12 in 2018: A Year in Pictures

I love taking pictures, and I love this self-indulgent exercise of sharing my best photos of 2018.  Or maybe not the best, but the most representative–it kind of depends on the month, really.

JANUARY:  A bonfire in our backyard–this one was for the burning of the Christmas tree, and the reason the fire has this cool shape is that our wreath is in there!

FEBRUARY:   It was SO HARD to pick a picture for February, y’all.  We went to San  Francisco to visit Teddy and I took maybe a million beautiful pictures.  I love this one because it was serendipitous–I had gone on a walk alone, knowing nothing of the celebration of the Chinese New Year, and encountered this parade by accident.

MARCH:  Another hard choice.  Jake and Jessica were married on March 24, and I was the photographer.  I think this is my favorite.

APRIL:  Emily had her five-year college reunion in Mobile, Alabama and we tagged along for the food.  While she was busy I took the kids to an alligator preserve. That may not sound like your idea of fun but it was pure heaven for William, who NEVER smiles like this for the camera.

MAY:  Here’s one of Lorelei hiding in a specimen bush at the UT Arboretum, which was one of our first summer adventures.

JUNE:  This is the view from the top of Grandfather Mountain.  We spent almost a week staying with friends at their timeshare in Beech Mountain, North Carolina, and this was definitely a highlight of the vacation.  I took this after walking across the “Mile High Swinging Bridge.”  I don’t even like to stand on chairs so that was a pretty big deal.

JULY:  Another summer adventure.  We discovered this little park through an accidental short cut, and we came back the next week to go swimming.

AUGUST:  From this point on, my camera roll is full of pictures of this guy, who we adopted in August. This picture is also important because it was taken at our new neighborhood park, which we just love.

SEPTEMBER:  This picture has a lot of things I enjoy in it–a cat, my porch chairs, and wine!  For some reason, once they started selling wine at the grocery store we started drinking it with dinner more often. 🙂  I love to take my dinner wine outside to the porch after the meal.  I also enjoy reading–and napping–out there.  It truly is my happy place.

OCTOBER:  Another month with so many pictures it was almost impossible to choose.  I really need to devote an entire post to our trip to New York City.  The Statue of Liberty was my favorite, though.  I was quite misty-eyed and I could happily have stayed there all day.

NOVEMBER:  I love this picture of beautiful downtown Knoxville, my favorite place in the world.

DECEMBER:  This picture was taken at my parish church on Gaudete Sunday.  I thought the church was especially beautiful that day.  We truly did have a joyful Advent so this seems like an appropriate choice.

This was a good year.  It’s nice to look back on the year and feel that way.

To see photo essays from past years, click the links below:

I am linking up with Revolution of Love.  Click below to see pictures from other bloggers!

12 in 2017: A Year in Pictures

And now for a quick trip through 2017, with some of my favorite pictures!

JANUARY:  Along with millions of women (and men!) around the world, Emily and I participated in the Women’s March.  I wrote about that here and here.  It was pouring down rain–an absolutely miserable day–and I love this picture that shows what a crowd turned out anyway.  This is what democracy looks like!

Best of 2017 - Women's March

FEBRUARY:  John and I took a weekend trip to Gatlinburg, which I wrote about here.  One highlight was moonshine tasting.  Here you can see all that goodness being brewed, right out in public!

Best of 2017 - Gatlinburg

MARCH:  William turned 16.  I chose this picture because I love the look of delight on his face.  He usually wears a rather solemn expression.

Best of 2017 - Willima's birthday

APRIL:  My sister Betsy treated my mother, our other sister, and me to VIP tickets to The Gambler’s Last Deal, the final tour for Kenny Rogers, which I wrote about here.

Best of 2017 - Kenny Rogers

MAY:   Of course the biggest event this month was Teddy’s graduation, but since I already shared so many pictures of that, I’m choosing this favorite from one of several trips to Dollywood.  This is Lorelei with her cousin Ella.

Best of 2017 - Dollywood

JUNE:  A trip to the zoo.  We got season tickets this year.  This is part of the new tiger exhibit, about which more later.

Best of 2017 - Zoo

JULY:  We went on a wonderful trip to Pennsylvania for a family reunion.  I hope to write that up at some point.  For now, this is an animatronic Spinosaurus from our trip to Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, which was definitely the highlight of the reunion as far as William was concerned.

Best of 2017 - Reptiland

AUGUST:  Another trip to the zoo, where we were able to get up close and personal with the two Malayan tigers.

Best of 2017 - zoo

SEPTEMBER:  In another trip I want to write about this year, we spent a weekend in Cincinnati.  We were there to see the exhibit of original Star Wars costumes, one of which is pictured below.  What a thrill!

Best of 2017 - Cincinnati

OCTOBER:  My porch chairs continue to make me very happy.  Decorating for Autumn is another thing that makes me happy.

best of 2017 - porch

NOVEMBER:   Lorelei, William, and I attended the annual rosary service at Calvary Cemetery, Knoxville’s only Catholic graveyard.  I’ll be going back to take more pictures before I do a long-overdue write up.

Best of 2017 - Calvary Cemetery

DECEMBER:  In 2018, I will get a new title–mother-in-law! Jake asked Jessica to marry him a few days after Christmas, so I will have a wedding to tell you about this spring.

Best of 2017 - engagement

To see photo essays from past years, click the links below:

I’m linking up at Revolution of Love with other folks who like to do this too.  Click below for more 2017 photos!


12 in 2014: A Year in Pictures

So, I’m linking up with Dwija at House Unseen, Life Unscripted  and posting one picture for each month of 2014.  I did this last year, but this year it seemed much harder to choose.  I’ve taken an insane amount of pictures this year, for one thing.  And then I had to think about what I was trying to present:  My best pictures? The ones that were most representative of each month? I went for a mixture, as you will see!


January’s picture was taken at the Knoxville Depot, which nowadays is a reception venue.  The little kids and I were looking at the old trains outside after our parish’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch.  I took a lot of pictures, and was just really pleased with the way the one above turned out.


We got some snow in Knoxville last winter, y’all!  I really love the way Mary looks in the snow, in the green tint from the porch light which we never changed back after Christmas.


downtown 10
I don’t think I ever blogged about the walk Emily and I took downtown in the early spring–our first of many, many walks this year!  I love this shot of Church Street United Methodist Church and the forsythia in bloom.


The annual Easter egg hunt!  I caught Lorelei in mid-leap.


Lorelei wading
This was taken at Melton Hill Park on Mother’s Day.  I like to get Kentucky Fried Chicken and have a picnic on that day.


Lorelei getting wet at River Mountain Park at Volunteer Landing in downtown Knoxville.  We had all kinds of fun summer plans.  Oh well, at least we started off well!


Taken from our front porch on the 4th of July.


food tomatoes
A veritable bounty of tomatoes given to us by our landlady, and beautifully complementing my red kitchen.


AS 9
A mountain bike ramp on one of the trails at Anderson School, part of the 40-mile Urban Wilderness trail system Emily and I hiked from May through November.


William's garden
I could have posted so many beautiful photos for October, but decided to share this friend we found in “William’s Garden,” the patch of pokeweed, morning glories, and other assorted wild things growing on the side of our house around the air conditioning equipment.


I’m not exactly a fan of graffiti, but this touched me when I saw it downtown one day.


On the outside looking in at our Christmas tree.  I love the weird effect produced by the outdoor lights.  I promise our windows are not painted electric blue!
And there you have it!  Thank you for following along this year, and be sure to check out the other posts in the linkup.

2013 in 13 Photos

Linking up today with House Unseen, Life Unscripted’s awesome 2013 in 13 Photos!
Photo 1:  January.  Immaculate Conception Church.  I take a picture every Sunday and sign in on FourSquare.  I’m the Mayor!

Photo 2: February.  John’s birthday cake.  My own secret recipe, and symbolic of the many cakes I bake at that time of year . . . which is coming right up!
strawberry cake
Photo 3: March.  Cinnamon rolls for Easter, a lifelong tradition.
2013-03-31 08.58.58
Photo 3: April.  Lorelei’s First Communion, and the beginning of the craziness that was April and May.
2013-04-21 10.04.19
Photo 5: May.  Emily’s graduation from Spring Hill College, which was preceded by Teddy’s from high school.
Emily, Jake, and Teddy 2
Photo 6: June.  John’s 25th Reunion, and a fun weekend away alone for us.
2013-06-02 09.27.58-1
Photo 7: July.  Zinnias in my garden.  It was my first year back to serious gardening in a long time and I loved it.
2013-07-29 19.29.35-2
Photo 8: August.  Dropping Teddy off at Notre Dame.
ND goodbye 3
Photo 9: September.  The beginning of our relationship with our spider friend.
2013-09-23 08.34.54-2
Photo 10: October.  Lorelei at Dollywood.  We had a lot of fun there this year with our season passes.
2013-10-18 12.10.23-2
Photo 11: November.  Obligatory cute cat picture.  Mr. Kimutis and Mace engage in some brotherly love.
2013-11-21 00.02.46-2
Photo 12: December.  Lorelei bonds with her cousin Sophie.  We had a wonderful time seeing Sophie again and meeting her four little sisters.
2013-12-14 19.18.01-1
Photo 13:  Merry Christmas.
2013-12-24 23.33.29-1

Blasts from the past

O.K., here is a Bad Mother confession:  I have not put any pictures of my kids in albums since #3 was brand new.  He is now 15.  There is a large box next to my desk full of picture envelopes, and it’s not the only box I have.  So I think I will turn a negative (disorganization) into a positive (inspiration) by occasionally randomly picking up an envelope and uploading a picture or two to write about.  Here are a few for today:

I just love that picture!  This was taken in the breezeway of our first house, in South Knoxville.  What a great house and a great neighborhood.  But we were outgrowing it by this time–there were six of us and it was only 1400 square feet!
My grandmother bought that swing when Emily was a baby, and it got a lot of use.  I can tell by looking at Baby William that this was taken in the Fall of 2001, and Emily was nine, Jake six, Teddy five, and William about seven months.
One last funny thing–I have no idea why that ladder was in the front yard, but guess where it is now?  The front yard of this house!  And again, I have no idea why!

Isn’t that a sweet picture?  Taken the same day as the prior shot, it shows Emily helping Jake, who was in kindergarten and just learning to read.

Last one for today.  This was taken on one of our picnics at Metcalf Bottoms.  See what a chunk William still was at that point?  Now he is a slim little boy.
Almost nine years since these pictures were taken–time really does fly.  I like having teenagers most days.  But I’m glad I still have little kids too.