Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012: full of change, grace, smiles, and growth

2012. I never knew a year could hold so much. When I think back to where I was in January of last year, it's hard to believe I am where I am right now, and that it only happened within a year's time! I'm going to blog a summary of the 365 days that were some of the best days of my whole life. :)

January 3rd - Chris and I went on our very first date. We went to Clara's, my favorite Italian restaurant.

January 14th - Chris and I went to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. 

February - Mom, Chris, and I traveled down to SC and then GA for Chris's TKD tournament. That was a first for me. ;P Also, Aimee came to live with us for a while. :)

April 21st - Chris and I went canoeing on the Fox River. It was my first time, and it was lovely. :)

May 3rd - We all drove down to SC for a friend's wedding.

May 4th - Chris and I got engaged! :)

(The day after getting engaged, his nieces and nephews enjoyed putting flowers in our hair. :D)

May 15 - God miraculously provides me with the perfect wedding dress just in time. 

June 12th - Chris and I have our engagement pictures taken by Jolene Torvinen.

June 14th - My family travels to Rock Cut State Park, where we camped for a few days. It was my first time camping. :)

July - I go with my friend Bethany to Deerfield where we receive Suzuki teacher training for 10 days.

July 20th - Some of my best friends host my wedding shower.

July 26th - Our Sunday school heads out to the Quad Cities for a few days of camping.

September 8th - Chris and I GET MARRIED!!!

September 9th-19th - Chris and I honeymooned in Sanibel, FL; Greenville, SC; and Asheville, NC.

September 20th-22nd - My family, Chris, and I travel up to MN for Claire's wedding.

October 26th - Chris and I host our first party ever at our house. :)

November 16th - We host our second party, this time with my dad's side of the family.

December 1st - We attend IBC's annual adult Christmas party. Chris and I, along with our other teammates, win both contests: the gingerbread house, and the puzzle.

December 3rd - God answers a life-long prayer that I'd find a symphony that didn't practice or perform on church days. I joined the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and began rehearsals. 

December 21st-29th - Chris and I travel up to MN and SD to visit family over Christmas. 

Well, there's the summary! As usual, I shall list the books I read this year. I sure didn't get a lot of reading done this past year, as almost all of it was spent on wedding planning and then starting our new home. But I did read the following books, which I may or may not recommend (:P): The Pursuit of God (Tozer), A Woman After God's Own Heart (George), Princess Academy: Palace of Stone (Hale), The Soloist (Lopez), and Les Miserables (Hugo). 

I did a lot of music this year, as usual, including four concerts and two cantatas. I had a lot of fun this year kind of transitioning from mainly just a violin player to a violin teacher and piano accompanist. (<-- FAVE!!) I am also teaching in a local music academy which is a new experience and a blessing. 

This year God especially showed to me how He is Jehovah-jireh, the One who provides. Countless times along the wedding process we were stretched, whether it were financially, physically, creatively, etc., and God always provided what we needed. He provided so many things for our house. I just look around in each room and it's all God's doing. Everything I have is by His grace, and the dear love of my Christian family. He provided energy when we thought we had run out. He made days stretch longer just so we could finish the last detail or the last list. He gave strength to say sorry, and to face faults unflinchingly. He renewed my love for His Word. I seriously cannot explain how much I love reading the Bible!! I am so thankful to have my thirst for that renewed. He opened new doors for us and promises to never leave or forsake us. 

Like the subject of this post says, 2012 was a year of change, surely, but it was a year rich with grace. As David said, "My cup runneth over." I am thankful to God for giving me a year of such joy, and I'm thankful to those of you who made it a year of smiles by showing me your consistent love and friendship.

Happy 2013! :)

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