Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thankful for all of 2012's Blessings & Ready for 2013

As we start the New Year, I want to take a look back at 2012 and be grateful for the many blessings that have occurred over the last year...  I fulfilled a few life-long dreams in 2012 and truly had a wonderful and blessed year.

Our family traveled to Europe for the first time in February, and I finally walked the streets of Paris, stared up at the Eiffel Tower, went over 100mph on the Autobahn in Germany, and went sight-seeing in the Alps!  It was a WONDERFUL experience!  I loved every second of it.  It was something I've longed for since I was a little girl, sitting in my trailer in my small town and dreaming of life beyond my situation.  Thank you God for allowing me to live this life.

Katie and I, not too far from Notre Dame. 

It was every bit as amazing as I'd always dreamed it would be... 

She was more enthused that she lets on in this pic, but that is Hohenschwengau Castle in the distance as we took a horse and carriage up the hill to Neuschwanstein Castle.  Very cool trip!

In May, my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.  What an accomplishment!  We decided to experience something else for the first time... a cruise!  Not just any cruise, a DISNEY cruise, so Katelynn could go along with us and celebrate the anniversary of our family too.  We had a great cruise to the Bahamas & Castaway Cay, bookended with Disneyworld fun.

Kate and I in the cruise ship terminal, ready for our cruise!
My family in the Bahamas!
Beach day at Castaway Cay!  Oh the sunburns that resulted, but it was amazing!

The new Dumbo was open for our trip to Magic Kingdom in May.  One of my favorite memories is watching the fireworks while riding Dumbo with Katelynn.
The fun didn't stop there, though, because we were lucky enough to have my cousins make a trip to Disneyworld in August, so we met them there and celebrated Katelynn's 7th birthday in Disney style.  Considering her best friends had all moved away by this summer (ah, the life of a Coast Guard kid) it was a blessing to spend fun family time on her birthday without her focusing on how much she missed her friends.  It was so great to have CJ, Alicia, Zoe, & Sam with us in Florida to enjoy the beach, the shark reef at Typhoon Lagoon, and the magic of Disneyworld.

 Family time at Animal Kingdom.  The girls loved being the tour guides with their maps!

The animals during the safari were the closest we've ever seen them! 

I love this one of Kate & her cousin Zoe!  You can see the pure joy on their faces as they point at another animal that is super close to the truck.

Best of all, after years of waiting, my wonderful husband finally agreed to start our adoption in November.  We've completed all of our homestudy paperwork and our homestudy visits.  Just waiting for a few more things and our homestudy will be complete!  We are already hard at work on our dossier documents.  It won't be long until we know who will be joining our family and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Yep, 2012 has been amazing!  God has really worked on my heart a lot this year.  I've focused on what he wants for my life and listened more for his guidance then I have in quite a few years.  All you bloggers out there have really helped me to think about my own faith and the role that God has in my life.  Thank you all for that.  I am forever grateful for the Godly examples you all have shown day in and day out.

Now 2013 is upon us.  In 2013 we will receive orders to a new duty station, make a 2nd trip to Europe, execute a summertime move to wherever it is God has in store for us (Come on AL, NC, or FL!!! ;), buy our first house, and bring our beautiful girl home from China!  It is shaping up to be an amazing year! 

My goal for 2013 is simple.  To live my life guided by God.  To be the best me that I can be.  Simple right?  Some changes are in store to move myself in that direction.

Praying that we all accomplish our goals and have a wonderful 2013!!

God Bless,

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