68 In Life

Looking Back & Forward

2009 was filled with good memories…

January:: Justin and I {and baby John Martin} took a trip to Charleston with Erika and Chance to celebrate the wedding of a best friend.
February:: We prepared for a BIG yard sale, ate candy, made candy and wore lots of red!
March:: We baked a lot, had a yard sale, bought a new camera, Mom & Daddy Boy came to visit, it rained a lot, Morgan stopped sucking her thumb, we cut her hair, it rained a lot more, Chance hit his head HARD & thankfully survived.
April:: We talked a lot about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, made cookies, played softball, watched softball, and swam.
May:: We baked, we sewed, we went to the lake, we picked a lot of blackberries, and John Martin was baptized.
June:: We went to the beach, celebrated “Dad”, took the girls for sushi, met our friends from Rome, swam, and celebrated John Martin’s first birthday!
July:: We spent most of the month in Illinois at my parents farm, picking blueberries, running free, riding Gators, and enjoying the change of scenery. {I think July was my favorite of all the months!}

August:: We read a lot of books, swam, made Popsicles, started school, dressed JM like a girl :), and the girls were treated to breakfast in bed.

September:: We worked on the exterior of our house, welcomed baby Sloane into the world, had “T” party, chilled with Justin’s “band” friends, and made a lot of sock monkeys!
October::We escaped to the beach before Mom and I took off for a weekend alone in Chicago where we spent time with Daddy Boy and old friends, and we ended the month with a fabulous week as a family at McBeach.
November:: We celebrated Morgan’s 5th year of life, went back to Chicago as a family, spent a wonderful Thanksgiving at home with Justin’s family, and got geared up for the Christmas season!
December:: We had fun doing Christmas crafts and memorizing Luke 2, enjoyed the girls “Christmas programs” at school, and had a wonderful time in Illinois with family we don’t see as often as we’d like.

I love looking back and seeing how the Lord orchestrates every minute of our lives, I love to see his hand at work, his blessings, and most of all his never-ending, never-failing grace.

and for 2010…

I am resolved to…

  • be more consistent with: time in the Word and being in communion with God, the discipline of my children, house keeping {not cleaning– but keeping as in organizing}
  • not ignore the Spirit of God
  • improve my photography skills and save money for another lens or two, and maybe Photoshop
  • be more intentional about having people in our home for meals
  • teach my children more Scripture and large portions of it
  • clean & organize the garage {again!}
  • overhaul & organize my kitchen cabinets and closets
  • get rid of half of my clothes
  • plan and take my husband on a spend the night date
  • keep Sloane over night so Erika and Chance can go on a spend the night date
  • take each of the children on a spend the night date or all day date alone
  • surprise each person of the family with something fun, something spur of the moment, something unexpected
  • sew more and spend less
  • readat least 1 book a month
  • send a Christmas card… because this year I never did get my act together!

And maybe, just maybe, since I wrote them all down I can hold to them! Here’s to a fresh start, another chance, and a NEW year! Thank the Lord for new beginnings!!

Thank you for all your comments and encouragement in 2009, I really appreciate all your support, emails, and comments… you make the blog so much fun!!

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  • Lindsay @ Not2Us
    January 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    🙂 Great resolutions! I’ll be standing beside you, resolved to do many of these things as well! 🙂

  • Amanda Thrasher
    January 3, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Love all the resolutions but—–WAY too many. Manage your expectations, be realistic otherwise I’m just going to keep thinking you ARE A SUPER MOM and a SUPER MODEL. Love ya! Glad your’re back. Happy Happy!!

  • Devon
    January 3, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    I have SO enjoyed following along this past year with you and your family. You are all so much fun and creative. Happy new year to you and yours–and here’s to a great 2010! Best, Devon

  • becca
    January 3, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve ever commented or not~love your blog! Beautiful pictures to chronicle what sounds like a wonderful 2009.
    Your resolutions are great, many of which I aim for too although I wasn’t brave enough to actually write mine down;) good for you!

  • Amber E
    January 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I can’t wait to see what you do with 2010! I enjoy reading your blog so much, I’m sure there will be lots of fun stuff to read about this year 🙂

  • melissa
    January 3, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Writing them down is half the battle! Good resolutions– happy New Year!

  • Brooke G
    January 3, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I love the look back at the year – what fun!
    Your goals seem very do-able – GOOD LUCK 😉
    Keep up all the great work blogging. I LOVE reading along.
    Thank you!

  • molly
    January 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Darby- thanks for sharing a year full of memories with us! Here’s to another year full of family, friends, laughter and the grace of Christ in our lives! Cheers!

  • Kate
    January 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    You are the coolest person ever! AND you don’t give yourself enough credit. You’re an AMAZING photographer, mother, and blogger already. BUT I’m so impressed with how you constantly challenge yourself. You make me want to become a better person too! As one of your newer fans, I was happy to see & read about your year in review. You are SO AWESOME!! Best wishes for a wonderful and blessed 2010.

  • Suzanne
    January 3, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Hi, friendly blog-stalker here. 🙂 Just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing your photos, your thoughts, your family, and your life with us blog-readers in 2009 (and previous years too!). It’s been a pleasure following your blog. You are an inspiration! I greatly look forward to what you have in store for us in 2010!! You are awesome, Darby! 🙂

  • Megan
    January 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    LOVE to you & yours.

    I enjoyed the recap of your year. Our year, as yours, was full. I am astounded by the goodness of God.

    New to your blog…. and I’m smitten. Thanks for sharing your story & your faith! I just became a follower! (your girls recite a mean Luke….. if you know what I mean!)




  • elizabeth
    January 4, 2010 at 12:03 am

    is it creepy that i can tell you and erika apart and i’ve never met either of you?! lol. i always look forward to reading your posts. they are always a fresh breath of air. hope you and your cute lil’ family have a great new year!

  • Jacci
    January 4, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Sounds good, Darby! 🙂 I’m resolved to make sure I craft & cook as much with my younger two as I did with my older two in the preschool years. It shouldn’t be so hard to just get out the watercolors, you know?

    We do the all day date thing. It’s SUCH fun. My husband takes the girls (eldest 3) out for an evening date to celebrate their birthdays (I’m taking the boy for his birthday date this year), but HALF birthdays are the long day. When the girls have their half birthdays we have a good long day out together (they pick the activities with a little guidance) and a fancy dinner. We started the all-day – like 10 hours away – dates around age 5. We’re planning for our son’s half birthday to be an all day hiking/fishing trip with Daddy.

    Hope you get to do it 🙂

    ~Jacci in Ohio

    P.S. JM in the dress was our favorite post of 2009 – sorry, Justin.

  • Sherrie
    January 4, 2010 at 12:23 am

    What a great year in review. Your sister and you look so much alike. Is there that much of a height difference or was one of you wearing heels?

  • Mott
    January 4, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Darby, Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. You are truly a remarkable woman and are doing an exceedingly wonderful job raising your children. I hope 2010 is filled with many “noteworthy” memories, which I’m sure it will be! Keep up the good work!

  • Mott
    January 4, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I forgot to tell you how much I love your new blog layout, too!

  • Leah
    January 4, 2010 at 1:09 am

    feel free to send me those clothes you wanna get rid of!

  • grace
    January 4, 2010 at 2:12 am

    what a wonderful year you had and i’ll be sticking around to see the blessings 2010 bring upon your family. wish you taught blog writing and photography lessons. you’ve got both of those down to a science!

  • Tonia Hobbs
    January 4, 2010 at 7:38 am

    I enjoyed this post so much! Wonderful. Happy New Year!

  • Analia
    January 4, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Happy New Year to you! I love your blog. You are inspiring and often speak about things I can relate to being a mom. Best of luck with all of your goals for this new year!

  • Stacy
    January 4, 2010 at 8:29 am

    I enjoy your blog so much! I especially loved the videos of the girls reciting Luke 2. I first memorized that passage when I was about Morgan’s age, and it has stayed in my heart since that time. I think it’s wonderful that you are teaching them to hide God’s word in their sweet hearts!

    Happy New Year and blessings to you and yours!

  • Heather
    January 4, 2010 at 8:52 am

    As we start off this new year, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. As a photography lovin’, stay at home mom with 2 young girls 5 and under, I relate to much of what you write about. And your perspective is so positive and reflective, it encourages me to perhaps view things a little differently. Thank you for that alone! Also, thanks for the whipped butter recipe – it was awesome! (and now needs to get out of my house ;-)) May 2010 be another wonderful year!

  • Anne
    January 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Darby, It’s been fun to watch your family throughout the year. Looking back it’s hard to believe some of those things were so long(?)
    ago…doesn’t seem possible. Your outlook on life, your positive attitude and your faith are encouraging. Happy New Year!

  • krista
    January 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

    What a wonderful 2009. Can’t wait to see the blessings of 2010! Also here’s an idea about photoshop and saving money all in one. Random, I know. I am taking a photoshop class at a community college this January. The cost is $59.00 and they download photoshop for FREE on your computer, plus you get 4 night classes to learn how to work it. Just thought I would pass along the info, incase you had something similar in Dothan. Good luck on all your goals, I need to get going on my list!!!

  • kasey
    January 4, 2010 at 9:22 am

    It has been such a pleasure reading your blog. Looking at your creative pictures and see another family grow together with the love of Christ in their home. Have a great 2010 year.

  • Nessa
    January 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

    What a great look back at your year! Thank you for your blog and the sharing you do.

  • Susan
    January 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I purged my closet this fall and it is so rejuvenating. I got rid of all of the stuff that I never wore, but was too afraid to part with. I only kept things that I felt fantastic in. It has made all of the difference when I get ready in the morning as I know that I will look presentable in whatever I put on. Good luck!

  • alyssa
    January 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Loved the recap! So amazing to see a year of your life in 12 little pictures, but to know just how full it has really been! Glad you write down your new year intentions. Ours sound a lot alike, only I didn’t write mine down. Maybe I can just refer to your list to keep me on task…maybe I can even just “watch” you stay on top of the list and it will cover me too…Ha! Happy New Year!

  • Erika@BluLabel Bungalow
    January 4, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Talk about a year in photos! Great review of the year. You are truly blessed to have so much love surrounding you. Your resolutions are so on target! I may have to adopt a few of those for myself! Happy New Year, Sticklers…Take Good Care.

  • Mandy Norris
    January 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Precious recap…so sweet to see all of the many blessings bestowed on your family! Happy New Year! Mandy

  • Jen
    January 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Darby~I continue to be inspired by you!

  • andi
    January 4, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Wow! 🙂 Happy New YEar!

  • Donna
    January 4, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Love your list!!!

  • Kim
    January 4, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Hello. First time commenter here. I don’t know you. Your blog was recommended to me by a friend. I just wanted to say that this post made me want to cry. It is very inspiring to see the joy in the little and big things.

  • Ashley
    January 4, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I hope you don’t mind the link in your comments, but I did a post a while back on scripture memory. I hope your readers and you will find it helpful. We have used this method for our family and in home schooling for two years, and it helps so much with retaining and reviewing the scripture you have learned so that you remember what you have learned. There aren’t many people who are intentional about their children learning scripture, so I feel like we have to help each other in any way we can! It’s definitely a road less traveled. Growing up in Dothan, I had the opportunity to participate in Bible drill at church, and most of the scripture I know today, I learned in Bible drill. Our church doesn’t offer Bible drill, so we have to do it on our own.

    The intro… https://hillhang-out.blogspot.com/2009/05/scripture-memory-made-easier.html

    And the how-to… https://hillhang-out.blogspot.com/2009/05/charlotte-mason-solution-to-scripture.html

  • Missy
    January 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    First I’d like to say I love your blog. Your images always put a smile on my face, I’m dying to get your camera. 🙂

    Second I’d like to know where you got your red shoes? So cute! I loved your poppies and got some in brown. You just pick great shoes.. hehe

    Happy New Year… can’t wait to read on..

  • Jennifer
    January 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Hey Darby,

    I read your blog daily and enjoy so much of your life. Thanks for sharing with us. I too hope to see more in my life most of your resolutions, especially time with our Savior! I remember all of the posts that your captioned and it hardly seems like a year. I was thinking, “was march really when Chance hit his head!” 🙂 Time goes so quickly. I pray blessing upon you and your family.

  • alicia winsor
    January 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Hey Darby! Happy New Year! What a great idea for a post! Just wanted to tell you that Allen just bought me a camera for Christmas. Your blog was very helpful to him in making the final decisions- I think you found another reader!

  • pam
    January 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    what a great recap darby. the photos of the girls enjoying breakfast in bed is priceless! happy 2010! looking forward to reading along in the new year. pam

  • Holly @ Times Two
    January 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    What a lovely view of your year. Looking forward to reading your blog this year. I just found yours (yesterday) and started mine (about two weeks ago).

  • erika
    January 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    i love you, your recap, your resolutions, your pictures. i also love that picture of my baby. hadn’t seen that one. what else are you hiding from me?
    just printed some of these… for my wall in the office where I have Jon Bon Martin picture that I kiss all the time.
    miss you!

  • Christina
    January 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Happy New Year! What a great look back and ahead. Good luck with your ambitious resolutions. I have similar ones and I’m sure your blog will be motivation.

  • JLP
    January 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Hey DARBY! i love love love your blog! i wish you had time to update everyday. you’re such an encourager and inspiration. your honesty is what makes you so relatable and appealing, too! i am begging you for the following: when you organize your kitchen and garage, can you show us your method? i know people would love to see it! AND, how do you decide what to get rid of when you go through your clothes? i also would love to get rid of half, but i justify things too much. what methods do you use there? thanks for sharing your life! i realize you don’t have to, but i am OH SO GLAD you do!!!!

  • Lindsey
    January 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    you forgot “go to calera to visit our new/old friends the salters” as one of your resolutions. or “find steven a great job in dothan”. i’m sure it was just an oversight:). so glad you guys had a great time with your family. happy new year to you!

  • rustic rooster interiors
    January 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    2009 was Beautiful {perfect}! Look forward to 2010!

  • Wendy
    January 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    What a BEAUTIFUL year in review! Great resolution list and Happy New year to you!

  • Lori
    January 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Great post w/ pics/recap and things to do for the new year! July dresses a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e where did you find them or did you sew ’em?? I’m not for sure how I found your blog, but I just always love when I see you have a new post on my google reader 🙂

  • Ellen
    January 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I just recently found your blog, but I love it!

    Thank you for some well thought out resolutions, I was struggling with mine, but you have gotten me started on the right foot.

  • Christina
    January 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Happy New Year to you! I so enjoy your blog. What a great list of resolutions. I highly recommend the book “Misplacing God” by Joanne Heim- it got me in the habit of having daily quiet times without once motivating me by guilt or making me feel as if I had to do them! It’s a quick read too. Blessings to you and your family.

  • Sarah
    January 4, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing your year, Darby! How exactly did you teach the girls Luke 2? Did you just read it over and over to them? I think teaching scriptures is a great idea for those little ones. I have often observed how quickly my kids can memorize books (like How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and thought that I should be filling their brains with some holier words…

  • Lisa at lists in my pocket
    January 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Darby! I’ve been reading you all year and just wanted to say thanks and I appreciate all you share. Your family is gorgeous! One of my resolutions is to comment more since I’ve been reading for so long, so I hope to get to know you better!

  • Maggie @ Living the Life of Riley
    January 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Love this post! July is my favorite month too.

  • Sarah@Clover Lane
    January 4, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Love your resolutions!

  • brandy
    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    What a wonderful year! 12 pictures makes things look so concise. On the discipling front, have you read Don’t Make Me Count to Three? If not you should check it out, the best dicipline book out there(in my opinion). It is basically Shepherding Childs Heart put into action.

  • Julia
    January 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Darby,

    I am new to your blog, but I just wanted to say that you are just too sweet! I love your beautiful pictures and your family is precious. I really look forward to hearing about all of your adventures:0). Thanks for all of the wonderful info on crafts/sewing. I have got to make my daughter one of the darling 4th of July dresses!


  • chesley
    January 4, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    as always, i just love your blog!

  • Blue Hydrangea
    January 4, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    What a year!! Loved the look back and can’t wait to see what is next..keep it coming!!

  • Anna
    January 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    loved this look back and your resolutions. it is easier when we record what we wanna do, gives us something to look back on for motivation. i need to add sew more and spend less to my list!

  • Jen
    January 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    thanks for sharing with us Darby. what great resolutions. amen to being more consistent in the word everyday!

  • Nathalie
    January 4, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Looks like it was a wonderful year for you and yours. Happy new year and thank you for the inspiration!

  • Tippy
    January 5, 2010 at 10:42 am

    i just adore your website (and your sister’s). this year i plan on making the cinnamon butter & probably a few other things you’ve posted. thanks for sharing all that you do!

  • Becky
    January 5, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I laughed out loud when I read your resolution about cleaning the garage AGAIN! Cleaning the garage is a never-ending job, isn’t it??? It’s right up there with dishes and laundry in regard to frequency.

    Happy 2010 and don’t feel badly about not ringing in the new year. I only made it till 10:30pm, too!

  • Donna
    January 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    You family is timeless, your blog is like a good read on a cold winters day, you photography is enchanting, life driven…and your love of God is contagious….and would love to take some of your fashions off your hands… 🙂

  • Melanie Gore
    January 5, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Your family is beautiful.
    Happy New Year.

  • Shannon
    January 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I love the idea of documenting every month at the end of the year like this. what a special way to relive the year.

    thanks for sharing with blogland. happy 2010!

  • Bri
    January 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Hi there! I am fairly new to your blog and wanted to pop in to say hi and happy new year! I am so inspired by your lovely photographs, as well as the way you boldly glorify God in your writing. I was also blown away by the incredible home renovation photos! God Bless you and your sweet family!

    Mom to Ashley (2), and Dillon (3 months)

    January 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I love your blog!! Love love love it!!
    In January you came to Charleston SOUTH CAROLINA?
    If so, come back- please I would love to hang out with you.
    You and Sister are surely talented to say the least but I think I figured out it all came from Daddy Boy.
    Happy New Year!!

  • Jacque
    January 19, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Out of curiosity, where did you get the adorable “breakfast in bread” trays your girls are using in the picture?