Whirlwind: 2011 in Review


It’s December 30th, 2011.

I’m at the fire station (surprise, surprise). Chicken wings are in the oven. Adam and James are playing Call of Duty. Life is good.

Amazingly, although almost January, it’s not snowing outside. It’s not bad. I like the not-so-tough winter we’ve had so far, but I dread the months coming up when this will backfire, and I’ll be snowed in. hehe… life is good.

Early this past January, I started getting involved in product reviews. It’s been quite the joy, and we’re still enjoying some great (and yes, not to great) product as a result. We’ve found some new products we love, tried some new things, expanded our horizons, passed along good news to my gluten-free and health-conscious readers.

In February, Adam, Mom, Mandy and Justin, and I all went to the NANC conference in Indiana.  For me, these conference are such a wonderful time of soaking in the truth of the Word, healing from some personal wounds, and resting and relaxing with dear family.  Read my post from that trip here. We had some interesting encounters in our hotel room with a room with no heat and unstoppable AC, and for the first time in a hotel, I was robbed some makeup and my favorite sweater.  Oh, well. It was well-worth the time out there in Indiana.  We also got to spend some time with Phil Ross, one of the groomsmen in our wedding, and his family.  That was fun, and Adam was sad to say goodbye.

March brought change for us in that I got hired to work at Tim Horton’s, a local coffee and donut shop in Castle Creek. I had to give up my online tutoring job and the pleasures of working from home.  Mom was gracious to take over lunches for Adam, but I surely do miss being home and seeing Adam during his work day.  It’s been quite the change, but God has been working in me and through me and this opportunity. I have a lot of regular customers, whom I love and who allow for tons of fun (and not so fun) stories to bring home.

Over the course of this year, my health has oscillated. Early in the year, I was rather restricted to processed foods. Fresh vegetables and even fruits were irritating my system.  As a result, I attempted a 40-day liquid fast to give my body a rest from processing solids.  It was quite the stretch. I have to say the first 7 days weren’t so bad, but I started to deteriorate in my ability to function, so I called it quits after 16 days. I have been able to eat raw vegetables since.

This past May I joined the fire department officially. I now go to weekly training evenings, go on fire calls, and honestly, just assist in any way possible.  I have yet to take Firefighter 1, but I am enjoying being on-scene, taking pictures, and learning. It’s been fun to do with Adam and to support him in his passions!

We celebrated one year of marriage in June. This past year has been a wonderful experience, growing closer together as friends and spouses. We are so thankful for each other, for the lessons God has used our marriage to teach us about ourselves, and for how God has used our marriage and His work in us to reach others.

By this time, we were no longer living in our little cabin. We had the privilege of moving just a few doors down into Adam’s great-grandfather’s house. No longer are we cozy in our 16‘x28’ cabin–now we are enjoying over 2000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, 2 offices, a laundry room/mud-room, and even 2 acres! We are so blessed!

This home is filled with so much history! The attic was/is filled with numerous historical pieces of furniture (like our fully working 1940s Motorola record player) newspapers marking a variety of historical events (JFK’s assassination, the end of WWII), every issue of National Geographic ever published (lol), and a bunch of family history pieces.  I have loved exploring the attic and look forward to doing some organization/preservation for future generations (No… I’m not pregnant.)

We still have two of our three cats. During our move, Sprite disappeared and we have never seen her again. However, Watson and Cassidy are still our rambunctious little ones, who both enjoy cuddling and hunting and whining… lots of whining. lol

July and August were whirlwinds, so that I’m not sure we did much significant to mention. We stayed busy with work—oh yes. By this time, I was manager at Tim Horton’s, working 50+ hours (and all hours of the day) a week, and praising God for an understanding husband who is a hard worker himself.

This summer, we also interviewed with a casting company to be casted for Expedition Impossible. That was cool!  We haven’t heard anything–and probably won’t–but it was fun to travel with some friends to New York City, spend the day, and be asked if Adam, Aaron, and I were triplets. lol

September was the fastest month. Rain came that month, and lots of it.  In a county literally under water, we worked with the fire department, recovering from flood damage around Castle Creek, helping the neighborhood after 100-year flood took the county by surprise, putting us in a state of emergency for a week.

Both of us continue to run. Adam was able to run the Adirondack Half-Marathon this past September. Out of 800 runners, he finished 13th with a time of >>>. I wasn’t able to run it with him, but I continue to run 5 miles a day 5 days a week, as we prepare for a 4-mile race in February. I do plan on tackling this half-marathon in 2012.  We also recently were able to get two kayaks and look forward to some kayaking trips this summer. We plan on purchasing bicycles this spring as well and are considering a mini-triathlon.

October was another crazy month at work. However, despite the craziness, I have to say I have a pretty good team (now). We work our butts off, but we have a lot of fun too.

Adam and I are also still involved with the youth group at Castle Creek First Baptist.  It has been a blessing this year to work with the kids. I have been more impassioned this year, and I can only accredit that to the Lord’s work in my life.  We have about 12 teens who meet with us weekly, and I am excited to see what God is doing in their lives. God is allowing us to sew seeds and water–we’re excited to see the fruit!

November and December have been filled to the brim as well. I actually made some Christmas presents this year, so besides 50-hour work weeks, and 25 miles of running each week, I occupied my time by making presents, trying to stay on top of house work, cuddling my kitties, and yes, cooking.  Thank God for a dishwasher. Amen and amen.

As a whole, this has been a stretching year spiritually. Our marriage has been wonderful, our lives although busy have been incredibly blessed, but we are learning about  our own sinful tendencies and desiring to grow closer to the Lord.

My fast early this year ended up being quite revealing of my personal weaknesses, selfish desires, tendency to spiritual independence, and view of the Lord and His Grace.

Work has been a spiritual lesson in and of itself for as well. I have continually struggled with working outside my major and in a field that conflicts with my passions. However, God has taught me that His plans are often much different than my own. I have had the opportunity to build relationships with my co-workers and customers that have allowed for me to share the Gospel and shine as a light. I’ve been blessed to be able to hire some friends and fellow believers and am excited to see others recognize a difference in them.

Sigh… the year is nearly gone.

We are so thankful. We look forward to this new year with an added anticipation of what God will continue to do and what He has planned that we have yet to even dream of.  We pray that you have a blessed Christmas and ask that you join us in praying for His swift return.

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