Remembering My 2011

Posted Dec 29 2011, 3:39 pm in , , , , , , ,

During this time of year, newspaper and television reporters reflect on the past year and recall important events and people. So I thought this would be a good time to reflect on things that happened in my life in 2011 with a pictorial parade.

The cold winter of 2011 made the hibiscus plant in my front yard look like this. However, it did survive and is now in bloom.


I got to build a Lego tower with my granddaughter.



In March, I visited the Pima County Arizona Air and Space Museum with my granddaughter.


During our visit to Arizona, I also got to see my youngest brother, George, who is standing at the far left in the photo, as well as my daughters, son-in-law and granddaughter.



In April my husband and I took a mini-vacation to St. Augustine where we took in the historic light house.


In July, I attended RWA in New York City, where I visited Times Square.


Also in July, I went out to Spokane, Washington, to visit my two brothers who live there and also attend my high school class reunion. Here I am with my brothers and two nephews and my niece.


In August our older daughter came to visit while hurricane Irene churned up the surf. Other than a little beach erosion, Florida had little effect from the 2011 hurricane season.


 In September I traded in my Mustang convertible for a crossover SUV, which is better for hauling around grandchildren in car seats.



Also in September, I went the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in St. Louis.


In October, we went to visit our daughter and son-in-law in Baltimore and took a side trip to Philadelphia, where I got to see the Liberty Bell for the first time.


Our granddaughter and daughter visited in late October, and we took a trip to the zoo.


In early November, hubby and I traveled to North Carolina, where we took in the Biltmore Estate and the Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame football game.


We spent Thanksgiving in Baltimore with our daughters, their husbands and our granddaughter. It was a wonderful family time.


On a mid-December trip, hubby and I visited Sedona, AZ, with our daughter and her family. We saw lots of spectacular red rock formations and Christmas lights and took a trip on the Polar Express, then celebrated our granddaughter’s third birthday.

These are just a few of the highlights of my 2011.

What are your favorite memories of 2011?




26 responses to “Remembering My 2011”

  1. Mary Christian says:

    The biggest highlight for me in 2011 was our beach trip. My husband and I had not been to the beach in 20 years so this year, we both took some time off in the Summer and went to the beach. Our daughters and son-in-law went with us. It was so much fun enjoying the ocean and picking up sea shells. Thanks for sharing pictures and highlights of your year in 2011. I wish everyone a blessed and profitable year in 2012. Thanks for writing all of your delightful books. I look forward to reading many more. It would be a wonderful blessing to win the kindle pre-loaded with your e-books. That will be awesome for whoever wins it.

    • Mary, thanks for sharing. The beach is a wonderful place. In the summer I walk on the beach almost every day. I’m so blessed to live close to the beach. This summer was what I call my “sand dollar summer.” I found six sand dollars. Some years I find none. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  2. Marianne says:

    i take my ‘holiday’ in winter when i bring my 85 year old Mom to Arizona for the winter. It really is a blessed time, and after 15 years of coming to the same area, she has made many friends. i have too, though i only started staying all winter about 9 years ago. Thanks for sharing your year in photos.

  3. What a great idea, Merrillee! 🙂 I really enjoyed reading about your year. Your granddaughter is adorable! ~ One highlight of my year was a family vacation to Jekyll Island in June. We (along with my sister and nephew) rented a gorgeous beach house for a week, and had so much fun! And just having all my kiddos with me for a week was a special treat.

    • Patti Jo, thanks so much. The beach is so much fun. Before we lived at the beach, we loved to take our kids to the beach for vacation. Now I look forward to having my granddaughter come to the beach. There’s something about kids and the beach that spells lots of fun.

  4. Merrillee, I think a highlight for me was the Faith, Hope and Love’s Chapter annual general meeting at RWA National in New York. I also attended a “My Book Therapy” retreat in Minneapolis in October and learned a lot from Susie May Warren and her team. Your year in review looked amazing – filled with a lot of love, which is the most important ingredient. I lost my Dad this past May, so while 2011 had high points, it also contained one of the lowest of my life.

    • Jenna, I’m so glad you had some positive things happen with your writing endeavors. I’m sorry about the loss of your father. This time of year is always more difficult when we have recently lost loved ones. I pray that God will bring you many blessings in 2012.

  5. WOW! You had a really busy year, Merrillee! I love your pictures. You have a beautiful family and I love your new ride too! 🙂 To be honest, 2011 has been a very trying year for me and my husband. Within the span of three months, we lost two uncles, one cousin, and our 18-year old nephew. We’re both praying that 2012 will be a better year for our family as well as everyone else. Blessings to you and yours in the upcoming year, Merrillee!

    • Stephanie, thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m so sorry to hear that 2011 wasn’t the best year for you and your family. I’m sorry for those people you have lost, and as I’ve said in other replies, this time of year is difficult when we are missing loved ones. I too pray that you will have a better 2012.

  6. Suzanne Kuchynka says:

    Happy Holiday’s Merilee! Your website do-over looks great! Congratulations on all your success.

  7. Joyce Hardage says:

    God truly blessed me this year with a good job that I enjoy going to. My sister (who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area) came down to Tucson, AZ and the is the first time in 19 years that we have all spent Christmas together. Our Mother was very happy having her two children and her grandchildren all together.

    Thank You for sharing great Christian stories with us.
    Happy New Year!

  8. Kelly says:

    Loved the pictures, you had an interesting year! Did you know that when you were at the Wake Forest game, You were in our neck of the woods? Small world huh? I did not see how to sign up to try to win the Kindle….. But I just had to tell you that :). Blessings to you and yours!

    Love and prayers ,
    Kelly Vanderbrook AKA greggs_girl

  9. jennifer Tipton says:

    Wow! You had an exciting year! I visited my mom during the summer to attend my brother’s wedding. It was me and two of my boys. I wasn’t brave enough to take all four of them. Camp is just too busy for my husband to get away. Then in November my whole family visited my mom for Thanksgiving! Oh! I almost forgot to mention in January my husband and I attended the Camp-Leaders Conference in Gatlinburg, Tennesee (without kids). That was great considering we hadn’t been on a trip since our honeymoon, just the two of us. Have a Happy New Year!!!!

  10. Judy Burgi says:

    Wow what a thrilling year for you! You have a very lovely family. Aren’t grandchildren just the best? (I Love your new car!)

    Our highlight of this year was when my daughter Nikki and my two grandchildren Abby (9) and Sawyer (3) came for a month visit. My son-in-law Kurt spent 3 months in Washington D.C. training for his new position at the US Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. To say I enjoyed my time with Nikki, Abby, and Sawyer is an understatement! We had a blast and the house was so empty when they had to leave. Kurt had been previously stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA. That’s where they had been living for 3 years before the Stockholm opportunity came up. Kurt, Nikki, Abby, and Sawyer really liked living in Spokane. They still own a home there and it is being rented out while they are in Stockholm for 3 years.

    We’ve had some real shockers happen to us this past couple of months also. We choose to dwell on the happy times. God has been so amazing during our trials and tribulations and so we go into the new year with renewed Trust, Faith, and Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ!

    Blessings and Happy New Year!

    • Judy, thanks so much. Grandchildren are the best. Spokane is a nice place, but I kind of like the warmer south. Interesting that we share the Spokane connection. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  11. B Irwin says:

    So glad we have a place to gather and reflect, even if it’s been a rough year for some of us. How thankful I am to still be here [3 surgeries in 12 months] and know such wonderful writers/people!

  12. clynsg says:

    This past year was comparatively quiet for this family, which was somewhat of a relief after a couple of the other recent years. Aside from some family moments, what I remember most are the concern for others and relief that we were missed from some natural disasters–we are only a few miles from Joplin but were not even heavily hit by the storms that spawned that tornado, and my younger daughter lives only a couple of miles from the harbor in Long Beach, and we weren’t really certain how much damage would be caused by the tsunami after the earthquake in Japan.

    • I’m so glad you were spared any problems from the natural disasters this year. We know it has been a difficult year for those who suffered in those tragedies. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Happy New Year!

  13. L Huckaba says:

    It has been so fun keeping up with all your activities this past year!!! Thank you for sharing pictures of your family fun, trips, your home and area. And thanks for being a great Christian author – I so enjoy your writing and always look forward to hearing about new books coming out. I haven’t been able to find ALL of them, but have loved what I’ve found. Hope to see you some year in Spokane!

    • Linda, if you win the Kindle, you’ll have all of them. 🙂 If the Lord wills we could meet at the next class reunion. I went to the one this past summer. Some people were easily recognizable–others not so much.

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