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As 2012 drew to a close, one of the Word Press challenges suggested that we post a gallery of images as a tribute to the year. I began to look back through my photo library and felt invited into a visual telling of my own journey. I thought I would pick a photo or two from each month and post them on New Years Eve as suggested, but I found that an impossible task. There were too many associated memories, stories of my life and a journey of growth and anticipation for the future. I felt I needed to honor the foundations of my past better than simply posting a bunch of pictures.

So, after some consideration and amidst the details of living the moments at hand, I settled on collecting the photos that really stood out to me and creating twelve monthly galleries to be posted throughout 2013. I realize I was mostly silent on this blog in 2012 – the rigors of being a grad student who is also a mom with 4 sons still at home and loves to build relationship with those close to me have had their toll on my presence here. I am hoping these monthly galleries will help to inspire me to be more present and share my journey with you as you join me on Memory Lane. Thanks for being here!

January Sunrise, the color of Mt. Baker.

January Sunrise, the color of Mt. Baker.

I am reminded of just how blessed I am to live where I do. I have been in this home for 16 years, raised my kids here, created family far from my family of origin, and am learning how to thrive being just who I am, as I am. Amazing!

Breaking light.

Breaking light.

Winter can be dark and gray and long here. But there are moments to be noticed and cherished – like this one. A break in the clouds that reveals the brilliance of the light that is ever present. Just like the Light Who has chosen to enter into my life, my story, and reveal what has been unseen for so long.

Seattle Aquarium fun.

Seattle Aquarium fun.

My daughter Brianna came down to Seattle with me and after class my dear friend Margo joined us for an outing to the Aquarium. I am blessed by these two women and the family of birth and the family of choice they both represent. (And thanks to Groupon for making certain outings affordable.)

Life thrives in strange places.

Life thrives in strange places.

It is easy to miss mysterious miracles. Sometimes we need to just slow down and take in the strangeness of life around us – and the opportunities to see what we normally are unable to see. This is true in the physical realm – like this visit to underwater wonders that I would otherwise not be able to see – and in the spiritual realm. It leaves me with a question… how often am I so wrapped up in distractions that I miss the Presence of God revealed in the beauty of another that lies beneath the surface?

The passing of time.

The passing of time.

This view out my dining room window 16 years would have been quite different – the fir tree would have been shorter and a small dogwood tree stood between us. The maple tree branches to the left were not visible; it was far too small for that. I built that arbor – with the “help” of my sons (“help” being a humorous story I will perhaps tell this month) 9 years ago. The snow covered mound is another story of transplanting, relocation, and life. The picket fence and gate provide more tales that reveal the personalities of my children and the friends who have joined us here over the years. What a journey!

Transformation.

Transformation.

A whole new meaning for this snowball bush. I love the snow stories that we have to tell – filled with fun, humor, and sometimes hilarity.

Connections to times long ago and far away.

Connections to times long ago and far away.

Here in the great Northwest we don’t often get the freezing rain that coats everything with ice. But when we do, I am reminded of my roots and the wonder of walking in a world of crystal branches and icicles that mark the memories of my Southern winters.

Colors of Celebration

Colors of Celebration

My introduction to celebrating the Chinese New Year in Vancouver Canada. It was a rainy, winter day, but the colors were beautiful and festive!

The Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon

The streets were filled, people jostled for positions to see better, the parade moved quickly. I was intrigued. I am so grateful my daughter Brianna asked me to join her. We had so much fun this day!

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