Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year-in-Review ~ Looking Back at 2014

As the year winds to a close, the days I cherish most from 2014 were those normal days that held nothing remarkable, only ordinary routines that propelled me from one day to the next. It was Mary Jean Irion who wrote: "Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are." Those are the perfect days after all.

Last December, in my 2013 year-in-review post, I wrote these words:

I don't know what 2014 holds. There may be rain and tears and hearts that break. But I have no doubt that, woven in and out of the coming months, there will also be sunshine and laughter, and more blessings  than I can count. 

All of the above came true, of course. Aren’t most years like that, filled with sun and rain, with laughter and tears, good times and bad? And it is the faithfulness of God that carries us through, year after year, no matter what we may find ourselves facing.

In the end, we choose which moments to recall, which songs to remember—the happy ones, or the long and sad ones. And it’s good, I believe, to recall some of the sad notes, because, if we let them, rough places help us grow stronger, dig deeper, pray harder.

Does that mean we need to spill all of proverbial beans, exposing all of the sordid details? I think not. Some things just aren’t my business and, quite frankly, I like it that way. But, having said that, I’m always willing to lend an ear or a shoulder, should you decide to do spill your sorrows. Believe me when I say that I carry the secrets of many inside of me, never revealed to anyone. I tell all of my friends that their secrets are safe with me and that is one promise I’ve never broken and never will. And I’m grateful to have a handful of friends who offer me the same gift.

I didn’t mean to digress, but there it is. Such things happen, but back to end-of-year matters. I can’t remember a year quite like 2014. It seemed to fly by, and yet there were months that felt like years, like I might die before the days had actually passed.

But here we are, at the end of another year. I’d love to know what your 2014 looked like, so let me know if you’re doing a year-in-review post so I can stop by.




January found The Man and I grappling with hard situations, and spending the month in one of our favorite getaway places, the lovely San Antonio. While there, precious loved-ones visited and icicles hung from Cloud Nine. Nippy, indeed!



February held deep sadness as I said goodbye to a dear friend, who left us all too soon. I miss her, still.



February also held sweet music and unspeakable joy.



March brought smiles and sighs galore, what with the company of precious pie and sugar plum, my adorable grand-nieces.



April's blessings included being pie's nanny for the month, celebrating Easter with family, and spending an evening with the parents. 



May was the beginning of a difficult and tempestuous season, but it was tempered by the beauty and steadfastness of family, a family I can't imagine facing life without.




June found us once again spending a month in San Antonio, our favorite close-to-home getaway spot. The storms still raged, but we braved it all together.




June also delivered happy faces (particularly pie's, upon celebrating her 1st birthday), the 28th birthday of our beautiful daughter, and the wonderful news that she was pregnant with her first child!




Ah, the gifts of Julyimmeasurable!



In August, we spent time with family, celebrated 34 years of marriage, and I finished my first crocheted afghan for my coming grandchild.


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Perhaps the best gift of August was this 38-second rendition of "Do Lord," by sugar plum. I do declare I love this child. No matter the weather, she makes my heart sing.




Would you just look at the joys of September—the faces of family, and another glimpse at my unborn grandchild. This ultrasound determined that this baby was a girl and I decided I would be her Memaw and she would be my cupcake.




October has always been my favorite month, perhaps because I was born in October. The Man and I spent the month in the majestic Smoky Mountains, enjoying fall foliage, Gospel music, the company of family, and a trek to Clingman's Dome, the highest peak in the Smoky Mountains.



November, that cozy month that combines family and food, a time for giving thanks.


video


After Thanksgiving dinner, my twin sister took her adorable grandchild on her lap. It is clear, to any and all, that these two adore each other. As Nonni and pie watched a darling video of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," I captured one-minute-and 13-seconds of the purest joy you will ever see. If you can't watch it all, your reward for clicking comes instantly, so go ahead. You won't be sorry. I watch this and my heart fills completely up. How blessed we are on this earth to have the presence of little ones.




December's news was both joyous and painful. First, the joyous news. My beautiful daughter, along with twin sis and pie, were in church with me for a special service. Our precious Julian helped me paint cupcakes one rainy day. We celebrated two birthdays, went shopping for maternity clothes, got to see cupcake doing her thing in the womb, and I was given a great photo of my glowing daughter and son-in-law. The painful news: I discovered that a fall in October left me with a torn rotator cuff. Time will tell what has to happen in this situation. For now, hallelujah for cortisone injections!




And, of course, there was Christmas, that holy season that nudges us closer to Christ, and to each other.





I can't possibly end this post without a special tribute to my twin sister, GaylePut simply, I could not have made it through 2014 without her, my womb-mate, my dearest friend, my faithful prayer partner. It was she who patiently and lovingly listened to me tell the same sad story, over and over, share the same fears, over and over, express the same heartache, over and over, cry the same ugly cry, over and over. And it was she who prayed for me and with me, and encouraged me with healing words, while other times, just sitting with me, saying nothing, yet saying everything, simply by being there. I officially proclaim her to be my Woman of the Year. I have no crown to bestow on her head, but I know one day, she will receive a crown.

Well, if you're still with me, how kind you are, and long-suffering. If all goes as planned, 2015 will hold major changes for me and The Man. I fully expect to be consumed with all things grandmotherly, and I can hardly wait to meet cupcake!

Until next year, dear friends in blogland, thank you for keeping me company here, for your kind words and encouraging comments. Your friendship, even from afar, means so very much. Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2015 be filled with all of the things that make a garden grow.

***

19 comments:

  1. I have to pinch myself to believe it is time to say goodbye to this year. I hope your new year is a very happy one, with grands to spend it with makes everyday special. I have one and he is such a joy in my world.
    Wishing you a blessed and Happy New Year!

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  2. Your words are very comforting!
    Yes, each year there are ups and downs. Some year more of one then the other.
    I'm finding that Faith, Hope and Trust have been my good friends. And I won't forget my other best friends, Love, Joy and Blessings!
    Happy New Year - Peace be with you.

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  3. A splendid review of your year! And a wonderful tribute to your twin sister. There's just something about sisters and twins have that bond we so often read about. The new year is going to bring you such great joy! Nothing like welcoming a grandchild to the family.

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  4. Dayle, I love reading your posts...and this last part about Gayle just warmed my heart. You have certainly had a yearful! Like you said, even in those difficult moments, days, weeks and months, we have our precious Lord to guide us and give us comfort and strength. I have needed much of it (as well) this year and I am so grateful for having Him in my life. I pray you won't need to have surgery on that rotator cuff...but if you do, I know where you can find the best PT in the land...I work with him everyday...BUT you have to come to NC! Seriously...I hope it heals all on it's own. Have a most blessed New Year, my friend!

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  5. What a wonderful way to write an end-of-the-year post! Love the way you capture every minute.
    Have a wonderful New Year's Eve!!

    Stephanie

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  6. Dayle, such a wonderful and touching post! Full of precious pictures and memories. Loved the videos and what a sweet tribute to your sis! Hope you don't have to have surgery my friend. I always love looking back and enjoy the anticipation of what's to come! Wishing you a blessed year!
    hugs,
    Jann

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  7. Dayle, what a lovely and enjoyable walk through your year! I adored all the photos. It's such a glimpse into your life and your heart. Thank you for sharing.

    What a blessing family is, right?! I thought your words about Gayle were so precious. I'll just bet that she would say the same things about you. And the soon-to-be-here Cupcake? So excited for you!!

    I did do a year-in-review post, and I talked about some of the things that God taught me about my Word for the Year, JOY. I wasn't sure how He was going to do it - especially since the year began with Him calling my father home. But, in the looking back, I see His hand, holding mine, every single step of the way. And for me, that is the essence of JOY - Jesus, Only You.

    Looking forward to sharing the journey in 2015.

    GOD BLESS!

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  8. Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing your life through your blog. I love it and I love you!

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  9. You've made me cry. I love you without measure.

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  10. The love and faithfulness of God and loved ones in life's valleys and peaks is the richest of blessings. May 2015 bring you much peace and joy!

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  11. Beautiful x 18. Wonderful family, jam-packed throughout the year. Nothing else like it.

    Rotator cuff surgery for me was in 2010. I had a nickel-size hole in mine. Six weeks in a sling... It wasn't fun, but I don't regret it. I hope you don't have to go through that, of course.

    A very happy New Year to you, dear.
    Kelley~

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  12. What a totally lovely review of your year. Your words, your pictures, all just capture it perfectly! And your tribute to your sister moved me to tears. What a blessing to have gone through life with a twin. I am very close with my sisters, but a twin is truly something special. Wishing you and yours a very happy new year!

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  13. What a truly lovely review. 2015 should be the year of the sweet Cupcake!
    Wishing you and yours a joyously happy and healthy New Year!

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  14. Hello dear Dayle. What a beautiful, heartfelt year-in-review! Loved reading it. You are so right, each year, and life, itself, is filled with heart-breaking moments and moments of sheer ecstasy. We must just weather the storms. Bless you, dear friend. I love your writing. It is inspiring, motivational and uplifting. Susan

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  15. Happy New Year, Dayle. I loved looking back at your year with you.How fortunate you are to have your twin sister. xo Laura

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  16. aww... Dayle, I have come to love you, love your family and love the joy and encouragement that leaps from your posts. Sweet blogging friends do that, you know. So very excited about the precious baby girl getting all ready for your hugs and kisses. And thanks for sharing the adorable videos. I am still smiling. All the best for 2015!

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  17. What a beautiful year in review, and what a treasure you have in your sister. I am expecting my first grandchild in April, a boy, and we are beyond thrilled to join the ranks of grandparenthood. Now, what shall I call myself?

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  18. Such sweet memories of the past year, and sweet pictures as well.
    The year certainly did fly by!
    It was a year of ups and downs, hills and valleys... and never a day without blessings :)

    May the New Year be filled with blessings and small miracles for your and yours.

    ~Kerin

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  19. I love how you broke down each month of highlights! The years go by so fast that it is so important to reflect on where we've been, what we've accomplished and who we've loved. Beautiful!
    -Patti (amomentofsimplicity.blogspot.com)

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle