2012 Year in Review

It’s my sixth anniversary for my annual year-in-review. It’s crazy to look back at 20072008, and 20092010, and 2011 and see how much life has changed. Each year holds a new adventure, and 2012 had plenty of adventures.
Where did you begin 2012?
We rang in 2012 at our friends and mentors’ house, Pam & Greg, with a bunch of our friends.
What random cool things happened in 2012?
Mr. Right traveled to India.
I started Texas Lovely, my online Etsy shop.
Mr. Right started a new real estate business.
We got pregnant.
Mr. Right became a licensed minister.
Mr. Right preached in California, and we turned it into a little vacation, visiting Colfax, Sacramento, and San Francisco.
We traveled to Marco Island, Florida for Mr. Right’s work and a little R&R for me.
I went to Portland, Oregon for a marathon race director conference.
We continued to teach ESL and recruited some really amazing new teachers to help us.
We planted a garden and expanded our patio. We had some success (hello rosemary and tomatoes) and some horrible failures (almost everything else).
Books read in 2011?

Alex Cross, by James Patterson

Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

The President’s Club, by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

11-22-1963, by Stephen King

Real Marriage, by Mark & Grace Driscoll

James: Mercy Triumphs, by Beth Moore

Do anything embarrassing?
I got asked if I was pregnant about a dozen times. You know, before I actually was pregnant. 
Did you know anybody who got married?
My best friend Katie…
Lori & Randy…
Amy & Andy…
Joe & Joy…
And Mr. Right and I helped coordinate Hannah & Todd’s wedding (which is why I’m wearing the apron).
Did you move anywhere?

Describe your birthday:

My 32nd birthday was one I’ll never forget. It was the day I found out I was pregnant. Well, technically, it was the day of my birthday party that I found out I was pregnant… and then my actual birthday (Thanksgiving) we got to announce it to both of our families.

So anyway, back to the day we found out. A week before I had a quick case of food poisoning, and I just couldn’t seem to shake the nausea. I was suddenly really tired, just couldn’t seem to bounce back after being sick. So I finally decided to take a pregnancy test… and, well, the rest is history.

After I got the good news, Mr. Right and I spent the rest of the afternoon in the Emergency Room – I was having some symptoms that are dangerous when you’re pregnant, my doctor’s office was closed for the rest of the week because of Thanksgiving, and they told me to go to the ER for tests. About four hours later, we had the good news that we were indeed pregnant, that everything looked fine, and then we had to go to my birthday party (Mr. Right had to leave me at the hospital to go home and grab my cake and a change of clothes, and I changed in the hospital bathroom), then go straight to my birthday dinner.

For two people who are terrible at keeping secrets, not telling folks at our party made us both want to explode. It was SO hard.

You can totally tell in these pictures that I don’t feel well. That was the beginning of this two months of non-stop nausea.

What’s something you learned about yourself?
I feel like I really stretched myself creatively through opening Texas Lovely.
I learned a lot about faith when Mr. Right quit his job and started a new real estate business.
Were you in school this year?
Mr. Right and I did some more ESL training (we’re officially certified now), and Mr. Right continued on in seminary. He’s down to SIX classes left (out of 98 hours total) and should finish in 2013… praise the Lord. I can’t wait to plan his graduation party – it’ll be a biggie.
Any new additions to your family?
In June 2012 I welcomed my nephew Luke James – first son of my sister Sarah and her husband Philip. Luke was a week late but totally worth the wait.
In August 2012 I welcomed another nephew, Jack Henry – second child to Mr. Right’s brother Grant and his wife Michelle. Jack Henry was a bit of a surprise, coming eight weeks early, but by the grace of God he is healthy and growing quickly!
Favorite night out?
Of course I have several…
While we were vacationing in Marco Island, Florida last spring, we picked up chinese food and took it to a pier overlooking the ocean. At sunset. And there was ice cream.
There was our anniversary get-away… a night at a fancy hotel, dinner at a fancy steak house, and then lounging around and doing absolutely nothing productive the rest of the time.
There was our epic camping trip – when Chef Right cooked me a gourmet dinner and breakfast. The weather was perfect, we took a long hike the next morning – the only downside to our romantic night under the stars was the group of 12-year-old boy scouts at the site right next to ours.
And then there was my secret date – the one that I planned – where I took Mr. Right to the Concert in the Gardens and had a big picnic. It was one of my favorite dates ever.

What do you want to change in 2013?

What, besides becoming a family of three? I’d like to relax more and worry less.


Where did you spend most of your time?
I spent most of my free time in 2012 sewing in my sewing studio. I knocked out 10 quilts – and I love each and every one of them.
Do you have a new year’s resolution?
Last year I was 0 for 3 on my resolutions. This year, I only have two:
1. Have a baby (I think I’ve got this one).
2. Create a more organized system for our mail/bills/family paperwork.
Did you get sick this year?
I had one ER visit for an asthma attack, and I’ve been quite sick in my first trimester.
Start a new hobby?
Nope, but I stayed plenty busy with all that quilting.
What are you hoping and planning for in 2013?
I can’t wait to meet our sweet baby – to hold him or her for the first time. I can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl, to decorate the nursery, to experience all of his or her firsts.
I know 2013 is going to be a very special year.

2011 Year in Review

It’s my FIFTH anniversary for my annual year-in-review. It’s crazy to look back at 20072008, and 2009, and 2010 and see how much life has changed. This was definitely a year filled with all sorts of new experiences.

Where did you begin 2010?

Mr. Right and I invited my sister and her husband over for a quiet (gourmet) dinner at our house, and then we rang in the new year just the two of us watching TV. And then about 12:15, Mr. Right had to go home. It was exactly one week before our wedding, we were exhausted, and it was SO hard to send my man home, knowing he’d move in the very next week. But that’s how it goes before you’re married!

What random cool things happened in 2011?

Besides getting married and spending the most glorious week-long honeymoon in Mexico with my man? We took several trips – a week at Rosemary Beach (outside of Destin), two different ranch getaways (one just the two of us, one with Mr. Right’s family), several trips to Oklahoma and Midland to visit family, and the family reunion in south Texas.

I had a big year at work – it was my hospital’s 50th anniversary, so I helped plan TWENTY special events in its honor. Mr. Right got a promotion at our church. We started teaching ESL classes and absolutely fell in LOVE with our students. I spent some good quality time with a few close girlfriends. I became a much more serious quilter. My sister got PREGNANT. We went from owning two houses to ONE. And, we became completely debt free (except for the house).

My Bachelor-Watching Bachelorette Party

Books read in 2011?
Secrets of the FBI by Ronald Kesller (audio book)
Charlie Wilson’s War by George Crile (audio book)
The Millenials by Thom S. Rainer and Jess Rainer (audio book)
The Man Called Cash by Steve Turner (audio book)
The Broker by John Grisham
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Confession by John Grisham
Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush
Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
White Crosses by Larry Watson
Prisoners of Hope, by Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry
The Broker, by John Grisham
Decision Points, by George Bush (audio book)
I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 (audio book)
Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins
Bossypants, by Tina Fey
Frost/Nixon: Behind the Scene of the Nixon Interviews, by Sir David Frost (audio book)
The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008, by Bob Woodward (audio book)
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen (audio book)
To Live is Christ – the Life of Paul by Beth Moore

Do anything embarrassing?
I lived with a boy for the first time in my life… so of course I did a lot of embarrassing things, being in such tight quarters with another person. My most embarrassing moment was probably the night I almost threw up on him.
Oh, and I cut bangs. It was a bad idea. Not sure it was embarassing, but it was definitely not my best decision. I’ve been growing them out since July… Next time I want to get a dramatic hair cut, please, someone do an intervention.
What scripture did you study?
I did a Precept Bible Study on Isaiah (woah nelly, that was a tough one!), a self-study on the life of Paul (with the help of this book by Beth Moore), and lately I’ve been going through the four gospels chronologically/simultaneously, which is so interesting to see the different stories side-by-side in each gospel. I missed teaching my old Sunday School class, but got to fill in for two weeks in December, which felt a little like coming back home.
Did you know anybody who got married?
Why am I blanking on this one? All I can remember is David and Kelly’s wedding, but I figure we went to more than that… if it’s yours I’ve forgotten… I’m sorry. It’ll come to me in the middle of the night. I know in 2012 we have THREE weddings in January and then I’m the maid of honor for a dear friend’s wedding in March.
I love this picture because you can see all of us sitting in the audience (left side).

Did you move anywhere?
Praise Jesus no. In fact, January 3 marks my fifth anniversary in the little house I built. I did gain a new roommate, though, and we did sell Mr. Right’s house, which in retrospect was rather quickly, but in the midst of it, seemed to take forever. We also did some fun projects around the house – I am thankful I married a very handy man.
What sporting events did you attend?

We really only went to a handful of Rangers games… and of course the Cowtown Marathon, a local triathlon, and a little 5K in the fall. Not a big sports year for us. 

Describe your birthday:

(My father-in-law and I have birthdays two days apart)
I turned 31 rather quietly with some family dinners on both sides, and a simple night out with Mr. Right for Indian food and then to see the newest Twilight movie. (He’s a champ for sitting through that with me… he’s not exactly that movie’s target market).

What’s something you learned about yourself?

Ha… oh my, I have learned so much about myself this year. Probably because I spent the first four months in bed with PLENTY of time to contemplate life while I was doped up on medication with a mild fever. I don’t miss that at all. 
I learned to appreciate my health, and to love on people who are suffering through long-term health issues. People tend to pay attention at the beginning, and then forget about you. But I had some dear friends who continued to seek me out, remind me they were praying for me, and come over and hang out with me when I didn’t have the energy to leave my house. 
I learned that my husband is even stronger than I thought he could be. He took such good care of me this year, showed extreme patience as I battled sickness and then insecurities that resulted from being sick. He showed me love in such creative and tender ways. One of my favorite memories was in late April, when I had been sick with my latest bout for four weeks straight with no relief, and he knew I was lonely. So, he invited my girlfriends over for a “Royal Wedding Rehearsal Dinner” and cooked us a gourmet meal and then retreated to his home office so that we girls could have some girl time. 
I learned to be a better prayer warrior, as we were faced with challenge after challenge – from my health issues to selling a house and the fear that came with paying two mortgages and not knowing when it would end. We were robbed, we lost loved ones, I wrecked my car, we faced challenges at work and school and sometimes we were so very tired, and yet God never forgot about us. He not only proved to be very sweet in some of our toughest times but he answered many of our prayers much more abundantly than we thought to ask. 
This week I read about how Jesus healed a blind man, and everyone had thought that the blind man was blind as the result of some sort of sin. Jesus told them that he had been blind, not because of sin, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3). I think much of what we went through this year was so that we could see the work of God displayed in our life. 

Were you in school this year?
I went to a weekend workshop to learn how to teach ESL classes. And Mr. Right took 800 hours of grad school. (not really… but I think he took 21 hours).

Any new additions to your family?

I gained about 100 new relatives when I married Mr. Right. It was so fun. Over Thanksgiving three of his teenage girl cousins stayed at our house for the weekend… we watched Selena Gomez movies and drank hot chocolate and talked about hair… it was so fun to fill our house with giggling girls.
Later, when I was unsure about a fashion trend, Mr. Right told me, “Don’t worry, I know what I’m talking about – Selena Gomez wore that.” Things I never thought I’d hear come out of my husband’s mouth!
Favorite night out?
Mr. Right came up with the concept of Top Secret Date Nights, and those were some of my favorite evenings. He comes up with a date, sends me a calendar invite (because we live by our Outlook calendars), and then taunts me relentlessly about how much fun I’m going to have, but how he can’t tell me where we’re going. Sometimes I can wear him down and he spills the beans (because he’s as bad at keeping secrets as I am), but sometimes he stays strong and I don’t know where we’re going until we get there. This year we took secret dates to the Japanese Gardens, to the drive-in movie, to the Modern Art Museum’s special indie film series, and we went on a shopping spree at North Park Mall. Of course, not to be outdone, I planned a Top Secret Date for Mr. Right, taking him to the aquarium in Dallas. 
My other favorite night in was Valentine’s Day, when he turned our living room into a candle lit cafe, with our table in front of the fire place and a gourmet steak dinner and chocolate cake for dessert. It was something straight out of a movie. 
And then there was the symphony…
Oh, and there were two picnics at the river that were uber romantic…

What do you want to change in 2012?

I want to be a more patient wife. I want to be more flexible when my plans change and relinquish the need for control over my calendar. These are all things I’ve come to realize I struggle with after living in close quarters with my man – it’s amazing how many things you can hide from yourself when you live alone.

Where did you spend most of your time?

In the kitchen, cooking with Mr. Right (or watching him cook). Which would explain why I gained 15 pounds this year… and which is why we’re both training for a half marathon and watching what we eat now. Most of the time. (on the night this picture was taken, Mr. Right made THREE different types of Christmas cookies… from scratch… and two different types of icing.)

Do you have a new year’s resolution?
I want to do better at sending birthday cards, thank you notes, and bringing hostess gifts when we go to peoples’ houses. 
I want to run a half marathon – scheduled for the end of February.
I want to take some quilting classes (I finished three quilts in 2011 and am very close to finishing two more).
What was your favorite purchase?
My new sewing machine – I call her Magnolia. She’s electric.
Did you get sick this year?
Ha… I took 11 rounds of antibiotics and THEN got on a daily dose of antibiotics in early May that I’m still on… so I’m not sure how many additional rounds that will include… basically I glow in the dark.
Start a new hobby?
I did some intense quilting… and LOVED it! I finally got the nerve to try quilting on my machine (before that I did exclusive machine piecing and hand quilting), and yesterday I learned how to free-motion quilt, something I had been so nervous about. I love it. I am happiest sitting at my machine, listening to a book on tape and sewing something beautiful to give away.
A birthday present for my sister Sarah
Christmas present for Aunt Donna

Christmas present for my niece Ella
My first attempt at free-motion quilting, on this vintage quilt top Mr. Right found at an antique store… this quilt is for my man.
I’ve still got to finish hand-quilting the appliqued hearts on the side. It’s a gift for someone special in 2012.

What are you hoping and planning for in 2012?

I am excited to watch our ESL ministry grow – we are already praying that God will bring us new volunteers so we can serve even more students. I am looking forward to gaining a new niece or nephew in early June. I’m excited to be taking THREE trips with Mr. Right (one to Florida for a conference, one to watch him preach a revival somewhere far away – we don’t know where yet – and a mission trip to help a church plant in San Francisco). I’m excited to be debt free and to turn our focus toward paying down part of our mortgage and buying Mr. Right a truck with a back seat (because someday he may need a place to put a car seat… or two or three). And I’m looking forward to a second chance at being newlyweds.
Happy new year!