Clearly, we've been back into a pretty regular routine this week - nothing to blog about, no pictures to post. So, I thought I'd sum up our 2009 with links to our favorite memories from each month of 2009. Here goes...
January: New Year - New Food
McIver looks so little, but he still asks for potato panckaes.
February: Signed Contract on a House in Columbia
Even though this was the beginning of the end of our time in Houston, it felt really good to have found a home in Columbia and be able to start imagining life here. Really, I guess, the beginning of the end was the day we moved there since we knew it was only for 4 years. We just never would have guessed how much we would love living there and how many dear friends we would have to leave.
March: Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
We looked forward to the Rodeo every year we were in Houston. Will and I saw George Strait one year, then my friend Gay and I managed to take Olivia and Abby to see Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. The carnival was always great fun, too, but those girls will never forget going to their first concerts together.
April: Palmer Family Retreat
It took us exactly one Sunday to find a church in Houston. We loved Palmer and all of our friends there - they really were a church family. We were fortunate enough (despite Will's crazy fellowship schedule and by the grace of God!) to be able to attend the retreat two years in a row. We shared a cabin with the Stricklins and thoroughly enjoyed relaxing and having fun with our families.
May: Murphy Update
This was certainly not a favorite memory, but it was an important one for us. Murphy's diagnosis with bladder cancer was a shock and saddened us all. He was a trooper, though, and we were so thankful for him to be able to make it back to his home state of South Carolina. He was our first child and (poor Tex) our Gold Standard as far as pets go.
June: Going Away Party
It was the definition of bitter sweet.
July: Moving In
Even though July was full of fun times visiting family and friends, not to mention our anniversary/graduation trip to Amelia Island, the best part of July was moving to our new home. Many thanks to Nanoo and Pop for helping to get us unpacked and settled in.
August: Olivia & McIver's first day of school
We could not be more pleased with the transition that Olivia and McIver have had to their new school. Even though I worried so about Olivia coming into a new school where many children have been together since preschool, she was welcomed with open arms and has more friends than she can fit into her social schedule. She loves school (except for the 20 minutes of reading she's supposed to do each night) and her teachers. Her original lead teacher was on maternity leave from mid-October through the Christmas break. We already miss the long-term sub just as much as we missed Mrs. Tart.
McIver loves kindergarten. His teachers seem to 'get' him and he's made plenty of friends. He loves the outdoor program at school, learning the AlphaFriends and going to the lunchroom to eat. I've heard that the transition to 1st grade can be pretty hard on some children so I'm already praying that is not the case for our little guy.
September: Dinner with Mamoo, GranGran & GranDaddy
One of the reasons we were so excited to be moving back to South Carolina was because we would be closer to both sides of our family. We can get to Macon or Myrtle Beach very easily for a weekend visit. Or, grands can get to us for a quick visit. We love being so close to Mamoo and enjoyed this dinner together where we had 4 generations of Merritts together.
October: Clemson game
We all had a great time at the Clemson game, despite the cold, wet weather. We've also enjoyed a few Carolina games and many Heathwood football games on Friday nights in the fall.
November: Meet Tex!
It was so hard to lose Murphy in October and I was the one who wasn't sure I'd be ready to jump on the puppy bandwagon. I surprised myself, though, by doing some research and finding the breeder where we eventually found Tex. He has been a great addition to our family and is the sweetest puppy ever.
December: Spending the holidays with both sides of our family...
... and still waking up in our own beds on Christmas morning.
I started this post much earlier today but it took forever to go back through all of my posts to see which ones were the best for each month. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was reminded of how blessed we are to have such loving family and friends!