Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reflecting back on 2012 .....

Hi everyone!!

I was sitting here (at my computer) last week - and realized what an amazing (but sometimes not) year me and the family have had -- and I realized I wanted to reflect back on this year in a post :)

In the end of 2011, I chose HOPE as my OLW for 2012 -- During the beginning of 2011 we moved from our house to an apartment, hoping and praying it was only going to be a temporary situation -- it was quite a change -- going from four walls and a roof of our own, to an apartment where you could hear every little thing one of your neighbors were doing - not the funnest situation :)

But we had HOPE and we kept praying that something would come our way again -- 

and it did --

In May 2012, we bought a new to us house that was bigger than anything than me and Brian had ever lived in since becoming adults and on our own :) 



The house had actually been EMPTY for three years before an investor bought it, fixed it up and flipped it over for sale -- and we were the lucky ones to get it :)

The house isn't a mansion by ANY means -- but it is the perfect size for us to grow old together in :) 

And it's big enough to now be the 'go-to' house for all the family holiday get-togethers ....so now I REALLY have to be the adult and the hostess -- lol -- the jury is still out on how I feel about that part!! HA!! :)




But -- I can say that I am IN LOVE with our house -- wouldn't change a thing -- even if we are now the 'adults' and everyone comes to us for the Holidays :) 



For those that have been following me for awhile now, you know that Brookie was born with Port Wine Stains on about 40% of her body (face, arm, hand, chest and back) -- these Stains can cause blindness -- so in her young 6 years of life, she has had 17 laser surgeries to help 'remove' the stains -- because of the way our insurance is (trust me, don't ask... lol!) -- and the struggles we faced in 2011 and early 2012 -- she didn't have a surgery in 2012 -- but in 2013, we will be taking her back to her surgeon to look at a pimple like bump that appeared after her last surgery when she blistered really bad -- we are hoping that it is something her surgeon can work on quickly and painlessly for her :) I will keep everyone posted on that :) 

Here is a picture of Brookie after her last last surgery in November 2011 :)  She blistered so bad from this last surgery (laser surgery is basically 'burning' the Port Wine Stains off her body -- so if the lasers go to deep -- they blister her -- we have to keep her covered in Vaseline for about 3 weeks after surgery to help avoid this) -- this time was so bad though -- that we had to take her to Urgent Care for kids on the Sunday after her surgery and then back to her surgeon the Monday after her surgery -- scariest time ever for me .... so now she has this bump -- and hopefully 2013 will bring answers for it :)




Adam joined NJROTC in 2012 -- and I am very PROUD of him -- he has ADHD, and hasn't always been the easiest child to raise :) but I think he has finally found his niche in NJROTC :)



I went to Winter CHA in January 2012 for the 4th time -- I went with my friend Krista again and this year I got to meet Louise Nelson -- she is an artist I have known since back in the SIStv days -- and she came to CHA all the way from Australia!!  It was so AWESOME to meet her!!! I love this girl!!




Also in 2012, we went to our very first Roller Derby bout thanks to my friend Krista (can I just tell you how much I love Krista -- I swear -- she is a rock for me!!) :)  Krista was injured and wasn't in the bout -- but it was fun to watch! :) And Krista let Brookie wear her helmet :)





I've also been trying to practice with my camera more this year -- I was supposed to go to Hawaii in Feb. 2013 to photograph a friend's wedding -- but come to find out, the hotel they are having the wedding at has a policy where they can only use their photographer -- oh well... maybe next time :)




We went to Disneyland with my In-Laws in March -- and it was an AMAZING trip for our family --




Brookie was invited to a lot of birthday parties and sleep overs this year :) And she loved every minute of it :)



I left many design teams this year -- and haven't had any new opportunities come up YET -- hoping that will change this year :)

Saying good-bye to ----







We got to meet Dora and her Sister from the Netherlands while they were in the USA on a tour!!! I was so EXCITED to meet Dora!!! :)



Brookie and I went with Valerie and her son to see Disney on Ice! :)




Adam has his first girlfriend ... but sadly, it didn't last long :(


Brookie had her first dance recital :)



I was a GDT for Bo Bunny over the summer!! Talk about a DREAM come TRUE!!! If you know me at all ... then you know that Bo Bunny is one of my go-to papers!!!! I literally have two drawers dedicated to their papers in my scrapping area!! :)  This is a 4 ft. x 6 ft. canvas I made with their Little Miss collection! :)



Adam went and visited his Dad over the summer -- and we had a sign waiting for him when he returned!! :) And it was REALLY windy the day he came home... hence the 4 thousand pounds of duct tape to hold the sign back!! LOL! :)



I kept up my monthly photos with my babies in honor of Aleida Franklin :)







Brookie started Kindergarten! :)



I got to meet Leeanne who moved to Arizona from Virginia!!!! :)



Krista and I went to cool Payson, AZ in August for a scrappy retreat!! :)



The family and I went to "The Healing Fields" honoring those lost on 9/11




Brookie turned 6!!


And she made the cutest bat on Halloween! :)



Brookie participated in a recycling contest at school in the month of October and she collected 1,039 bottles and cans!! :)




Mr. Dandy is still my baby :) He is getting older and arthritis is setting in -- but he is still my beautiful baby :)



As I have for the past 4 years, several friends and myself went to the Twilight - Breaking Dawn 2 marathon -- saw all 5 movies at once -- it's the last movie and the last time this gang will all be together for an event like this -- *sniff sniff*



Timothy joined us this year :)


And I turned 41 :)



And on December 14th -- Heaven gained 26 angels....

Source


And here is a video -- you ALL must see this video honoring those lost .... *sigh* makes me cry every time.... seriously ... watch it ....




All in all -- it was a wonderful year .... full of ups and downs ....

Thank you all for following along with me in 2012 -- let's bring on 2013 :)



Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate it! :)



72 comments:

  1. Love this post Julie -- reliving the year through photos is such a great idea. I am sad to hear you are leaving Blue Moon - you were like their "spokesperson" to me! Glad we're FB friends...wishing you a fabulous 2013...hugs to everyone! xoxo

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  2. What a wonderful trip down memory lane and your year in review. I remember ALL of these things that you talked about. I'll sure keep Brookie in my thoughts since she's probably looking at "procedures" again this year. What a beautiful and brave little girl!!

    I loved your word for 2012 - Hope. Mine was "acceptance" and I had a lot of things to accept last year.

    My word for this year is "anticipation". Lots of love to you and your dear ones and I'm so blessed to have gotten to know you.

    Hugs and here's to a great 2013!!

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  3. Oh My you've had a big year! I am glad to see more ups then downs! I hope your daughter gets through all of her surgeries as painless as possible! Hugs! Hoping this year is so much better then last!

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  4. What a great post Julie! Here is to a great 2013!

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  5. Julie - this was the best new year's post I've seen this year. Thanks for sharing this with us. Lots of love to you, chickie!

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  6. So many wonderful Memories Julie! Hope your 2013 is filled with happiness! (maybe next year you will be able to add met up with Carri....)
    LOL!
    Carri~Abusybee

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  7. Wonderful post...reminded me of what you'd been doing thru the year...hope this coming one is as kind to you all, especially Brooke:):)

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  8. What an awesome year in review...so much happened. I do hope and pray that there will be a painless solution for Brookie and her port wine stains.

    xx

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  9. sigh.....
    what a year Julie!
    Its been amazing and at times challenging for you... lets pray that 2013 will be one of the happiest, funnest years yet!!!
    xxxxx

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  10. A wonderful year in review. I hope 2013 holds nothing but happy, healthy times for you and your family. :)

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  11. A wonderful post to remember the many good and not so good times, the momentous occasions and the little things we sometimes forget. In 2013 I hope your joys are many and troubles few. Hugs

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  12. Enjoyed reading your post. ALl we can do is "keep on truckin'" ---best wishes to you and your family in 2013!

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  13. Julie I was already emotional as I took part in relecting back this last year but the song took me over the edge, I have tears streaming down my face... it must have took some time putting this together and I love that you do this always..something I am hoping will rub off on me!!!! Thank you for taking us again on this wonderful journey, good with the bad and I will be praying for Brookie.... I think you would make the best hostess!!! I would help if I were there, hehe

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  14. That is why I love reading your post. You are not only inspirational, you are courageous and strong.
    Best wishes for 2013!
    xoxo

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  15. What a great post and I enjoyed looking back over your 2012. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. whatta awesome post my soul sista! here's to a fabulous 2013!!

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  17. What an incredible year you've had Julie!! I still remember your excitement about your new house :))

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  18. What a cute great wrap of 2013. :) That is such a great idea for a post.

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  19. Julie, I love this post, I think in the end it was more a good than bad year

    The photos of Brookie made me smile, she's always so happy, it lights up our lives

    thanks for sharing this!

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  20. Fabulous post Julie! Yes, life is full of bumps, but if we persevere, we can get through everything! The main thing is remain positive. I hope that bump turns out to be nothing for Brookie...she really has gone through a lot....such a sweet baby girl that you have there. You really are blessed with your wonderful family!

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  21. The best post I've seen yet, re 2012. So love your reflections, Julie. You are one sweet heart of a lady that I can truly call friend. TY for being you ... hugs to all. Have another beautiful year.
    Hugs,
    TTFN ~
    Marydon

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  22. What a wonderful summation of 2012! It's so fun to see it all together and remember you going through these things. I hadn't realized you'd left 4 DTs - are you actively applying for others?

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  23. Great post! So cool to see your year all together like that! Happy New Year!

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  24. What a great post Julie! So glad that you found a home you love, and Brookie seems to be doing so well! :)

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  25. This was a beautiful trip down memory lane. Beware the big house because hosting duties naturally follow. Ha ha. That is so true! Beautiful Brookie is a champ. Love her! I loved reading your reflections on 2012. Here's to a beautiful 2013. Hugs!

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  26. Great year in review post! We moved this year and have become the de facto hosts for my family, too! It's ok but it wears me out. I'm glad to take that off my mom though!!!

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  27. Wow! What a year! It's amazing everything you went thru, good and bad!
    Congrats on your new home! I didn't realize what a "big" deal it was! ;0)
    Your kids are really blossoming and I enjoy watching their journey as much as yours.
    Looking forward to more in 2013!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  28. What a year. So exciting that you bought a great house this year. I love your positive and uplifting spirit. Happy 2013 to you and your family.

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  29. Your honesty, sincerity and your beautiful soul shine through in this post. I wish nothing but the best for you and your family in 2013!!!

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  30. What a great post, Julie! So glad that you're so happy in your new home, and it looks to me as though 2012 delivered a whole lot more ups than downs ;). You're one blessed girl! Hugs!

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  31. Love this post Julie! It was fun seeing the photos that reflected your year! Best wishes to you and your family. Thinking good thoughts for little Brookie. And there will be many more girlfriends in your son's future! Thanks for being such an amazing scrappy/bloggy friend. You are a very special person! Happy New Year!

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  32. looks like you had a wonderful year!!! all the best to you and your family in 2013 :)

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  33. what a wonderful end of year post!!! looks like this past year was wonderful for you and your family!!!! loved seeing all your pics and hope 2013 is even better!!!

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  34. Oy... that video gets me every single time.

    Loved this post, Julie. What a great year, that ended with HOPE conquering all. And total bummer that you can't go to Hawaii for that wedding. :-(

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  35. This was lovely!! Doing a year in review with photos was amazing!

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  36. WOW Julie looks like it was an amazing year for you and your family! Happy New Year and hope the next year is wonderful as well!

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  37. What a busy year you have had! So much excitement. Your pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing it all with us.
    Happy New Year!
    Hugs,
    Linda

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  38. Thank you for sharing and reliving your year with us. It's been quite a year though...I wish you and your loved ones a great 2013!!

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  39. What a wonderful post. Lots of great photo. Looks like you had a wonderful year. I wish you and your family all the best in 2013!

    Hugs~

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  40. Julie, this was an amazing post! I have goose bumps reading all your stories! You had a wonderful year with so many great memories! We love everything you share-keep doing what your doing...we love all your projects, pictures and stories. You are amazing and you have a beautiful family.
    Hugs to you and Happy New Year! Look forward to seeing more from you in 2013!
    Sherrie K
    http://sherriescraps.blogspot.com

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  41. oo...great to hear that you have moved to your new house and I hope your girl will get better this year. All the best and good wishes to your family. xx

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  42. Dear Julie and family, it was one of the most excited moments of last year to meet you!!! And wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Julie I had a little blogbreak, scrapbooking break..and I hope to be back soon!
    Say hello to all xoxo

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  43. This is an awesome post, Julie! LOVE that you share so openly your heart and soul. You are a truly genuine, loving, and beautiful person, and I am glad to call you my bloggy friend!

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  44. What a fun wrap up post! You had a very busy year. Congrats on the Bo Bunny GDT again. I hope your 2013 is even more awesome!

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  45. wow this is a FUN adventure filled post of 2012!

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  46. What a great retrospective post. What a great year you guys have had, and how proud you can be of those two kiddos! Here's to a wonderful 2013!

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  47. Julie, this post was so heartwarming and touching! It's like reading a page in your own personal journal, and I loved it. Thank you SO much for sharing personal details and part of your heart with us. :) Big hugs and Happy New Year! Congrats on your house, girl!

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  48. sounds like a wonderful year with more blessings than challenges!
    I wish more of the same for you in 2013!!

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  49. wow what a great blog post, lots of beautiful photos, I am so thankful to whoever invented the camera, best thing ever! Your house is wonderful, congrats on that purchase :) I so look forward to following your blog in 2013, your layouts are wonderful, love coming here to see what you've done :)

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  50. What a fab post, Julie!!!! LOVE the reflecting and revisiting all events (good and bad)!!! Looks like 2012 was a great year for your family:) Many blessings in 2013!!! <3

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  51. Great look back on 2012 for you, Julie!! Hoping 2013 is a blessed year for you and your family!

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  52. Great post Julie, such a great tribute to 2012 and gives us new followers a chance to get to know you better. Hope 2013 is a wonderful year for you and your family. :)

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  53. OMGosh this is my most favoritist post from you ever!!!!!! I smile, laughed and cried.....the last photo still breaks my heart. I'm so happy you shared with us and I am even more happy to call you my friend!!!!

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  54. Hi Julie,

    First of all, my biggest thanks for stopping by our blog and leavin us comments..it's truly appreciated. I'm sorry I haven't been around to return the love as I had taken a break from blogging. I am so touched about your story...I hope Brooke is doing better now, you have a beautiful daughter and a very lovely family.

    Thanks for sharing with us and I wish you a blessed and healthy 2013!!!

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  55. What a wonderful recap! I too, have left many teams and not taken on new ones- yet! Happy New Year Julie!!!!

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  56. What a fabulous way to end your blog year. May 2013 be happy and pain free for Miss Brookie.

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  57. Love this post Julie!!!
    What an amazing year you all had!!
    I agree I saw that song to on the voice & I cried too!! Very heartfelt & touching.
    Thankful so many are remembering them and not forgetting what happened!

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  58. Oh Julie! You are such a selfless person. I couldn't look at the photo of the angels you posted without crying, let alone watch the video - I was sobbing! And the rest of your post - amazing. I especially love the photo of the sun shining through the trees. And I will keep Brookie in my prayers, too. HUGS!!!!!

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  59. Beautiful, beautiful post.... thank you so much for sharing your life with us!!
    hugs

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  60. Wow, what a year! Thanks for sharing it in photos - so cool. Sorry to hear about Brookie's troubles this year. I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers. Love that you are still doing your monthly photos with the kids! Thanks for posting the Hallelujah video. What a beautiful tribute. Happy 2013 my friend!

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  61. Beautiful summary for a huge year! Wow! Thanks for sharing! PS -You won my RAK! Please email me at scropping@gmail.com. Cheers! Sarah

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  62. love your post Julie! What a year...great looking back! So glad you're doing so fine!! Your house is wonderful and your kids are the cutest!! love that video!

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  63. Certainly a wonderful year for you and your family! Let's hope 2013 is even BETTER! Happy belated New Year, Julie :)

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  64. Loved seeing your year in review. You have produced some mighty sweet, and tough kiddos Julie. You has some pretty wonderful experiences in 2012. I hope that 2013 brings you many, many more xoxo

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  65. What an incredible year it has been for you and your family! You inspire me to love more deeply and bravely! Your love for others is so evident in your highlight photos. May 2013 bring the very best to you and your family!

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  66. Love this post...Wishing you ALL THE BEST in this year...lots of blessings for you and your beautiful family!!!
    Hugs!!!!! :) :)

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  67. What an amazing journey for you and your family in 2012. Love the new home! It's been so wonderful getting to know you through our blogs this year. I hope you have a blessed 2013 filled with many happy times. I'll be praying for Brookie as she has her bump evaluated. ~ Blessings, Tracey

    http://gracescraps.blogspot.com/

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  68. What a nice post! That was fun to read and see all the pics!

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  69. Awww...I am so glad we got to hang out this past year. I feel so blessed to have you as a friend, and scrapping buddy. Happy New Year!

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