Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blogging From the Heart - In the Year 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, I, like so many other bloggers, have been reflecting over the year as a whole. Perusing. Contemplating. Deleting. Cringing. Smiling. Laughing. Giggling. Sharing.


In that vein, I'd like to share some photos + words on the most memorable moments of 2011. While this past year can be most aptly characterized as challenging, in many ways 2011 also brought a multitude of happy, positive, wonderful and exciting opportunities. After culling through my daily planner, iCalendar and thousands of photographs, I humbly offer the Best of 2011.

10. Hilton Head, South Carolina
 Good friends + beach + continuing medical education = funnest business trip ever!

9. The "Dream" Journey
For the past 12 months, my One Little Word has been dream. This word has guided much of my thoughts and reflections in 2011. Each month I completed specific prompts, participated in a blog hop and spent a great amount of mental energy identifying and documenting my dreams. One of the things I felt was so special about this journey was that it was devoted to my dreams - not dreams for my family, not dreams for my marriage or my husband, just my dreams. I have found in my life and heard from many others that women have a particularly difficult time focusing on themselves. It has certainly been true in my life. I loved how easy it was to spend a few hours focused on me. I am very excited to see where my dreams are going in 2012...I will be revealing my OLW for 2012 tomorrow morning as part of the OLW Blog Hop. Be sure to check back at 10:00am CST!

8. This Boy's Smile
Although he has had his share of struggles in 2011, this amazing, talented, creative, loving boy has brought me so much joy. His smile is infectious. His zest for life is inspiring. He helps me see the little things, the small every day details that add up to a full and happy life. He makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

7. Reconnecting
I feel blessed to have reconnected with extended family...just in time for a very special 90th birthday.

6. A Visit From The East

We were so excited to host Jim's sister and family this past July. It is the first time they've come to Nebraska since Jim and I married. We explored the city, discovering new places together and sharing old favorites. One of my fondest memories is straddling the state line between Iowa and Nebraska while standing atop the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge and marveling at the flood waters that were so prevalent this spring.

5. This Girl
Jim & I are so lucky. We have the absolute best circle of friends, both as a couple and as individuals. Deana has been my best friends since we met when I was 18 years old. That we've remained so close is a miracle. That we've celebrated birthdays and holidays with each others' families is a gift. That we are godparents to each others' children is a wonder. That we've spent the majority of 2011 laughing is the greatest thing of all.

4. My Mother
The more years go by, the greater my appreciation for my mother. She is my everything.

3. October in Hong Kong
This trip to visit friends in Hong Kong was the highlight of the year.

2. This Man
Jim is the best thing that ever happened to me. I say a little prayer for this man every day. He is everything that a husband should be. He is my partner, my lover and my very best friend.

1. Graduation Day
I have never felt prouder than when my son received his high school diploma. He worked so hard and at times it seemed as if he would never reach the stage. But he never gave up. When several of his friends dropped out or decided the getting a GED would be easier, he stayed the course. Even when he was sad.  Even when he was unsure of the future. Even when he was ready to rip out his hair in frustration. He never gave up. This says so much about his heart and his level of determination. This says so much about who he really is. This says so much about his intelligence and abilities. He never gave up.

I hope that each of you had moments to celebrate in 2011. I hope each of you learned something valuable in 2011. I hope each of you laughed and cried, sang and danced, read and wrote, created art and let go of trouble in 2011.

And I wish you the very best as we prepare for 2012. Happy New Year.


  1. I love your Best of 2011. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!!!

  2. what a beautiful, blessed life you leave! i hope that 2012 is brighter and more beautiful than you could even imagine! xxo

  3. What a great year and you captured it beautifully in your photos. I was thinking of not doing the OLW this year but you have inspired me somehow to jump in and continue. I would have missed all you so much, had I not gone on with you. You have all been a great source of comfort to me during this difficult year. Happy New Year.

  4. Wow, what a great year! Happy New Year! I'll see if I can find your post on OLW, I liked what you said about it. Hope your dreams will materialize. Cheers from Bordeaux, FR