My Year – 2011 In Review

Amy January 2011

I’ve been working on writing this post in my head for a while now, and I decided the only way to actually get it done was to sit down and start typing.  If a stranger looked at my life during the year 2011, they would probably think it was a horrible year that I am happy to leave behind.  They would be a little bit accurate – there were specific events and activities in 2011 that I would just as soon forget and leave behind.  With a quick glance, all the focus would be on the negative events because they were the biggest; however, on further investigation there were far more positive activities, events, and blessings that happened and outweigh all the negativity.  I’m going to re-cap my year by month, and hopefully I’ll be able to link to a previous post for each subject I talk about.


One of the first major things that happened in 2011 was Emma getting her Driver’s License.  It was such a great relieve to her Dad, Staci, and I because she was then able to drive herself back and forth between our houses, help us with getting her siblings places, and get herself to and from athletic practices.  Also in January, Emma’s basketball team became fully immersed in league play, preparing for the District Tournament.  Emma’s team also had to endure a tragic loss and unspeakable pain at the sudden death of their head coach, Mark Dowdy.  The remainder of their season, they “Did it for D“.  My parents took a vacation to Park City, Utah, and they enjoyed some fabulous adventures; some of them even caused my sister and I to question their sanity.  I also made my first post about gaining weight and how I was dealing with it.  I also spent some time talking about my mom and living with reckless abandon, and it is something I have strived for ever since – not always successfully.  My final post in January talked about the Go Red for Women Campaign and how important it is to me, personally.


February marked another post about gaining weight and starting a weight loss/fitness challenge and feeling very exposed and vulnerable.  I also talked about going for walks as part of getting into shape. A month into the year, I joined the Post-A-Day 2011 challenge, and started posting at least once a day.  It was a great way to force me to get all the rambling ideas out of my head.  I celebrated my birthday.  Harley’s basketball team had a great season, and were honored at one of the high school games along with the whole Girls’ CYB Program.  Emma’s basketball team was successful at the District Tournament and made it into the State Playoffs.  We also celebrated Reagan’s Ninth Birthday.  Finally, I learned a new photography technique called Freelensing.


Sick was the theme for March – I was really sick right at the beginning of the month.  I was home all the time, so tried several new recipes, including this one for really good scones.  Emma started her track season and ran her fastest race ever, becoming the fastest girl in the state at the 2A level for the 100 meter sprint.  Reagan got a long awaited haircut.  Finally, I started re-organizing and cleaning out my office.


April was a huge month of change and excitement for our family.  At one of Emma’s track meets, Reagan found several four leaf clovers.  Mom and Dad came over and helped me finish conquering the Hot Mess that was my office.  Harley and her friend, Krizia, volunteered as a victim for a local EMT Class. Emma and her boyfriend, Jordan, attended his Senior Prom.  Harley and Reagan celebrated the beginning of softball season.  Our family dynamic changed forever, and our family of six was reduced to a family of four.  The girls and I spent a lot of time at my sister’s house, and the girls spent a lot of time with their cousins.  We celebrated Easter at Erika’s house, as well.


May revealed many new things for us.  Reagan was diagnosed with ADHD, which allowed us to formulate a clear plan for her at school and at home to give her the most help possible.  Harley faced and conquered some difficult struggles at school.  We celebrated Emma three times – the first at the Night of Excellence Awards, then in Union when she became the Blue Mountain Conference District Champion in the 200m and 100m sprints, and finally at the State Track meet, where, unfortunately, she was plagued by injuries, but she made us proud anyway.  My girls gave me the best Mother’s Day gifts ever – time with them.  Instead of participating in the Sixth Grade Field Trip, Harley and her friend, Brenna, had an Art-Centered customized field trip to the Grande Ronde Valley.  We cleaned our house and spent a lot of time de-cluttering and preparing it to be placed on the market.


Right off the bat in June, Harley, Reagan, my parents, and I participated in the Three Rivers Race as a team, riding a total of 60 miles.  I was very lucky and got to spend an entire day with three of my nieces, Lillian, Karsyn, and Kayleigh.  I started a new job at Buffalo Peak Golf Course, and I learned a lot of life lessons – some funny, some not.  With the life changes and new responsibilities, I had a harder time following through with my Post-A-Day 2011 challenge, but posted as often as I could.


July brought Independence Day, picnics, lots of golf, and spending a lot of time outside.  The girls and I “officially” moved to Cove.  My Betts Genes went into overtime.  I scored my very first Eagle in Golf on a Par 4!  My nephew, Konrad, came and spent a weekend with us.  I struggled emotionally the entire year, but it all seemed to come to a head in July when I finally gained some concrete perspective on my situation.


Crazy busy is what August was like for us.  The girls and I started the month by celebrating my best friend, Crindalyn’s birthday.  The very next day, we took a day trip to the Oregon Zoo (which I still haven’t blogged) as our family vacation.  I celebrated two 20-Year Class Reunions – the La Grande High School Reunion was the first weekend of the month, and the Cove High School Reunion was held the following weekend.  Harley and Reagan both participated in the Morrow County Fair, where Harley earned the Fashion Review Grand Champion.  The biggest, most exciting event of the month was the first day of school – Harley and Reagan started their first day at a new school.


Labor Day Weekend, I was able to take a trip to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh myself.  The fitness/weight loss challenge I began in February came to a close, and, no longer feeling exposed and vulnerable, I posted the results of my hard work.  My parents celebrated their 43rd Anniversary, and spent some time in Boston (for hospital board meetings) to celebrate.  I went to my first-ever Pendleton Round Up.  Harley and Emma were full-into their volleyball seasons (which I still haven’t blogged, either).  And my inherited Betts Genes attacked took me over again and I ran over my own foot with an aeration machine and broke it.  Emma was elected to the Homecoming Court ii Heppner, and made a very Pretty Princess.  September also marked my frist day as an on-campus student at EOU (on crutches of all things).


The Senior Class at Cove High School held a fundraiser, and we got flocked.  I let myself get a little overwhelmed with school and girls activities, and got very stressed.  I (unwillingly) went “off the grid” for a week, and although I ran straight back to all my electronic toys when I was done, I really didn’t mind not being connected.  I was able to spend a lot of time with friends reconnecting and relaxing, and the girls and I were able to spend quite a bit of time just hanging out, as well.  Also in October, we celebrated Miss Harley’s 13th Birthday (another event I have yet to blog) – it’s hard to imagine that the tiny, sickly little preemie baby she once was is now such a vibrant, healthy young lady!


November was a HUGE month!  We received our first (and so far only) snow fall.  Harley, Reagan, Crindalyn, and I traveled to Forest Grove to watch Emma and her team play in the State Volleyball Tournament where they finished fifth!  I took a picture of the house I grew up in for the Dear Photograph Project.  The two younger girls were at their Dad’s house for Thanksgiving, so my parents and I were able to spend some quality time with Emma by herself.  I had a great Thanksgiving week visiting with old friends who were in town, I managed to get my dad’s pick-up stuck and had to be pulled out, and at the end of the week ended up in the emergency room on IVs dehydrated.  🙂  Finally, the ever-present Betts Genes struck again – though not on me.  Poor Reagan suffered a severely strained Lateral Collateral Ligament and was placed in a knee immobilizer and on crutches for six weeks, she injured herself playing football with the boys at recess.  November also brought a finalized divorce.


December brought finals week for me (I passed all my classes), Christmas Concerts for the girls, basketball season started for Emma, and a nice long winter break for all of us!  Emma celebrated her 17th Birthday (holy crap!).   I didn’t do very much blogging at all in December, mostly just posting pictures for the Weekly Photo Challenges.  I took a trip to Arizona the week before Christmas, and was in the process of driving home Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.  The girls came home on the 27th, and that is when we celebrated Christmas with my parents.  Emma had a busy break with basketball, and Harley and Reagan had a great time at their Dad’s house with their step-brothers and sister.  Finally, I was able to travel to Seattle for the Resolution Tour Concert on New Year’s Eve.

Amy January 2012

I have challenged myself with posting every day in 2012, like I did in 2011.  I don’t know if I will be successful with it or not, but I would like to think I will – even if all I do is post a picture from the day.  I have no doubt that 2012 holds nothing but great times ahead for the girls and me, and I cannot wait to see what it has in store for us!