I couldn't limit it to just 10, okay?! I know the "Top Twelve Highlights of 2010" does NOT sound very hip, but have I ever tried to be hip? Uh-huh, yep, those who know me are choking, laughing and gagging at the thought. I really try to keep it real, folks. The thought briefly skated through my mind to do "The Top (How Many Ever) Lowlights of 2010," but that list would be way too long, boring, silly, self-centered, not a good example to my children or a good Christian witness, and just plain whiny. So, even though I try to "keep it real," I also aspire to focus on those things that are "praiseworthy, pure," God-honoring, and positive. Because I wanted to put links and pictures in my list, I wanted to break my list up into two parts. I do try to keep my posts on the briefer side. You're all busy people and so am I. Here are my first six, but by no means the bottom six. There's no ranking of which items had the most significant impact, just that they all affected me in a powerfully positive, life-affirming, and/or extremely helpful and practical way.
1) I bought an I-Pod Touch in April with creative credit card reward financing and a coupon. Even though my first IPod broke down after just a month + of usage, I did get it replaced with another new one. I love this thing! It helps me keep track of my daily activities and commitments, shopping lists for different stores, monthly and daily tracking of certain activities and events, has a version of the ESV bible on it, allows me to take quick and easy-to-store sermon notes on it, functions as an alarm clock and a timer, and lets me listen to music and podcasts. I also play Pac-Man every now and then when I'm really bored and out somewhere. It really helps me in so many ways. I would be lost without it now.
2) Having my sisters move closer to where I live. I see my younger sister,Sarah, and her husband and two kids much more often now. We have dinner together regularly, go places together, go to movies and coffee, and just hang out together. Really, really cool. And then my older sister lives close to my favorite 7-11. I regularly see her boyfriend David getting a refill with his Big Gulp while I'm getting mine! She and David also see my kids more and I'll drop off goodies every now and then and chat about all sorts of stuff with them. They are great people. I love them dearly and am glad they're so much closer.
3)Re-doing our backyard. This was a big project in the early Spring. It turned out very well. I now have several vegetable garden areas and a hummingbird and butterfly habitat I really enjoy gardening. It's a lot of work, but I'm energized and fulfilled by it. We've also been able to host more large family gatherings because our backyard accommodates so many people. The view from our backyard is simply breathtaking, too, especially in the winter.
4)Starting my new blog The Domain of Delightful Domesticity in the spring. It's fun! It's validating to me to look back over my posts and see the fruits-literally- of my labors. I also know that I can tell my girls in the future that on my blog they'll find recipes, "how-to's," and recollections of all sorts of things we did as a family. It allows me to track projects I complete and feel that life is not just an endless series of dishes. laundry, toy pick up, etc.
5) I purchased two Hillsong CD's this year. These two CD's have some of the best worship songs I've ever heard on them. The encouragement and hope I've felt while listening to them is hard to communicate in words. I bought tickets to the Hillsong concert in March 2011 at the Staples Center (I'll have to bring my Lunchable!). Elena, Camille, and I are going as a late birthday present for me. So.Excited.About.That.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8wY6BPFoWU&feature=related6)The Mother/Daughter Retreat at church went well. I signed up for this duty in September of 2009 not realizing what I had gotten myself into. It was a challenging task, I almost backed out, and learned A WHOLE LOT through this process. The amazing thing is that the retreat went fairly well, people had postive things to say about it, and I felt satisfied about it overall. I had some very helpful women take on certain tasks. I enjoyed putting together the goodie bags the most. God was faithful in helping me keep my commitment. It was a lot of work, however, and really took a toll. Yes....I learned a lot from that experience. And unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to take any pictures from it.
Those are six of my Top Twelve Highlights from 2010. Stay tuned for the next six, hopefully before the year 2011 starts.