Monday, January 2, 2012

2011: The Year in Review

2011 was a big year for our family.
It was one of change.
It brought situations that required me to be brave in ways I’ve never been.
And pray about things I’d never even imagined.
2011 started pretty normal, but the second half felt like some crazy ride that wasn’t ever going to stop.

Here we go.

It was cold in Ohio!  So we bundled up and played in the snow a lot.



I made Hannah a super kid cape
She loved it.


Shawn spent a lot of this month traveling for work.
He went to Russia, Prague and Germany.
Hannah started swimming lessons.

swimming lessons_thumb[3][1]
I made this cute bag and matching flower.

Oh what fun we had in March!
We flew to San Antonio with Shawn while he was there for work.
We spent a day at a dude ranch in Bandero, Texas, the Cowboy Capital of the World.
Or, as we call it, “Hannah’s Dream Come True.” 


I got to meet up with Julie, a blog friend turned real life friend.

me and tina picnik 2_thumb[2]
I did a lot of crafting this month. 
I made a belt for Hannah and some cards from leftover fabric scraps.
And I worked with another blogger at A Little Knick Knack to put together a series of sewing tutorials for beginners.

We celebrated Shawn’s birthday and Easter.
I was in love with Hannah’s dress and shoes.


Shawn’s company asked him to do a three year international assignment in Luxembourg.
We considered it, thought about it and prayed about it. 
We didn’t tell anyone other than our parents.

We celebrated Mother’s Day.
My obsession with kids crafts involving handprints began when we made these:


One of my favorite projects was this faux necklace shirt:


At the end of May, we began sharing our news that we had decided to accept Shawn’s company’s offer to move to Luxembourg.  We received excitement and support from most, but a slightly negative reaction from some.  I won’t lie – this was disappointing.

We celebrated Father’s Day.
Hannah wore the sweetest dress ever.


But June was a rough month.
Just four days before Father’s Day, we found out that I had miscarried our second baby.
A few months later, I got up the nerve to write about it on the blog.
Since then, I have received dozens of emails from women offering support and sharing their own stories of loss.

I began to heal.
We celebrated July 4th with gusto, knowing it would be our last one in America for a few years.


I turned in my resignation at my job and became a full time stay at home mom
Plans for our move to Europe began to fall into place.

Hannah went to Vacation Bible School and I (jokingly) became Administrative Assistant to my husband as we started to prepare for our big move.
Hannah had some firsts:
First Passport, horseback riding lesson and visit to the dentist.



Aunt Traci visited from California.


Shawn’s company sent us to Luxembourg for a house hunting trip.
While we were there we found a house, registered Hannah for school, set up our bank account and got a tiny glimpse of just how greatly our lives were about to change.


We celebrated my birthday and 11 years of marriage.
We said goodbye to Shawn’s grandma and had to have a difficult conversation with Hannah about death, heaven and eternity.  She understood far beyond what we ever would have imagined.
”Did Jesus take her to heaven on a horse?”
”Do you think Great Grandma found our baby when she got to heaven?”
“What kind of dinners does God serve in heaven?”
Oh, that little girl.

The movers packed up the contents of our house and loaded them onto an oversea container.
But not before we refinished and reupholstered our dining room furniture.
Shawn left for Luxembourg at the end of the month and Hannah and I stayed in the US for a few weeks.

I got our house ready to be rented out, sold our cars and took care of a million other details.
We spent a morning at the apple orchard and I tried out my new camera.
(I have a lot to learn.)

Shawn had his first funny situation as a foreigner, while I spend the better part of the month searching for our lost cat.
Hannah was shocked to find out that costumes can be purchased at stores and not just made by moms.  She went trick or treating and turned 4.



On her birthday, Hannah and I flew to meet Shawn at our new home in Luxembourg.
(With a lot of luggage.)


Oh, let the foreign fun begin.
We basically spent the month of November embarrassing ourselves and learning how to do daily tasks in a foreign country.
I developed a strong dislike for the metric system.
Aunt Traci visited us for Thanksgiving and for the first time ever she and I made the entire meal ourselves.  Then we took a train ride to Paris and acted silly.


Christmas was in full swing in Luxembourg and we enjoyed every minute of it.
We visited Hannah’s school for a meet and greet day.
I continued my obsession with kiddo hand and footprint crafts.


We returned home to the US to celebrate Christmas with our families. 
We saw Santa twice and on the second visit, Hannah hopped right into his sleigh with him. 


Later this week, we’ll be saying goodbye to our family and friends and heading back to Luxembourg.
Hannah will be starting preschool when we return.
So, welcome 2012.
Let’s see what ya got.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I got teary eyed when Hannah asked, "Do you think Great Grandma found our baby when she got to heaven?"...Beautiful Innocence. I pray God blesses your 2012.
    Becky S.

  2. Y'all have had a rollercoaster year. I really look forward to seeing what 2012 brings to you. And Becky's right- Hannah is beautiful innocence.