This is my fifth “Joy of the Month Club” post. It began in 2011, a very difficult year for our family, as an exercise in seeing joy in the midst of pain. I’ve continued it because it is always good to look back, evaluate, and assess. It is even better to be grateful.
Each year I find it most difficult to remember the first three months of the year. Partially, of course, that’s because it was the longest ago, but I think it is also because those months are a grind-it-out, work-horse time for teachers. It’s the third quarter of the school year. If anything is EVER going to get done, it’s going to get done between Christmas and Spring Break. The days are short and the nights are long and cold. Thankfully, there is always the little glimmer of hope during those months for that most glorious of events for a teacher: A SNOW DAY! Snow days and the hope of Easter–these are the things that keep teachers going in the first three months of the year.
January: This month marked my one year anniversary of running. I had a goal to run at least a mile every day in 2015 and I entered the year needing new shoes. I had read a lot of reviews about Brooks Ghost series and wanted some when I got my first pair of real running shoes. When I couldn’t find my size, I got another shoe by Brooks and I liked them a lot, but this time I found my size in a Ghost 7. I have come home. I’m now wearing Ghost 8’s and love them even more but I adored the color of my 7’s. They made me feel like a serious runner.
February: My February picture file is full of snow and cups of tea, cinnamon rolls and books. I remember great times by the fire and dog walking in the snow.
March: Lent, the long, cold waiting time… I was never crazy about March until God made me a mother in that month. In March we celebrate our Amy-girl. She is brave and strong and well-worth celebrating! (And for once she didn’t make her own cake!)
April: Spring at last and a visit to Atlanta to spend time with my parents. My Dad had a rough winter of radiation treatments. But by the time we visited, they were over and he was starting to heal. God is very good! We sat and talked, went to a few doctor appointments, ate, played Mexican Train, I ran ten miles for the first time at a park near their house, and I went through the old family album and took a bunch of pictures for my memory file.
May: Our youngest graduated from college and George received his long awaited Masters Degree. What a day it was!
June: The end of school is always a hectic but blessed time. This was the summer for David, Laura, and Brendan to be home from China, so we had lots of family time, but I’ll talk about that in July. At the end of June I went to a Society for Classical Learning conference in Atlanta. I had a wonderful time with great friends and I learned a lot. It was the best of these conferences I have ever been to and the first of three times this year I got to hear Andrew Peterson live!
July: July was for family. With David and Laura home, we wanted to celebrate, so we had Thanksgiving in July. Matt surprised us and came home for the weekend just before we took the turkey out of the oven. It was a lovely surprise.
Christy was here too and the kids got lots of cousin time. The picture I have of the boys is of them watching a video. It’s the only time they hold still enough to take a picture.
We spent time at the pool and walked to the park.
The siblings enjoyed lots of quality time together!
It was a great month. At the end of the month I spent some time with my folks, went to a ball game and got my first foul ball when it landed between my back and my seat.
August: The big blessing in August was Crosby. Though he was born at the end of July, George Crosby Anderson was early and had some breathing problems that sent him to the NICU and had us on our knees.
September: September is for Italy. I had a blast with the Class of 2016 and some terrific colleagues.
This was the year for bruschetta. This version was the size of my face.
We rode the train
and I got this awesome picture of my hero, Dante.
October: I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a fall so much. We made another trip to Atlanta, I got to go to a conference in Richmond, travel to Boone for the twins’ birthday when the leaves were at their peak, and I had some great weekend runs in perfect weather. We ended the month with Alden’s birthday party on Halloween. He wanted us to dress up as super heroes, so I was Super Marmee. I had a ball making this costume.
November: The beautiful weather continued and we welcomed grandchild number eleven in the middle of the month. Thomas Dean Liebmann was born in Shanghai, China. We are anxious to actually get to meet him. His big brother, Brendan, is doing a great job of teaching him the ropes.
Running has so improved my health, that the cold no longer bothers my lungs so I was able to go to our annual Thanksgiving in the Meadow and participate as never before.
The weather was so nice on Thanksgiving that Amy set a beautiful table outside. My parents were able to come. We are blessed.
December: Christmas went by in a rush this year. Katie painted a series of Advent pictures for her church. This was the first one.
We traveled to Greenville on George’s birthday for Matt’s baptism at the church where he is an intern. It was a blessing to sit at lunch after the service with all of his friends and see his joy. God is good.
Our church hosted the Getty’s Christmas concert to kick off the musical season. Amy and I also got an unexpected, last minute blessing when we got to go to Charlotte with our Head of School, his wife, and a wonderful colleague, to see Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God. We were blessed to attend the concerts of our grandchildren at Caldwell and to sit around Amy’s tree on Christmas Eve and watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. Everyone except our China family made it home on Christmas day as we gathered to celebrate the birth of Jesus together. It was another year of grace and blessing.