S: OUR YEAR IN 2011
BC: See you in 2012!
FC: Cherish Every Day | The Millwoods
1: The Millwoods in 2011 | "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" Dr. Seuss
3: We spent New Years Eve with the Blackwells playing Canasta. The next day Charity took beautiful pictures of the kids in downtown TR. We celebrated Maria's birthday in January at the Georgia Aquarium and a party at Chuck E Cheese. Erica made her an incredible Dora the Explorer cake. On the 10th, we got snowed in and even though Derek had to go into work, the kids and I had a blast sledding at Look Up. Maria wasn't a huge fan of the snow, but Markell loved every minute of it. We made a day trip to Georgia for Jonathan's 6th Nerf war birthday party. The next day we got to be a part of Toni's baptism at Grace. We were so excited to see her take this huge step in her faith. We also added two families to our small group- the Garrons and the Simkos.
5: Happy Valentines Day! | We started February with surprising Todd in Columbia at the Jubilee Academy Open House in their new building. Due to our babysitter falling through at the last minute- we spent Valentines Day at home with the kids. Derek used it as an excuse to buy a new grill and grill us all a delicious dinner. The kids, Mom, and I went to see Mimi and Granddaddy in Birmingham later that week. Maria scared us all when she randomly developed a 104 degree fever and pneumonia. Mom and I rushed her to the doctor down the road. We walked in as they were locking the doors and an angel of a nurse saved us from having to admit her to the hospital. Later in the month we went to Gaffney and both kids "caught" a fish with Grandma and Pa. Derek and I went to the Grace Leadership Retreat and spent a relaxing weekend with some really awesome teaching by our pastors.
6: We didn't have a ton going on in March. Derek's dad had his first of two knee surgeries on the 10th. Derek and the kids went to see him in Charlotte. He recovered quickly and well. On the 25th, our Bible Study had a shower for Loren and Tim in a park in TR. We also threw a surprise baby shower for Miffany at small group on the 30th to prepare them for Cooper's arrival.
8: We started April with some alarming outfits by the guys at Grace's dodgeball tournament.. They didn't win the most games, but did show the most leg so we were proud! Mom turned the big 60 and we threw her a surprise party at the Dillard House. Luckily she believed everything we told her to get her there and was throughly surprised.
9: April | Our small group once again participated in HOG day and helped clean and paint some low income housing developments in Greenville. We also spent one evening playing mini golf in the park. Maria was only interested in listening to Erin's iPod. We spent the weekend before Easter in Gaffney with a jump house at the Millwoods and celebrated in Lilburn at Stone Mountain and the lasershow.
10: I got to celebrate my first Mother's Day in May! We met my family at Tugaloo State Park the day before and spent Sunday in Gaffney with the Millwoods. | Loren asked me to be in her wedding so a lot of May was spent celebrating her and Tim! They were married on the 29th at The Loom. Loren looked gorgeous and we had a great time! The next day we went down to the lake and spent time with the Millwoods and Todd.
11: On the 15th- we once again braved the elements and became warriors. This year's course was much harder than last years, but even pregnant Kelly defeated it. It was pretty cold outside and Amber and I paid $1.50 for a hot hose shower, but it was well worth it. We celebrated our accomplishment by stuffing ourselves at the Dillard House. !
13: It didn't take long for Maria to steal the hearts of everyone she met. For a long time, we couldn't see our family's future without her in it. Over the last few months that she lived with us, God began to change our hearts. He taught us that He loves her more than we do. We learned a lot about His love for us and how to draw strength from Him. When our last day together came, it was one of the hardest days either of us had ever faced. God was faithful and through tear filled eyes we drove away with confidence that God would care for her better than we ever could. | father's | day | Derek celebrated his first Father's Day at the water park with the kids and the Blackwells. It was a bittersweet time because we knew at the end of the month, Maria would be going back home to live with her. | JUNE
14: July | We decided that instead of sulking over Maria, we'd distract ourselves at the lake with the Wileys. The boys fished a lot and we enjoyed our time as a now family of three. | Amber, Kevin, Derek and I got stuck out on the boat in the middle of a huge hail storm. Poor Kevin navigated his way back with about five feet of visibility ahead of us. We took the kids to see the fireworks and Markell couldn't have been more excited. He screamed "COLORS" every time a firework exploded. | COLORS!
15: Our small group had a party at the mansion and we got to bring Maria(who looked similar to Bruce Lee), Juana and Francisco. It was weird having her back with us because she had changed so much, but we were thankful for the time.
16: girls beach trip
17: In August, Amber and I had a weight loss competition and I got down skinnier than I have been in years! We dressed up with the Blackwells as cows for free food at Chick-fil-a and were the best looking in the store. The Drive stadium had a Green Day where firefighters got in cheap so we took Markell to a game. We ended up sitting on the lawn with Philly and Elizabeth Osbourne who were moving to Papua New Guinea the next week. We took our annual girls weekend beach trip to Rosemary Beach. Amber found us an awesome house and we spent the long weekend relaxing and eating really good seafood. Derek had Mantime with Markell back at home.
18: We had a surprise party for Derek's mom for her 60th birthday in Gaffney! We even surprised her with Maria who she hadn't seen since June. | September is by far our busiest and most fun month. We began with Family Camp in Hilton Head. It was the first time Markell had ever seen the beach and he had a blast riding the waves on his knee board. A bunch of us ran Run for RET 5K where Amber stomped Trey by 2 minutes and won 2nd place for her age group. I had my best 5K time and even Johnny joined The Runs this year. Derek and I celebrated our 4 yr anniversary with a romantic dinner to Pizza Inn.
20: After Family Camp, we went down to Lake Murray to camp and see Byron and Erica. Todd came too and he and Derek got lost on the boat in the dark. Markell and I hung out at the campsite alone for a few hours and finally decided to eat and go to bed without them. Frustrated and freezing, Todd finally walked up to some random person's house to ask for help. Byron and Erica had to come save them and the finally made it back around 1 am. We don't know that we'll ever get Todd back on a boat. We then took a road trip with the Blackwells to the Creation Museum and Cincinnati Zoo. We had a lot of fun and the kids did great on the long trip.
21: Creation Museum | Cincinnati Zoo | Celebrating Derek's birthday at the Cheetah show | Planking | Mantime in the hot tub | Cincinnati skyline | Free CFA bfast | Riding a camel | Garden of Eden
22: October | We started October with a trip to Sky Top Orchard and ate the best donuts I've ever tasted and were totally worth Derek standing in line for an hour to get them. On the 7th- we got a call from DSS about Colton. We had already planned a trip to the cabin so I picked up Colton and headed to North GA. He was so pitiful and really missed his mom. The first few days with Colton were spent comforting him during his many breakdowns. He and Markell got close quick and Markell was pumped to have another kid in the house. Colton's teeth were completely rotted to his gums so we immediately got him to a dentist. They ended up pulling almost of all of his teeth for two surgeries and Papa and Nana came to stay with him afterwards. Later, after he went home, he had some fakes ones put in. On the 16th, Markell, Colton and I were in an accident, but thankfully no one was hurt.
23: Markell with his hair straightened | We had a Halloween party with small group and everyone dressed up. Derek was Bigfoot, I was a Boy Scout, Markell was Spiderman and Colton was Superman. I took the kids to Marietta First's trunk or treat with the Blackwells. We got tricked into a gospel presentation disguised as a raffle draw and didn't even win. The boys had a good time though and obtained a ton of candy.
24: November | On Nov 4th- precious Molly Jane was born! She had the chubbiest cheeks we had ever seen and was so stinking cute. on the 8th- we said goodbye to Colton and he went to live with grandparents. We were sad to see him go, but happy that he'd be with his brothers in one place. On the 10th- Markell turned 5! We celebrated by taking him, Issac and Trystan to Frankies and had a party at the house that night with some friends. The next day we celebrated Eri's 1st bday at LookUp. On the 15th- Able joined our family! He was the happiest, chunkiest and funniest child we'd had and he immediately fit in. Derek was on shift that day so Able met him at the fire station. He started calling him "fireman" and the name has stuck.
25: We played in our annual Turkey Bowl in Lilburn, but Derek was on the injured list because of his shoulder. My team lost pretty bad. I celebrated my birthday at my favorite restaurant, Pappasitas. On the 28th- We had the opportunity to meet with people from WinShape including Truett, Dan and Bubba Cathey at the Chick-fil-a headquarters in Atlanta. It was an unbelievable experience and we learned all about the company that we hope to be a part of someday.
27: Chick-fil-a Bowl with WinShape Homes! | Celebrating Todd's birthday! | A much needed haircut for Able