The Rainbows and Clouds: A Look Back at 2011

It is hard to believe that another year is about to come to a close, that this is the not the first year end for me, but number 29 while ‘lil Man is only experiencing number 2. When we sent out our Christmas card (on time this year, go us), we noted that if you missed our letter to come here to the blog and follow our daily adventures. Today’s post is going to serve as the typical letter, the look back at the year and everything that we have accomplished or failed at.

First, the hobby that ties us all together has really ramped up this year—couponing. We’ve been at this since moving back to PA, but things really took off when we realized that Mr. Burgher could do amazing things with his skills. Sure, there are times when we all are stressed because of the hobby, but moments like taking about $500 worth of Steelers toys and various board games to Stuff a Bus or giving cases of formula to My Choice are all worth it. Hearing our daughter beg to gather up tote bags full of pineapple to take to Miss Ivy at the Food Bank. Getting hugs from the ladies and men who run the pantries our family is involved in—they are thank you’s enough. Couponing gives Mr. Burgher and ‘lil Man something to do when ‘lil Miss A is in school and I am at work…and it goes without saying that it has added an amazing amount of blessings to our ‘lil family. We don’t do it for the glory (I honestly even feel selfish mentioning this here among friends!), but we do it for the right reasons.

Second, we have watched our children blossom so much over the past year.

‘lil Miss A? She got hair (finally!), started pre-school (and can say The Pledge of Allegiance pretty darn well), and started to enjoy the pool. Every time she goes to visit with her grandparents, I swear she comes home 3 inches taller. She’s got herself not one but two imaginary friends and is pretty good about telling us when they make her do something to go to time-out (uh, yeah). She loves to read books and playing mother to her babies and showing ‘lil Man how to grow.

‘lil Man started the year as a baby who liked to suck on two fingers and is now a toddling ‘lil Man who says words (like yeah, and Dada, and Mama) in between sucks on those fingers. He stumbles around, running in his walker, and creeping between the couch and coffee table, catching a few independent stands here and there (coupled with complete scared meltdowns). He still demands to sleep with his best friend and drinks from Sissy’s big girl sippy cups.

The year would not have been the same without our family. We are blessed to live so close to my extended family, and to have been able to take a vacation to see Mr. Burgher’s family as well as travel to Williamsburg with my parents. Our kids are lucky to have this experience. ‘lil Miss A takes full advantage of the fact that my parents fell deeply in love with her at birth and often spends weekends with them. It helps us with our faith, too, as ‘lil Man, Mr. Burgher and I usually end up picking her up after attending Dad’s church as a family. We’ve been known to enjoy many laughs with aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandma on Friday nights for our family dinners. We love getting to see my dad’s side of the family once a month–I have to be honest, it reminds me a lot of being with my Pappy P as a kid, and that’s a good feeling. We spend lazy afternoons on the Allegheny, enjoying my dad’s boat or a good campfire. Both Mr. Burgher and I have some pretty awesome siblings, you know, the cool Unca who holds the kids up above everything else in the world, our older sister who loves to read, swim, and play iPhone games with the kids, and our younger sister who tries hard to turn our Clemson/Duke babies into lovers of the baby blue and is so proud of being an aunt.

And then there are our friends who have been there with us for a lot. While we may not get to be with our friends very often, they are dear to us. We love playing games until early dawn, interacting with our friends children, experiencing great things like PodCamp with them. The friends who are nearby and those that are faraway. It means alot knowing that we can call certain friends any time of the day and expect them to set us straight (or for us to do the same–you know who you are, dear!). That we can pick up where we last left off, even if it’s been months. Thank you, friends (even if I couldn’t tag you)!

And we’ve gone through a lot of other things together–like A’s adoption, a few months of me dealing with my past and being a survivor, crazy vertigo that still randomly hits me, a few bouts of sadness as I remembered my dear friend Wendy and learned of my cousin T’s fight. We struggled to make ends meet some months as we worked to pay off my debt (and are proud to say that that last payment went through today!). Traveling to Las Vegas, San Antonio, Myrtle Beach, Denver, and Williamsburg allowed us to step away from reality for a little bit and remember that we are allowed to have fun and enjoy ourselves, too.

All in all, this has been an amazing year. Thank you for following us and listening to our ‘lil stories. We wish you all a blessed 2012 and happy memories of 2011!

xoxo,
The ‘lil Burghers

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