It's 2011! I cannot believe it. To be honest, my days are so confused with all of the traveling and holidays that I kept forgetting yesterday that it was New Year's Eve. But, here we are, January 1, 2011. God has been so kind to us in 2010, and we have so much exciting stuff to look forward to in 2011. I can't wait to see all that the Lord has in store.
I thought I'd reflect a bit on what has happened in the past year, and I want to give God the glory for all He has brought into our lives and accomplished.
January 2010- We started off the year surrounded by our families. My parents and sisters came to Knoxville where we celebrated the new year together along with Jonathan's family. We enjoyed watching the kiddos grow: Nora moved to a big girl bed, Liam started pulling up in his bed, and life certainly got busier with two active children. Also, we were able to dedicate Liam at church!
February 2010- Liam started army crawling this month. Also, we had a ton of fun with snow days and snowman making. We also struggled with sickness a good bit during the winter months. Liam, unfortunately, was quite prone to ear infections, so it was definitely a season of perseverance and trusting in God's goodness time and time again. But, praise the Lord, there were no need for tubes! Also, Jonathan and I went to North Carolina to help host a baby shower for our precious friends, Dalyn and Jessica Webb, as they were expecting two miracle twin babies! We were so excited to be there for the shower and to see how God answered so many prayers!
March 2010- Well, we had a few "starts" this month. Nora began the process of potty-training and I began to train for a 5k. (Which never happened, I'm sad to say. Maybe after this baby comes and things settle down, but let's not count on it. Ok?). Liam moved up to full-blown crawling, and Jonathan was able to do lots of traveling for work. Jonathan and I also began training for Care Group Leadership with our church, which we were really excited about! This was such an awesome thing for our life, our marriage, our family, etc. AND, Jonathan completed his first half-marathon! Quite an accomplishment and a goal he had been training for months to complete!
April 2010- As far as I can recall, April was filled with enjoyments of the warmer weather. We spent LOTS of time outside, playing in the front yard and with our next door neighbors Matt, Anne and Dillon. We continue in Care Group Leadership training and were seriously praying for direction regarding Jonathan's job at UT and future endeavors regarding purchasing a practice. Little did we know all that God had in store for us before the end of the year.
May 2010- By far one of the highlights of our year was the trip Jonathan and I took to NYC for our sixth year anniversary. We spent some wonderful days experiencing it all together, enjoying a few Broadway shows, acting like true tourists, and eating some divine food! We also got to meet up with my family for my sister's graduation from college! Such a fun time. In other HUGE news, May also meant that Liam Piper turned one years old. We celebrated with a Mexican themed Cuatro de Mayo party for our precious son!
June 2010- June was such a fun month! I just love the summer and all that comes with it--trips to the fountains in Market Square, frequent stops at Bruster's for ice cream, visits from Nana who's off from school for the summertime. This year, I was able to go on a short getaway with my closest girlfriends to Florida. What an amazingly relaxing and refreshing time! While I was away, Nora decided she was ready to start wearing panties through the night (although we were not yet poop-trained), so a huge potty-training milestone came and went. In sad news, the Bradshaw family lost our precious Great Aunt Hazel in June, just days before my trip to Florida. We were all able to drive down to Mississippi for her burial--oh, how we loved Aunt Hazie!
July 2010- What didn't we do in July!? We celebrated July 4th with tons of family and friends. Jonathan and I repainted our kitchen TWICE! And, the kids and I and my momma made the drive down to New Orleans for a week to visit family and friends. We had a great and busy and exhausting time! Jonathan and I also finished up our Care Group Leadership training during this month and found out that we would be leading a group in the near future.
August 2010- Liam started walking during this month, just before turning 15 months old! We also spent many days in the sun, swimming at Granna and Geegaw's, and Nora had swim lessons at UT. Jonathan planned a great family fun day for us at Splash Country, which we hope to be able to do again this summer, but with a newborn, it might be much more difficult! It was also during this time that Jonathan found out about a dental practice in Lenoir City that was for sale, so we began praying about that and looking into the opportunity there. Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention that Nora Kathryn turned THREE in August! THREE! We had a Fancy Nancy swim party to celebrate, and just days later, Nora was FULLY potty-trained. Whew! Glad to have that over and done with. Praise the Lord!
September 2010- This month things with the Lenoir City practice began to look very positive and very likely to happen. Jonathan and I were talking about trying for baby #3, but with all of the unknowns with the upcoming practice, we decided to hold off. (God had other plans, obviously). Nora continued with swim lessons, Liam graduated from a walker to a full-blown maniac, and we all rediscovered our love for Blue Bell Ice Cream. (We even got our next door neighbors hooked). We were blessed with visits from my folks for Labor Day weekend. And, our friends Dalyn and Jessica came into town for a visit along with the TWINS!!! In the midst of all of this, we took over a Care Group with Jonathan leading. Funnily enough, some of our closest friends were in the group we were assigned to, and we were so excited to begin an adventure and building relationships with all of these people. We had no idea how blessed we would be by our precious group! Finally, I must report that September is the month that our Nora girl began her ballet lessons. Such a big girl, she is!
October 2010- Well, this was certainly a busy month! We went pumpkin picking with our Care Group the first weekend in October, and found out that day that we were PREGNANT with #3. Amy, Jonathan's sister, got engaged! And, last but not least, WE BOUGHT A DENTAL PRACTICE! What an answer to several years of specific prayers and hard work and pursuing God's perfect plan for us. We (I use that term VERY loosely) had to completely demo the precious set-up of the building and a renovation was done before Jonathan was able to open in November. Crazy, buzy, but exciting times! Also during this month, I want to recall that we had a bit of an emotional roller coaster as we didn't know if our pregnancy was going to last, but God answered our prayers and sustained the life in my womb. We also found out that a very, very close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer (a young wife and momma), and another friend of mine from college found out that the baby in her womb has a very serious condition. Talk about times where all you can do is cry out to the Lord and pray for miracles, comfort, and faith! I learned a lot this month about trusting in God's goodness, his Perfect Wisdom, and his Love for this children, even when we don't understand. Very thankful for October.
November 2010- Another busy month as the business renovations were completed and Jonathan opened up for business on November 15th. There were lots of adjustments and late nights and last minute trips to Lenoir City, but it is amazing how God carried us through those weeks of construction, Jonathan leaving UT, starting at his new practice, and all of us learning to adjust to this new life. Apart from all of that, my grandmother Gloria passed away, meaning I made a last minute trip down to New Orleans to be with my family. It was a sad but wonderful day, and I truly cherished the uninterrupted time with my Mom and sisters. Then, before we knew it, Thanksgiving was upon us, giving us an opportunity to stop and thank the Lord for all that He had done!
December 2010- Well, the Christmas decorations came out, the Christmas shopping managed to get done, and life was super busy. We had several snow days and even some really icy weather! Our biggest excitement of all was going to New Orleans for Christmas with the Johns' family (which we just returned from and our still catching our breath). December is always a whirlwind for me with Christmas parties and shopping and celebrating and going here and there. I love it so, but it goes by too quickly.
So, here we are. One year come and gone, and so many things to look forward to:
More adjustments as we build up Heritage Family Dentistry.
More children as we welcome #3 in mid-June.
More family in that Amy is getting married in April.
Growing children as Liam turns TWO and Nora turns FOUR.
I trust that there will be trials. I am certain there will be lack of sleep. I know that Jonathan and I will grow as husband and wife and parents. I pray our love for the Lord gets deeper. I prayer our relationships grow stronger. I anticipate all that the Lord has in store even though we don't know what's to come. Thanks for being a part of our 2010!