Friday, January 3, 2014

Facebook isn't all bad. Neither was 2013.

Thank you Facebook for my year in review. I was scared to look at it until now. There were a lot of ups and downs in 2013, and some things fell into both categories. For example, I lost my 3rd grandparent in 2013, Grandpa Martin. This was sad, but the good that comes out of loss is the togetherness we share when we gather with family & other loved ones for the memorial and share stories & make new fond memories together.

I was blessed to be able to return to Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, TN twice last year. (It feels weird to say last year when last year was earlier this week.) It was the first time we'd been back in eight years. It's where we met, where we went to college. We still have a lot of friends and some family back there (now that I live in Maine, I should say "down there" I suppose).

I got to see my California family in September when I flew to Tahoe for my Gramps' 80th Birthday. I hung out with my sisters and cousins in the hot tub. I went to Cabela's for the first time. It was a lot of fun.

In Colorado, I got to go sledding & skiing, and even bought a used snowboard at the end of the season before I knew I was going to be moving to Maine. I now realize I may not get to use it anytime soon. I rode my bike to work in the summer. We did a number of hikes, including our annual hike up Pagosa Peak.

I do miss my visits to the Hot Springs. I remember fondly my birthday party there where we sat in the tub in the -10 degree weather in January and watched our hair turn to icicles. I feel like I am and have been the luckiest girl on the planet. How could I be so sad? So what if I quit a job that I'd been doing for the better part of a decade? It led to an amazing opportunity to work from home & get paid the IT salary I'd always wanted. This job took me to California for boot camp, where I met some really great people. It also took me to Las Vegas, where I met even more. So what if I quit that job in less than three months because of the stress and anxiety I felt from it and from moving across country & starting over in a new place? Health is your true wealth, and it's worth sacrificing for. I have this amazing opportunity now to be free and have time to cook and bake and work on projects and figure out what I want to do next.

We had our friend & coworker stay with us for a while; we had other friends live with us all summer, which was fun. Our friend Andrew was able to stop by and visit on his way to Loma Linda, California. Gramps & Kim visited us while the West Fork fire was burning. We had our friend Dr. Tim Riesenberger come and stay with us & do a health series, which we'd been wanting to do for several years. One year ago today, we had an 11 person sleepover, too (a group of high school students traveling back from GYC).

I learned a lot of things in 2013. I learned how to make baklava - my favorite! I learned how to make a copycat Panera black bean soup in a bread bowl, which O loves. I learned how to make pot pie, apple pie and lasagna. I learned the importance of guarding my heart to protect my marriage. That was actually the deepest, darkest, hardest, most private & painful thing I learned this year. I would be happy to talk to anyone about it privately, but this isn't the place to have that discussion. I will say that it is an important victory, however, because one of my biggest fears has been that I would follow in the mistakes of the generation before me. Thank God that I did not.

This post doesn't even begin to cover all the blessings of the year, but I wanted to acknowledge some of the good things that I hadn't put all together in my mind. My biggest failure in 2013 was that I didn't stop & count my blessings. I let fear of facing the pain of the year prevent me from looking back, but now that I have, I feel much better. If I had to summarize the year, I would say it was the year I got to see my Florida family, made it to Tennessee twice, California twice, Las Vegas and Oklahoma (crazy overnight trip for a high school graduation), moved to Maine, ate lots of Thai food (we <3 Thai Chilie) and was blessed beyond measure. I spent my birthday at the Hot Springs with great friends. On Valentine's Day, we tried a new vegan Thai restaurant in Albuquerque. On Father's Day, we were on top Pagosa Peak. On the 4th of July we were at the parade with friends. On our 9 year anniversary we were in Boston & got to see old friends. On Thanksgiving we had dinner here with O's family. On Christmas we were at his parents' house. What a great year! Well, enough about me. How was your 2013?

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