Last year I was able to pull from tons of blog posts to help highlight my year in review. This year, however, is a bit different. I was noticeably absent from the blog world for much of the year. The truth is, this hasn’t been the best of years for me.
At a recent wedding, Sean and I were taking part in the “anniversary dance” and reminiscing on our first year of marriage. I started out by saying something completely sappy, like, “this has been the best year of my life.” But then I stopped myself. “Actually, it’s been one of the worst years of my life. But there’s no one I would have rather gone through it with then you.” Still sappy? Absolutely. But much truer, now, because we’ve endured some big challenges this year. For me personally, they’ve been the biggest physical and emotional challenges I’ve ever experienced. But through all of it, I’m grateful for the partner at my side. I love my husband, and love being married to him. But marriage isn’t always easy – heck, life isn’t always easy – and this year just happens to be one of those years that tested our resolve a bit more than usual.
But while 2013 will be remembered as a tough year, there were many things – both good and bad – that it should be remembered for, too.
In January, Sean had just made a big career change and we had some down time to finally take our belated honeymoon. We took a 7 night cruise to Belize, Honduras, and Mexico and had a fabulous time (except for getting sick with the flu the day we traveled home). Despite it being a tough year for Carnival and the cruise industry in general, we had a great experience and would love to cruise again someday!
In February, we enjoyed our first married Valentine’s Day with a quiet night in, a movie and homemade macaroni and cheese. I turned 29 and celebrated with both friends and family. We also found out we were pregnant.
March was a tough one. We found out in early March that our pregnancy was ectopic. I underwent surgery and spent most of the month trying to recover. We also received overwhelming love and support from our friends and family that really helped to keep us going. We did find time to get out, too, to celebrate a couple birthdays and have a bonfire.
April felt like another long month. I continued to be emotionally drained and instead of seeing signs of spring like we usually do, winter was still bearing down on Minnesota. But, my baby sister turned 16 and passed her driver’s test (scary!). Some friends of ours gave birth to their adorable baby girl. We also kicked off our 9th softball season, although much later than usual because of weather.
May was a much better. Spring finally started to arrive. I hosted a country-themed bachelorette party for one of my best friends. I also attended wedding showers for 2 different ladies, and helped host a baby shower for one of my girlfriends. We had our inaugural book club meeting, and I also traveled to Boston for work. It was a quick trip, but I managed to see as much as I could before heading back home. I loved the city and can’t wait to make it back there. I also participated in a May blogger challenge, where I blogged nearly every (week)day. Considering how my blogging activity looked for the rest of the year, this was a major accomplishment for me!
June was an especially busy, but exciting month. My little brother graduated from high school. We had two weddings—one in which I was the matron of honor and one in which Sean was an usher. We also celebrated Sean’s birthday and our 1st anniversary!
In July, we had a 4th of July barbecue with Sean’s family and some friends. We spent some time by the pool, and were in planning mode for Sean’s dad’s memorial golf tournament. I hosted book club at our house, and one of my closest friends had her baby girl – Nora. I also went to Madison for the bachelorette party for one of my best friends from college, Lacie.
In August, we found out we were pregnant again, only to learn shortly after that it was another ectopic. We finished our softball season. We hosted the 4th annual memorial golf tournament in memory of Sean’s dad, and that same weekend drove back to Madison for Lacie’s wedding. We also attended my cousin’s wedding. Another of my best friends had her baby boy – Patrick. And we visited the Minnesota State Fair—twice!
September was relatively quiet. We had a cupcake-decorating day with Sean’s family. We attended the local fair at the school/parish where we grew up, and Sean and I both got to take our friends’ daughter, Charlotte, on her first and second merry-go-round rides! We double-dated with friends to the Minnesota Wild pre-season opener, attended our last wedding of the year on a gorgeous fall evening, and celebrated my brother-in-law’s birthday. Sean also started his new job this month, too.
In October, we finally got to use our anniversary present to each other – we saw Wicked! We had dinner at Hell’s Kitchen and then saw the show; it was fabulous! We celebrated one friend’s 30th birthday and another friend’s 31st. We had our annual pumpkin patch/apple orchard trip with friends. We recognized pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. And we took lots of pictures of the dog, apparently!
November went by quickly, with lots going on. On what would have been the due date for our first pregnancy, Sean bought me flowers and baked me my favorite kind of cake. Work was intensely busy for me, with a new campaign launching mid-month. We got our first snow fall and started seeing the true signs of a cold and snowy winter. I had lunch with my grandma, siblings, and several of my cousins (still not nearly all 40+ of us). We celebrated more birthdays (my brother-in-law’s 21st and a friend’s 30th), and attended three fun (and delicious) thanksgiving celebrations, including Sean’s annual Friendsgiving.
And December, bitterly cold, equally as fast as November – and busy! We saw our last Holidazzle parade in downtown Minneapolis (it’s going away after this year), and finished setting up our Christmas decorations. My mom sold her house (finally!). We braved the crowds and did lots of Christmas shopping. Attended our annual Christmas party with friends (with 6 new kids in attendance this year). We made a big batch of Christmas cookies with Sean’s family. Took in our second Wild game of the year. Attended my extended family’s celebration the weekend before Christmas. Spent Christmas Eve with Sean’s family. I spent Christmas day with my family while Sean worked, and then we celebrated with his family together Christmas night. We had a couple good friends over to watch the Packers win the division. I enjoyed (am enjoying) 12 glorious days off of work. And we’re getting all dressed up to celebrate New Years Eve with a few friends.
So there you have it, a (relatively) brief review of the past 365 days, and what a year it's been. This was a fun way to remember that 2013 did have a lot of fun memories. But without sounding like a broken record, I'm still ready for 2014 and a fresh start.
Happy New Year!