2012 Highlight Reel (Wow, this took me forever.)

I just heard that tomorrow was New Years Eve. What can I say? We must have BIG plans.

This year brought the most new readers yet and I have been thinking back over 2012 and wanted to review a few highlights, and the posts that, as always, only told part of the story…Thanks for coming along.


We welcomed 2012 on Highway 64 driving back from a friend’s wedding in Memphis. We listened to audiobooks on the kindle I gave Travis for Christmas. He turned around and gave me one for-no-particular-reason or perhaps Valentines Day. I began E-reading and have not looked back.

I also made a profound statement when I named Going To Target Less as my New Years Resolution. I admit I did remarkably better this year. I think I made four trips in December. That sadly is a strong improvement.


I did a brief guest series on Place featuring some of my favorite people writing on their exotic location. 

I mused on Lent a bit and named some items I would give up.

In one weekend, we hosted the Love and Respect Conference at our church, Olivia threw up so I missed it, we met a couple visiting from Canada who are now friends living in Williamsburg, and I took a positive pregnancy test, thus derailing some of those Lent goals. (Did you wonder why I didn’t bring up the topic again?)

I also posted 14 days of Love, which actually made me like Valentines Day, and practice churning out posts.

Oh and I became entrenched in the world of Downton Abbey.


I paid homage to our stump, soared with my Super Girl, and overthought that TinkerBell movie. 


I wrote for the first time about being married to a pastor, got the closest I get to being political, went to the Outer Banks for a glorious weekend, attended an outdoor wedding moved inside, and freaked out and cut off my hair.


I read The Prodigal Son and Taylor Armstrong’s book. I’m diverse like that.  We went on vacation to Florida, celebrated Mothers Day, and somewhere in there my sister had her darling baby, and I decided to apply to seminary…


I finally told all of you I was pregnant, puzzled over Hello Kitty’s lack of mouth, missed Tom Hanks in Virginia Beach and TIm Tebow across the street, and explained to Olivia that we were not re-incarnationists. My brother’s family moved back to the East Coast, I turned 31 and read Anna Quindlen’s book to commemorate it and Travis and I celebrated nine years of marriage.


I hit my summer rhythm of barely posting but did manage to let you know that we were having our third girl, read and re-read Ben Conner’s Amplifying Our Witness, and completely reconfigured our entire house. 


After dreaming up the solution to all vacation conflict, I really felt the transitions that were upon us, said goodbye to the Ritners, hello to grad school and sent Sophia to kindergarten. Looking back, August was a lot of a lot. I’m surprised I wasn’t in Target everyday coping..


We traded in our car for a van and then headed to Rockbridge for some zip-lining. I did the Jess Jiao Smith Jewelry Giveaway, and made an open-call for names which received more participation than I could have imagined. (People still give me suggestions.) I also wrote a letter to my teenage self, regretted being too heavy for Olivia’s fantasy world and confessed my commitment to the Fast Food Nation.


We visited Jamestown, P.F. Chang’s, and Yankee Candle to ask Santa for name suggestions. My Dad assembled The Most Impossible Crib of All Time, and the Clydesdales paraded down the street.


I learned to receive, celebrated my baby turning four and becoming a big sister, joyously welcomed Leila Luisa, and got honest about post-partum depression. 


I warned Christmas to be a bit more kind, was surprised by a Moose, and saw the sweet smiles of our Baby Girl. A school, a town, and each and every one of us were silenced by tragedy and I watched my oldest turn six, only to realize this parenting gig never lightens, only changes form. My brother and sister-in-law welcomed a precious son making this next generation a force of its own:


2012 was a big one. I’m grateful for the goodness, challenges and growth and am ready  to move forward:

2013…show us what you’ve got.

 Have a wonderful Happy New Year! and thanks for reading. What were your favorite posts?




What I don’t know…is vast.

I realize this more and more because…I have a six  year old.

Did I mention she turned six? No. I didn’t…it was an emotional weekend and I never quite got here to get reflective.

But right now,  I will say this. She makes me acutely aware, each and every day of what I don’t know. 

1. The States. Wow. She can sing that states song backwards and forwards and to the tune of any Christmas song. I still struggle with placement of those ones in the middle and am pretty weak on capitals. She’s moving on to presidents now and I have got to step up my game. 

2. Counterfeit money and the juvenile detention system. We had a long discussion today about what would happen if she tried to pass off her play money as real. I found myself describing the court system and character witnesses. I wasn’t sure how young she could be and be sent to a Juvenile Detention Center. She was curious about who would teach her there.

3. The Earth’s Core. 

Hello, things I never think about. The Earth’s core. Can we go there? What does it look like? Can you get to China by way of THE CORE. (Anyone else see post-apocalypse NBC miniseries potential here?)

Though I am  proudly still able to distinguish between stalagmites and stalactites., thank you very much, I’m kind of disappointed in my ability to remember stuff I’m sure I’ve learned. Yet, even more so, I’m struck by how little wondering I do these days. 

But while I reflect on that, let’s go back to that whole criminal justice discussion…I’ve always been able to do some serious uninformed talking on social issues.

The True Mystery of Christmas…

lies in discovering which gifts are most loved.

These kept Olivia entertained all morning.

One after another, unpeeling the tabs, sticking the bandage on, declaring it old and starting over.

And why again has holiday shopping placed me at the edge of a fiscal cliff?  Next year, Band-Aids for everyone! Submit your character preference early.

I’m holding out for the Les Miserables line myself..Javert, Marius, Fantine, the Thenadiers…how comforting next time I get a paper cut!

Hope your days continue to be jolly, and the melt downs are at a minimum, or not in public.

P.S. Colonial Father Christmas (I think that’s who we believe in in these parts) brought me a petite new laptop…this could mean many MORE posts because I can use it anywhere without plugging in or throwing out my back…you have been warned.


Welcome Christmas, for real this time.

“Yet with the woes of sin and strife

the world hath suffered long;

beneath the angel strain have rolled

two thousand years of wrong;

And man, at war with man, hears not

The love song which they bring

O hush the noise, ye men of strife

and hear the angels sing…”

It’s been a Long December in many ways but today interrupts and reminds. Wishing you joy, peace and a bit less noise…

Merry Merry Christmas friends…

When peace shall over all the earth

Its ancient splendors fling,

And all the world send back the song

which now the angels sing.”

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

(P.S. : Who could ask for more…than three small girls in red velour?)