2012 year in review

30_day_shredRunning Again

Ah, sweet January, when I started running again. I also started my {Photo 365} project which I’ve mostly kept up with this year until I dropped my camera in August and it stopped working consistently. I started the photo project to have more fun with my camera and to capture more of the everyday moments of my children’s lives.

Children's Garden at Longwood GardensThe Lorax

In February I turned 44. To celebrate, my youngest son and I took a trip to one of my favorite gardening spots, Longwood Gardens. Where else can you go to smell beautiful flowers during the winter?

I took the middle 3 kids to see the movie The Lorax which has been a favorite movie all year. When it recently showed up on demand on FIOS, we rented it and watched again.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2012Philadelphia Flower Show

March was the Philadelphia Flower Show Hawaiian style and a fun afternoon at Palette Kids in Center City. Back at home, the warm winter was leading to an early spring with lots of work in the garden until we were hit by a frost. Fortunately, many of the plants recovered, and we went on to have a good gardening year.

Opening Day at BaseballOpening Day for Baseball

During spring break in April, the kids and I had lots of fun visiting the Independence Seaport Museum and going back to Longwood Gardens. Baseball season started shortly after, and we were off and running with one child playing Tee Ball and another playing baseball, not to mention my daughter playing soccer.

1st CommunionFirst Communion

We started off the month celebrating my second son’s First Communion combined with a family celebration for my youngest who turned 4 at the end of April. My son and I worked together on his First Communion Album for several months as part of preparing for the sacrament. I’m already collecting photos for the next 3 albums.

As the Kindergarten Homeroom mom, I was busy at school most of the month helping with various Kindergarten events. Even though it’s a busy time, it’s one of my favorites because the kids remember, even in 8th grade, the fun times they had in Kindergarten.

On a personal note, I attended my second Bloggy Boot Camp and came home and started up another blog, Frugal Local Kitchen, to focus more on cooking, local food, entertaining, and hospitality.

At the end of May, my daughter and I visited The Barnes Foundation during its opening weekend. Since I visited the Merion campus several times, I was familiar with the artwork and could give my daughter the highlights during our very quick 45 minutes in the galleries.

Leadership CampLast Day of Leadership Camp

June was graduation month for my Kindergartener and Preschooler. My oldest son turned 16, and went off to Boy Scout’s Leadership Camp, a week-long experience. Since the camp, I’ve seen small changes making their way into his life, hopefully leading to bigger changes down the road.

With one of my nieces graduating high school and family in town for the party, we spent time partying and playing. We also worked in our vegetable garden and took some trips in the area. I took my daughter to see a preview of BRAVE for a special girl date.

Civil War at Fort MifflinFort Mifflin

July saw us visiting the Heinz Wildlife Refuge, Tyler Arboretum, and Fort Mifflin as part of my 3rd son’s Flat Stanley project for 1st grade. We also dug into our family cooking project and pulled out the arts and crafts on the hot and rainy days. Our vegetable garden continued to produce while we stocked the freezer and my thoughts turned towards getting ready for school.

vHanging with Snoopy at BlogHer 2012

I attended my biggest blogging conference ever in August when I went to New York for BlogHer 2012. While the conference was a bit overwhelming for this newbie introvert, I loved my roommate Kristie of Diva Dietician. I also took time to visit MOMA for the first time. I know I need to get more modern art into my life on a regular basis.

When I came home, the kids and I made the most of our last month of summer by visiting Lake Garrison in New Jersey with friends. My favorite aunt came up for a visit from Florida. She had never met some of my children in person since she moved south about 6 or 7 years ago. I launched full swing with getting ready for school by going through our school uniforms, buying school supplies, and stocking the freezer with snack items for school lunches.

1st_day_elementary_2First Day of School

September was back to school for all of my kids except for the youngest one. With the first two weeks a flurry of forms and last minute changes, my youngest and I settled into our daily routine at home. My oldest son picked up again with his Venturing Crew while my 7 year old started Cub Scouts. Both the 7 year old and 5 year old tried a local running program for kids; the 9 year old moved up a level in soccer.

Ted and Lizzie working on the head and torso of the scarecrow.Fall Festival

We made the most of the local carnivals during October. Our parish carnival was at night, full of friends, rides, and lights. We visited Linvilla Orchards with friends and picked up our pumpkins for Halloween. Then, we checked out a new local carnival and made some new memories with friends.

In other news, my husband and I shut down our vegetable garden for the year and winterize the rest of the beds just in time for Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, we didn’t receive much damage. However, friends and family in New Jersey did, and I helped organize some small donation drives to help the victims.

project365_111812_5Hurricane Sandy Collection Point

My parish continued to collect items for victims of Hurricane Sandy during November. On the sports front, my 9 year old finished up his soccer season with a loss in the second round of his tournament. Over Thanksgiving weekend, we had a fun time at the Please Touch Museum with friends.

Once December hit, the holiday rush was on, though I tried to keep the pace as simple as possible. What got done got done, and if it wasn’t, that was okay. We enjoyed some wonderful moments like visiting Longwood Gardens at night for their Christmas display and seeing Santa at the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Family Concert.

Big News Coming in January!

On January 21st, A Life in Balance will be celebrating its 2nd anniversary with a Big Giveaway. Stay tuned for the details!

2012 Recap Carnival with Musings of a Housewife

Meet Barb

Barb Hoyer has written 4283 posts.

After working in the fundraising world for over ten years, Barb is an avid runner, writer, photographer, parent volunteer, and lover of dictionaries and thesauruses. Wife to an engineer and mom to 5 kids, Barb lives in the suburbs of Philly. Her idea of relaxation is an afternoon on the couch with a stack of books.

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