Friday, January 3, 2014

2013: Year in Review

Happy 2014! I don't know about you, but our 2013 was a bit of a rollercoaster, so we were pretty much ready to say farewell when the ball dropped. We had some really amazing moments, and others that we'd rather forget. So to give 2013 a proper send-off, it's time to take a look back at the ups and downs before we turn our focus to all the potential of 2014! 

Here's how we spent 2013...

We started the year with baby preparations, completing Carsen's new room, and making a quilt for her big girl bed. It was a lot of work but well worth it. She loves her room and has a blanket handmade by her mama :)

The Ravens won the Super Bowl! We joined nearly 100,000 fans in welcoming them home after the win. More baby preparations ensued: cooking, cleaning, writing detailed instructions for the babysitters.

Last-minute baby preparations and finally, just when we began to think we might have another April baby, Reagan arrived! One of the absolute best experiences of our lives. 

Mostly spent getting back on my feet, getting to know Reagan, and adjusting to life with our two baby girls. And my sweet baby Carsen turned 3!

We continued to adjust to life with 2 babies, enjoyed some outside time whenever we could, tried to get back into the swing of normal life by actually cleaning the house and developing somewhat of a routine with the girls. 

I turned 31, we soaked up sunshine at the playground and out on our front walk every chance we got, I officially began training for my half-marathon, and we bought a new car to better accommodate our growing family!

Much of my time was spent trying to maintain a regular training schedule. Reagan hadn't settled into a consistent nap schedule yet so we were working on that too. Otherwise we spent lots of time out in the sunshine enjoying summer. We played with sidewalk chalk a lot {even made our own} and hung out at my mom's to splash in the hose & baby pool.

Time to prep for our big family vacation to the Outer Banks in NC. List-making, planning, plotting, graphing, and other forms of type-A bliss ensued. I also planned, prepped and froze a lot of our car and beach snacks ahead of time. Oh, and more half marathon training, that is until I came down with a random chest cold. Carsen was also in my cousin's wedding as a flower girl - cutest ever. And Josh's grandparents came to visit to meet Reagan and our niece Faye {born in July}.

We spent the first week in NC at the beach with my family for some much needed rest, relaxation, and time away together. It was amazing. I can't wait until we go again. Then there was more training and another hiatus for an infected toe. Cheers! Reagan turned 6 months old :) </3

Training went into high gear, though not quite where I wanted to be. Race day went really well, though again not quite where I wanted to be. We spent a traditional day at the pumpkin patch with my siblings and their kids - it was randomly 80 degrees that day and we were all hot and sweaty. We also celebrated a dozen or so family birthdays in a 2 week span. The government shutdown caused Josh's contract at work to lose funding. He was placed by his company on a different task well below his skill level and at a 30% lower salary. Shit got real.

Josh scrambled to find another job as we started to wonder how long this financial situation could keep us afloat. This was probably one of the most stressful things we've experienced in our 6 year marriage. He got an offer for another job almost right away but the company couldn't start him until an FY14 budget was passed on the federal level. So he continued searching and sending his resume out to everyone he knew in any industry he could possibly work in. In the mean time we were trying to operate on 2/3 of our normal budget. Finally, the week of Thanksgiving he had a very promising interview that led to a new job at his original salary. Thank you, Jesus.

We got into the Christmas spirit with a month of Advent activities. Josh started his new job. We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with Olive Garden take-out {so romantic!}. And we had what we both agreed was our best Christmas yet!

To bid 2013 farewell, we went with a very original "2014" theme for the night, and decided to celebrate according to our age {old} and stage in life {parents of small children}. That basically translates to a quiet evening at home and forcing your eyes to stay open until midnight so you can kiss and fall asleep. 

In addition, I did make steaks in my new cast iron grill pan from West Elm! I was rather excited to try it out and it did not disappoint :) 

Reagan celebrated with somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean east of Bermuda but not quite to Ireland and went to bed at 8. She's a partier, that baby ;)

After Reagan went to bed Carsen and I played a few rounds of Curious George Memory, and she went to bed around 9. 

Josh and I watched a pretty awful movie called Idiocracy. That was a few hours of my life I'll never get back. We turned on the NYE special at midnight to watch the ball drop and start the year with a kiss. Then we made fun of all the painful remarks from Carson Daly & friends for a few minutes before calling it a night. 

So, what's up next for 2014? We have a few things in mind :) I'm more of a goal-setter than a resolution-maker, so I have a few goals I'm planning to work towards this year. Check back soon to read about them!

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