Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

2013 has proven to be a great year for our family - one full of blessings, accomplishments, and surprises. I just counted my total blog posts for this year and including this one, I blogged a grand total of 8 times. Yes, eight. I think I just kind of lost the desire to sit down and write about life. Not because of a lack of things to blog about - there has been plenty.

So, to make it as easy as possible, I'm going to just recap our year as best as I can remember. :)

January 2013: The new year started off very normal - finally having a moment to rest and catch my breath after a WILD 2012 Holiday season. We were so busy the months leading up to Christmas and then I was insanely busy with Women's Ministry at FBC Lavaca in November and December that January brought a nice break from the hustle and bustle. School started back and I started back babysitting a sweet boy and life was moving along as normal.

February 2013: Mike and I celebrated 12 amazing years of marriage, Maddie turned 7 years old and we celebrated her birthday at Simple Simon's pizza with a bunch of her friends. We also welcomed a new family member this month - our little Yorkie, Rocco, joined us and we just love him!

March 2013: Macie turned 10 and we enjoyed having the party at Simple Simon's so much, that she chose to have her party there as well.

April 2013: I turned 37 (I know, I know - you all thought I was only 27. HA!), Mike and I ran with some friends in the Primal Challenge Race - 4 miles of mud, dirt and obstacles - it was fun and something I never thought I would actually do! We were enjoying spring and winding down the last several weeks of school looking forward to summer.

May 2013: Mike's family came to visit us and see our new house. We celebrated the last day of school and we were officially ready for summer!

June 2013: DESTIN!! Our favorite vacation spot - we had a wonderful time with my family and made lots of great memories. Always a blessing to be able to get away for a week and lounge at the beach and pool. This month was also a sad month as we said good-bye to our amazing Children's Pastor and his family. They moved to a new church in Virginia and while we were so excited for them - we were so sad to see them go.

July 2013: We celebrated 4th of July with some great friends, traveled to St. Louis and Illinois to see family and Macie did FASdogs (a workout/training program that her school puts on every summer) and we enjoyed the last few weeks of summer break.

August 2013: I ran in the Color Vibe 5k with a bunch of friends - in the rain and cold (was this really August in Arkansas??!), we celebrated Mike's 35th birthday, started back to school and started back to the craziness that is the fall season. Macie was cheering for Pittbull Football again and had practice 2 nights a week, the girls started in a tumbling class and we were running all over town just about every night of the week. I also started training for my first half marathon.

September 2013: Life was as busy as ever. The beginning of the month brought Mabrie's 3rd birthday! We had her party at Goody's yogurt shop and also had a fun celebration at Chuck E Cheese. So hard to believe that she's already 3! She was going to Mother's Day Out 2 days a week and loved her "school". I was the new MOPS coordinator and our meetings started back up this month, Macie was cheering every Saturday, we practiced 2 nights a week, tumbled on Monday nights, church activities on Wednesday nights leaving our only night at home as a family on Fridays. Felt like we were going non-stop.

October 2013: Continued my half marathon training, traveled to St. Louis to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday, competed in my first Crossfit competition and at the very end of the month, Sarah and I ran the half marathon. This is the month that also brought the biggest surprise of our year. The night before the half marathon, we were dropping off our girls to a friend who was keeping them overnight and Mike's cell phone rang. He stepped outside to answer it and in a few minutes was back inside. We told the girls goodbye and hopped in the car to grab dinner before driving to Russelville (about an hour away from home - close to where we were running the half marathon). Mike tells me that it's his boss offering him a job at one of their plants in Fort Wayne, IN. To say I was shocked is an understatement. It was an offer out of the clear blue sky. We knew that some day we might be offered a new position and have to move, but honestly, I thought it would be years away. As soon as Mike told me, I knew we would be moving. While we knew we needed and wanted to pray about it, I knew in my gut what the answer was. I was a bag of emotions - nervous, sad, excited, anxious all rolled up into one. For nearly 9 years, we had made Arkansas our home. We loved our lives in AR. We felt at home there. We had friends that loved us and we loved them dearly. The thought of leaving all of that was so sad, yet, Mike and I both knew that God was calling us to step out in faith, uproot our family and take this job in Indiana. We accepted the job and started the awful process of telling our friends.

November 2013: Mike started his new position and for the first time in our marriage, we were apart for more than just a few days at a time. He was working in Indiana and I was allowing the girls to finish up their semester in Greenwood. We spent every possible moment with our friends - knowing that our time together was getting more limited with each passing day. We traveled to Illinois to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with Mike's family. As always, it was a great week. We missed Mike's brother, Taylor, who was (and still is) serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan and are so proud of him and his service to our country. We came home from Thanksgiving week and had just 2 weeks left in Arkansas.

December 2013: Our first 2 weeks were literally a blur. I packed in as many moments with friends as I possibly could - we had lunch dates, dinner dates, spend the night nights with friends and then it was really time. The moving company showed up at our door on the 12th and it finally hit us. We really were moving. They packed and loaded our house in 2 days and there we were - saying goodbye to an empty house that we just moved into 20 months prior. We said some tough goodbyes to dear, dear friends and we drove to St. Louis to spend the night before we drove to our new town and new home. We moved into the new house on the 16th, spent the week feverishly unpacking and getting settled, put up our Christmas tree 5 days before Christmas, did all our Christmas shopping in one day, made cookies for Santa, and celebrated our Lord's birth here in our new home just the 5 of us. It was quiet and simple and perfect. We had a wonderful Christmas. We then left for St. Louis to celebrate for a few days with my family and enjoyed it so much. We are back home and are ringing in the New Year on the couch, watching football and thinking about what this new year might bring. Praying that God uses our family in mighty ways next year. Praying that we grow as a family, grow in our faith, serve the Lord with all we have and build our lives in this new town - always being thankful for the memories we have and looking forward to many more wonderful moments.

Happy New Year, friends. Thank you for hanging with me as I recapped our wild year. Hopefully I will be better at updating my little space here in 2014. Love and blessing to you all!

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