First lines of the month, 2010.
January: I don't know how it happened.
February: It's amazing to observe Juliette's development - her language, humor, physical capabilities, etc.
March: A beautiful yet bittersweet change is afoot.
April: That Target. Always zeroing in on my demographic with such precision I'm sure they've been reading my diary.
May: In reality, my to-do list is currently cluttered with a seemingly endless number of moving-related tasks.
June: Well, here we are in our treesy little western suburb of Chicago, though our furniture won't arrive until Saturday...ish.
July: Juliette's smile makes me so very happy.
August: I didn't really expect to take any vacation for several months yet; after all, my first pastoral contract stipulated no vacation until after a year, and from what I understand that's pretty standard in the working world.
September: This week, Juliette started full-day pre-school two days a week.
October: This video leaves me speechless.
November: I voted.
December: Winter really began today, which is to say we had our first overnight snowfall - five or six inches, with a lovely little flurry continuing to fall this moment.
To say that a lot happened with our family in 2010 is a bit of an understatement. Some but not all of our whirlwind year is reflected by the first lines exercise. Pardon the run on sentence, but: Juliette's best friend moved away, I accepted a new call and prepared to say goodbye to a beloved congregation, Juliette had surgery, Ben graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills, I helped organize the 100th Anniversary Celebration of SBCC, we moved across the country into a house we'd only seen on the internet, I started working as an associate minister, I spent a week in Collegeville playing catch-up for all the writing that didn't happen in the first six months of the year, I turned thirty, Ben got a great job after a brief but stressful job search, Juliette started attending two new schools, I slowly but surely worked on my book manuscript. At some point along the way Juliette turned into a full-fledged kid.
Any year with this much change certainly has its share of low points, but there was plenty of joy scattered throughout. The weekend we spent in Zion at the Illinois State Beach was a highlight we cherish - a much-needed Sabbath - and seeing more of our Midwestern family and friends has been a great blessing.
2011 will bring more changes, as every year does. But thankfully not of the moving-across-the-country sort. Two of those are sufficient to last me a lifetime.
Happy New Year.