I think 2014 will go down in the history of my life as the year with the most significant amount of change, upheaval, accomplishments and sadnesses as any I can remember.
Starting with the photos above, I was delighted to join a group of 8,000+ others documenting my life in an artful way.
Called the Documented Life Project,
we washi taped, collected, tipped in, gessoed, painted, collaged, gelli printed, sewed and lettered about our lives in a moleskine journal.
There were tutorials along the way that encouraged and taught many new techniques.
So January started off in a most positive way.
The middle of the month brought what proved to be a very debilitating injury.
While taking part in a pickle ball instructional event, I injured my knee, which months later was diagnosed as a stress fracture and required the use of walker for a time and later crutches. Needless to say, sadly, pickle ball has been abandoned. Just now, am I able to ride the bike at the gym and walk more than a few yards. Thankfully, most of the time, I was able to participate in my water aerobics classes.
February was a month of accomplishments, new cars for both Rod and I (have to admit I was sad to say goodbye to my 18 year old Ford Explorer which served me well!).
We also managed at long last to get our financial affairs in order, establishing a living trust and engaging financial planners.
March took Rod and I to Phoenix (in his new car).
The Musical Instrument Museum is full of wonder!
We took in two Padre spring training games, a first for us, and getting thumbs up from Buddy Black!
We left America with Laurie, who proved to be the perfect therapy for her, after her devastating break up with Equipment.
Lucy underwent her kidney surgery, thankfully most successful. However the recovery was brutal.
April began with National Letter Writing Month participants (100+) flooding my mail box with artistic goodies. It's quite heady to be in a group, spearheaded by, the oh so talented and kind, Lindsay Ostrom!
The highlight of the month was a trip to Rome with our closest friends. We joined millions in St. Peter Square cheering Pope Francis.
We witnessed the canonization of two beloved popes, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, an extraordinary experience!
May wasn't nearly so eventful, however the Pannikin closing in Del Mar, certainly shook up Michael's world.
Happily, I was able to join Lila and Larkin for a Mother/Grandmother celebration at St. John's.
June saw two significant events in Laurie's life:
ZZ and a dog friendly place of employment!!!
introduced me to the creative Sibyl Rubottom and the world of Book Arts.
Here's a piece of her work from her exhibit:
I also altered two shirts as part of my Compassionate Patchwork ministry (still trying to get off the ground:-)
The idea is to alter a deceased loved one's shirt so as to remember that person with joy.
Thanks, Lyn, for trusting me with your dad's shirts!
August brought most of us to
Diane and Neil's spectacular home at Pine Mountain Lake.
We are forever grateful for their generosity.
Paddleboarding was the sport of the day, and celebrating Derek's 40th and Anthony's not sure how many birthdays brought much joy.
Bittersweet partings though as the month meant the Deinhammer's move to Pittsburgh. Derek is certainly to be congratulated in his position as Senior V.P. at PNC, but the move left a wake of devastation in my life. I was so glad to be able to spend two weeks with them, helping with the move, getting to know my way around Pittsburgh, but suffered a depressing few weeks after coming home.
Carving rubber stamps was my refuge!
September was spent adjusting to life without the grands. America's therapy visits and ball playing always help ease any pain.
Big doings in October:
packing up for the ground floor remodel!
Each subsequent month has brought challenges, but, for the most part it's been worth it. Here's the real coup, my backsplash:
Having a piece of art from Patricia Kaszas is a thrill.
Also fun was a gathering of all the Dietz' for Bernie's 75th birthday
November miraculously brought Weston into our lives.
He's the handsomest, healthiest 10 pound baby I've ever seen.
Thanks be to God!
I was so thankful I could be there and see from the beginning the happiness he will bring to our family.
Can you believe it???
My first cookie exchange ever!
Thank you, Davi, for such a fun experience.
I wasn't able to bake, had to depend on Costco's yummy peppermint bark, but I did have an oven just in time to bake my packaging:-)
and then the whole family made the pilgrimage to Pittsburgh for the holidays!
A highlight was uncle reuniting with the girls!
Not to mention the hours he spent putting together Barbie's Dream House!
Having Anthony's sweet, sweet daughter, Makaiya was also a treat!
Illness overtook some of us by New Year's, but all recovered now.
This is the first time I've documented a whole year, but I'm glad I did, because there are so many memories in this one.
Some special ladies passed away but I was privileged to pray with them before their death. I thank their families for giving me the opportunity.
Another accomplishment was reading day by day, Simple Abundance.
I found a great deal of wisdom and food for thought in her writing.
Another book of grace:
So now I lay 2014 to rest, opening my heart to God with TRUST for 2015, and (in the words, first of St. Paul to the Thessalonians and Father Timothy of Mitford), trying to remember, In all things be Thankful!