1. Celebrating 4 years of marriage this past January at the Treehouse Cottages in Eureka Springs. We enjoyed a quiet weekend away, watching movies by the fire, cooking and eating in, enjoying the view from our treehouse, and getting a couples massage at the famous Crescent Hotel.
2. Taking our dream trip to Europe in April. We spent 2 weeks overseas, stopping in London, Paris, Florence, Venice and Rome. Seeing all the famous sights from the history books in person, was truly amazing.
3. Finding out we are expecting our first child! This definitely tops the list, it's been all we have thought about for the past 9 months in preparing for his arrival.
4. Finding out the gender of our baby- it's a boy, and seeing him via ultrasound. This was an experience I'll never forget, seeing our baby for the first time, moving and healthy. I have never felt love like this before, we haven't stopped dreaming of him since.
5. Adding on to our house. With our family growing, we decided we needed a little more room in our house for the new addition. This summer, we transformed our screened in porch to a sunroom/playroom for Elliott. (We've still been putting the finishing the touches on the room, so be looking for pics of the finished product in the near future.)
6. Celebrating 3 years of business for Katherine Grant Salon and Spa. Our business continues to be successful. We had a few changes in staff, but the Lord has been faithful to provide for us again this year. We currently have 5 stylists (including myself), 2 nail technicians, and 1 massage therapist. Our clients often compliment me on our team, and I'm thankful to know I'm leaving things in good hands while I'm out on maternity leave for the next 6 weeks.
7. Gary placed in the top 3 for sales at Jenkins Enterprises (out of 10 sales reps) for the second consecutive year. Less than 1% separated him from the #2 rep. I'm so proud of all he has accomplished at work this year!
8. Gary went on his first overseas business trip to Hong Kong this year. He was able to learn a different side to our family's business, meeting the people who manufacture the goods that he sells. He also got to experience a new culture, eating some interesting things, including the little guy he's holding in the photo below.
9. My parents bought and flipped a house on the lake in Hot Springs this year. We enjoyed spending several weekends relaxing with my family on the lake this summer, and we're looking forward to the memories we will all make there as a family in the years to come. Some of my best memories growing up include spending time with my family at my grandparent's lake house.
10. Spending a long weekend with the entire Grant side of the family in Nashville, TN. Each year, Gary's grandparents plan a trip/family reunion for the entire family to gather and catch up. We enjoyed spending time talking, eating, shopping and even line dancing with his family in Music City over the 4th of July weekend.
11. Our continued involvement and community at Epoch Church has been such a source of joy and encouragement in our lives this year. We have been encouraged weekly through the Sunday evening services, and small group sessions at Nathan and Natalie's home on Wednesday nights. The church wide fall retreat, and women's retreat were much needed get-aways for us to refocus on the Lord. The people in our community at Epoch threw us a wonderful shower for baby Elliott, and constantly encourage us to strive to be better people. We could not make it through life's daily struggles without this strong support system in our lives.
As 2011 draws to a close, we reflect on all we have to be thankful for this year, and look ahead to all that 2012 will hold for our growing family.