"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A look back: 2013

For my New Year's Eve post, I challenged myself to pick one picture... just one... from each month of 2013. A picture from each month that tells the story of our family over the past year. This was so hard to do. I take so many pictures and there are so many that I love. But these are the ones that stand out -- that really fill the chapters of the memory book I hold so dear to my heart.

So here we go... a brief and happy look back at 2013.

January. Our oldest turned five. A bowling party, a family night at his favorite -- Pizza Hut. A new basketball. My budding 'baller.'

February. Finally some snow on the ground after a weird and relatively dry January.

March. Easter. And my baby turned three. A Curious George family party and no more diapers in our home.

April. Sweet, sweet spring arrived. This month was hard to pick just one picture... but our adventure to Wisconsin Dells and Kalahari Resort was memory-filled. There was the broken down bridge and the extra long journey to get there. There was Jaden becoming a thrill seeker on all the big attractions and his constant laugh and big eyes going down those fast water slides. There was Brandon and this carousel.

May. We lived this month outdoors. There was Mother's Day and s'mores in our yard and walks by the river. And there was this picture... my heart, soul and whole world wrapped up in that image of these two brothers.
June. There was Sturgis Falls and Father's Day and nights at the pool. Live to 9 downtown and dinners on the deck. And there was this night... a beautiful unplanned fishing excursion down by Big Woods Lake... a storybook sunset and visions of more of these moments to come. This picture now sits in a white frame in our living room and just the other day Jaden told me how much he loves it. This picture makes me long for summer again...

July. A trip to the river in Dubuque, fireworks and petting zoos and parks and picnics. A 4th of July spent in our own backyard -- swimming, grilling, running through the sprinkler, eating melted ice cream cones... and sparklers.

August. A boy's first t-ball season. A week-long visit from Florida relatives. A first day of preschool and an emotional first day of kindergarten. A farewell to a summer that was so, so sweet.

September. Hello Fall. My favorite season allows me to cheat just once... I can't pick just one picture. A month of football and work travels and pumpkin smells and a last-minute weekend getaway to Des Moines. The zoo, a night of swimming at the hotel and a perfectly beautiful day at Adventureland. Brandon finally got to ride that Frog Hopper. This was a happy day.

October. Pumpkin patches and pumpkin carving and two Ninja Turtles for Halloween. A successful work trip that would lead to later news of an upcoming promotion and the turning of the leaves. My happy place... my happy season.

November. Thanksgiving and Christmas tree decorating and Holiday Hoopla. And the four of us in a wedding. (Thank goodness for Instagram pics).

December. Heritage Farms and breakfast with Santa. Pony rides and gingerbread houses. So many surprises from Santa and a wonderful, wonderful Christmas. Jaden's silhouette while holding his candle during 'Silent Night' and Brandon's rendition of Christmas carols all month long. So hard to say goodbye to this month... it was a special one.

And it was a special year. Though I'm sad to let it go, after looking back on all my hundreds (thousands) of pictures from 2013, I am eager to make new memories... take new pictures... and ring in 2014. Happy New Year to you all. Wishing you blessings, health, happiness... and many, many reasons to celebrate.

"Pay attention. Be astonished. And tell about it. The world didn't have to be beautiful. We can and should think about that beauty and be grateful."