As has become our tradition, we rang in the new year last night with our closest friends here at home, stuffing our faces with all manners of junk food and making our predictions for 2013.  We raised our glasses at midnight and then sprawled out in the living room for another couple of hours while Shane, Jack, and Daniel solidified plans for their latest, greatest business venture – $6 churros, coming soon from a cart near you! Stay tuned for more on that (or don’t – I love their ambition, but am skeptical about their powers of execution…).

We brunched this morning with the Rusts and the Chens and soaked a bit in the sunshine we’ve been missing for the last couple of months.  I remember spending New Years day with these same folks five years ago (minus the little ones) in Jack and La Verne’s South Lake Union townhouse.  How time has flown…

I spent the afternoon finishing up our calendar, pulling together snapshots of 2012’s highlights.  I was doing some year-end reflecting yesterday and felt heavy with the knowledge that too much of the past year was spent in my metaphorical “hole”.  But then I see these captured moments of joy spread out before me, and I am reminded that God showed up with his bag o’ blessings in my life time and again this year.  He was there in our lazy summer evenings at Jefferson Park, where we laid on a blanket and drank wine and listened to the Giants beat the Dodgers.  He was there in those precious moments spent with family, in that afternoon that Elise and I spent painting on the sunny porch of our Orcas Island rental.  He was at the California weddings of two of my oldest friends, and he was at Quest Church when Jon and Adrienne said “I do” – He even followed us to their reception, where we all danced until we were sweaty and exhausted, cheeks sore from so much laughter.  He was on Whidbey Island during on the weekend that Shane and I celebrated our sixth anniversary, allowing us to fully absorb just how much we adore each other as we wrapped ourselves in blankets and watched the sun set from our sandy patio.

While I was initially eager to shut the door on 2012 and to focus on looking forward rather than back, instead I’ll pause for a moment to give thanks.  To remember the good stuff.  And to find comfort in the fact that even through the hard times, whether I sensed His presence or not, God still showed up.