Here’s to 2011

We cannot believe we have come to the end of yet another year…
and what a fun, full year it has been!

We’ve enjoyed our first full year in our new home, along with all the fun ‘firsts’ that come with it…
like taking in the beauty of the ice-covered lake from our kitchen window {a far cry from the partially naked, hot-tub soaking neighbor we used to endure} while soaking up heat from the woodstove {which we installed in January}, or watching our 11 gorgeous peonie bushes burst into full bloom while the kids run and play on our {considerably larger} lawn, or taking advantage of our proximity to the campground and hopping over to their lake for a refreshing dip during the blazing summer months, or harvesting our first baskets of peaches and apples from our little fruit trees. 

We just love this place and feel exquisitely at home!

Both my hubby and I turned 30 this year…and we are, quite frankly, thrilled to bits about it.  Bring on the wisdom and smile lines…we’re tough, we can handle it!

Bean turned 4 in July and started preschool this Fall.  She attends school on Tuesdays and
Thursdays and, despite her initial hesitancy, has grown to love her teachers and classmates. 
We are so enjoying being a part of ‘school life’, and all the social, developmental and community-developing activities this has provided.  It has been such a delight to watch her blossom into the intelligent, compassionate, creative little lass she is.  And she’s a tremendous big sister!

Bug, who turned 2 in August {and has been off all his heart medication since the 1st of the
year – thank you, Jesus!}, is thoroughly enjoying the attention of being an ‘only child’ on Bean‘s
school days.  His vocabulary is expanding every day, and his sense of humor right along with it! 
He has us in fits of laughter on regular occasion, and just basks in the limelight. 
He is a delicious mix of tractor-loving, tool-smashing, mud-encrusted tyke, and tender-hearted, sister-kissing, dancing-and-singing little gentleman.

We are so loving being a family of 4, and all the different ages and stages each new season brings.  

We were gifted the most wonderful yellow lab, Marley Mae, over the summer and fast fell
in love with her {along with the amazing family who gave her to us}. 
The kids adore her and she has added quite the furry spark to our family!

We went camping as a family for the first time this past summer and were pleasantly surprised by how much we loved it!  We look forward to many more camp-side memories with our fast-growing babes over the next decade {and then some}.

My parents moved into the renovated ‘man cave’ in early Fall, promptly renaming it
the ‘love shack’, and community living has been enjoyed, once again, by all.

My hubby was transferred in October from his post near Saginaw {ugh} to a more central Michigan post {insert
sigh of relief here}.  We are so excited about the effect this change of scenery, and “clientele”,
will have on our family, not to mention Joe’s enjoyment of his job.  And we just love the families we have met there already!

Along with becoming a U.S citizen in March {which officially makes me the whitest African American you ever did see}, I’ve been writing, speaking and designing most every chance I’ve been given {which includes the opportunity to speak at a women’s conference in Texas in 2013}.  With that being said, I’m really learning the fine art of paring back to focus on my primary roles as a wife and mom.   I’m really enjoying the “simplicity” of laying down some of the good stuff, in favor of truly investing in the best stuff.

We’ve spent a lot of time helping my parents with their little church plant;
everything from facilitating marriage and parenting classes, to leading worship and teaching on occasion. 
It’s been a full year indeed, and we are eager to see where God leads us as we venture into new territory in 2012 {ambiguity intended}.

What a fabulous year it’s been…what a glorious year it will be!

We are tickled turquoise as we hop onto this fresh pallet and are more aware than ever of God’s incredible
sweetness, provision & plan for our lives.  He is faithful!

Here’s to an incredibly blessed new year for you and yours, precious friends & family!

McMillan Magazine 2011