Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another Year, Another Crazy Adventure

(Adam on his and Andrew's birthday while we were at a local restaurant a couple weeks ago in December)

TWENTY-THIRTEEN. Now I will have to get used to saying that. As a friend declared on Facebook, "I barely had gotten used to saying 2012!" With every closing of a year, I always tend to focus on all the things I failed to accomplish that year.  But, as our pastor reminded us last Sunday, instead of dwelling on what you didn't get accomplished, focus on the many ways God blessed you, and the many things you did accomplish.

I can truly say that this year was a blessed one. Blessed far beyond my deserving. I am constantly amazed at how the Lord proves His goodness and mercy to me. Sometimes, it seems almost too good to be true.

So. Today I thought I'd share some highlights and things I'm thankful for, from good ol' twenty-twelve.

1. The opportunity to remain home schooled, and with my family here in the wonderful, beautiful countryside of North Florida. The continuing opportunities to spend time with my hilarious, sweet little brothers, my lovely role model mother and hard-working role model father. 

2. The opportunities we've had to travel to different places together. We got to go to Washington D.C. on a family road trip for one of my dad's conferences, and visit many historical sites and museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, in which the photo above was taken.

(Luke on his 6th birthday)

3. I've been able to babysit a ton this year, not only for my family but a paid job for some local kids which lasted several months and was an excellent way to bring in some money...and gain TONS of valuable stories and experience!!

(We had a really fun, crazy sleepover full of tea, chocolate, hair styling and foot massages!)

4. Got to visit with precious, beloved friends from out of state, the Caliguires. Love that family and it was so good to get to see them two different times this year!

(It was totally a surprise visit...everybody managed to keep it a secret from me until they got here...and keeping secrets from me is typically very difficult!)
(The second time the C's came down, in April. Here are us, them, the Floods and DeLucas all together in front of our church.)

(Daddy speaking at the ASGA conference in LA)
5. Got to accompany my dad on more ASGA conference trips across the country. Got to visit Boston, MA for the very first time, as well as Los Angeles, CA. My very first trip going to the west coast! Among other trips, also got to go to NYC, Orlando, and South FL as well as Jacksonville.
(Daddy and I in Boston at the U.S.S. Constitution)
(Mom, Me, and Mammy in Jax)

(The boys and I in Jax)

(Me in front of one of my favorite paintings at the National Gallery of Art in DC)

(Southern Son playing during the 4th of July Celebration)

6. I was invited to join Southern Son Ministries, a Christian southern rock band at our church. I have been playing with them for almost a year now and it has been a most interesting experience. I have learned an incredible deal about working with other musicians in an organized band, coping with sound systems, stubborn microphones and PA systems which like to be naughty on us, and improvising on the keyboard. We've played at multiple different churches and I've gotten to play on multiple different keyboards. One had the pedal installed backwards, meaning, you had to push it down NOT to get sustain. O_O That was a crazy night, to say in the least. Oh, yeah, and I'm the only gal in the band. :P

7. I started singing in the microphone. OFFICIALLY. At church, and in Southern Son. Once I started I got hooked. I sing back up vocals/alto/the harmonization parts mainly but I also sing solo on some songs. It is sooooo much fun and I will hopefully never stop.

8. YHWH let me reconnect with a very sweet lady who is now my best friend (outside the family). Maygan and I are sooooo much alike it scares both of us sometimes. I am truly thankful for her friendship. In April, ahe and I formed our own folk music band, Southern Lights. We have played at numerous locations now.
Several of my favorites? Ocali Country Days was a blast. We dressed up in period correct attire, swapped outfits, ate tons of shaved ice and junk food, and got to meet other home schooled musicians while there. Beside it being SUPER COLD one of the mornings we were there, all was wonderful.

Another favorite place we played? The McIntosh 1890's Festival. God blessed us incredibly that day with letting us make almost 70 dollars in only 2 hours or so. It was so much fun playing for such a big crowd. Thousands of people attend that festival yearly.

(It's fun just to jam at home, too!)

9. I picked up playing guitar. Never would have thought I would, but that's how things played out. I love it and it's a really fun instrument to play. I've also picked up learning bodhran, an Irish hand-drum. (pictured  above)
10. I discovered how much I love bluegrass music and playing it.
11. I've continued to play piano, but this year has been a year of teaching myself and being lazy about that most of of the time.

(Us in a hotel getting on a sugar high during a trip to a Rays baseball game)

(Adam at the Rays spring training baseball game)

12. I ran 10 miles.
13. I did a ton more meal prep and planning, and increased my skills in botany, herbalism, plant identification and natural healing.
14. I worked in my two gardens and successfully put two more fences up around them.
15. I continued to write in my primary WIP, The Rebels of Florida, and reached 70,000 words.
16. God allowed us at Glory Film Productions to make more short films including a 13 minute parody/remake of the classic fairytale Rumpilstiltskin. We started work on our biggest project ever, a feature length film.
17. I got to do a TON more drawing and sketching, and improve my skills in such art.
18. I discovered how much I love to act.

(The GFP crew, February 2012)

(The GFP cast in Rumpelstiltskin, April 2012)


(Luke in one of his favorite places, the sandpile.)

(Will + facepainting =Very, very amusing)


(Maygan and I playing at the 4th of July Celebration)

(Driving Grizzly crazy after working in the garden)

(Mom enjoying some homemade ice cream at the Reddick BBQ Festival in March)

In twenty-twelve, the Lord taught me many spiritual lessons and showed me many things about myself and His Character.

Some of the things I struggled with this year, and survived living through?

A terrible season of flu and sickness earlier this March. If anything here on earth could be compared to hell in the least bit, that was it. Several weeks of horrible weakness and zombie-like existence. It was the roughest few weeks I experienced in '12.
  I struggled heavily with patience and gentleness, and learned a lot about controlling my temper. I learned how hypocritical I can be if I don't watch.  I struggled with putting God first in all that I did.
I struggled with trusting God and resting in the assurance that He forgives when we call upon Him for forgiveness, and repent.


Overall, this year has been wonderful. Quite frankly, the best year of my life. So many learning experiences, adventures and precious memories.
I am eagerly awaiting making 2013 the best year of my life and quite confident already that God's going to do awesome, mighty things this year.

Adventure is out there. Twenty-thirteen, come at me. Give me what you've got, 'cause I'm ready for whatever you want to send my way.

I can't wait to fulfill the goals I've set, use my time more wisely, grow closer to my family and become a stronger woman of God. I can't wait to see what He has up His sleeve for the coming 365 days ahead.

How about you?


  1. Wonderful post! I'd probably agree with you on 2012 being the best year of my life :D

    And I just love this line: "Adventure is out there. Twenty-thirteen, come at me. Give me what you've got, 'cause I'm ready for whatever you want to send my way."

  2. This is a great post!
    It sounds like you had a wonderful year from all that you shared.
    Your family looks like a fun group of people!!!

  3. Really nice, Leah! It was a great year!