Personal Thoughts

Goodbye 2011

When I think back on 2011, two thoughts come to mind.

1.  It was a blessed year for my little family.  We welcomed a daughter, we watched our children grow, we paid off all of our consumer debt, we continued to work on our home, my blog grew by leaps and bounds, and our marriage is better than ever.

2. It was a terrible year for so many people around me.  It’s hard not to feel a sense of guilt.

The April 27th tornadoes ripped my town apart, it destroyed homes, it took lives.  We listened on the radio as the weatherman kept saying “this thing is going right up highway 75” and we were at my parents home, right off highway 75.  For the first time in my life, I was fearful of a storm.  We huddled in the closet, Justin held Bryson and I held Bella, as tightly as we both could.  We told each other that we loved one another and then we told our children how much we loved them.  And we held on and we waited to be blown away.

We weren’t.

But so many others were.

If you turned on the news over the next few days, you saw the utter destruction.

We saw it first hand.

I know what it’s like to lose everything you own.  I’ve been there and done that.

We listened to the scanner and we heard the frazzled paramedics.  We heard things that I wish I could wipe out of my mind.

Parents buried their children.  Some buried entire families.  The final death toll for my little county?  35.

35 lives gone.  243 deaths across Alabama.

The landscape is forever changed.  We’ve come a long way since April 27, 2011, but there is still a long way to go.

I struggled with this same feeling of guilt at Christmas.  While we were spoiling our children, there were families without homes, much less gifts.  As much as I enjoyed my babies at Christmas, my heart was noticeably heavy.  I tried and failed to shake the feeling.  I remember that first Christmas after our home had burned just one month prior.  I can’t even begin to explain how hard that Christmas was, so my heart hurts for those families walking that path now.  Even more so, my heart breaks for those families that spent their first holiday season without their loved one(s).

So, when I look back on 2011, as amazing as it was for my family, I pray for those families that can’t say the same.

I pray that 2012 brings some peace, lifted spirits, and healing of hearts.


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  • Amen. Let us all be thankful for what we have and grateful for tomorrow. May 2012 bring comfort to those who need it, answers for those who seek them and love and joy for all.

  • What an amazing story. I will say a prayer for your community. Rebuilding is a hard and long process and never completes what was there as those folks will never return. Hugs.

  • It was certainly a tough year for many people. I still feel so sad when I think of all of the natural disasters that took their toll on the world this year. I pray that 2012 is a bit calmer. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to