This past weekend Duggs and I have spent so much time going back and forth, asking each other: “what were your top moments of 2011?” We tried to make a top ten list, but it was harder than you’d think.
What events were more significant than others? What meant the most to us or had the most impact?
A lot happened this year. Matthew and I were reunited after a seven-month deployment. I grew my hair out long. I tie dyed more garments than I could even count, and we hiked, climbed, swam and crawled all over this island. 2011 was a busy, crazy, strange year. And here’s the best of it:
My Best of 2011
I hope it goes without saying that certain things are the best in my life, regardless of the year, entities like my pooch, my family, my friends, etc. So this list isn’t meant to be exhaustive of everything I’ve ever loved in 2011… it’s just the highlight reel of things that happened this year:
1. Matthew’s Homecoming!
Duggs came home from Afghanistan. He came back, safe and sound, from his third and final combat deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps. Homecoming was totes my favorite event of the year. Having Matthew back here with me is just beyond words.
2. This Here Blog: happy hippie rose dot com
I started this here blog, yes! The very one you’re reading! It’s been a very fun project, a constant in my life that I’ve really come to look forward to. I enjoy this blog.
And more than any of my feelings – I LOVE when something I’ve written helps someone else, makes another person feel better, or informs someone. The lovely feedback has just been so inspiring.
2011 hasn’t been an easy-peasy year; during the challenges and hard times (mostly talking about my health here) having a reader reach out and tell me what nice things they’ve gleaned from what I have to say – pushes me to get through it, to carry on, and to do so with a smile. So, to everyone reading, commenting and being a part of this: THANK YOU!!!
3. I got a job!
This just came to be very recently, but it totally counts as a best of the year! I am so grateful and happy. I’ve been entrusted with this amazing opportunity and I hope to work really hard and to do a great job.
(If you want to check out who I’m working for, go here: http://www.icucmoderation.com Just remember, this is my personal blog, and anything I say is just my opinion and nothing to do with ICUC.)
4. Baptism (and Church in general)
I was Baptised this year, in September, at Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay. It wa s decision that I stand by (Catholic family members reading this can speak to me one-on-one, I love you and I’ll always be Catholic-by-birth). Waiting for Matthew to get home, and wanting his support: September was the perfect month. Matthew took pics and participated by being there, watching, and praying with all of us, his love on that day meant a lot to me.
Being Baptized as an adult is a really public way to declare my faith, and to just go big with it! A highlight of the year is certainly Hope Chapel, and the level of faith I’ve exercised in general. From Women’s Retreat to teaching at Children’s Church, to just attending service with my husband every Sunday, Church has been a solid and wonderful aspect of 2011.
Giving back, community service, helping others, and kindness have been such outward reaches of the church, that we’ve found ourselves really doing good in 2011; many of the projects we participated in were church-related.
Baptism is that symbol of being part of the church, and I am so happy and glad for that. Praise God!!
5. The Holidays
For the first time ever, Matthew and I were able to celebrate the entire run of holidays together. From Halloween straight to New Year’s. Being together made the holidays so much fun. We both love Christmas, and this year we were able to get so into it and go nuts with decorating, and cards and just everything.
Sharing that New Year’s Kiss was so wonderful, too. Half of 2011 was spent in deployment mode, me alone in Hawaii and Duggs all the way in Afghan. Kissing that all away and starting a fresh new together year, was just amazing.
6. The Tanners!
Did you think I’d leave our Hawaiian besties out of the list? This past year we’ve really grown close to the Tanners, and we’ve made so many fun memories with them. From the Navy Day Ball to boating out on K-bay, crafting nights with Ashley and watching Jed and Duggs be utterly ridiculous together, we love the Tanners! Thanks for so much fun in ’11.
7. Tie Dye Business!
Yeah, this year brought into being my little homespun tie dye business. There’s been a lot to learn, and it’s also been a lot of fun. I’m not sure what the future of hhr is, as of now. Regardless, it brought purpose, focus, creativity, and ingenuity to my 2011. To all my customers, I am so thankful for your support!
Want to check it out? www.facebook.com/happyhippierose
8. Family Visting
This year saw a lot of our family members out here in Hawaii. First came my Dad and Stepmom. A couple weeks later, my Mom came out to see us. In the fall,. Matthew’s Aunt Anne and Uncle Jeff were out here for business, and we were able to spend some time with them.
Being so far away from family is hard.
So seeing those familier faces in the baggage claim was such a joy. During their trips we were able to see so much of this island by playing tour guide, it was like being on vacation ourselves!
9. My Birthday
Duggs says that my birthday was a highlight of 2011 for him. That he loved buying me presents and making the day (heck, the weekend) so special for me. It was our first time being together on my birthday! So I know that it was special.
I gave a tithing Testimony at church the weekend of my birthday. So, in that respect, my birthday was a very important day to me too!!
Just being here is a constant amazement. This is really the most beautiful place of earth. All year long we explored, hiked, swam in the warm waters, and sighed at the neon sunsets. I love living here, and I am forever grateful to have spent 2011 on gorgeous O’ahu!
When we leave, Hawaii will carry such a special place in my heart for a long time to come.
I was going to put climbing Stairway To Heaven as one of my highlights. I mean, it was totally a highlight! An achievement, for sure.
But there were a lot of metaphorical stairways to climb this year, and I’m proud to say I reached the top, or damn near close, of most of them. With Duggs holding my hand, the climb is always easier. And once at the top, the view, spectacular.
Pushing through and overcoming the tough stuff is the sort of thing that builds character, and gives me that resolution to dig in and overcome the next time ’round. You only become strong through opportunities that require strength.
2011 has been amazing in it’s own ways. But it’s a year I’m glad to see behind me. I’m so stoked for 2012 and all that it may hold!
As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr