Wow, looking back over the last year a lot of changes have happened in my life. God has definitely blessed our family and me in particular. Thank you Lord for everything. To GOD be the GLORY!!!
1. Jon and I renewed our wedding vows. WOO HOO!. After 10 years I FINALLY wore my dress. And let me say, my man looked mighty handsome in his tux not to mention our son in his tux (along with his cousin) looked adorable, Janessa and Jodi were beautiful, Jason was handsome and the rest of the party looked amazing too! The night was magical but I forgot to do some things during the ceremony that I really wanted to do, like give Janessa my original wedding band. I did give it to her a few weeks later but I would like to have done it during the ceremony (love seeing her and her daddy get all emotional...lol). When I married her Daddy 10 years ago, I gained a daughter that I wish I could claim as mine. I am blessed to have been given the chance to assist in raising her. I know she has a mother already but I hope she knows I love her like my own and am very proud of the young lady she has become. I am sad that many parts of our families weren't able to be with us that evening but we did have a wonderful time with family and friends. Thank you ALL for coming that night. We were so happy to share that evening with y'all.
2. LJ accepted Jesus into his heart, Jon was baptized and we joined a new church. For 7 years we had attended a church here locally but never felt like it was a church home. Well, the injury in #3 led us to Crowfield Baptist Church. When I woke up on June 26, 2011 in a lot of pain I just couldn't go to the church we attended (God had other plans for me) so we opted to visit CBC instead. Jon immediately liked it! And now almost a year later we are involved and really feel like it's a home for our family. We love the people! Jon has made lots of new friends (buddies who love to fish also) and I'm now teaching Sunday School and AWANA. I LOVE Children's ministries....and I love the kids I have the privilege to work with every week. Not to mention we have the most amazing Children's Ministry Director on the planet! Love you Crystal!
3. I started running. STOP THE PRESS!!!! Yes, Jess, the woman who spent 10 years in the worlds greatest Navy and HATED running so much she swam the PT test using the backstroke is now a runner. (honestly, I HATED running!!!) After I finished the Couch to 5k program on June 1, 2011, I signed up for a 1/2 Marathon at the suggestion of a couple of crazy co-workers who said I could do it. (Why do I let these guys talk me into stuff??) I was skeptical but their enthusiasm and encouragement were infectious so I signed up. On June 25, 2011, Mom and I ran a 5k to benefit a boy I know who has some severe health issues. It was the first 5k I'd ran since my Navy days (and I only did one then). I ended up pulling my hip flexor in that race. I pushed myself WAY too hard (NOTE TO SELF: Always warm up, don't go out too fast, don't sprint and always listen to your body). Two and a half months later (and a month and a half before the 1/2 Marathon) I was STILL in Physical Therapy. I did end up doing the 1/2 Marathon and I did finish (Okay Tyson and Ron, you were right, I could do it..thanks guys). Tyson, Chris and her daughter Megan ran also that day along with Lori and her sweet husband Charlie. Unfortunately I didn't get to catch up with everyone (since I DID finish later than them..lol...Hey I said I was a Penguin not a Kenyan) but we did have a blast and I GOT HOOKED on running. Next up: Diva 1/2 Marathon in May with Chris, Megan, Yvette and Tonya (a friend from high school).
4. Janessa is graduating high school. DOH! Cannot believe that the little girl who I met 12 years ago is now graduating high school. She came home last night with her cap and gown and man, I almost cried!!! Her Daddy just said "Man"...I think he's definitely in shock.
5. I am learning to quilt. Nuff said there. My mom is amazed that I am learning to sew. LOL. She honestly thought I was from Mars while raising me because I didn't want to learn to sew or cook and now I'm not bad at either of them. Love you Mom! I am almost ready to start the actual quilting of my first project. I am basting right now (would be finished if I read the directions correctly). Nervous about the first one but excited also. ALREADY have planned out the next two quilts. One for my step-daughter using her old t-shirts to commemorate her years in school and swimming and then I think I am going to make a special quilt but I've not figured that one out completely yet so I'm not going to say anything about what I'm thinking until I'm sure what I am doing (stay tuned). After that, it's one each for my nieces and nephew and other family members. It's a slow process but I am loving it. Plus the classes at People Places & Quilts are a blast and I love working with the people there.
6. I have found some wonderful friends. I am closer now to my cousin Teresa that I met about 15 years ago. She and I are two peas in a pod almost literally (GO CATS!!!). I also talk to my other cousin Michelle more nowadays thanks to Facebook and have my best sister Jodi always on my mind. She inspires me daily with her ability to juggle family and staying in amazing physical condition...you rock sis! I am so blessed to have such wonderful women like these three and my girlfriend from work Carel and my neighbor Bambi to count as friends/sisters. Add on top of that the ladies I've formed friendships with thru work, church, running and mutual friends (Lori, Yvette, Chris, Crystal, Samantha, Meg, Charity, Arline, Sarah, Natalie, Jen, and many more...) and I'm just swimming in girlfriends...something that has never happened to me before.
7. On a sad note, I found out recently that one of my closest friends from high school and a gentleman I dated a couple times in college died a few weeks ago. Matt was such a wonderful guy and I loved him very much. We lost touch when I joined the Navy and he got married but I always wondered how he was doing. He had a beautiful smile that always could warm up the coldest room. It is an understatement to say his death affected me very much. Matt, I will be praying for your family and I'm sorry you aren't with us anymore. I pray you are at peace now and resting in our Lords arms. I wish you knew how many people's lives you affected by your ever present smile and how many people truly loved you. I know we lost touch many years ago but I never ever stopped caring about you and wondering how you were doing. I will be praying for your family and your beautiful children. I know they all miss you very much (as do I). Hugs and much love my friend, you are missed immensely.
So, that's the last year in a nutshell...I know I didn't hit all the events but as you can see there were some big changes and events all of which affected me personally. I'm going to pick up on Jess' Random Thoughts and try to be creative in it. Today's random thought isn't so random but here it goes:
Be a blessing to someone. Encourage them. Smile at them. Hug them. Tell them you love them. Most of all, show them the love that Jesus showed us.
Thanks to Lori for fueling the blogging fire in me. Girl, you amaze me! If you have a chance, check out her blog. She's just starting out but has some great insight and is such a sweet soul (http://lorithelittlerunaway.blogspot.com/).
Have a wonderful day everyone and see you soon.