Man, after taking a blogging break over the holidays, writing up a Year in Review post like this sure makes up for it. I swear it took me forever. There are many perks to keeping an online journal of some of our daily adventures, and one of my favorites is that it becomes a wonderful diary of things we have done, places we’ve visited, food we’ve loved, and the many memories we’ve created along the way. Because without it, we definitely would have forgotten some of what 2013 was.
2013 was a pretty awesome year. The below are just some highlights I pulled from 300+ posts, but there were a million and one things that I didn’t mention below or that I didn’t even blog about. Big things, little things, important things, nonsensical things. We laughed. We cried. We laughed till we cried. We had quiet times and loud crazy times, and our first real vacation in four years. We took a few road trips, and I met up with one of my favorite bloggers in Florida. Milestones and silliness were shared, and we relished in family and friends. We made new friendships, and strengthened old ones. We entertained large parties, small parties, and parties of just the three of us. We dove head first into animal rescue, and fostered, transported, and worked adoption events like it was our job. We helped save animals, and gave away pieces of our heart.
With a brand new year ahead of us, and a ridiculously clean slate in the offing, I hope for much more of the same. We focused on little things that were big things, and that has made all the difference. Like our holiday break. I hoarded vacation days like it was my job, so I could take off for most of the kids’ break from school. And we had no plans. Sure we had little adventures during our ten days together, but it was also filled with no schedule, no alarm, no commitments, just being together. And it was awesome.
This year, I plan to continue to simplify, continue to focus, and spend most of my time with laughter and love. Cheers to 2014.
And now a few highlights from 2013…
The start of the year brought about one of our favorite go-to recipes for giant chocolate chip cookies, a visit to meet Jack Hanna, a delicious black-eyed pea recipe (and that’s saying alot), and lessons from the heart on parenting with purpose.
I read Donald Miller’s book (among 30 others) and loved the underlying theme of saying yes more, fell in love with this super simple, super delicious Lemon Garlic Flounder recipe, visited a new-to-us children’s museum in Paramus, celebrated Madeline turning five with a birthday party at an animal shelter, discovered a new frozen yogurt place in Morristown, had some delicious Baked Chicken Buffalo Bites, enjoyed Valentine’s Day, created a scrumptious recipe for Bleu Cheese Stuffed Crust Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and went to our first Monster Truck show.
We celebrated Easter and my youngest niece’s baptism, checked out a new kebab restaurant, made string art at a Girls Night In, celebrated Nick’s D.A.R.E. graduation, had the best chocolate pudding ever, tried Millie’s Old World Pizza & Meatballs (oh how I miss carbs!), had more lessons from the heart, fell in love with a new sushi restaurant and a new recipe for healthy and delicious Thai Turkey Burgers, and we kicked off Spring Break.
We made cereal necklaces (perfect for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday!), recapped our visit to the Atlantis Aquarium in the Bahamas, read a book by Brandi Glanville (of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame), enjoyed a delicious recipe for Turkey Salsa Salad, talked about some of my favorite photo apps, visited a 9/11 Memorial Park, and shared our visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.