2012: Year in Review

I've been sick all week -- actually most of my vacation. You know, the one in which I dreamed about catching up with friend, going to see live music (hey, I did get one karaoke session in) and getting completely rested and rejuvinated. Ah ha ha. Maybe being relegated to the couch is what I needed.

I haven't been good for much, but sitting on the couch and reading. And flipping through photos from the year. From the photo evidence it looks like I ate a ton of oysters, went to a lot of beaches, had some fancy cocktails, and took a bunch of photos of two pugs and one child. So, not bad.**

January: Annual tradition of going to the circus with the family, a trip to Vegas with Stephanie, and a coastal SC drive, in which I saw my college friend Liz, ate oysters at Bowen's Island, and caught this lovely view from Botany Bay:  

Bowen's Island Oysters (Folly)

Botany Bay View (Edisto)

February: Teaching a writing class at Nate's school. The spa at the new Baltimore Four Seasons. Taking Nate on his first trip to See Rock City, despite that it was so cold we couldn't feel our fingers. The lowlight of that trip was hearing about Whitney's death while huddled under the covers at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Just one of those moments.

Untitled

March: A phone call saying, "Hey, you want to meet Patrick Demspey?" And then, the following day, this:

McDreamy!!! 

April: Nate's sixth birthday party (bowling style). IMG_3896

May: Celebrating eight years of being married to Shane, who puts up with me despite a whole lot. Traveling to New York for cousin Brendan's wedding, during which we took the Circle Line with the family around the Statue of Liberty. Also got to see the Keith Haring exhibit at the Brooklyn Musuem of Art. I did cry that day, as we learned of Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch passing. Just saying.  

Untitled

And spending an epic two weeks traveling the Gulf Coast for story research, during which time I met Alice Cooper. (Not related to the story.)

IMG_5217

June: Eating a lot of food in New Orleans. Seeing my great friends Steve and Nancy, who were showing Steve's work at Jackson Square. Some of my favorite Nola Eats

Also, a drive through Middle Tennessee, where I got to visit with my new friend Kristen, go to my first Bonnaroo (where I saw Radiohead), and sit in the, well, "a" General Lee. Untitled

July: Celebrating my nephew, Henry's, first birthday in Jackson. 

Henry's first birthday

August: Family trip to Sandestin. Being surprised on my 36th birthday by Mom and Dad givine me a piece of Steve Joynt's art -- the Gulf Fish -- which I'd fallen in love with in New Orleans. And Nate starting first grade without being turned away at the door like he was the year before!

IMG_1032

IMG_7473

September: A drive down FL's historic A1A, where I got to visit with my oldest friend in the world, Jennifer. 

IMG_7869

October: Dressing like Wonder Woman on Halloween. Going to the Burger Coalition's sixth-month anniversary dinner at Jones Valley Urban Farm. Visit Tampa (and seeing Courtney, Frank, and Blake in the process), and duckng into the gorgeous Dali Museum, which I hadn't seen since the renovations. Beautiful.

IMG_9152

I also judged The Hangout's Oyster Competition, eating a few dozen oysters in the process. It was fun, but I had to declare an oyster-eating moratorium after this. (To be rescinded in 2013.)

IMG_9257>

November: Having the entire family home for Thanksgiving. Having Norman King, R.D. cook an incredible bird. (Though he claims the secret is in the half-bottle of Prosecco I poured on it. Per his request.) 

IMG_1674 DSC00424

December: Pulling off our third annua Santa party though I was close to end-of-year exhaustion.

DSC00652

Forgive me if I forgot a great part that included you. 2012 was filled with friends, family, and long and winding roads. I'm so thankful for each experience.

**Yes, there were some lame parts. I got sick way more than I wanted to. I hit a few walls.

But I also got the great gift of grace, which I really started learning about it my MORE group last winter (through Highlands), and was bolstered through the reCreate conference (which I wrote about here).

By the time I attended the LIFE Retreat this month, realized that the thrashing around I'd done this year was done, finito, in the past. But that's a whole other post. Grace is great. Great is what's getting me unstuck and moving toward the new.

And the oysters? The oysters aren't bad either. 

 

IMG_7049