2011: A Photographic Review

Last year I really enjoyed picking out pictures for a photographic review of 2010. I knew I had to do it again and again every year. It's amazing looking through the pictures of all that we did within such a short span of time. One year really isn't that long in the grand scheme of things. 
How I managed to only pick 1-2 pictures for each month last year is beyond me. I had the hardest time keeping the amount of pictures for each month below 10 it seems, 2011 was such a wonderful busy year! I hope you have fun reflecting with me.

The beginning of 2011 was when Lexi's big personality just blossomed. She started the year at 16 months, that's when things really start to get fun! Char and Lexi started to enjoy each other's company, playing together all the time. Whatever Charlotte did, Lexi did. I had a successful surgery to remove a cyst from my neck/throat area.

Riding a roller coaster

February brought warmer weather which meant more outside time. Charlotte started getting in touch with her inner artist and Lexi started taking charge of her independence, insisting on doing everything herself.

Lexi turned 18 months old in March, such a big girl! She's a climber and a jumper and an "I can do it!" type of girl. Charlotte is my sensitive soul. I catch her staring off into space all of the time, just contemplating. I started a blog/art group for toddlers in March called Dilly-Dali Art. When I announced it on Facebook, the group filled up within 24 hours. I was so pleased to be able to offer a space for kids to get messy and creative. We also visited Travis down in North Carolina for the first time. We had a really great visit, North Carolina is beautiful!

April is when the weather really starts getting warm and staying warm. That means lots of trips to the beach! We put our membership to the aquarium to good use and dug our toes in the sand. We spent a lot of time at parks and walking one of our favorite trails. The girls also love to spend time in the kitchen with me, especially Charlotte.

Here's something that won't be surprising, more outdoors in May! More pictures of Lexi loving life and flashing that huge grin of hers and more pictures of Char off in a distant land. Oh and of course more pictures of the beach! May is when the art group's spring semester ended and I scheduled groups for the summer, then Travis and I made the huge decision to move our family down to NC so we could all be together.

June was a huge, HUGE month for us. Charlotte had her long awaited dance recital (she ended up breaking down and crying on stage). After Char's recital we decided we wanted to move by the end of June/beginning of July. Before leaving we made sure we spent time with our friends before leaving. We had a super fun time at the Botanical Gardens, checked out the new children's museum with Granddad,  enjoyed a reading carnival at the library and got to read books to bunnies at the library as well
Finally, right before we left Virginia we were graced with the most gorgeous orange sunset. I had never seen anything like it before so, I had to go out and take pictures of it. There is an amazing story to go along with the sunset too. About a week before, a young lady was killed by a drunk driver in a head-on collision, she had just graduated from high school. The bright orange sunset happened exactly when her memorial service was taking place, her favorite color was orange. 
I don't think it was a coincidence at all.


We made it down to our new home in NC the first week of July. It's exactly where we needed to be. The girls were and still are so happy to be with their Daddy.
There are tons of things to explore in NC, new parks, new bugs, new people, new everything!
Grandma and Poppa Joel were the first guests we had at our new home.

Waiting for Daddy to come home for lunch

August sent us on a trip to visit Travis's Uncle and Aunt who also live in NC. The girls had a blast in their pool and Charlotte even learned how to fish! She got her own Spiderman fishing pole as soon as we got back home. 
Also in August, Uncle Mikie returned to the USA for good after being stationed in Japan for almost 4 years! 

NC offers some of the prettiest sunsets I've seen. I'm always outside taking pictures of the sunsets. We went to our first apple festival in September, experienced a few chilly days. Miss Alexis turned 2 years old! TWO!! She had an apple pie cake for her birthday and a trip to the zoo that was rained out, but the girls were still able to enjoy themselves.

Uncle Mikie visited us in October. We made the most out of the mild weather, getting as much outside time as we could before the weather gets cold! The girls love taking our evening walks, exploring every little thing, in October snails took over our sidewalks! It was like walking in a mine field! We took the girls to go see Yo Gabba Gabba for their combined birthday present (it was fantastic!) For Halloween we headed up North to Grandma's to do some trick or treating. Charlotte (who was obsessed with Spiderman) got a suit to wear while saving people.  For Halloween Charlotte told me she had an amazing idea, to wear her princess (recital) dress for Halloween. Okay by me! Charlotte was a trick or treating master, she ran nonstop from house to house. I toddled along with Lexi while Travis ran ahead trying to catch Charlotte.

November means Charlotte's birthday. Four years flew by. She's such a little adult now! She picked out the most delicious Chocolate-Wasted cupcakes for her birthday. We saw our first Christmas parade in NC, did a mini family photo shoot using the tripod (I think it went well!) and made a trip up to visit family in Virginia for Thanksgiving.

Charlotte wrote her first letter ever to Santa, I can't wait to show it to her when she's my age. We added a new addition to our family, a border collie named Oreo Cookie Pie. She's adorable, playful and full of energy. Perfect for wearing the kids out while wearing herself out at the same time. I'm so looking forward to taking her with us on all our hiking journeys in 2012 and beyond. Travis was called away once more to work out of town, but we'll see him again soon. December brought along with it visitors for Christmas. Uncle Mikie, Granddad, Grandpa T, all came during some point in December and we were thrilled to have them here. Christmas was perfect as always, we were able to spend it all together and that's the best gift of all.

We had an amazing 2011 and I really feel like I'm missing telling you tons of things. I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for us and what adventures we'll go on, I wouldn't be surprised if we moved again! What we've learned in 2011 is to just sit back and let life take you on a ride and to make the best out of anything thrown your way. I'll be working on my list of resolutions for 2012 and hope to have them posted soon!
Happy New Year to all!