Tuesday, December 31, 2013

good-bye 2013

Most years I am ready to say good riddance to the current year and by midnight all of the Christmas decorations and tree are packed up and I am looking forward to starting the year off fresh.  This year I am not ready to let go.  It has been a good year, there have been some bumps and some relationships are not where I want them to be, but we have had many great adventures.

We went hiking a lot, in cold weather, in warm weather, in fog, in the heat.  
In the fall

In the winter
We went hiking in the clouds.

In the summer

Now that the kids are older we went camping quite a few times.
Now that the kids are older we went camping several times.
Camping at the beach wasn't too bad, we made it 3 days and 2 nights

 The winter despite being cold gave us very little snow but we enjoyed it when we got it.
a snowy walk in the woods

 What made 2013 noteworthy would be our travel adventures during the summer. We started Memorial Day in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh, Pa

 We then went to Topsail Island for a week of sun and fun for the 4th of July.
the kids loved playing in the surf, they are getting more adventurous every year
We enjoyed the fireworks in downtown Wilmington

Since 1 week wasn't enough we went a week later to Virginia Beach though this was a very different beach experience.
Chesapeake Bay

We went east to Virginia Beach, south to Topsail and our next summer adventure took us North to New Jersey and New York City.  I have been wanting to visit for years and I am thankful we were able to take a trip to the Big Apple with a pit stop at the Jersey Shore.
The Jersey Shore was a very different experience where you have to pay to go on the beach.

NYC, amazing, can't wait to go back.

We finally made it to NYC!
Our last trip of the summer was to the Midwest to visit relatives now that the kids are old enough to survive the 12 hour car ride.  We broke up the trip to Indiana with a stop at the Columbus zoo which was an quite an adventure and a lot of fun.
Adventures at the Columbus Zoo.

We got lucky and saw Star Wars exhibit in Indianapolis.

We finally made it to Indiana to visit family.

Michigan was a bit cold, but we had fun on the lake despite the cool weather.
My kids got to try tubing and jet skiing despite the chilly temperatures

We even had some adventures at home.  We survived the 17 year cicada invasion.  The kids couldn't play outside for several weeks without being swarmed by these guys.
Watching them molt was quite amazing.

We celebrated Jeff turning 40 as well as Lily turning 5, my kids are growing up so fast.
My baby girl turned 5

My boy turned 7
The biggest event of the year was Lily starting Kindergarten.  I cried for the first couple of days, I didn't know what to do with myself without having Lily at home with me.  I have gotten in a new routine, but I still miss my girl and I am so thankful that she loves school.

The 1st day of school.
2013 had many adventures and good times, too many to find pictures for and mention.  Things weren't always perfect and sometimes darn stressful, but we have so many good memories and I am not ready to let that go, I can't believe that 2014 could be better. 

We traveled, we explored, we grew up, we learned, we laughed, we cried, sometimes hysterically, but it was good and I will miss 2013. I am little worried, we have high expectations for 2014, how can you beat this year, then again, after 3-4 rough years it is about time things look up.

So good-bye 2013, I am grateful for all of your adventures and experiences, we did a lot and we were blessed with good health and opportunities.  May 2014 be good to us too.

I really only have one New Year's Resolution: to be grateful.  2014 will be a year of gratitude, it is our goal, our mission.  Even though we live in a microscopic house and don't always have much money, we have so much to be thankful for and I want to focus on that in 2014. 

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