AFS Year in Review

This has been an incredible year. Big, happy, shiny things happened, and sad, heart wrenching things happened. I think it was Abraham Lincoln who once said, "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

For me, this year has definitely been full of life.

The Knight and I started started off 2009 with a bang. We rang in the new year with Daisy and Mr. Brown by hobnobbing all over Memphis in our NYE finery. We had a blast.

Next, we had some very un-Memphis (but quite beautiful) weather...snow that was several inches thick and threatened to shut down the city!

Oh yeah - we also went camping on Valentine's Day this year. It was cold and scary! Remember the noose? This was also a year for plays at the Orpheum...I saw Legally Blonde, A Chorus Line, and Wicked not once, but TWICE!

The Knight and I ran the Nashville Full (him)/ Half (me) marathon. It was the Knight's first full and I was so proud of him. Who knew Nashville could have blistering 80 degree weather in early April?

While in Nashville, we took the opportunity to reminisce with old Lipscomb buddies...

I got to go the beach on my firm's dime to get CLE credits and soak up the sun with my good pal, Jess(ica) (who, BTW, has a fabulous new blog called "Blooming Bungalow").

We were fortunate enough to have LOTS of family visits to our home and to theirs. We spent Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and several birthdays together this year. What a blessing.
Daisy and I spent some quality time at Arrington Vineyards with the diva, Ms. Etta James.

And the Knight and I spent 5 glorious days in Chicago, celebrating 5 years of wedded bliss!

Upon our return, we welcomed (well, excluding Betty Rascal) precious Henry Bear into our lives. We have lost a lot of shoes, a couple of pieces of furniture, but gained a lot of laughs and joy with our handsome new addition. :)

Betty came around and now loves her little big brother, but it took a LONG time.

Speaking of brothers, my big little brother got engaged to the woman of his (and his family's) dreams. We threw them a honky-tonk hoedown that put the Ewings to shame. (speaking of, did I not ever post pics of this? Unbelievable. This has to be rectified before the end of the year!).


My besties and I got to see Taylor Swift and a tons of other huge country stars perform at the CMAs. And a few thousand people got to see us! (well, okay, only if you are looking closely ;0)

As for our house? Well, it had a lot of excitement this year, too! The Knight built me a fabulous master closet, we continued to decorate, and we repainted the brick, added gutters, and began landscaping!

Due to the Knight's schedule, we haven't been able to travel much for the big holidays. We were fortunate enough to have my entire immediate family, plus my grandmother and brother's fiance (9 people!) join us for Thanksgiving weekend (which I am also realizing that I have not posted any pictures of this...oh, the shame!).

Finally, we spent a quiet Christmas at home, with just the two of us, plus some other holiday orphans. It was a peaceful time at the Shopaholic house.

This year, we have lost some precious people. The Knight's amazing uncle, Daisy's unforgettable mama, and a precious friend of mine from college, to name a few. They were angels on earth, and now I know that they are angels in heaven. I think of them often, and miss them a lot.

My sister gave us all a scare by running away, and Betty gave us another (but on a smaller level) scare when she almost lost her eye. Thankfully, both scares ended okay.

While we may have lost some angels, our groups of friends have also been blessed with many new ones. In the past year, we have welcomed 7 healthy bundles of joy into our growing "friend family."

All in all, I have to say that this year was full. Full of memories, full of tears, and full of laughter. This has been a year of many seasons, and I am reminded of the song lyrics...

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

May 2010 bring you new hopes, new joys, and new opportunities to explore,
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The Christmas Afterglow

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Christmas in Memphis for the Knight and me was pretty low-key, but perfectly lovely.

The Knight had to work the midnight shift on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Day (oh, the joys of being a baby air traffic controller), so Christmas day for him was kind of a sleepy blur. Poor thing...he is rested now, but I hate that this year's celebration passed him by!

We did take a bunch of food to his work to feed the controllers who had to work on Christmas day, then we returned home to open our fabulous presents sent by my parents and siblings (we had celebrated Christmas with his family the prior weekend). It was hard not having a room full of family to celebrate with, but I guess that is just part of being a grown-up.

After that, we shared a lovely meal with Mr. and Mrs. Pilot (Mr. Pilot lives with us from time to time, and his wife came from Nashville to spend Christmas with him), as well as one of the Knight's co-workers whose family had gone to Texas while he worked. Our little orphan Christmas meal was GREAT...we had a honey/brown sugar ham, 4 cheese baked rigatoni (with Gruyere and Emmenthaler), green beans, and buttermilk biscuits. For dessert, we had a pecan apple crisp on homemade crust with gourmet vanilla bean ice cream! Yum!

I was bad, and didn't take a single picture. However, I did manage to snap a couple of a beautiful gift that I received in the mail from my favorite blogger/jewelry maker! Imagine my surprise when I opened a package labled "Twillypop" to discover this!

That Sara is SUCH a stinker! I have been drooling over this necklace for months, and she snuck it in a package and sent it to me for a Christmas Happy!

I have worn it three times since receiving it on Thursday. In fact, I'm wearing it right now. I LOVE IT!

Getting unexpected gifts is such a delight. I am now on a mission to see if I can bring the same joy to someone else (but I'm not sharing my fabulous new necklace!).

Hope you have a wonderful week as the new year approaches. The Knight has to work at 6 a.m. New Year's Day (again, I know...it is terrible), so ours will probably involve going to bed at a reasonable time and wishing each other a "Happy New Year!" 2 hours too early. Any of you have big plans?

Champagne and cable TV,
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Merry Christmas, One and All!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your holidays are full of love, laughter, and memories in the making!

post signature, the Knight, Betty Rascal and Henry Bear

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