Sunday, December 26, 2010

Countdown to 2011!

Welcome to the "Countdown Retreat" here at "Seasons of Humility!" I've really been wanting to host a "retreat" to welcome the new year, so come on in and make yourself comfortable for our little cabin getaway. I'll get the fire started!

No need to take down the Christmas decorations yet--they're just so beautiful, and we ought to enjoy them as long as we can! ;)

I'm not a great cook or anything, but if anyone wants to help me maybe we can make some home-made bread!

Now, while the bread is baking I'll give you the scoop on what's going on during our party! While we're counting down the days to the new year, I'm going to give you some "favorites" lists for 2010. These lists will include favorite posts, favorite books, favorite movies, etc. It might be kind of hard to limit myself on my favorites, but I'll give it a try!

And after all of our looking back and reminiscing, we'll do some looking ahead. I'll give you a glimpse of some of my plans for 2011--what themes/schedules I'll be keeping, and what new things I'll be adding. I'm always excited about a new year!

Also, I think I'll be mixing in some reviews for you, including book reviews and maybe a movie review or two. I hope you'll have fun at the party, and I look forward to celebrating a new year with you!

To start things off, I'll give you a list of my favorite posts of 2010. Everyone gather around the table and fill up your plates with some munchies before we start our discussion. We've got grapes and orange slices, cheese, some of my mom's homemade fudge, the bread (once it's finished baking!), and some sparkling apple cider! Dig in!

Favorite Blog Posts of 2010
  • Beautiful Oregon (July 11): I love our family's annual trip to Sunriver, Oregon, and this post contains pictures, a video, and some of my thoughts on our wonderful trip this past summer!
  • An Unbelievable Experience and Remembered (July 14 and 15): I was so blessed to go to Washington D.C. with my dad and some of his side of the family to see my great-uncle's funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery. The cargo plane my great-uncle had been on crashed over Burma during WWII. The videos in these posts contain some of the pictures from our trip. My time in D.C. was amazing, and God used it in such a mighty way in my life. I think I still don't know the extent to which it blessed me!
  • Touched by an Epitaph (August 12): This is one of those posts I couldn't have really planned. It is based off of an episode of Bonanza that I had just seen--one that touched me in a big way.
  • Sunday by a Waterfall (October 10): A twist on the "Sundays by the Sea" devotional posts, this post is based off of a day trip my parents and I made when they came to visit me at school in October.
  • Sunday by the Sea (October 31): Another devotional post, this one is based off of some of the thoughts I had been ruminating on about the movie Finding Nemo. I love Pixar movies!
I should add that these posts I picked were ones that I consider special because they're personal. Most of these were ones I couldn't really plan--they were just thoughts that touched me, and new perspectives that caused me to see the important things of life differently. Of course, there were plenty of other posts that I loved writing, such as the posts for some of my different parties (like the "Love Finds You" party and my "Birthday Story Bash") or the posts for "Camp Humility" (the summer camp I hosted on my blog, which I'm hoping to do again in 2010!). I've also loved the "Mondays for the Military" posts very much! The posts I listed above are just a few of the ones that were more personal. =)

At the risk of sounding repetitive, this blog has been such a blessing to me! And while I love writing the posts (because they cause me to think, to remember, and to challenge myself), I really love the friendships I have been given! Thank you all for your comments and your encouragement, and I hope that the posts on this blog have been at least half as encouraging to you as you have been to me!

If you have some time, I'd love to hear which posts were especially meaningful to you this past year, and which posts you would like to see more of. Thank you!

(Note: The pictures in this post are of my house--not an actual cabin!--this Christmas season. My mom does a beautiful job decorating!)

12 comments:

Casey said...

You and I blog for a lot of the same reasons, Amber. It definately is a chance for me to look inward and challenge myself as I write. This celebration sounds like great fun! I have loved this first post already. Hope you are having a great vacation. :)

Amber S. said...

Casey,

Yes, I think you're right! :) I love the creativity involved with blogging, as well--a different sort of challenge, and definitely fun! ;)

I'm glad you're enjoying the party so far. Feel free to help me eat more of the food! ;)

And yes, I am having a wonderful vacation! It's so good to be home. :D Hope you are having a great vacation/break, as well!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

~Amber

Renee Ann said...

You've shared some great posts with us, Amber! Hoping for many more. Thanks for hosting this virtual retreat!

Amber S. said...

Renee Ann,

Awww, thank you! :) I really appreciate your friendship and all of your help in spreading the word about my blog!

Thank you for joining us at the retreat! ;)

~Amber

Amanda said...

You always have such fun ideas!! :) A new year is very exciting! But it is also a blessing to look back on all the amazing testimonies, beautiful moments, and, of course, your wonderful blog posts, too :D Thank you for all you have shared with us this year! It’s hard to believe we only “met” a few months ago- I feel like we’ve been friends for years!! You have a beautiful talent of bringing people together and drawing them closer to God through your testimony and encouraging words and insights. Looking forward to another year of your blog and, of course, your friendship :)

And, it’s no secret that I LOVE your “Sunday by the Sea” AND “Monday for the Military” posts!!! I hope you will continue them this coming year! Every single one of them has touched my heart in a very special way and focused my eyes on Christ and others desperate need for Him and His healing or provision or peace. Especially in your military posts. I don’t personally know anyone in the military, so through your posts and interviews with the dear, courageous people who are or the selfless people who aid them, you have opened my eyes to their stories, their needs and made them more real and identifiable to me- if that makes sense? I’ve also loved getting to know you personally through your posts about you and your family and the cool trips you’ve taken together! Family is very important to you and that says a lot about a person :) And it was an honor to join you for that incredible trip to Washington, D.C. for your great-uncle’s funeral service. Such moving thoughts and pictures you shared- thank you for letting us be a part of it :)

Amber, you have been such a gift to my life and I thank you so much, my friend :) Oh, and pass that fudge!!

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

PS- I think that storm that brought you all that rain traveled to me and brought about a foot of snow to my doorstep! I couldn’t believe it when I heard on the weather channel this morning that it was the same system that went from one coast to the other- changing obviously with our different temperatures. It came here in the form of a blizzard and was supposed to drop around 25 inches, but praise God that we only ended up with only around 12! But all kidding aside, I was praying for you this weekend and I hope you weren’t in any of the flooded out areas and that your home wasn’t damaged in any way.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Amber,

I loved the posts you mentioned. My favorite posts were Sunday by the Sea and any military posts. Your military posts were sometimes eye-opening for me. Even though I know that people in the military sacrifice so much I so often don't think of or pray for them as I should. You had a few posts that moved me to tears. Most of those were your posts from Washington.

I love all your wonderful ideas. I cannot think to suggest anything because I know you will be led by the Spirit and I can't wait to see what God brings out of your blog in 2011.

I will look forward to your countdown lists. I always think its neat that we started our blog only a few days apart. :)

Julia M. Reffner said...

OK, I have to share the comment word. How appropriate, it was SONDIED!

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Thank you so much for your sweet words! It does feel like we've been friends for much longer than just a few months! A new year is definitely exciting, and I'm looking forward to continuing our friendship and writing more blog posts. :D

I'm so glad you love the "Sundays by the Sea" and "Mondays for the Military" posts! I'll be going into more detail in an upcoming post about what I'm hoping to do in 2011, but I'll let you know that those two weekly posts are ones I plan to keep! :) It has been such a blessing to me to meet all these amazing people that I've interviewed for "Mondays for the Military," and it has been an honor to introduce them to my readers. I can't wait to meet more of these selfless military men and women!

I'm also glad that you like my family posts. :) I LOVE my family, and I don't know how I couldn't include them on my blog. ;)

YOU have been such a gift to me, my friend, and I'm beyond glad that we "met" this past year! Here's to 2011! I think that calls for an extra piece of fudge. ;)

~Amber

P.S. That's crazy that the same storm system made it from coast to coast! I hope you are safe, and I'll be praying for you. Thank you for your prayers and concern--we're getting a lot of rain still, but that's really nothing out of the ordinary here. ;) No flooding! :)

Amber S. said...

Julia,

Thank you! As I told Amanda, the "Mondays for the Military" posts have been such a blessing to me, as well. I'm so glad you have liked the posts on my blog, and I hope they have been an encouragement to you. :)

You have such a great blog, yourself! :D It was such an honor this past year to be a guest on your blog during your "Blogging for a Ministry" week. And that IS crazy that we started our blogs so close to each other! :D That means that our blogoversaries will be around the same time. Hmmm...perhaps we can help each other celebrate? :)

Thank you for stopping by, and for your encouraging words!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Julia,

That is very appropriate! I love when the comment verification word is actually a real word. :) And in this case, that is such an incredible phrase!

~Amber

Amanda said...

Awwww, thank you so much, Amber, for your sweet words :) AND that extra piece of fudge ;)

And, thank you for your prayers :) We are safe, praise the Lord, and the snow is starting to melt. I know we were very blessed compared to what our neighboring states received as far as snow and hurricane force winds. We didn't lose power like some did. I'm so happy you didn't get any flooding! And, I'll be praying for a some sunshine to head your way! ;)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Of course! Any time. ;)

I'm glad to hear you are safe and that you didn't lose power. :) We have a bit of blue sky today, which is a nice change! Thank YOU for your prayers!

~Amber