Dr. Suess, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
This year was a big year for me. College, working, teaching, leaving home, traveling, new experiences. The world is a *big*, wild place. And it is "opener." Wide, open air. It's scary, wonderful, awesome... all at once.
I did a lot of traveling... both by myself and with others. I think I prefer the "with others" part. I admit it IS fun to be on your own... clutching your Starbucks and working on your laptop in the airport makes you look professional and "grown-up"!
But I like the camaraderie of traveling with people. Giggling over a Cinnabon in the busy airport, playing crossword puzzles at 10,000 feet, fixing your funky hair with your Mom's brush because you forgot yours.
My camera completely lived and died this year. Poor ol' Darcy. He saw MUCH this year... until the fateful day that he refused to click any more.
Frankly, I don't blame the thing. I put him through much too much.
I started off the year flying/driving through the South with my Mom, visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousins, checking out colleges, turning eighteen while on the road, getting my ears pierced, and wearing out the GPS.
Oh, yes... and painting our toenails, hanging out on the beach, getting tan, and taking pictures of our feet. Loveliness, yes?
My next excursion was to Jessica Shae's internship in Texas. It was my first time ever being in that awesome state... I had good food, learned a LOT, made new friends, and just had a blast.
That was when I closed my old blog and started up this one - a new chapter in my photography business.
My family and I made the most of this summer. We had to keep in mind that it COULD be the last summer that we spend together - I mean, come on! We're getting *oldie moldie* around here. Next thing you know, one of us could end up - *gasp* - moved out. Or worse - married! eeeek!
*note*... my older sister Roberta is missing from this picture - not because she doesn't love us any more, but because she was working for a ministry in Texas at the time. You'll just have to pretend she's in there... =)
I also held two "workshops" this year - Dakota B. and Anna C. are two sweet girls that are just getting started in the photography business, and it was such fun to be able to give them some hints!
Of course the rodeo... which is... like... *huge* in our small town.
After that my family was blessed with an awesome visit from my aunt and uncle! They parked their "house" on our property and stuck around for a few weeks. We had fun...
Yeah. We seriously rode a carousel. I hadn't done that since third grade.
I really think people should do it more often.
Our annual county-wide Fourth of July party was a crazy hit, as usual. Lots of work, sweat, planning, work, fun, games, work, and more work. But it was worth it!
A rather large hallmark of this year was the splendid purchase of my MARVELOUS iPhone 4! The thing is fabulous - I hate how attached I am to it, to tell you the truth.
Summer colors, summer crazy, summer business, summer fun... summer life.
We spent many an afternoon just chillin'. I'm definitely making time for that again next summer! Floating the river in huge inner-tubes, kayaking with Daddy, hanging with friends, swimming in the frigid lake with my bestest friend, volleyball... it was a dreamy summer.
Oh, yes - made all the better by a visit with said "bestest" friend!! I love this girl to death, and it was AWESOME to be able to see her this year! =)
Summer began wrapping up with the Northeast Washington Fair - which was just as country, small-town, hot, busy, and fun as ever.
You may be wondering why I have a picture of my gorgeous sista, Sarah, up there... instead of, oh, say, a cow? or a horse? Well... that's because she was crowned fair PRINCESS this year! Yeah, I'm just a leeeeetle bit proud.
Then summer ended.
And I had to say goodbye to these fabulous people.
It was bittersweet, because I hated leaving them and home so much. But I was super excited... because I was going tooooooooo....
But not just for fun, okay? I started (and finished!) my first freshman semester of college at a wonderful school. God really knew what He was doing when He directed me there. We have a loooooong way to go, but He's brought me this far, and I know He'll finish up what He's started.
It's beautiful down there... just sayin'. A good place to go to college. =)
Yes, this is what my days were made up of. Piano. Books... anddddddd...
Yes, it got me through many long hours of studying. And before you jump to conclusions, I'll have you know that I'm not your typical "freshman fifteen" student. My two mile runs and that 5K also got me through those long weeks, okay? =)
And then I got to go home.
I lived through the quizzes, tests, homework, midterms, quizzes, tests, homework, and finals. I made friends, good grades, and iffy grades.
I cried, I laughed, I was miserable, I had fun, I wanted to go home, I wanted to stay. I prayed with others, they prayed for me.
I learned how to put on makeup in the dark, how to find an earring back on a gray carpet. I learned how to clean a seven-girl bathroom top to bottom in twenty minutes. How to eat lunch in seven minutes. I learned that finished fingernail polish isn't as important as finished homework, and that relationships are fragile and being a peacemaker is a good thing. That books are heavy and laughter can lighten a load.
God was good, awesome, and frustrating - He has an annoying sense of humor and He gives an incredible sense of peace, amen? =)
Five short weeks are flying by. Christmas was fabulous - I love my family. Being home has been great - and I'm going to repeat myself - it's *flying* by. Before I know it, I'll be back on that campus, ready for whatever God has for my life.
Until the very end, I'm going to treasure this time with my family... talking over coffee, giggling in the family room until laaaate at night, snowboarding the glistening mountains, playing volleyball, coloring posters cut from the American Girl magazine with my nine-year-old sister, running errands with my sixteen-year-old, heart-to-hearts with my Mom, playing the piano with my bro, makeup fun with my big sis, and breakfasts with Daddy.
And before I go, I'm going to celebrate the New Year. I'm going to praise the Lord for everything He's done this year and thank Him for everything He's promised to do next year.
He says in Isaiah 45:2-3..
I will go before you
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the LORD,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
I'm ready for 2012, thankful for 2011.
What are your hopes, dreams, longings, fears? God will walk with you all the way. All you have to do is ask. I hope that when you're looking back on 2011, you see a year of God's grace and love. What were some of your favorite moments? Share them!