1. Being an aunt (for the first time) to a beautiful, loving little niece. I love every moment with you, Allie!
2. Making progress in the adoption process....each step has brought us great joy. I'm blocking out all of the frustrations and focusing on all we have learned and grown.
3. Learning that I can survive something I doubted I could. When my husband lost his job last April, all of the times I had said, "I don't know what we would do if that happened to us," flashed before my eyes and I could hardly breathe. We got through it just fine. We are stronger and smarter for it. And, God showed us....yes, you can do it!
4. Spending an awesome week's vacation with our extended family. Time together is so valuable and the laughter we share is a priceless blessing.
5. Taking Reed to Nick Saban's Football Camp. Watching my son have that much fun, and spend his first few nights away from us was both a blessing and a struggle. That camp experience was one where we all grew!
6. Growing closer to God with my children. I am so grateful for my faith and for the faithful, loving hearts of my husband and my children. To know that my children love the Lord and trust Him, is the greatest of all gifts. And, to share life with a mate that loves and trusts the Lord as I do...wow-I can't imagine life any other way.
7. Sharing saturday afternoon football games with our big, football loving family and our friends. We have so much fun and we laugh and have fun....win or lose!
8. Watching my husband LOVE his new job. God works in mysterious ways and we didn't know the blessings he had in mind when we suffered the loss of his job months earlier. We tried to be thankful for the struggle while we were in it....but thankful feels differently on this side. We thank God for bringing this new, better job to him.
9. Realizing, unfortunately through tragedies in friends lives, what an amazing community we live in and how lucky we are to be surrounded with incredible friends.
10. Watching young children trust and learn and explore and grow and question and create in my classroom. I'll admit that in a room with nineteen 5-6 year olds, there are times I want to pull my hair out.....but there are countless moments every day when I look around the room and think-this is awesome and the fire inside me to teach and mentor young learners is reignited! What a gift!
11. Lastly, the joy and gratitude I feel for so many things..... friends and family that show me love and kindness and loyalty, a job that I love, my church family that I love and grow in Christ with, and recognizing God's hand in all things. Feeling gratitude is the BIGGEST part of all blessings. Thank you God for another wonderful year....all of the ups and all of the downs. I know that 2011 will be another great year!