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2011 is dead, long live 2012

One year. 2011. You can pack a lot into 365 days. Here are a few of the highlights around our house.

Home improvement

IMG_01422011 began with new clothes for our house to cover the battleship gray Masonite with pale yellow vinyl siding. The upgrade followed a new green roof (which looked awful with gray) and came none too soon as it was quickly followed with more snow than we’ve seen in northwest Georgia for years.

Health

Perfect! Filets are a hit.Julie and I discovered the Paleo lifestyle and started trying to eat and live better. I’m not going to say it was a 100 percent success, but we’re eating better than we used to and feel better for it.

Preheating to sear filets last night.We cooked many meals of those healthy meals on our Big Green Egg. If you’re in the market for an outdoor cooker of any kind, I cannot recommend it enough. It’s simply the best. There is nothing better. Forget the Weber. Forget any gas grill. The Big Green Egg is the way to go.

Travel

Toccoa River, Blue Ridge, Ga.We made two trips to Blue Ridge, Ga. It would have been three times but homeowners broke their solemn word and screwed us out of a third trip, ruining our summer vacation. You know who you are. Jerks.

Awesome evening. Thanks @JonathancoultonJulie and I also gathered up a bucket full of stories and rediscovered an old friend, Thomas, on the way to see Jonathan Coulton perform at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. It didn’t take us long to return to Atlanta to see Thomas (awesomely) direct Henry IV part I and can’t wait to see what the North Fulton Drama Group has next for us.

Home life

2011 was busy around our house. Jordan moved into the 7th grade, Meg into 8th, and Kat is a junior in high school God help us. Kat also turned 16 this year, earned her driver’s license, and has ended up driving a Honda Civic after swapping Julie’s van for it with her brother Jamie. Kat also got her first job, which she loves, at McDonald’s.

We were early. Not Meg's band, do I'm playing with filters.We got to join Meagan at the University of Georgia where her percussion skills earned her a spot in one of several honor bands hosted at the college. Jordan is improving on the trumpet and Kat continues to do a great job playing clarinet in the Legion of Generals Marching Band. It won’t be long before they are all on the field.

Meg and Katheryn also flexed their academic muscles and made it into the National Junior Honor Society and Beta Club, respectively. Julie and I are incredibly proud of all the kids for everything they accomplished this year.

Julie has been there for the kids (and me) since the beginning of fall when she became a stay-at-home mom. She is working to finish her master’s degree in educational leadership, which means she is home to do all of the awesome things she does. She’s the June Cleaver to our house full of Beavers!

Changes

IMG_0051The extended family grew by one when my niece Harper was born in May! Don’t tell anybody because it will ruin my image, but I think she’s a pretty great kid.

Not that we go terribly often, but our family found a new church to attend. We haven’t attended a single service since summer, but we’re thankful that we found a church filled with likeminded souls.

IMG_0057As a household with a large personal investment in Apple Inc., we mourned the loss of Steve Jobs. I’m not sure if we were shocked, well, yes, I guess we were. He helped to make our home and the entire world a better place. Thanks for everything Steve.

Here comes 2012!

So, here we are on New Year’s Eve wondering what 2012 holds in store for us. There are so many things on the horizon. Jordan will finally get Meagan out of his hair as she moves on to be a freshman in high school. Katheryn will be gearing up for graduation and who knows what after then. We have so many things to look forward to in this coming year. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make it a good one.