Saturday, December 31, 2011

A 2011 Recap {in pictures}

Had a blast building forts with our couch by the front window

 Took a trip up to the snow with the girls and C.K. 

Before we knew we were moving we worked hard in our garden to dig out the mint that took over from the year before.
Annabelle's clown-like personality begins to shine bright, bright bright.
 Annabelle turned one and we celebrated with family with an "Over the Rainbow" party.
 We made a big move and Eleanor insisted on carrying boxes upstairs like us. "I'm so strong!" she insisted. "Look at my muscles!"

For spring break we took a trip down to visit Brandon's parents and celebrate my birthday.  Trying to take a family picture is always a treat.
 Game night with the family. We play rummikub while the girls play with the dominoes. So much fun!
 The canal by our new house is ripe for beautiful pictures, and makes for a perfect location for our Sabbath afternoon walks.

Annabelle enjoyed Easter a much more this year, but her joy in the day couldn't even compare to the excitement Eleanor had in the day.

 Got together with family for cousin Chloe's fourth birthday.
 Annabelle like's trying to feed her sister, like Eleanor always liked feeding Annabelle. Eleanor's not a big fan of this, kind of like Annabelle was never a fan of her sister feeding her.
Ran the Avenue of the Vines 5K a good seven minutes faster than the year before. It made me remember why  I love running races (but never enjoy running on my own). 

June was a busy month. Started out with a trip to the local zoo to see the Lorikeets.
We ran the Zoo Zoom 5K race and I shaved 4 minutes off my time, coming in just shy of 30 minutes. Running in races is the only way I can really enjoy running. Brandon however, rocked the race and came in 1st for his age group.

 Went up to Tahoe, and Eleanor actually enjoyed walking in the sand. Hallelujah!
Our best friends and former neighbors moved across the country. We were (and still are) heartbroken by their move.

Went on an Alaskan cruise with Brandon's family.  It was an adventure of a lifetime. 

 Eleanor turned three and we started the 'birthday balloon' tradition.
 Third birthday party with the family at friends Lisa and Neal's house. 
Took a trip down to visit the southern California family.  We stayed with Great-Grandma Shull for a few days and had the first ever Shull family reunion.  It was so much fun meeting new family for the first time.

 Devotional time with Great-Grandma Odell in the morning when she reads to the girls from their "Little Friend."
 Finger painting in the bath tub.  The easiest, cleanest way to play for toddlers to play with paints. 
Celebrating six years of marriage on a celebratory horseback ride made me realize it had been too long since I'd ridden on the back of a horse.
Our annual trip to Yosemite with the senior class of the Academy Brandon teaches at. This year the girls and I only made it up for one day: in time to climb Sentinel Dome and take a family photo.
 Family worships on Friday nights are my favorite.
 A trip down south for friends wedding took us to Brandon's favorite park and climbing tree as a child. 
 Celebrating Brandon's birthday
Celebrating Brandon's birthday with friends and a cake.  Annabelle got some good practice blowing out candles. She'll be a pro by her 2nd birthday.
 Everyday we take a walk with Grandma in the morning. Some days Eleanor pushes the little stroller, other days she rides her trike, still others she wants to ride in the 'big' stroller. So many options, so many days to choose.
 Classic scared Eleanor face at the pumpkin patch
 A visit to my mother's house was long overdue. Her yard is straight out of a storybook.
Celebrating Halloween at a friends house with a bonfire and s'mores. 

 Early morning wake ups necessitate looking at family photo books in bed together before starting the day
 November was National Novel Writing Month and everyday I committed to write to at least 1,667 words to reach a 50,000 word goal. Eleanor had fun pretending to write when I wrote.

The girls chowed down on their Thanksgiving meal, and we enjoyed a lovely meal and time spent with family, loving and laughing and just being. 

My roommate from college married her soul mate and got to spend a 'girls' weekend with wonderful friends who live way too far away. 
 We made cookies and passed them out to neighbors and Brandon's co-workers.  It was so much fun going with Grandma and the kids door-to-door passing out Christmas cheer and meeting neighbors who we pass by all the time without really knowing.  Our immediate neighbors 'retaliated' by giving us delicious fudges and chocolates and now I'm planning a neighborhood dinner.  If you want to spread love, where better to start but with the people who live right next to you?
Eleanor insisted on rollerskating to each of the neighbors houses as we passed out the Christmas candy. She held onto the stroller for balance. Annabelle wasn't convinced that was such a good idea.
Celebrated my sister's birthday with lemon pie (on request) and Eleanor couldn't let us forget that she is three.

We thank God everyday how blessed with are with the friends and family we have in our lives and the adventures and love that we have shared with you throughout this year. 

“In life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” - Eva Burrows

Happy New Year friends! I pray that your home is blessed with the love that binds, eases friction, and brings harmony in the coming year (and all the years to come).