A Year in Review

Happy New Year! In preparation for writing this post, I went back through my pictures from each month of 2011. It was fun, yet also very humbling. Fun because I was able to see all of the incredible things we were able to do and how much Riley grew and changed throughout the year. Humbling because as the Psalmist said it so well in Psalm 8,
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
   the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
   and the son of man that you care for him?
He has blessed us so much this past year, and we are so unworthy! How thankful I am for God's steadfast love and mercy! And now for a walk down memory lane...

In the first month of the new year we experienced our 2nd snow of the season
 And participated in a snowman contest with some of Daniel's family who live in Arkansas and Tennessee (his uncle in Singapore was the judge)

 In February it snowed yet again and we celebrated our 1-year anniversary at FBC Hughes Springs
 I was also able to travel to Newton, MS (a day late because of the snow, I might add) to see great friends from Seminary, Shannon & Jonathan McDuffie and their new baby, Cole.
 Later in the month I got to chaperone a youth girls' retreat to Lake Charles, LA

  Thanks to a wonderful church member who traveled to New Orleans on business, we were able to enjoy a delicious King Cake
 Gigi also came for a visit!
 And we celebrated my 32nd birthday, but there aren't any pictures of that, for some reason.

 My best friend and college roommate, Kristen, and her boyfriend at the time (husband now), Richard, came for a visit. We drove down to our Alma Mater, Baylor, and had a great time reminiscing about college days.
Riley participated in his first Easter egg hunt. After finding his first egg, he opened it and realized there was candy inside. He was so excited about the candy that he didn't care about looking for more eggs. We had to do some looking for him!
Every April our town and 2 other towns nearby hold the Wildflower Trails celebration. There's always a parade, and this year, Daniel and Riley got to drive a tractor! Riley (and Daniel!) was in heaven!
Much to our surprise, we found out another Bramlett was on the way!
And after Easter we headed to Mountain Air, NC for a much-needed week-long vacation in the mountains with my parents.

Our first glimpse at Baby Bramlett #2
We spent a lot of time outside this month...building a garden (which burned up in the drought), working on the yard, and just having a good time together.

In June we sent our first team from FBC to Peru. Daniel and Riley didn't go, but we were there bright and early in the morning to see them off.
Summer arrived in full force and we spent as much time as possible in the water! Thankfully, several of our church members have pools that we're able to use.
Daniel started to feel a little left out, so he decided to share in the pregnancy fun :)

We attempted to find out whether B.B. #2 was a boy or girl, but he/she would not cooperate! We did find out we had a healthy child, which we were thankful for, but we were a little disappointed we'd have to wait several more weeks before trying to find out again.
On the 20th our big boy turned 2!
And my parents made a trip down from Maryland to help celebrate his birthday.

After many years of praying, I was finally able to go on a mission trip back to the land I love - South Africa and Swaziland

Wildfires broke out close to our town and in our county and the county next to us around 60,000 acres burned
Daniel turned 31 on the 8th and he requested I make an Easy Skillet Apple Pie
We said goodbye to Daniel for 9 days as he led a team of 4 back to Peru
To break up the monotony while Daniel was gone, my friend Shannon & her son Cole (who was now 9 months) came to visit us.
And the greatest excitement we had in September was finding out B.B. #2 was a GIRL! Elizabeth Grace (Ella) Bramlett would be her name.

My best friend, Kristen (on the far right), was getting married in November. Since I would be 36 weeks pregnant on her wedding day and unable to travel, I went to Jacksonville, FL for her wedding shower in the middle of October. I'm so sad I missed the wedding, but I'm very thankful I was able to be there for this special time.
The happy couple
On this same trip I was able to spend one night with two of my best friends from high school, Summer (right) and Liz (left)
And then, of course, there was Halloween! We don't have any good pumpkin patches around us, so Riley and I had to settle for going to the local grocery store to pick out some pumpkins. He still had a blast!
For Halloween we dressed up as an oven with a bun in it (me), a baker (Daniel), and a loaf of bread (lil' man)

Daniel had Veterans Day off, so we took a quick trip to a nearby Christian camp, Sky Ranch, and had one final getaway before welcoming Ella into our family.
Some very sweet ladies in the church gave me an amazing baby shower
I took what would be my last preggo shot (unbeknownst to me at the time!) - 37.5 weeks
We met Daniel's Mom and Grandmother in Texarkana on Black Friday. We walked around the mall for several hours. None of us knew then that the very next day Ella would grace us with her presence!
At 38 weeks, Ella Grace was born! 
November 26, 6 lbs 11 oz, 19 inches
My parents came a couple of days after Ella's birth and were able to stay for 2 weeks. They were such a huge help!

We decorated outside
And inside for Christmas!
Brotherly/Sisterly love and quality time
Family Christmas pic 2011
And Ella turned a month old!

What a year! I never dreamed at the beginning of last year that we'd get to experience even half of these things! I especially didn't think I would be sitting here with a 5-week old! I can't help but wonder what this next year will hold. No matter what it brings, I know the God of the Universe is in control of it all, and He will walk beside us day by day.

...in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me...
Psalm 139:16

No comments:

Post a Comment