I’m grateful for a fun and productive 2011.

Looking back, we took lots of trips — New Mexico, Iowa, Idaho, Wyoming (if you count the overnight stays on the way to Idaho), South Dakota and Georgia twice.

We are more involved in our church. My favorite activity is seeing an elderly friend with dementia. For the 30 minutes Enzo visits, it helps us all. She becomes a grandma again. Enzo gets to be around an older person, because all his grandparents live in other states. The visits remind me to be present and enjoy the moment.

I joined a Mothers of Preschoolers group. I met more people in my neighborhood.

My Hubby survived Enzo’s first birthday where I created multiple monkey cupcakes, two monkey shaped cakes and cake bites. We had more treats than people. He also survived a 50th wedding anniversary party including planning, the event and shipping the couple off on an Alaskan cruise. Oh, and I turned 40 in the middle of all the May mayhem.

Here’s a recap of some of my writing activities:

  • An essay I wrote about my dog Eddie in 2010 was published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul Book My Dog’s Life. 
  • I had no luck finding a home for other personal essays this year. I wrote 10 and submitted them to publications and contests. While these pieces were not published, each made me sit down and write. Who knows there may be a revision and re-submission in my future?
  • I took a short online course on personal essays. I attended part of a writer’s conference.
  • I wrote two picture books. Well, one had about six complete rewrites.
  • I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and attended a picture book retreat.
  • I participated in the Story A Day in May Challenge. I wrote micro-stories. This helped me fine tune a few thoughts about my Memoir-in-Progress.
  • The Picture Book Idea Month Challenge kept me on my toes in November. I’m enjoying the Perfect Picture Book posts on Fridays. 
  • I wrote four stories for blog challenges. While just for fun, these entries made me focus on content,  rules and deadlines. 
  • I participated in the Writer’s Platform-Building Campaign. I connected with writers through blogs, Twitter and Facebook personal and group connections.
  • I found several writing groups. After attending several meetings, I made decisions on which ones helped and which ones didn’t. 
  • I wrote this blog to myself in January, because no one read it or followed it for many weeks. I wrote every day then gradually found a schedule. (You’ll see some older posts from 2009 and 2010 from previous blog attempts.)
  • I found bloggy friends. They eventually found me.
I’ve been writing and revising my 2012 goals for a while — a note here and a deadline there. I’ll share those on Jan. 2. 
So, what’s on your thankful list for 2011?