies into our midst and showered them and their mothers with love and gifts. We said goodbye to people we loved and chose to embrace our time here. We started a supper club and hosted weekly small group meetings. I gave up sugar for 40 days and learned a lot about myself, my body, and the Lenten season. We honored Advent and came to terms with some church issues that had clouded my walk with Christ. We held date nights most every Friday night, often taking “mini-vacations” to Thomasville, a small town nearby that just so happens to be the home of my favorite bookstore. I read 50 books and wrote an entire blogging series on celebration. I bought clothes I liked and began creating a useable, wearable closet. I established a face-cleansing routine that actually works. I hosted favorite things brunches and book club meetings and game nights and supper clubs and a pretty awesome dance party. We went to New Orleans and Captiva Island and Nags Head and the north Georgia mountains. We went to the beach over and over and over again, and each time it was just what I needed. We paid off my student loans and began to work on Jordan’s. I had two cancerous moles removed, and Jordan faced a few health scares of his own. Together we took steps to make sure the next few years we live are healthier than the last. We cooked more in our tiny kitchen; we subscribed to Netflix and watched Cheers and Parks and Recreation and The Wonder Years. I redecorated our bathroom and added meaningful touches to our home. I planned an entire wedding and reception without hurting myself or others. I enjoyed time with the fuzzies, and Jordan and I had our first reunion with precious friends from college.

Sure, there were hard times.

But this year lived up to its name.

I can close the door on 2011 because I truly believe I gave it everything I had. I like who I am starting 2012. I like what I accomplished this year, and, if I’m being honest, I like how I failed. The things that went well and the things that didn’t have shaped me, and I’m more equipped to face the days ahead.

Bring it, 2012. I am ready for you.

And 2011? Thank you. You were so good for me.


Velva said...

Happy New Year Annie! May 2012 be filled with family, friends, good food and travels.


jennifer blair said...

I feel the same way. I'm happy to face the new year this go around. Last year, I was uncertain of who I was and where I was going. This year is different. God has done so much in my heart by using good and bad events. I'm excited to see where 2012 finds us this time next year! :)

stacey said...

i recently stumbled on your blog, and i love it. happy new year!

Leslie said...

Loved reading this! This is the first year that I've really reflected on the accomplishments and successes from the past year and less on beating myself up about things I need to fix. It sounds like you did a really excellent job of living a lovely life on purpose. Keep writing - you're such a faithful blogger!

Sabrina said...

Happy and Fabulous 2012 to you Annie:) Great reflection.

Amanda said...

I just recently became a reader and I wanted you to know I love the way you write and I look forward to 2012 here on turning pages! Happy New Year, Annie! :)