I put together our 2012 calendar today, which involved sifting through the past year’s photos and selecting snapshots of our favorite 2011 moments. And I know I say this every year, but dang, it’s been a good year. This has probably been our biggest travel year ever, with vacations in Florida, Chicago/Minneapolis, and Europe, and lots of little weekend getaways to places like San Francisco, Vancouver, and Portland. We’ve shared countless meals with close friends, we’ve made special trips to connect with family, we’ve felt our hearts overflow with love, both given and received. I’ve drawn and painted, I’ve cooked new things, I’ve enjoyed successes and new opportunities at work. I’ve laughed a lot. But there have also been moments when big, dark clouds overtook our happy, sunny skies – there have been times this year when we’ve felt deep, deep loss, when our hearts have broken for friends and family that are going through things we can’t fix. There have been times when I’ve cried to God, asked him “why?” and heard nothing but silence. And then I take my fingers out of my ears and remember His faithfulness – He reminds me of his presence time and again, in a hug from Shane, in an encouraging note from a friend, in a spectacular sunset or park full of autumn leaves. Indeed, I have much to be thankful for.
Tonight we’ll close out the year with friends and champagne here at home. There may be a dance party involved. There will definitely be plenty of laughter and joy. Peace out, 2011. It’s been real.