Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011...a year in review

Last year I really enjoyed doing a blog post with the highlights from the year. So here is this year's edition....

January 2011 brought a lot (for NC!) of snow/ice and we were unfortunately iced in when we found out that there were complications with Andy's dads' heart surgery and he was in critical condition. We were able to get out and visit him a few days later - on Andy's birthday. It was good to be able to see him and we were so thankful that his dad greatly improved over the next few days and is now fully recovered.

In February, I got a new DSLR camera and Andy started using my old one. We enjoyed going out to shoot together and finding a hobby for both of us to enjoy together. I was so excited when iPhone came to Verizon that I stayed up until 3am to be one of the first people to pre-order it online.

We were both getting exhausted and a little frustrated with job stuff in March. I got pretty upset when our blog got hacked a few times (when I was self-hosted) and ended up switching back to blogger for my own sanity (was about to save blog content, but sadly, I lost a lot of reader comments in the process). We managed to get up to Baltimore for a quick visit and saw my sister's new house! She and her husband worked really hard with Habitat for Humanity to build a lot of their house - we were so happy and excited that they had a place of their own. We also got to go on a long-awaited vacation - our first cruise! The cruise had been something Andy had been wanting to do ever since his accident. When he was in pain in the hospital, I told him to think of something that he could look forward to when he was all recovered and we had all the legal junk behind us. So he's been waiting for the cruise for a long time and with some of the settlement money that he received, we splurged and went on a really fun trip! We, of course, took tons of photos - you can see them and read about our trip here, here, here, and here (and apparently I meant to do one more blog post as a review on the cruise but didn't ever do it). We had a great time and it was a good break for us.

April brought some spring cleaning, spring flowers, and a tornado very close to our area. We celebrated Easter and found things to smile about.

We enjoyed our little town and some great weather in May. We visited the farmer's market and had fun at annual Springfest. We enjoyed going to an outdoor Vince Gill benefit concert that was in our town. May also brought the sad news that my 96 yr. old grandmother died. She was an amazing, Godly woman and we were glad that we could go up to Baltimore to celebrate her life and be with family.

{photo of my brother and I with my Grandmother from July 2010}

June was a crazy month for us! We announced that Andy would be deploying to Kuwait with the American Red Cross and the military. We traveled quite a bit in June to spend time together and visit with a lot of family before he left. We came back from the funeral in Baltimore, visited Andy's dad and his family at the lake twice, and we took a trip down to Georgia to leave our dog, Maggie, with Andy's mom for a few months while Andy was deployed and I planned to be traveling. We packed Andy up and I dropped him off at the airport. Then, right before he boarded the plane, he got the call that he didn't need to deploy after all due to the changes with the military and the draw-down. We were really surprised, but happy that he didn't need to leave for months. To mentally re-group, and because he missed her so much already, Andy drove back down to Georgia the day after he found out he wasn't deploying to pick up Maggie.

After all the craziness and traveling in June, you would think that we would have tried to relax and stay home a little more in July. We didn't really. We spent 4th of July with Andy's family at the lake and celebrated one year of having a dog. We discussed it and decided that I should still resign from my job at the bank even though Andy wasn't deploying. I was able to go up and visit Baltimore and enjoyed spending time with my family and friends. I got to celebrate two of my friends' birthdays while I was there and we even had a girls weekend at a fun bed and breakfast.

In August I didn't end up blogging much. Why? We were busy moving. We had planned to move out of our apartment while Andy was deployed and move closer to his job when he returned. Since he didn't deploy, we decided to go ahead and move anyway. Now we only live 10-15 min. away from his job instead of an hour! We moved to a great rental house that has a yard for Maggie and I was busy unpacking and decorating it. My good friend, Emily Joy and her family came down to North Carolina and I got to visit with her (but somehow didn't post any photos of her visit on my blog - thankfully she posted some on their family blog).

September is our anniversary month! We celebrated being married 3 years on Sept. 1 with a nice quiet night out to dinner. I took a fun day trip up to Raleigh while Andy was at his reunion with his dad. We got a new grill and enjoyed using it and eating on our porch. And we loved having Andy's mother and grandmother come and stay with us for a few days!

October was a pretty low-key month for us. I finally felt like I was pretty much finished decorating the house and I was painting a little more for a possible painting teaching job (that I didn't end up liking so didn't do...but it was good to get back into painting on a more regular basis). Andy got an iPhone and we went up to visit his family at the lake for the last time of the year. I met and got together with some local photographers and was practicing photography some more.

November marked 2 years since Andy's bad car accident and we are so thankful for how far he has come in healing. My birthday was in November and for my birthday, I traveled to Baltimore to see friends and family (and help my little brother out while my parents were gone - he dislocated his shoulder) and to the beach. I had a great time doing some photography for my sister and her family and of our new niece who was born at the end of October. We also were glad that we got to travel to Georgia to be with Andy's Mother and family for Thanksgiving and celebrate his grandmother's 90th birthday.
{my birthday beach weekend}

{Thanksgiving in Georgia}

December has been very busy for Andy with work. He was working with the American Red Cross to welcome troops home and I went and volunteered when I could. I started to get a few "real" photography jobs and loved taking photos of this big family. We celebrated Christmas with Andy's Dad and everyone up in Greensboro a few weeks early and we'll be celebrating with my family a few weeks late. And for Christmas we got to go to the beach again since Andy only had a little bit of time off. 

And that's my crazy long post about 2011! 
Let's see what next year brings.

Happy New Year 2012!

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