Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 In Review

Psalms 65:11 says, "Thou crownest the year with thy goodness..."

As the year of 2011 comes to a close and another chapter closes in my life, I like to pause and reflect on what God has done throughout the year.
Two thousand and eleven had it's changes, twists, and turns, but as always, His faithfulness and mercy was there each day, and it was a good year. Over all, it was a "quiet" year and I stayed close to home. I didn't travel much, compared to the last couple years.

Here's just a little pictorial peek of some of the highlights from this past year!
(Both mobile phone & professional camera pictures) ;-)
On Valentines day, I flew to Spokane, Washington and totally suprised my my kindred spirit & dear friend, Sarah, who lives in far north Idaho. The look on Sarah's face when she saw me was priceless. :-)

Journey to Idaho

Sarah knows I love coffee, so one night she made me some french pressed! We sipped our coffee on leather couches and talked into the wee hours of the morning. Loved it!



I crossed off a bucket list item while I was in Idaho — I watched my first 3D movie with Sarah and her sisters!


In March, I started nannying 3 little children on a full time basis. I became like a mother... and loved every moment.


One night in March, I got dressed up and went to a piano concert by pianist Jim Brickman! That too was a bucket list item that was so happily crossed off.



I went to my church's Ladies Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado. It was so nice to sneak away for a weekend and be refreshed and encouraged in the Lord. My Pastor's wife was the speaker for the two day retreat.




The Lord so wonderfully provided a 2003 Ford Focus for me to purchase! It was in incredible condition and only had 73,000 miles on it. I love my car!


My very dear friend, Heather—who has become very much like a sister to me—got married in May. I flew to Indiana to celebrate for the very special weekend, and stood up in the wedding as a Bridesmaid. Not only was the wedding special, but I also got to meet incredible new people and reunite with friends from Dallas, Texas that I lived with for a year. I love my Dallas 'family'!

I drank so much coffee that weekend, no joke! (I needed it.) I enjoyed a grande Toffee Nut Latte with two shots of espresso on wedding morning.




Me and all of "my" Dallas girls!

Rebekah is from Austin, TX. She often came to Dallas to help out at the ministry center where I worked. In the spring of 2010, I rode a train with her and her sisters from Dallas to Austin so that I could take her senior portraits in her hometown. That's another story. ;-)

Me and 'my' Dallas girls once again. What can I say? We're just being normal. ;-)


In July, I took a missions trip to the Philippines and worked under the evanglism ministry of missionary Mike Redick on the island of Negros. We preached the gospel in multiple schools in multiple classrooms every single day. It was like nothing else I had ever experienced before, and I learned so much.




After my time serving with the Redicks evanglism team, I flew back to the main capitol of Manila. It was there where I met up with my newlywed missionary friends, Heather & Andrew, and stayed with them in Manila for 5 days!

Approaching Manila from the island of Negros. Notice the difference between the architecture...


Heather and I:

Heather and I both aren't exactly morning people, so long after Andrew had gotten up and gone downstairs, Heather and I would groggily sip our morning coffee and watched episodes of Megan McGlover on YouTube. ;-) ;-)

We also made chocolate chip cookies...


Andrew and Heather. I love them.

And then I flew home. I went from Manila, Philippines --> Tokyo, Japan --> Salt Lake City, UT --> Denver, CO! It was a long, twenty-four hour trip home all by myself, especially when I got delayed in Salt Lake City. I was extremely sleep deprived by the time I reached the US - I remember just feeling SO miserable.


I got layed off of my full time nanying job Labor Day weekend. So I took the 3 kiddos out for ice-cream cones as a 'goodbye' from 'Miss Leah.'



My friend, Sarah, and her family were visiting from South Carolina. They were out here to see their brother/son graduate at the Ludy's ministry, Ellerslie. One night while they were here in CO, Sarah's family invited my sister and I out to frozen yogurt! (Sarah is from South Carolina, but we worked together in Dallas, TX for a season.)

I also went to hear/see comedian Tim Hawkins live in September! =D What a hilarious highlight of my year. Need I say more? ;-)

My family and I went camping for a couple days in Divide, Colorado. It's a beautiful little mountain town just minutes away from Manitou Springs & the Pikes Peak area. The colors were incredible!!



Yay for IPS 'reunions'! :-) My IPS photographer friend, Heather J, got married and I got to see some other IPS photographer friends in attendance as well at the wedding.


The end of October, I flew to Columbus, Ohio to photograph the fabulous Passion4Christ Summit! Though being busy on staff as Photographer, my heart was encouraged in the Lord by the music & messages preached and I enjoyed sweet fellowship with new friends who are also passionate about Christ.





Thank you Lord, for such a - truly - fantastic year!
I'm eager with anticipation for what's in store for 2012!

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.


Gabrielle said...

love seeing your year in review! Blessings on to you on the coming year!

Samantha R. said...

Loved seeing all the highlights and pictures from 2011! What an amazing journey it's been for you!

Sharon J said...

Great photos and a wonderful way to recap the year!
hope to see you next week.

Rebekah Hutto said...

Leah, I always love your recaps... and I'm so glad that I got to see you again this year! :] Love you. <3

Milady said...

Melanie here! I enjoyed this piece, please email me--I have a question about your blog. MelanieLBowen[at]gmail[dot]com