For me and many of those close to me 2009 was a year of heartbreak, lost loved ones, babies that we never got to hold, lost jobs, financial distress, lost homes and grim diagnosis. But there were also moments of great joy, the cry of a new baby, graduation parties, baby's firsts', new brothers and sisters in Christ and celebrating lives that were well-lived and rewarded with an eternity with our Creator.
I want to take this time to look back at 2009 so I can set goals and move forward in 2010.
January - We were blessed to have my Mom, sister, nephew and niece come and visit for a week. We had a very crowded house, but made special memories! The one funny thing that stands out in my mind was when Emily and I decided it would be a good idea to take a trip to the Brandon Mall. We have always been get up and go people, especially when it comes to shopping :-) Mom was too weak to walk but was willing to ride in a wheelchair, so off we went. Emily pushed Mom in her wheelchair, and I pushed Joel and Andrew in a double stroller, carried Caroline in a chest carrier and was 7 months pregnant! I wish we had a picture, because I am sure we were quite a sight!
February - We found out that my Mom's brain tumor did not respond to chemo or radiation and we discontinued treatment and she became a Hospice patient. I had my first contractions with Joshua and we spent days at the beach with cousins!
March - I celebrated my 23rd birthday, we celebrated Andrew's first year of life, we celebrated what would be my Mom's last birthday and we welcomed a 7lb 1oz Joshua Stephen into our family! Spencer's Grandma Blunden went to be with the Lord.
April - My Mom, brothers and grandparents came to Florida and we had Andrew's first birthday party. Spencer celebrated the big 30. We went to Andrew's second and Joshua's first parade.
May - The boys and I spent most of this month in Ohio. Andrew started walking this month, and My mom was placed in a hospital bed at my Grandparent's house because she could no longer walk. We were all able to attend Matthew's last and Nicholas' first Cabaret with FFE. Matthew graduated from Findlay High School, we were all there to watch and also had a big ol' party to celebrate!
June - Spencer and I celebrated 3 years of marriage! We painted in the inside of our garage and tried to stay cool! Spencer broke his pinky finger while playing kickball and had to have full-blown surgery to get it fixed.
July - Joshua and I went to Ohio to visit and help with my Mom and we watched the fireworks in my Grandparents back yard just like I did every single year growing up. Andrew got spoiled staying with Grandmom for the week while I was away!
August - Jay, Em, Joel, Caroline, Matthew and Nicholas all came for a visit. Joshua was dedicated to the Lord. We hosted a baby shower for my cousin and welcomed her new daughter, Ava Lynne into our family. I returned to Ohio with Joshua to help with my Mom.
September - I started my blog! This was also my first attempt at my own garage sale that failed miserably!
October - At the beginning of the month I travelled with my Mother-in-law and the boys to Indiana to visit my sister-in-law. We had a wonderful visit with cousins, aunts and experiencing a true Fall! We went from Indiana to Ohio and were able to be with my Mom. On October 16 my Mom went to be with the Lord. We celebrated her life on earth and found peace knowing she was with the Lord. We had a birthday party for my sweet niece, Caroline Grace who turned 1 year old and got to dress up for Halloween at the Zoo with our cousins, Isaac, Joel and Caroline.
November - Spencer and I went to Gainesville to see Tim Tebow play in his last home game where the Gators beat the Seminoles! We also celebrated Thanksgiving in Florida followed by our annual outdoor Christmas movie.
December - Spencer had follow-up surgery to have the plates and screws in his pinky removed. I shopped for and made some Christmas gifts. We attended Christmas parties. Travelled to Ohio and spent a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my family. We thanked God for the highs and lows of the past year and welcomed 2010 with sparkling grape juice!
For some 2009 was a year of abundant blessings, for some it was filled with sorrow and pain, for me it was both. But I know that through it all God was and is sovereign and I hope that my life was a testimony of my faith in Him. May God bless you and your families in 2010!