2013: Year in Review

Our year in Review:
(we're west word blog for a reason, here.  lol)


We started the year so strong.  We were two months in with regular exercise and a very healthy diet of mostly fresh vegetables and fruit.  We felt amazing.  Then ... after a series of unfortunate events, for me, I quit it all.  And I so miss how I felt at the start of the year!!  Clear mind, abundance of positive energy, a fit body, an active family.

One "unfortunate event" that threw a wrench in my life:  Coconut.  I've known for a long time I was allergic, but it's always been mostly avoidable and manageable.  But this month was the month it hit me hard.  The end of this month brought on a month long period of sickness and inability to maintain running, regularly, due to being so incredibly uncomfortable and sick.  I never realized just how much coconut has "invaded" foods and toiletries.   The good news is, I mostly have it under control now.

Fave Jan pics:


February we found ourselves doing our first official run.  It was about -13.  Fahrenheit.  But we did it!  Staying warm wasn't the issue, it was the actual breathing in the cold dry air that did me in.  Duh moment:  I had a mask, I just forgot to raise it up over my mouth once we began.

I allowed myself to be discouraged that the race triggering my asthma.   However, we still were running often and eating like champs.

Fave Feb pics:


March found us getting out more as a family - which just feels amazing after having a baby with many sleepless nights and short visits into society.

Fitness wise - failing.  I pretty much took a month long break to have myself a pity party after a "slap in the face" comment from an acquaintance asking if I was pregnant again.  I so shouldn't have taken offense.  But I did.  4 months of hard hard work and weight-wise - I was well within normal range.  I was feeling great.  But I have a diastasis recti - separation of the abdomen muscles.  So I really do look like I could be pregnant, and shouldn't have taken offense. 

This month had one of my all time fave Connor quotes:  "Mom? I want to love my brother always. Just... forever. .... I want to love him because he's just .... because he looks at me and smiles and kisses my blankie and I love him."

Fave march photos:


Yet another addition into my "unfortunate events".  I severely injured my legs after aggressively throwing myself back into running in an attempt to swing myself out of my pity party.  Such attitude.  Need to work on that.  It caused me to miss a race I had signed up for and had worked hard to achieve.  And this month ends my attempts on staying fit, for the rest of the year I meet nothing but verbal discouragement and throw in the towel, of which I regret now.  However, looking back ... this month I started to suspect I'm a "highly sensitive person".  The quiz I found online brought many laughs to Al and I.  ;)

Our baby girl had her first hair cut this month.

This month Connor really got into joining us for runs, at his pace of course.


Such a busy month.  Baby showers.  Bridal showers.  Home renos.  So much driving.  So much fun.  Family.

My shyness got a work out this month and next.  This month I was asked to photograph a shower and also to photograph a church event.

Fave family moments of May:


Oh sweet sweet June.  I could talk all day on June.  But I won't.

Weddings.  Beaches.  Backyard pools.  Camping.  Family.  Backyard bonfires.  Birthdays.  Memories to last a lifetime.

And again I had the honor to be a photographer.  For my own "baby" brother's wedding!  What a blessing.

(but funny enough, the one picture I decide to share - namely because it doesn't show their faces on my public blog - my sister took, not me.  However, I did instruct her just what to do and what settings ... as I nursed my baby.  lol)


As amazing as our June was, July was just as good and just as busy.  Sidewalk chalk dates with our little lady.  More backyard kiddie pools.  More beaches.  Neighborhood flowers and weeds picked by a sweet loving boy.  Camping.  Visiting family that lives too far away.  And spontaneous day trip to Niagara with the best friend of my life.


August summed up could be:  family.  Or maybe staycations.  Adventure.

We spent so much time together, just the 5 of us, this month.  So many amazing and spontaneous day trips where we'd find the best hidden parks.  And ice cream.  So much ice cream.

This month marked the very first time Connor has ever enjoyed a "real" pool.  A huge milestone for him - he's always feared pools, greatly. (other than the kiddie ones).

This month also held baby's first hair cut.  Tissues, please!

The biggest milestone this month - 10 years married!  Cheers!

I said earlier I stopped making attempts to be fit.  And I guess it's true for just me, alone.  But I see we did stay active as a family.


We had many walks this month, as family, to parks around our community.  Leaving just after dinner and not coming back home until sunset.

We were full steam ahead for school.  And role playing.  Learning and life.

This month was a month of celebration.  Huge milestones.  1 yr old for baby.  Grandparents celebrated 60 years of marriage.  Grandpa celebrates 80 years.  Going home for this family reunion and party was the hardest thing I've ever done.  By going home I knew I'd have to also leave, and leaving was what was the hardest thing ever in my entire life.  See, my Grandma, she was just newly diagnosed with lung cancer and this was before her treatment was to begin.  Living so far away, knowing the next time I'd see her she'd be changed with chemo, or sickness, or worse.  Too look her in the eye and say our goodbye "until next spring" (they winter in FL) without becoming a complete hysterical mess.  This month was a bittersweet month.  The party was amazing.  Seeing family was amazing.  Time spent with Grandma, irreplaceable. 

So thankful for time.

Spoiler alert:  3 months in and she's doing amazing.  Grandma, you are my hero.  I love you so much.  Changed or unchanged, sick or healthy, I love you.

Our family has been through so much heartache and worry this year.  Most of which I haven't shared.  Worry over babies that might not survive the night (they did!).  Worry over Uncle who might not live (he did!).  Worry over Grandma.  Nothing short of God's good grace has kept us all together.  We are truly blessed.


Field trips.  School fun and extracurricular activities.  Walks in parks.  Halloween time fun.

This month I ventured into horse photography.  So fun!  (but no pictures shared here)  So thankful for the opportunity.



Lots of field trips this month.  Underground Railroad, museums, zoo.  And lots of winter time naps, apparently, for the littlest.  lol.


This month is a month of beauty.  Ice Storm 2013 brought destruction and heartache for so many ... and beauty.  We were left stranded at home for Christmas, but that is okay.  I am in awe of December's beauty.  For a week we lived in a different world.  A world that had crystal trees that sparkled in the sunlight.  Connor was/is convinced the movie "Frozen" has come true.

Looking back on this year, I see so much fun.  Memories to last a lifetime.  Love.  Beauty.  Joy.  Growth.  Family.  I am in love with our 2013 year.  I can't wait to see what 2014 will bring us.  All the best to each and everyone of you in the new year, and thanks for sticking with me for my "wordy" recap. 

Family, friends, we love you.  Thank you for being a part of our lives.


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