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2011 in Pictures

Ever since I’ve been blogging, I’ve tried to recap the year – the good, bad, and ugly – and look toward the promise of a new year.

This year, since I’ve been doing “Week in Pictures,” I’d like to add a few photos as well.

January brought a big, albeit disappointing, book signing for me at a big craft fair in Los Angeles, and a lot of medical tests for me. The best part of January brought a new baby for our friends Pat & Lea, and my husband’s 40th birthday and my son Sean’s 10th birthday. TEN!

February brought the birth of my cousin Jen’s daughter, Stephany. I got to hang out with Jen and her kids while she was in the early stages of labor, which was fun for me, actually, never having gone through “natural” labor myself. It also brought Valentine’s Day and lots of activities and sugar for the kids.

March I got new glasses. Japan had a horrible earthquake and Tsunami. Not much else happened. If you read my statuses on facebook, apparently I was very forgetful and missed a few things that were important, so we’ll just skip over the rest of March.

April we escaped to Santa Barbara and had Easter. Wayne and I don’t get “date nights” let alone “getaways” very often, so when my parents offered us a weekend of babysitting, we jumped in the car and headed up to taste some wine. The kids all had piano recitals, including Maddie’s first. They all did fantastically and made us so proud. April also brought our friend Dwayne to L.A. for a book signing. We got to see him in action and have him sign our book at the LA Festival of Books. Extra cool because when the two of us first met, we both had books in the works, and now we’ve both been published.

May brought Gracie’s First Communion, Mother’s Day, and Maddie’s kindergarten performance. My oldest and dearest friend Kristi came to visit, and Gracie got to be Mother Earth when her class did a Planet rap and saw the stars. The world was supposed to end – thank goodness it didn’t, we went to JPL’s Open House, and  attended my cousin’s wedding.

June brought Gracie’s 8th birthday and a big trip to the American Girl store. Sean stepped up and asked to sing in the 4th grade show, my good friend Dan took me on a fabulous day in Los Angeles visiting celebrities, we went to the aquarium, celebrated Father’s Day, and started our awesome VACATION to several California National Parks!

July wrapped up our vacation, including a short but sweet visit with Matt and Tia, and the kids had their most successful swimming lessons ever. I was vindicated for the bad signing at the craft fair with an awesome signing at Comic Con that ended with a short sweet visit with Jeff & Candice, a friend and I started a knitting group, and I tearfully said goodbye to Harry Potter.

August was full of great visits with great friends! My friend Suzanne came to visit from DC, an old childhood friend, Scott, invited us all to a Dodger game. We hadn’t seen each other since high school, and it was a fun, easy visit!  Another good friend, Dwayne, came to visit. He was here for a big gallery opening and was able to come by for an evening, which was great. He and his awesome family lives across the continent from us now, which is much too far. A bunch of friends got to help welcome our friend  Tracey’s baby with a shower – something much too fun, and we squeezed in two Hollywood Bowl shows – one with my parents. We rounded out the end of the month with our anniversary and the kids’ first day of school.

In September  Maddie started soccer, and loved it. We all remembered the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in our own ways, I finally saw a neurologist about my lifelong headaches, launched the school fundraiser, and we failed at apple picking, although were successful at raspberry picking. (Sometimes you don’t always get what you want, and that’s okay.)

October  brought another visit from a friend – Wayne’s work buddy, Russo, who lives in New Orleans. We celebrated my brother’s 40th birthday with the whole family together, which hasn’t happened in awhile. We headed to the pumpkin patch – twice, because the first time didn’t count. I had an MRI, I had another successful book signing event in Riverside, the girls started tap class, and we celebrated a retro-style Halloween.

November saw Maddie and I getting older (good for her, not so good for me). We even got a visit from the cops on my birthday, which was… fun? Maddie got her first American Girl doll and was in heaven. I started going to a massage therapist for my headaches… trying new things. The kids and I joined the  Brownies for a hike, I got to help the Daisies with a craft, and we all had Thanksgiving in San Francisco with family, and did sight-seeing this time, which was lots of fun.

December brought a freaky windstorm that led to a few days of no school and no power. The girls performed in their  holiday show, and Wayne and I went to his first work party in three years, complete with a night away in a hotel. The kids and I went down to my parents’ house for our annual cookie baking tradition with Grammy and Aunt Candice, we had class parties, and a lovely Christmas with the whole family.

There were down times this year, and I had my share of times I just wanted to throw in the towel, or sleep for a whole day. The girls have gotten sick more than I’d have liked – we’re hoping for a much healthier 2012, and sadly my neurologist has flown the coop and I need to start all over again. I had some sad sad times this holiday thinking about my grandparents who have died, and missing friends who are far away. But overall, I can’t complain too much.

We’re healthy. We’re happy. We’re loved. We’re sheltered. We’re clothed. We’re fed. We’re warm. We’ve had more good than bad, and hope that 2012 can bring more of the same.

In no order, some of my favorite photos of the year.

Happy New Year!




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