2013 in Review

Good morning 2014!

This morning I woke up, checked my now ancient Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone (it is only 2 years old) and saw that my 81 year old mother-in-law had made some Facebook updates so I use the phone to navigate there.  That my mother-in-law is actively on Facebook inspires me.  Anyway, this takes a while so I decide to actually visit Facebook on my now beyond ancient Mac computer (in has to be maybe 5 years old).

Upon logging in, I see what’s happening with friends and family and check out some photo of how others celebrated ringing in 2013 while I was cozy in my bed, unconscious beside my hubby Steve.  I ended up on my page to see what others might possibly see and note that it is probably time to update my profile pic that I stuck in there as a lark sometime this year and that was taken on our Hawaii vacation in 2011 as I was pouring maple and coconut syrup on my celebratory banana pancakes.  Ah, the water under the bridge since that photo was taken.

Off to the left nav, I see a curious button enticing me to check out my 2013 Year in Review.  I hesitate for a moment because back in 2007 (yikes almost 7 years ago!) when I first got on Facebook to promote our photography business to high school seniors, I innocently clicked on an advertising ad (like what you see on the right nav) that said something like, “Test your IQ compared to this ____”.  I don’t reminder what the blank stated but there was a photo of a blonde, fluffy looking girl.  I took the bait and quickly learned who was not smart – ME.  Why?  Because I inadvertently invited a whole lot of email SPAM with that one little click.

Screen shot 2014-01-01 at 8.30.48 AM

Considering that the placement of this 2013 Year in Review option is near all of my somewhat possibly “protected” info, I decide to start 2014 by taking a walk on the wild side and clicking this without asking Steve’s input.  Thankfully it does not look like the end of my cyber world or my computer’s health yet.

The response was another page which showed me a pretty different look at my 2013 than I think of it as I look back over the year.  I’m thinking the ranking is based on quantity of comments or likes by others which says a great deal too.  This the order of “my 20 biggest moments” that was shown, which does seem to be in chronological order:

1 – Galveston with my BFF Kimberley in January on the sun rising on the Gulf
I went with Kimberley and her co-worker Bobby on this road trip so I could study for my Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification test in Kimberley’s hotel room while they were away during the day and evenings working a lumber company trade show.

2 – A photo of seagulls on a walk on the Galveston beach with Kimberley and Bobby
I remember during this walk, Bobby sharing with how devastating everything had been on his visits to Galveston in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  It was on this trip that I experienced Buc-ee’s for the first time.

3 – Leaving New Horizons Computer Learning Center
After passing my PMP certification in February 2013 – this was a big accomplishment and helped me realize that going go back to school for my Masters maybe didn’t make sense for my future after all.

4 – A photo of an air popcorn popper used as a demonstration by a teacher I was assisting as a substitute aide at Southlake Carroll High School in March.  Neither the special ed/Life Skills students or the regular ed students had ever encountered such a thing before.  All they have ever known is microwave popcorn or what you get at the movies or in a bag at the grocery store.
It is nice being old enough to “remember when” fondly.

5 – A photo of a wedding cake at an April wedding receptions I photographed at The Park Cities Club which holds many wedding work memories for Steve and I.
  By design, after photographing a wedding on our wedding anniversary again (that time was in 2012), we slowed our wedding business down considerably  as other changes were taking place.

6 –  A photo of the sun rising taken from the parking lot at Southlake Carroll High School.  I had just heard the song “You Are”, by Colton Dixon and the following lyrics which were oh so appropriate for the lovely show from that parking lot,
“If I had no voice; if I had no tongue, I would dance for you like the rising sun.
And, when that day comes and I see your face.  I will shout your endless, glorious praise.”

7 – A Thank You for all of the birthday wishes on my May birthday via Facebook.
 One of the few nice things in my opinion about Facebook.

8 – A photo of our nephew Jon Driskell marrying his bride Annie in Nashville in May.
A great trip with Steve to spend time with family in wonderful weather and seeing a part of the world that the Cooleys once lived in.  The header photo on my Facebook page above is a photo taken that Friday night in Nashville at a light art exhibit at a local botanical garden which was very neat to get to see.

9 – Sunflowers in Waxahachie, TX after visiting my friend Lola Carlile the weekend her first grandchild John graduated high school as the salutatorian back in early June.
  Spending time again with Lola is a big treat that I have missed out on in years passed.

10 – A photo taken at Fuzzy’s Tacos with the blue ribbon I had won at the Dallas PMP Toastmaster’s meeting I had attended that same morning.
Pretty cool that I went to learn to be better with public speaking and ended up winning a ribbon.  Yes, I think they were being extremely kind to the newcomer but the table topic was Expense vs. Cost, which I do know well thanks to the photography business.

11 – A photo of fried eggs made with Coconut Oil and a spatula my sister Evah had given me.
Making my own sunny side up and over-easy fried eggs were big for me in 2013.  Prior to this year, these (my fave type of eggs) only came from breakfast restaurant outings.  Not sure how good this was from my cholesterol levels though.

12 – A Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) video of my family (Eric, Evah and Steve) on Grapevine Lake in June.  This was Eric and Steve’s first time to try SUPing and Evah and my 2nd time.
  I had high hopes for more SUPing in 2013 but this was our only occurrence.

13 – The sun rising in August when I had started walking again in the mornings.  My message was, “Thanks be to God!”.
These morning walks were short lived as I started substituting again that month and having morning meetings with my friend David Dickerson and then ultimately starting my full-time job in October.

14 – A Tropical Sno snow cone in September.
Kind of proud to say I only had one of these the summer 2012 and one the summer 2013 whereas previous summers had mucho more.  Delicious but hi-caloric sugar flavorings that can’t possibly be natural.

15 – October 2 morning walk with Barbara Dodd to feed the fish and say hello to the Grapevine crossing guards.
Barbara and Joe moved from Irving to Grapevine in 2013 and it was so nice to get to spend more time with them as they were now less than a mile from our home.

16 – Canton with sister Evah on October 4th.  When we scheduled this trip little did we know I would be starting my new job at parago the following Monday.  Evah needed the getaway and it is our preferred alternative to the Texas State Fair with similar food.  We didn’t over spend (as we have in the past), but it was a very warm day – so warm that we didn’t feel comfortable to call on our East Texas family for a visit when we were so hot and stinky after that day in the sun.
We should have gone ahead and made the trip because we missed out on seeing our beloved Lenora Amos one more time before she passed away 10 days later.  Now we have to wait until we get to heaven to see her again.

17 – A photo of Steve preparing our Thanksgiving turkey – which happened to be his first solo turkey ever.
It was delish!  Remember the juniper berries (which is an inside joke).

18 – A quick photo of a flower growing up through the concrete in front of the Grapevine Post Office sidewalk December 1st after a St. Laurence Church sermon about God sightings everywhere, looking for them and being open to seeing them.
My smartphone has become my favorite camera since getting it in 2011 (I think) because it goes everywhere with me and I can quickly edit and post with it.

19 – Christmas Eve photos taken as the buses for Celebrate Jesus were arriving at the Omni Dallas Hotel with 500 homeless men, women and children from the viewpoint of the bus I volunteered on.  Celebrate Jesus gives these homeless people “a room in the inn” the same night that we celebrate our King being born into a manger because there was no room in the inn due to the crowded city for the required payment of taxes at that time.  Celebrate Jesus, takes these neighbors to the hotel where they are given new clothes, either a new backpack or a suitcase for their things, the room, entertainment from an amazing celebratory meal, church service, movies and a Christmas gift plus staying in a luxurious hotel with heat, a nice bed, a door, and a bathroom they share with their roommate.
  I learned about this Celebrate Jesus event on Christmas Eve 2012 when I was sick with the Flu and very emotional about life but I knew I wanted to make a point to be a part of this in 2013.  Thankfully what is and what becomes is because of God and not what each of us thinks or expects because this year alone demonstrated to me once again God’s greatness and His grace.

20 – hmmmmm, Facebook only actually posted 19.
Does that mean someone there can’t count?

So that was Facebook’s take on my 2013 highlights.  Here are mine from me, not based on show but on impact to my heart and my life and please note that they aren’t in any particular order of importance :

1 – Passing the PMP exam on the first try and all that went in to it and the other certifications I earned.
2 – To Walk on Water, You Have To Get Out of the Boat Bible study in Allen, TX with Road pals.
3 – The Healing is a Choice Bible study in Richardson at The Road.
4 – My Road Adventure Part 5 in April.
5 – Steve’s training and graduation from being a AA Flight Attendant.
6 – Meeting Cindy and helping her with Quickbooks.
7 – Gateway’s Pink Impact (Women’s Retreat) with Evah and Kimberley.
8 – The Bait of Satan Bible study in Allen with Road pals and my sister.
9 – Mexico City for less than a day with Steve on work trip.
10 – Nashville with Steve and Driskell family.
11 – 4th of July in New York City with Steve on work trip.
12 – The Prodigal God women’s summer Bible study at St. Laurence.
13 – Time with Barbara, Lola and Sandy Dempsey and losing Lenora Amos.
14 – Alex Fuller.
15 – Part-time job at Home Goods and our new living room.
16 – David Dickerson and Christian Counseling Associates marketing opportunity.
17 – parago job offer and my first 90 days there.
18 – First bout of Sciatica pain.
19 – Oral surgery and recovery.
20 – Selwyn Sanderson.

Dear Father in Heaven, Jesus and Holy Spirit who lives inside of me,
I am so excited to see what you bring my way this year.  Thank you for the lessons of 2013 and the love and comfort!
Your loving, always mesmerized by your grace daughter,


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