2011: The Year in Review

courtesy of pinterest
I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year this week. I suppose that is no surprise since this is the last week of 2011, and we are quickly closing in on the beginning of 2012. I have some family friends that write a family newsletter every Christmas that they send out with their Christmas cards. I’ve been thinking about writing a newsletter for myself lately to record the highs and lows of the past year, the things that I have learned, and the direction I am heading. I intended to write these things only for myself, but you know how those things go…
It’s funny how quickly time goes by. I was trying to rewind my mind back to January 2011, to think about the events of this past year, when I realized that I have just wrapped up my third Christmas of living in Birmingham. I was slightly taken aback when the thought came to me. 
Three Christmases? Surely not.
It feels like yesterday, that I accepted the open position for my job. It seems even crazier that I bought my townhouse in the spring of 2010. And it seems slightly ridiculous that I still have un-hung artwork sitting along the living room walls. 
In early 2011, I finally found an amazing group of girls to be in a small group with, and they have been such a blessing to my life this past year. The path that led me to them can only be credited to the sovereignty  of God and his hand over my life. 

I spent the majority of 2011 (and 2010) working on a large building project at work. I am amazed at the things I have learned in these first two years out of school. I am planning to sit for the ARE this year, so hopefully next year’s letter will be written by a registered Architect (fingers crossed).
In May of 2011, I got a roommate, Alex, for the summer. I was nervous about going back to living with a roommate after almost two years without one, but it turned out really well and I was a little sad when she headed back to Auburn in August. In May, I also temporary lost my mind and let one of the girls I work with talk me into joining a local gym. Then I apparently lost my mind COMPLETELY, and hired a personal trainer to boot. To finish things off I even decided that I actually liked working out. Now, I’m getting into running- we’ll see where that takes me.
I spent the majority of the summer with my nose to grindstone, working long hours and weekends on the big building project I mentioned earlier. We finished the design package in the late summer, and with all my vacation and overtime burning a hole in my pocket, I was able to take a couple of really great trips in the late summer and early fall. The first was to New York, to visit my best friends and roommates from college and architecture school. You read about it here. Then in September, the family took a trip out West that we have been talking about for, literally YEARS. It was in a word- AMAZING, and I cannot wait to go back.

At the beginning of October I got a second roommate, my brother Travis. He graduated from college last May and had been working for our dad until mid October, when he decided to try his luck job hunting in Birmingham. It’s great having someone else around the house most of the time, and it has been a good opportunity to get to know each other better as adults. We haven’t lived under the same roof for more than a couple of months since I left for college in 2003. It’s a rare opportunity for most grown siblings.

As 2011 comes to a close, I am thankful for so many things. A good job in a still struggling economy, a loving and supportive family that doesn’t tell me I’m crazy when I call with yet another harebrained idea, and a great network of friends. And of course there’s Benjamin. I can’t forget my little shadow (he’s definitely the best thing to come out of Alabama). It’s been a good year, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store! 
Happy New Year!