Julie Lyles Carr: 2011 in Review

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in Review

xmas photo edit 1 2011

I suppose when it comes to 'branding' my blog, trying to hone in on one area of focus, I haven't had much success. It's a parenting/marriage/kids with special needs/working from home/public speaking/ministry/photography/homeschooling/running/decorating/organizing (or lack thereof)/cooking/friendship kind of a thing.

In a nutshell.

But it is a journal, a discipline of recording experiences and thoughts, images and inspiration, questions and hopefully some shared wisdom. It's not everything that happens in our world, but it's a strong snapshot of our seasons.

And it operates strongly as my memory. Because having eight kids and ringing phones and businesses and friends and two dogs who insist on running away every three days does stuff to your memory.

Hence the blog as well.

I've been trolling through my own blog, taking a look back at the year and thought I would have a highlight from each month. So take a little stroll with me as I work on my memory banks from the past twelve months....(some of the months have links included if you'd like to look back at the original posts).

January 2011:
Bit By Bit, Bite By Bite

this girl crop

1 of 8 headed back to Paris as the calendar clicked from 2010 to 2011. And I began to tackle the job of digging out from under the holiday paraphernalia. While I can't claim to be an organizing guru, I do know a thing or two about crowd control. If you're looking for some new year inspiration, light on miracles and heavy on reality, you might check out this link....

February 2011:
JTT Comes Home!

jtt kiss bw

And my heart will never be the same. Oh.My. How I love this little boy.

March 2011:
Dance Season in Full Swing


We spent lots and lots of time on the road during the winter and spring, heading to competitions and conventions all across the region.

6 of 8 dance 2

And 3 and 4 of 8 were able to spend some time on the movie set of an upcoming film.

April 2011:
One of the Good Guys

school pics

I posted a few thoughts about my dad during his birthday month. It's still one of my favorite things I've written about one of my favorite people.

May 2011:
And Just Like That, They Were Four


We keep calling the twins 'the babies.' But the calendar says otherwise...

June 2011:
Paris, Paris, Paris

julie at notre dame

My brother sent me to Paris. To see my oldest baby. And to take in that whole magic that is Paris. And I took you along as well...

July 2011:

6 of 8 bday

Most of the OctaCrew headed to Dance Nationals. There was a lot of dance. And July heat. And a birthday to be celebrated. And trophies to be admired. And 1 of 8 came home from France.

August 2011:

mike and julie xmas photo 2001 edit 1

Mike and I celebrated 22 years of marriage this year. Wowza. Been together for 24. I used to be able to blame my mom and dad for how I turned out. Now, given that Mike's had 24 years to raise me and they only had 17, I may have to rethink the blame....



5 of 8 found out that he, along with 2 and 6 of 8, had made Company for dance. Which he was incredibly excited about. And he had worked very hard for. And we were so proud.

September 2011:
No Brace Face

girl trio okie

4 of 8 got her braces off. And we went to Oklahoma for a wedding. And our transmission failed. And we stayed in Oklahoma. For a long time.

October 2011:


JT and I ran the Chosen Marathon/Half-Marathon again, a race that raises money for families who are adopting internationally. And it meant all the more since JT's son from Ethiopia, JTT, was home with us! 1 and 2 of 8 spent a lot of time on set for an ABC Family Series, The Lying Game.

November 2011:
My Oldest Guy Child Person


In addition to turning 15 and growing a couple of inches every week and a half, 3 of 8 delighted me this Thanksgiving by insisting on pulling out the crystal and china (and a tie!).

December 2011:
Legacy of Hope Austin

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What an amazing experience 2011 has held for us through our work with Legacy of Hope Austin. It is a thrill and a beautiful challenge to look ahead to the coming year, looking to see how we will expand and how we can serve even more families of children with special needs.

As I look toward 2012, I feel that tug to create new goals, make new resolutions. But I also love looking back over this year, seeing how many things occurred that were surprises and impromptu. I see God's mercy and provision and peace splashed across the pages.  I see His strength when I think about 2011's challenges and hurts.  There were the events we trained and planned for...and then there were the things that were a spontaneous delight and I see God's design. And that seems to be an apt recipe for heading into the new year....

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