I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year.

I love times for reflection and evaluation.  I also love stepping back and looking at life from a broader perspective- and that’s what the beginning of a year forces me to.

But I also hate it because every year I feel like I’m not ready for it.  I often find myself wishing time could stand still on Dec. 31st while I finish whatever it is I didn’t get to.  I act as if the day came by surprise and someone forgot to tell me.  No matter how much I prepare myself, it happens every year.

But instead of thinking about all I didn’t get to this year and the things I didn’t cross off my list, I’m going to let it go and allow myself to reflect on the year for what it was.

So here’s my top 10 for 2010 (not all are good things, but they are the memories):

1. We welcomed Efraim Lucas into our family on January 25th.  He has been one of the biggest & best unexpected blessings, and his smile has captured our hearts forever.

2. I watched a close friend spend the year battling breast cancer.  My heart broke for her and all she endured, but her courage has been remarkable and her faith in Christ only grew.  I was even able to see her twice this year!

3.  I turned 30.  Enough said.

4. Filipe and I (with Efraim) were able to go to the Catalyst West conference in Orange County in April.  I’m always inspired in those environments, and leave challenged to grow in ways I never thought were possible.

5. We went to San Diego for our family summer vacation…and enjoyed it!  An 8-hour road trip with three kids (a 6 mo. old, 2.5 yr. old, & a 4 yr. old) doesn’t exactly sound relaxing, but surprisingly all the kids did great!  Plus, we made some great memories together.

6. We had a front row seat watching our friends Andy & Stacie Wood go through the adoption process as they brought Sammy (from Ethiopia) into their family and welcomed him home.  He’s been such a blessing to us all.

7. Lily started preschool, and she loves it!  I couldn’t be more proud.

8. South Bay Church is growing in ways beyond what any of us would have imagined.  I’m so amazed that we have only lived in California a little over 2 years and we’ve watched how three families have multiplied to having over five hundred people coming to weekly services.

9. We moved to a new house- and even got some extra space out of it.  Hopefully we can stay a while, but being married to Filipe there’s no telling.  I’ve learned not to hold on to what we have to tightly.

10. Santos Family Christmas.  We had a great Christmas with all of Filipe’s family.  When family is scattered all over the country (& the world!) it’s rare that everyone is able to come to one place, but this year it happened.