If I were a glass-half-empty kind of girl, I would have to say that 2014 sucked Shrek’s big toe. Our litany of misery reads like a warped version of the Twelve Days of Christmas. One seizure (Dom), triple-bypass (Pops), four family funerals, six months of chauffeuring, and seven months without our favorite of all God’s creatures, the incomparable Mason.

True, 2014 was a roller coaster of blessing and curse, bitter and sweet. And yet, it seemed to me that each time we sunk into the valley of emptiness and grief and the fear of what could have been, our faith buoyed our souls out of shadow and into sunlight, reminding us not only to be grateful for each day we have with those we love, but also that the end of what we can see on Earth is not an end at all.

So with my glass half full, I present our Pictoral Year in Review:

January: Let’s just go ahead and start this off with the one wonky, unrelated-to-anything photo of the year.  Here is a show-stopping pic of our trampoline on the first icy day of January.  As you see, sleet does not keep my kids from bouncing, or, er…sliding. January2014

February: Aaron was in 8th grade and getting ready to celebrate Mardi Gras in high style with the Class of 2018.  Here he is dressed to impress – or at least dressed to make me cry!  (Never mind that his Daddy was dressed EXACTLY LIKE THIS the first time I saw him!) I noticed Aaron’s height compared to the mantle’s edge as I posted this, and was pleased to show him that he’s grown four inches this year! Feb2014

March: Victoria made her musical debut at my grandmother’s house by playing the water glasses.  She’s not nicknamed Gracie Lou Freebush for nothing! March2014

April: I’m not entirely sure this happened in April, but it is in the right place on the timeline of my camera roll, so it gets the billing, even if it’s not really a “picture.” I was joking in the last line of my reply, but this really did make me proud! 20140328_133804000_iOS

May:  Paw prints and heartbreak. May2014

June:  Headed to Grandmama and Granddaddy’s house on a Saturday.  We decided to take Mabel so she wouldn’t be home all alone.  Here she is propped in the backseat and grateful for the outing. June

July: Victoria and her sweet friends gave Mabel a spa day. July

August: You know those moments when you’re just hanging out, enjoying life, and you suddenly feel like you’re witnessing the present and the future all at the same time?  Yeah, this was one of those moments.

September: My boss came over and taught us and our parents how to make Italian sausage.  Primo!!!!  Here Dom and my dad are learning to case the sausage. DSC_0553 October: My first fully-completed Pinterest project.  I started this back in March, I think.  Finished it in October.  My favorite literary places. I’d spend a lifetime on Blackfriar’s Bridge just to catch a glimpse of Tessa and Jem. 20141012_165517719_iOS November: Dom and I headed to a fancy-schmancy dinner one evening, and he asked Vic to take our picture before we left.  So glad he did.  Wish I’d had the foresight to put the ironing board up first. Me & Dom December: All I asked for was one sweet photo of my darling children together.  This is what I got, which is pretty typical of them nowadays.  {sigh} Teenagers! IMG_4848 There it is, folks.  Our 2014 in a nutshell.  Come to think of it, my glass runneth over.