Christmas is over for the year. All the toys have been assembled and boxes and wrapping paper have been disposed of. Christmas dinner dishes have been cleaned and put away and the leftovers are nearly consumed. Visitors have gone home and it's time to sit back and relax. Time to digest the year's events and take on the weight of our accomplishments and, dare I say?, failures.
This year has been a crazy one. It was only about a year ago that we moved back to Utah. McKay and I got remarried and he jumped right into being a dad. He and Gabe have bonded in a way and speed I never thought possible. It has been a tough journey in some ways. A lot of adjustments have been made and relationships forged. Time to reflect:
I started the year working full time for Apple iOS Support. In March, I took a new full-time position at Mozy. I've made some great friends here and have learned a lot. The job can be challenging and I love that. I have a new found love for crafting/DIYing (thanks to Pinterest, I believe) and I got a fitness center membership. For reals, yo. The blog evolved a bit and I got a custom domain! I also did my very first giveaway!
McKay started the year with a 17-credit semester at UVU, including ROTC/Military classes and after-school labs. He took a couple of summer classes and then went straight from those to a month and a half of LDAC (Leader Development and Assessment Course--the Army's way of thoroughly testing you to make sure you're ready to commission (become an officer) in the coming year). After that, he jumped into another full-time semester at UVU as the unit's S1 and right-hand man to the Cadet Commander (who happens to be his brother). He spear-headed several big projects that turned out very successfully. All of this on top of drilling every month with the 786 Quartermaster Company (Army Reserve unit). He is also a full-time, devoted father and husband. Ladies and gentlemen, I totally scored. My husband is amazing.
Gabriel has grown leaps and bounds in the past year--both physically and cognitively. 2011 meant Gabe's first taste of truly cold weather. And snow. Yikes! He learned and mastered over 50 signs (thank you Baby Signing Time!!) and has even started to read/recognize letters, small words, colors, and shapes. (You may not realize how awesome my kid is yet...wait for it.....he JUST turned two. He is amazing.) He is already in size 7 shoes. Do you hear me? S.E.V.E.N. And do I have to remind you that HE JUST TURNED TWO?? He found a love for coloring, Elmo, and hopscotch and developed an adorable, cheesy, crooked smile. Gabe has also grown to love swimming and kicking and throwing balls of all shapes and sizes. His second birthday was an Elmo-themed party at Kangaroo zoo, which he hated (he was absolutely terrified of the bouncy houses and playgrounds). He constantly surprises us with his capacity to understand and continually learn more about the world around him. I have the cutest, smartest, most awesomest baby that ever lived and I smother him with kisses constantly.
We went on a few fun vacations this year as a family. In the spring, we went up to Yellowstone with some friends of ours for a few days. We had a blast tromping around in the "pre-season" snow (feet and feet and FEET of snow, y'all) and tracking down various wildlife. Gabe and I took another vacation during the summer while McKay was at LDAC. We went down to Arizona to visit Gabriel's grandparents. We did a lot of shopping as well as some boating and swimming. Gabe's Ti-ti had her baby shower while we were there, so we got to celebrate the imminent birth of her sweet baby girl - and they did it in style, too! (Seriously--it was the biggest baby shower I've ever been to.) Then in November, McKay and I took a weekend getaway sans-baby to Midway and stayed at a Swedish-inspired resort in the snow! It was a much needed, relaxing few days.
In conclusion, 2011 brought with it a lot of adventures, lessons, stress, new friends, fun new hobbies and interests, a new car (along with the "death" of an old one), a new job, lots of homework, new computers and operating systems, and lots of laughs. I took about a million pictures of it all and thanked my lucky stars that modern technology has brought us digital photography and external hard drives.
2012 is going to be another big year for us. We've got a vacation to Hawaii planned for the spring and then McKay will graduate (finally!) and commission. We'll be moving to Texas (oh, how I've missed it!) and getting new neighbors, friends, and jobs. We may be expanding our brood (we'll have to wait and see about that) and I'm going to see if I can convince my hubby to let me get a puppy. We've got some big plans and high hopes for 2012 and I can't wait to dive in!
I hope all of you had as great a year, filled with as many lessons and good times, as I did!
Here's to hoping we can top it in 2012!!