2011 is gone.
the past few years have been filled with so much change – most of it truly marvelous. each year i think that my life can’t possibly get any better or be any fuller, and, yet, it does. i am thankful (but not thankful enough).
i took the past few days to reflect on 2011 and decided to put together a video of our personal photos from the past year. so many family and friends comment that they don’t see photos of lillian (or us) often enough. this is probably fair. to be honest, i admonish myself on a regular basis for failing to have my camera out to capture personal moments. you see, sometimes it just feels like work. i also feel a little left out of the action when i am the one behind the camera. i am there – but not. striking a balance here is something i am working on.
one of my New Year’s resolutions is to take more personal photos, to share more of them with family and friends (both in digital and print form), and to keep them more organized for my own purposes. wish me luck.
(i will say that, in putting together this video, i realized that i do take a fair number of photos. the problem is that i feel the need to edit them and to judge them with a professional photographer’s eye. this leads to them sitting on my computer – neglected. lame.)
while going through our photos, two things became obvious: (1) lillian is an extremely happy little girl; (2) we live a charmed life indeed.
this year, we took full advantage of living in the dc metro area. we frequented local tourist attractions (the air and space museum, the museum of natural history, the building museum, and the zoo being among some of our favorites) and took day trips to places like cumberland, ocean city, annapolis, and harper’s ferry. we enrolled lillian in an art class, which she really enjoyed and which sparked a creative fire under our butts – much paint and many crafts followed. we welcomed visits from family and friends (thanks to all who made the trip. we love your visits.) lillian attended del fest for the first time. del yeah. needless to say, she fit right in! we potty-trained (as you will no doubt notice in the slideshow). we vacationed with bradford’s side of the family in july on tybee island, which turned out to be eventful in many ways and a trip we won’t soon forget. lillian fell in love with her cousin hardin during this trip (a love that time and distance could not fade – she was over the moon when we visited mobile in december . . . they never missed a beat). i had skin cancer removed later that month, which was tough. but, it reminded me of how precious life is and served as a catalyst for a lot of soul-searching on my part. more on this later. on august 5, we found out we were expecting baby number 2. shock. awe. excitement. love. joy. (terror? yes, a little). later that month, i witnessed (and photographed) the birth of june elizabeth denson. (if i were making a top 10 list of experiences in 2011, this would be on it.) in september, our little baby lillian started preschool at beth el jewish preschool. i cried. she was overjoyed at her new found freedom. you can read more about that here. in october, lillian turned 2. we celebrated at our house with friends and family (and a thomas the train theme). the two years of her life have been the best two years of mine. she is growing into an intelligent, funny, charismatic, beautiful, adventurous child (if i do say so myself). so far, the twos are treating us nicely. we occupied lee street (in old town, alexandria) for halloween. lillian dressed up as a monster and courageously walked the block (and braved the crowd!) for treats. needless to say, her first trick-or-treating experience was an amazing one. the first home we visited went all out. lillian walked right in without us (we, of course, could see her at all times) and took a picture with the woman giving out candy (who was dressed to the nines). before the night was over, she was very loudly shouting “THANK YOU” to everyone who handed her candy. she loved halloween. she now talks non-stop about witches, skeletons, ghosts, and the like (she even insisted on calling christmas lights “halloween decorations” for a while). what’s next? oh yes, november. on november 17, we found out that “it’s a girl!”. exciting stuff. we spent a quiet thanksgiving at home in anticipation of our christmas travel. i made a great meal, and we enjoyed each other’s company immensely. we also committed to living in the dc metro area for the long haul and bought a home! more on this later – because this is big news. we wrapped up the year with a whirlwind of activities – getting things prepared for closing on our new home, travel to enterprise and mobile (where we fit in a baby shower (which was awesome – thanks everyone!!!)), long overdue visits with friends and family, a date night and an exploreum visit), and travel back to dc. a few days before new year, we closed on our first family home. i can’t wait to share pictures and updates on renovations and things.
so, there is our year in a nutshell. i could never mention all of the significant things that happened this year (or even those insignificant things that are truly what daily life is made of), but i thought i would give a summary of events a go.
before this post becomes one of the longest in all my history of blogging, let me cut myself off. but, not without saying first how truly thankful i am for every single piece of my life on this earth.
enjoy the video (just press play).
the hardin family | 2011 from Crystal Hardin on Vimeo.