Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- It's been good.

I almost let the last day of the year slip by without a blog post to mark it. But then I noticed some of my sweet friends doing posts and thought it would be a beautiful experience to write my own on the last day of 2011. :D

First, a neat picture I snatched that perfectly captures the changing tides of these years...

This year, I.....

  • Became a better blogger! My total of posts for this year (including the articles I wrote for MOHL) is 102! Counting this post. :D Last year I only wrote 34 posts for Julia's Journal, mostly due to my old XP computer that didn't work very quickly.
  • Got a new very cute laptop that helped greatly in becoming a better blogger, email-er, and writer.

  • Nearly finished my novel, Lissie, set in Jane Austen's Regency world and with a similar but completely different plot line than Miss Austen's works. (I almost finished it this year, but I'm not quite at The End yet... but I'm only about 5 pages away, which is pretty close!) I'm very excited about it and have lots of ideas for the sequel swimming around in my mind.

  • Went to two beautiful weddings, my cousin Kristen's on January 1st, and my friend Lauren's on December 3rd.
  • Learned of two delightful engagements, my cousin Katie and my friend Allison H.
  • Crocheted an ENORMOUS - thing. For Katie's wedding present. :) I will share pictures of it after I give it to her... don't want to spoil the surprise. :D

  • Became even closer to my infinitely sweet friends in the group of MOHL writers! They are the sisters I never had. The weekly IM chats we've started doing refresh my soul and make me laugh so hard that tears run down my cheeks. There's nothing like Godly sisterhood.

  • Improved my homemaking skills!
  • Enjoyed fresh produce from our garden all year long!
  • Hid under my bed while my parents butchered our first batch of meat chickens. ;)

  • Went to the GHEA convention, and ran a booth in the exhibit hall for my jewelry and ebooks, which was such an amazing, thrilling, tiring, enriching experience. Met so many nice people that I don't even remember them all - sigh.
  • Began regularly homechurching again with a great group of friends 30 minutes away from us.
  • Found more fun blogs to follow and read! A list might be forthcoming.

  • Discovered Perry Mason! ;)
  • Started reading the "At Home in Mitford" series aloud to my family in the evenings, and reading the Bible and discussing it for a short time every morning at the breakfast table. I have so enjoyed this and I feel like my family is more closely-knit than ever... such a warm and cozy feel! It's truly wonderful.

  •  Turned 20 years old in the lovely, fresh month of April. :)
  • Gave my bedroom a stunning makeover to celebrate my birthday. Thanks for doing such a stellar job on my curtains and pillows, Mama!

  • Watched a million (or so) movies with my brothers. :D Love you guys. I am so glad I have brothers who enjoy an intelligent movie (like a Jane Austen) as much as a just-for-fun one (Like Cars 2)
  • Helped abovementioned brothers sort their vast collection of lego bricks by color.
  • Went to see Courageous in the theater! (It was awesome.)
  • Improved my frisbee skills with a lot of practice and sweat and dirt, spending quality time with my brothers and our friends up in P.T. city.
  • Read a bunch of books, finding a few new favorite authors and a few authors I didn't care for. Dee Henderson was one of the authors whose books I liked tremendously, especially the Uncommon Heroes series about Navy SEALs.

  • Drew a little closer to God, for which I am unutterably grateful and thankful.
  • Began rising earlier in the mornings, and discovered I get much more done in the day when I do.
  • Went through 2 months of Daddy not having any work, and learned to trust that the Lord's provision will always be there for the things we really need.
  • Kept scribbling in my current little real-life journal, continuing the record of my life thus far that I started at age 11.
..... And did many other things that I don't have room to share. (Well, technically I do, but super-long blog posts get a little old...)

Winter is here, but so far it's been mild. I am looking forward to the coming of Spring, and yet knowing there are some hard days ahead sprinkled among the easy ones. January's frosts and February's cold winds are coming, but so are March's blossoms and April's soft breezes.

 Next Year, I'll....
  •  Take my driver's license test on January 10th. And finally be able to go places and run errands on my own. A sobering, yet exhilarating thought.
  • Go to three homeschool conventions to sell my jewelry! I'll be in Spartanburg, South Carolina for the Teach Them Diligently convention, Atlanta, GA for the GHEA convention, and North Carolina for the NCHE convention. If you're going to be at any of those, I'd love to meet you!
  • (hopefully) start going to a ladies' gym with my mom. We're still waiting to decide on that, weighing the pros and cons.
  • Play some more Ultimate Frisbee.
  • Visit my Grandma in Florida
  • Get to meet my sweet friend Rachelle in person! Still working on the hopeful details of that, but I am praying 'extra hard' for it to work out.
  • Participate in the His Word in Our Hearts challenge that Meditations of His Love is doing this year, all year!
  • Read more,
  • Work more,
  • Laugh more,
  • Love more,
  • Live more.
I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be another beautiful year.
 Happy New Year!


  1. Julia, I enjoyed reading this post. It was one of the highlights of my year getting to know you through our chats and I am SO excited about getting to meet you in person this year (it *will* happen and I *can't* wait!).

    Happy New Year (only about 2 hours left!)!

  2. Great accomplishments this year and super goals for next year.

    I also wrote more blogs this year, 102, just like you. :)

    Blessings on a super rest of the year homeschooling.

    My Attempt at Blogging

  3. This is lovely Julia. Thanks for sharing. Rose

  4. I must admit that I was a little disconcerted when I read that you had a friend named Allison H. that got engaged because that it my name and I am a long way from being engaged :D (though I'm sure the H doesn't stand for Hawbaker).

  5. Thank you for the comments, everyone!

    Rachelle, YES, it will work out, I know it! :D

    Oh, that is funny - no, the H. does not stand for Hawbaker. You are actually the fourth Allison I know! Goodness! :)

  6. Beautiful post Julia! Hope you have a Blessed New Year!


  7. Such a fun post - I always find it nice to reflect at the end of the year on all God's done! :D I take it for granted too much...all the little "everyday" things He does. ;) I loved seeing all the things you and God did together in 2011! :D

    Oh, such exciting things for 2012!!! :D I pray that you and Rachelle will be able to meet and that all your conference meetings will go well also! (I know it will though!). ;)

    Love and hugs sweet "sis"!
    I love you bunches!!! :D

  8. Your regency novels sounds interesting. I'm just trying to finish editing a regency novel of my own (inspired by Jane Austen "in the beginning"!) at the moment. I hope you get to the end and enjoy the journey of editing and publishing!

    "Lissie", by the way, is a lovely name / title!


  9. Hip-hip-hurrah! Sing ho for a job well done, Julia dear! :) Sounds like a smashing success! (Isn't it a relief to go back and recount all the good things that happened. Funny how we forget them sometimes. :)


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