2011 Review

It’s only when looking back through all the photos that I really can wrap my  mind around what an epic year 2011 was for me and my family.   I like creating a recap post so I can go back and easily find things for myself on the blog when I’m looking for them.  It feels like the things that happened last spring & summer were eons ago not just a few short months ago.  I did promise hubby that we’d be intentional about slowing down this year, spending more time relaxing instead of out on adventures and generally do less in 2012.  This isn’t a link to all my posts & I still need to blog our final trip of the year, but I will come back to update this post with those links to Puerto Rico posts.
January

Before dad’s big 60th birthday bash, we went out to a family birthday dinner & found lots of old photos of him.
The girls enjoyed some king size sleeping arrangements on my bed and I played dress-up to take some head shots.
Our aerial flight over Houston (Flying High, My Zip Code, The Real Houston, Busy Corners, 610 West Loop, Bayou City, Flying by Downtown, Bayou City, Misc Houston) & a tour of a Houston establishment- Arne’s Warehouse.  On a Friday when it was 70 degrees, I took the dueling dogs to the park.
Finished out the month by running the 2011 Houston Marathon while hubby was entertaining clients in Hawaii at the Pro-Bowl.
Flying to Vegas & home from California- I had some great shots (So High in the Sky , Stunning Southwest, Grand Canyon at 35,000 feet)
I met up with some Flickr friends to document the crumbling & decaying Forbidden Gardens before they shuttered their doors for good. (Emperor Qin’s Soldiers, Black Warriors, Calming of the Heart, and Kingdom of Harmony)
February

The month started with a ice storm that would ravage our yard and hung out with friends on Superbowl Sunday.
On a beautiful sunny weekend, we checked out 2 new wineries just outside of Houston- Bernhardt Winery & Retreat Hill Cellars.
We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary with a trip to Belize (To Ambergris Caye, Xanadu Resort, Around Ambergris Caye [Ricos + Wine de Vine], I’m Not a SCUBA diver, Sunset Bar & Grill, Catamaran Cruising, Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley, Caye Caulker, Snorkeling at Hol Chan, Downtown Ambergris )
It started feeling like Spring as I enjoyed sipping wine in the backyard & watching the dogs play (Mia Rolling, & Mia and the Squirrels).
March

Marched started out with Rodeo as we went to the BBQ Cook-off, and then the Keith Urban concert, then bowling at Lucky Strike for a friend’s birthday &  a visit to see an awesome Impressionist Exhibit at the MFAH.
We did our usual family dinner for Hunter’s 17th birthday, but I missed his big party.  I discovered & quickly became addicted to Yoga and we checked out another Houston wine bar- The Tasting Room.
We spent a Saturday evening listening to live music with friends & then went camping with friends at Buescher State Park the following weekend before I went to Baltimore (Camden Yards, Downtown, Inner Harbor, Baltimore Sunrise)  for a week for a week of training classes.

Mia longed to be in the great outdoors so she could chase the squirrels in the yard and Zoe had a very bad day when she was attacked at the park and we suffered through Mia’s Terrible Two’s.  Hunter had a rockin’ Spring Break that continued for weeks and Haley was loving life as a freshman.

April
Spring arrived in all its glory as we soaked it up at the Woodlands Waterway Art Festival & the puppies enjoyed some park time.
For my 31st birthday and hubby’s 34th birthday, we kicked off the birthday weekend with a lobster dinner at home on Friday & a Caribbean celebration with friends on Saturday night.
For Easter weekend, we went fishing on Good Friday & Saturday.
We wrapped up April with a long weekend in Nashville to run the Country Music Marathon & do some sightseeing (Ryman Auditorium, Broadway, Capitol grounds, Parthenon, Misc Nashville)

May
May began my blog-slacking (break) while I did more of life, swimming with the puppies & hanging out with friends.
My sister officially started off her high school drill team career as a brigade baby
The heat wave arrived & I hit the pool with the pups.
Two fun work trips in May- West Virginia (pictures to be blogged eventually) & Las Vegas (The Palazzo, Running the Strip & Leaving)
For Memorial Day weekend, we went back down to Bay Flats Lodge on Saturday to do some fishing on Sunday, before having a big pool party with our friends on Monday.
June

We headed out to San Diego for a uber quick weekend trip (arriving, downtown, USS Midway, Coronado Island, Old Town, Coastal Drive, Petco Park, departing) & for the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon (preparations, Recap Part 1, Recap Part 2) .
Mia & Zoe played in the yard & in the pool, while I got crafty with a calendar journal, reminisced over some letters from the past and we played Pictionary with friends.
July

For our long 4th weekend, Hubby went up to Denver with his friend to drink microbrews to see another baseball stadium while I hung out with my family, and then we went on a Motown Cruise with our friends on Clear Lake.

We took of on one of our mini-vacations this year to Costa Rica (San Jose, Downtown, Parks, Grano de Oro, Springs Resort, Adventures at the Springs, Rappelling in Arenal,  Hanging Bridges, Flying to Tamarindo,  Los Altos de Eros Spa & Resort, Surfing, Zip Lining, the town of Tamarindo) while my brother & sister when to CR on a mission trip.

I had to buy a new P&S camera for all my adventures & the girls headed to Dallas for a wine weekend.

August

Trying to stay cool, we took 7 kids ice skating & Hubby got the itch for a new car & bought our home’s second Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The end of August started hubby’s busy season at work, but we still did a clubhouse tour of Minute Maid Park & I bought a sweet lens to add to  my lens collection.
Met some fellow Houston bloggers at my first Htown Blogger meetup.

September

September marked a transition in my life, with doors opening, Zoe taking cover, reflections through my Pathfinder course, exercising my right brain, completing 30 days of list (Part 1 & Part 2),  traveling around the country and around the world (in my mind).
I joined Twitter (@ClicktheGoodnew), participated in a link-up as a photoblogger, visited Cha wine bar, took new (dog) family pictures.
Hubby attended his first Uof H football game as an alumni season ticket holder & Haley celebrated her 16th birthday
Flew to Philly to visit my best friend Stephanie and run the Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half-Marathon, hang out with her boyfriend Ken, walked Ginger, did some minimal sightseeing, including the  Betsy Ross house.

October
October was jam packed like the rest of the months  Lots of family stuff, including a trip to Denver with my beautiful family to run the Denver Rock n Roll Marathon (preparations, recap part 1, recap part 2), where we checked out Downtown Denver, had a family reunion and generally caught up with family
Meet up withs some awesome blogging friends to paint, did a Grand Wine Tasting with Savanha, Sipped & Strolled at Bayou Bend, rocked out at the Colbie Caillat concert with friends & hang out at Cedar Creek.
Spent lots of time with the family with Brenda’s new office opening, plus learning to cook shrimp victoria and took some pictures with me and the girls.
Finally, the month ended with my beloved Grandma passing away, and we start
November

Started off by running the 2011 San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon (preparationsrecap part 1recap part 2) in San Antonio where we also visited the Riverwalk & the Tower of the Americas.
Exploring Houston, I toured the Art Crawl and did a Segway tour of Houston with hubby.
Finally got a real macro lens & took Vizsla macro pictures.
Gram showed me how to make her family recipe pound cake for our Thanksgiving meal, and the puppies played in their favorite field.
Read some great books & also the Proverbs in 31 days during November.

December
I debuted my Life Menu of Awesome, even started working on it with my makeup splurge & making crockpot turkey chili.
Spend the first weekend in Las Vegas seeing the sights: Hoover Dam, National Finals Rodeo, Helicopter RideGrand Canyon from Above, Snowy Desert, Garth Brooks concert,
A little work trip took me to Philadelphia where I did some running & baking with my best friend.  Tourist things included Reading Terminal Market & Christmas photos with Santa at Macy’s before taking a tour of Philly City Hall (outside, inside, up top)
Sunday Scribblings
This is my first full year of writing for Sunday Scribblings as an attempt to capture some of my thoughts & emotions outside of my daily life & things that I can photography for the blog. I didn’t get to write every Sunday but I am still proud of how may SS’s I was able to participate in this past year.  It was good to do a little creative writing and I credit SS with my growing desire to journal & scrapbook throughout the year.
1/30 Safe
2/6 Story
2/20 Food
2/27 Fire
3/6 Raw
3/13 Big
3/20 Free
4/17 Design
5/1 Cake
5/8 May
9/18 Easy
10/23 Backyard
12/11 Fairytale
12/18 Health
Books
January- In Defense of Food (review)
February- Who Killed Healthcare (review) & The Lost Girls (review)
March- The Limits of Power (review),  Hope in Hell (review) &  Zeitoun (review)
April- Same Kind of Different as Me (review)
May- Myth of a Christian Nation (review)
June- Midwives (review) & Unchristian (review)
July- Play (review) & Help (review)
August- Clean (review) &  (review)
September- Game Change (review)
October- Devotion: A Memoir (review)
November- TBD
December- *private*
GOOD NEWS THE DAY: Anniversary trip is just about finalized & now it’s onto planning the excursions. 
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Comments

  1. Amanda!! I love this!!! It was SO inspiring and I want to be just like you when my blog grows up. Just beautiful.

  2. Thanks! My blog is turning 5 & I feel like I’m finally getting to the place where I’ve found my rhythm and what I want to blog about consistently. I got behind on “saving” my links as I went along last year & it was a nightmare to do them all at the end of the year- so glad I didn’t make that mistake again! It’s easier for me to find things this way since I have the yearly posts linked at the top rather than using a search box to find specific posts.

  3. What a wonderful snapshot of your past year. Nicely put together, I love all the photos you chose.
    Donna and the Dogs recently posted..One of the Perks of a Protective Dog

  4. That was a busy year! Happy, happy anniversary!
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted..This and That

  5. Thank you- I can’t believe it’s been 5 years! Time flies so fast :)

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