I am joining Mrs. Pancake's link party for Top 10 Moments in 2011. I really enjoyed reflecting on my year and picking my Top 10! These are in no particular order, because I don't have the patience to sort them :)
Number One: Joining a Church
Josh and I had been church shopping since before we got married. We had attended a very large church where most of our friends went. It was okay, because we knew our friends, but when a church is so big, it's hard to get involved and build new relationships. We tried several churches in the area, but from the moment we walked into this church, it felt like home. It's a small Baptist church with the sweetest and friendliest people I've ever met. We became members within a few weeks, and it has been such a blessing to us. We have made dear friends and having a church home has brought us closer to God and to each other.
Josh started working on his Home Inspector's license in the spring. I don't think either of us quite realized what a long road it would be! There was lots of studying, classes, more studying, and finally, a huge test to get his license. I was so proud of him when he passed, and I'm even more proud of him now that his business is getting off the ground. It's long been a dream of his to be self employed, and he is on his way!
Number Three: Emma
My sister in law, Elizabeth, had a daughter in June, making me an official aunt for the first time (more on that "official" part in a minute!) Emma is the cutest, chubbiest, and sweetest little girl on the planet. It has been such a joy to watch Elizabeth become a mother and to watch Emma grow. You can't help but smile when you're with Emma. Plus, those cheeks just ask for kisses and squeezes!
Number Four: Myles & Emmett
Number Five: Occupy Thanksgiving
We joined my dad, stepmom, and brother for a Thanksgiving camping trip at a private campground. Growing up, my family often camped for Thanksgiving, and it remains my favorite way to celebrate the holiday. We are serious campers, there are no RV's--just lots of tents and firewood and good food. Everyone asks if we cook the turkey over the fire--the answer is no! My dad cooked it the day before and we reheated it over the fire. It was delicious :)
Number Six: Upgrading to iPhone's
Compared to everything else on my list, this seems pretty silly. We went from old school flip phones to iPhones as an early Christmas present from my mom. WOW! It was a huge upgrade and I love my iPhone. Especially with Josh starting the business, these came at a perfect time and have been so useful. And so much FUN!
Number Seven: Our First Anniversary
On April 24th, we celebrated our first anniversary. Our first year was not entirely easy--it was filled with car accidents, unrelated trips to the ER, emergency surgery, and job changes. But we survived! And we had fun. Everyone always says marriage is harder than you think, and it truly is. It's also a lot more fun than I thought. No one can make me laugh as hard as he can.
Number Eight: My Old Job
Last winter, I accepted a promotion at my company. My new job only lasted eight months. I was stuck in a cubicle, had no interaction with people, and was bored out of my mind. When my old boss called me and asked if I'd like to come back, I immediately and gratefully said yes. Without getting into details, let's just say that my "old job" was a million times cooler than the promotion. I have been back for six months, and even though it was a step down in the eyes of my company, I couldn't be happier.
Number Nine: Not Buying a House
In February, we started house shopping. We found one we loved, put an offer on it, and were SO excited. We currently live in a one bedroom apartment, and while I still consider it home, it's not easy. With two dogs and a husband who loves tools, things get a little cramped. I couldn't wait to have a kitchen with more than one countertop! The inspection proved that the house was not worth it, and we took a step back. Instead of rushing to find something else before our lease was up, we decided to wait. Honestly, it was not a fun decision and if left to my own devices, probably not the decision I would've made. However, I am so grateful that we did it. It has given us another year to save, and to think about what we really want.
Number 10: Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve just happened, but it was one of the best nights of the whole year for me. We went to the candlelight service at our church, and as I was working on writing this post, I was so aware of how much our church family means to me. We stood outside with candles and sang Christmas carols, and I was reminded of all the ways God has blessed us over the past year. After the service, our assistant pastor and his wife invited us over for dinner with their family, and it was yet another example of why I love our church so much.