31 December 2011

in review.

in lieu of a functioning brain, i'm channeling 2008 and bringing back this end-of-year meme. you can thank me later.


1. what did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
ate brussel sprouts. (i had my doubts, but shannan does not lie.)

2. did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
mostly not, i'm sad to report. and still i'm bound to make more.

3. did anyone close to you give birth?
no new nieces or nephews, but i have BIG plans for k&b. (y'all have some major catching up to do: aim for triplets.)

4. did anyone close to you die?
church family, but i'll catch them on the other side.

5. what countries did you visit?
ethiopia. twice. also, i visited the fine airports of the netherlands and germany plus a lovely landing strip in sudan.

6. what would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
insight into what makes my five year old hum.

7. what date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
july third. seventeen months after first spying our son's deliciously impish face, we got to bring him on home.

8. what was your biggest achievement of the year?
recognizing that i do not hold the Secret Keys to All Parenting Wisdom. which y'all were clear on, but it was groundbreaking for me.

9. what was your biggest failure?
all the times i had the chance to love someone up, but wasn't in the mood.

10. did you suffer illness or injury?
nothing notable, apart from the occasional suspicion that a certain small someone has KIDNAPPED MY SANITY.

11. what was the best thing you bought?
plane tickets to ethiopia. twice.

12. whose behavior merited celebration?
the little gal who sat next to us on flight number two (or maybe three) and pretended my son was not draping his elbow, his hand, his forehead, the entire-lower-half-of-his-body across her lap every twenty seconds.

(where is 13? i have lost 13. alas.)

14. where did most of your money go?
plane tickets to ethiopia. twice. (it's a recurring theme)

15. what did you get really, really, really excited about?
plane tickets to ethiopia. twice.

16. what song(s) will always remind you of 2011?
in your arms. mandi mapes. you knew i was going to say it.

17. compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? tired-er.
b) thinner or fatter? well, my jeans still zip, so there's that.
c) richer or poorer? richer in the ways that count for something.

18. what do you wish you'd done more of?
affirming my children. making the people around me feel valued. push ups. (copied straight from 2008. still rings true.)

19. what do you wish you'd done less of?
nattering at a child who turns off his hearing the second i say his name.

20. how will you be spending christmas?
i spent it with my church family, home family and michigander family.

21. where did you begin the year; and where will you end it?
at home watching the ball drop (while the kids said, that's it? we stayed up for that?); hearty-partying with our church small group in the innards of our living room.

22. did you fall in love in 2011?
i continued to choose love, so yes.

23. how many one-night stands?
see #22.

24. what was your favorite TV program?
sesame street. that's a beautiful hour, i tell you what.

25. do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. what was the best book you read?
best rereads: tozer's pursuit of God, marchetta's jellicoe road
best new reads: schwab's near witch and stockett's the help, which technically i only read half of because guess what i bought? tickets to ethiopia. twice. and then all normalcy fled to the hills.

27. what was your greatest musical discovery?
it turns out i don't actually have time for great musical discoveries.

28. what did you want and get?
everyone together now: tickets to ethiopia. twice.

29. what did you want and not get?
tickets to fiji. not even once. :(

30. what was your favorite film of this year?
the last of harry potter. fare thee well, hogwarts.

31. what did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
i am thirty five, which is my best age yet, i think. i saw some of my favorite gals at prayer group, ate lava cake made by the mister, got to see my group of teen girls at church, played voicemails from my little brother and a bff from high school.

32. what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
a heightened ability to see beyond myself.

33. how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
my personal fashion concept is that the general public should be happy i managed to get rinsed off and dressed, period.

34. what kept you sane?
God and friends who pray (and knit).

35. which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
pink. (she wins most years.) (i know, but don't judge me.)

36. what political issue stirred you the most?
i am pleading the fifth on this one.

37. who did you miss?
see directly below.

38. who was the best new person you met?
little m.

runners up: angelia and lynn and netsanet and landon and mindy and tesfanesh and mieca and jeff and carin and chris and zemecha and andy and lisa and davy and erika and mike (and tariku) and heather and justin and sarah and tizita and elizabeth and asabech and candi and derek and bethie and little m’s friend binyam and lindsey and kevin and holly and casey and steve and meskele and katie and mitike and a whole LOT of people i had to travel 8k miles to find.

39. tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
frankfurt airport has the best smelling soap. this may seem piddly, but when you spend fifteen hours there, even the small things take on the sheen of miracles.

40. quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
if you call us to the fire, you will not withdraw your hand. we'll gaze into the flames and look for you.

happy 2011, friends. see you all in the new year.


happygirl said...

I always love your images. I love your continuing love for your family. I'm so glad I found you on the blogs. I wish a blessed 2012 for you and yours.

Leah Ann said...

wishing you and your family the most wonderful of 2012!

i certainly hope little m's sweet friend, binyam, can make a trip to visit him very, very soon! :)

Bless by Tone said...

happy new year to you too - love reading your blog!

Carolyn said...

My #32 would be your blog...
In a year that lacked plane tickets to anywhere and frequently required seeking beauty in my own backyard- I found what I needed with one hand wrapped around a cup o' mocha and the other clicking on your latest post.

Thanks for the transparency that allows me, several states away, to feel I've checked in with a treasured friend. One who never fails to touch my heart and inspires my creativity. Your camera has pushed me to explore new angles. But it's been your word crafting that has stirred something buried within me-deflating the accidental journalist (a byproduct of years of workplace writing) and replacing it with a playfulness that makes my fingers tingle and causes bubbles of laughter to well up inside. All that wrapped up with the understanding that it's a gift from our Abba who despirately desires to see us learn to love. Shalom Shalom to your home in 2012.

Jerusha said...

#22 is my fave, though I enjoyed the whole list. Great blessing and joy to you all in 2012!

Unknown said...

I love your meme, would you mind terribly if I borrowed it? (linking back to you, of course). Love reading your blog and look forward to following you through 2012!

Rachel~Wildflower Photography Studio and Wildflower Creative said...

what a lovely collection of photos! :) happy new year!

Hannah said...

so fun! happy new year! what a sweet year the Lord has given you. full of joys and sorrows and victories and failures. yet he is steadfast and His love toward us never fails. Praise the Lord for it all.

Candi said...

I love love love this (and you!)! Something it reminded me of: when Bethie set off the alarm in the handicapped bathroom at the airport in Germany...oops. Nothing like an angry German custodian glaring at you, as you drag your Ethiopian child from a blaring bathroom.

Farmgirl Paints said...

you know i love every little thing about you right? happy new year girlie. it's going to be a-maz-ing!

LBWV said...

plane tickets to Ethiopia. TWICE. Yup, same here! Many blessings to you in the new year!

lisa said...

I love you my dear Nicole!

grey rose (they/them) said...

lovely. you bless my soul. praise jesus, for you and the work he is doing in and through you!
happy new year, sweet nic. xo

Jodi@ underthegeorgiasun.com said...

love the 2011 photo collage... I think I could look at your pictures all day and never tire of them...

I pray you have a very blessed 2012!

always and forever in my prayers. :o)

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I've been so slack with my blog reading this year, and it's beyond luverly to read this and catch up on a little of what I missed.

Happy New Year!

amy luella said...

that was a great recap. #8: i am sure you two have much more than it feels like. you are just approaching so differently this time. working to reshape 5 years of learning vs. starting from day one. #16: not surprised.=) happy, blessed 2012, owens!

Heather said...

Crazy and beautiful.
Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I love this collage, it sounds like you had a busy, blessed year!!

Mommy Emily said...

you, friend, are beautiful. and amazing. and how do you do collages like this? and i have your lovely faces on my fridge now, and smile, every time i see it... love you nic.

grey rose (they/them) said...

happy new year, nic!
praying for you xo