Reflections from 2013: My Year in Review

5 Jan

What better way to jump-start/reinvigorate the blog than with a Year in Review post? I thought it would be a fun way to reflect back and remind myself what all happened in 2013.

In many ways, it was a big year. But lots of little stuff happened, too. Okay, maybe “happened” isn’t the right word. It’s fun looking back over the past year anyway.

The first BIG event was Eric and Kelsey’s wedding (April 20). Eric is our youngest.

Kelsey and Eric’s Engagement Pic

Big Event #2 for the year was Amy’s University of Maryland graduation (May 11).

Amys_UM_graduation

Amy and Family

It was actually Amy’s second graduation. This time, she earned a Master’s Degree.

Can you believe I left my camera home that day? Luckily we got some phone pics. Mike, his mom and I went to the ceremony. You’ll have to trust me on that, since we didn’t get pictures.

The third Big Event was my Dad’s move to Pennsylvania (June 22).

Dad_Last_At_5042

Last Picture of Dad Before Selling His House

And for Big Event #4… Amy and her family moved West (late-June/early July).

Hubby the Chaperone

Hubby the Chaperone

Mike volunteered to fly along with the kids. Amy and TJ drove one of their vehicles across country together. TJ had driven his truck out in January.

Those were the big events. That’s a lot of change.

There are quite a few little things worth remembering, too.

January

My first Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshop.

Hubby made me an awesome shoe bench.

The tag sale experiment (fail!).

My first quilt class.

February

Aunt Bertha visited.

I painted that cool bench Hubby made for me in January.

Participated in a second tag sale.

Finally finished painting my dining room chairs.

The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl!!!

March

The Grand Kids – top to bottom are Joey, Gaige, and Brianna

The girls treed a raccoon in our backyard.

Hubby made us a new coat rack. It sits beside the aforementioned shoe bench.

My annual girlfriend getaway required TWO posts. Part 1 and Part 2.

The grand kids visited. I took so many pictures, there were TWO blog posts on that subject, too. Post 1 and Post 2.

Eric and I enjoyed our last Mom and son weekend with him as a single man.

April

I already mentioned April’s big event — Eric’s wedding. Since that is such a momentous occasion, it sort of consumed all of my attention during the month.

May

The month got off to a quiet start with my trip to Walnut Hill Farm at Elm Spring.

June

There was a lot of mental stress leading up to June’s big event, which was moving my Dad back to Pennsylvania. We managed to get him out of his Baltimore City row-house and into a mobile home situated very close to where he grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Of course, other stuff was happening in June, too. Life goes on, right?

There was another scare with Meg (pancreatitis-like illness), a bench-painting project, and Fathers’ Day.

And we were mentally preparing ourselves for Amy’s end-of-month move.

July

Although Amy and TJ left at the end of June, the kids didn’t leave until July. That’s when Hubby flew across country with the grand kids. And then back home the next day.

Mom’s friend, Jill, visited from Indiana with her husband in July, too. Another event I neglected to capture with pictures.

Closing out the month of July was the attack on Belle. It was a freak thing, and she recovered quickly, thank goodness. But it was scary.

All through May, June, and July, I should have been doing some serious vacation planning. But there were other things occupying my brain. I do work full-time. And we had to get Dad’s house listed and ready to sell.  Plus, there were a few painting projects.

August

Dad needed a “new” table and chairs for the smaller kitchen in his new house. I had some old chairs that he’d given me, so I bought a table at a local thrift shop, and then painted the table and chairs to match. K and I delivered them to Dad the first weekend in August.

Mike made a cabinet, which I painted and then we hung in our bathroom.

I also completed my most “interesting” painting project during the month of August.

At the end of August, Annelies and Yves arrived from Belgium to join us on that vacation I was supposed to have been planning.

September

I didn’t blog while on vacation. We were so busy having fun, I just didn’t feel up to blogging. It takes time, not to mention mental energy, which after an eventful year, I seemed to be seriously lacking. So I tried to play catch-up over the next couple of months.

Installment 1: In the Beginning (Friday, August 30 – Monday, Sept 2)

Installment 2: Portland Morning (Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 3: Exploring the City of Portland (morning of Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 4: Beyond Portland (afternoon of Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 5: Olympic Peninsula, Here We Come!

Installment 6: First Rain Forest Hike & Another Gorgeous Beach

Installment 7: Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park

Installment 8: Madison Creek Falls & Lake Crescent

Installment 9: Hoh Rain Forest

Installment 10: Rialto Beach

Installment 11: Getting to San Juan Island

Installment 12: On San Juan Island

October

Rehoboth Beach weekend. There’s one I never even mentioned on my blog. I’ll have to do a make-up post on that one.

Me and Diana

Me and Diana

I’ve know Diana since we were in second grade together. She invited me to go to Rehoboth Beach, DE with her for the weekend. She and her husband, Brian, own a house there and needed to winterize the place. We had so much fun reconnecting, we decided to make it an annual thing. I have lots of fun pics to share, too.

November

I never did finish the vacation re-cap. But I did do some other fun stuff.

I completed another painting project, a visitor’s stool for my kitchen. A place for visitors to sit while I prepare food.

I got to attend a fancy luncheon, prepared by Eric and his classmates during his last semester of culinary school.

My other big project during the month of November was painting some kitchen chairs for my Aunt Bertha (Dad’s sister).

December

Before I knew it, December had arrived. And you know what that means. Holiday preparations. Shopping, decorating, wrapping, event planning… it’s always a hectic month. But I did make time for the second annual Santa ride. But this time I had an elf.

Santa Ride 2

I believe I can fly…

Meet my new friend, Dottie. She didn’t hesitate at all when I explained the Santa ride and said, “Wanna be my elf?”

Santa Ride 1

It was a COLD day.

It was fun! But cold.

Something else that developed throughout the year was a unique coming-together of friends.

I’ve been establishing friendships gradually since moving to Warrenton, but 2013 was the year they all came together. We had a few gatherings, many of which involved the husbands. And, oddly enough, discovered that all of the men and women get along.

Cray-cray Pals

Cray-cray Pals

Pictured above, L-R, are Ashley (holding baby Oakley), Dottie (Ashley’s Mom), Me, Kelly Ann (she owns Kelly Ann’s Quilting), Tim (one of our crazy Facebook friends), and Janet (owner of The Empty Nest).  Our menfolk are not pictured. There’s my hubby, Mike, of course, Andrew (Kelly Ann’s husband), Bill (Janet’s husband), and Jim (Dottie’s husband).

That picture was taken during a New Year’s Eve party at Dottie and Jim’s house. We closed out 2013 and welcome 2014 together. I foresee lot’s of fun together in 2014. We’ll have to make a point of photographing all of the couples at some point.

One of the hardest things about moving to a new place is establishing friendships. It’s hard living apart from your family and friends. Making new friends doesn’t mean replacing your old ones, of course. It just means adding to your circle, broadening your life. One person can never have too many friends, right?

I’m looking forward to 2014 and have high hopes of fun times with friends old and new.

There are some big events coming, too.

Mike and I are taking his Mom out to visit Amy and her family in February.

Eric just finished culinary school. And, although he won’t be participating in the actual ceremony, he’s my newest college graduate. He and his wife will be moving to Spain in June. Temporarily, we hope. Spain is a culinary hot-bed, so he’ll be furthering his education through some real-life work experience.

Mike and I will be traveling to Europe at some point in 2014. We’re not sure of the destination yet, or the timing. But the trip will involve motorcycles as well as meet-ups with our friends Annelies and Yves (who live in Belgium) plus Tammi and Martin (who live in Switzerland). We’ll see Eric and Kelsey, too. We just have to figure out how, where, and when to bring everyone together. Should be interesting…

Plus, I’m determined to get out on my bike more. My poor ride was neglected last year.

That’s it for the re-cap. Wow, it WAS an eventful year. And I’m sure I’ve left a few things out.

I’ll try my best to post more frequently in 2014.

6 thoughts on “Reflections from 2013: My Year in Review

  1. And here I was feeling like I hadn’t accomplished much in 2013. Those “rewinds” are valuable.

    No wonder I’m feeling so exhausted after the holidays. Having a couple days off work is making a huge difference, though. Back to work tomorrow…

  2. Shan, I guess we forgot to tell you Hawaii is out and Spain is in? They just decided a month or two ago. Now you’ll have another European destination, too.

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