Sunday, January 5, 2014

Year in Review

2013 as came to a close and I have my toes in 2014.  2013 was a huge year for me.  It was a year of growth, completion, new challenges, loss, and happy memories.  I am beyond blessed.  I have decided it was a year of love.

I devoted the first 4 months of the year to completing my degree.  I have worked hard for several years towards a bachelor's degree in sociology.  I fully intended to continue my career in fundraising/donor relations but I needed my degree to move forward.  I graduated on May 11th.  My family and close friends came out to watch me graduate.  I was so proud to have them all there cheering me on.  Afterwards my parents threw me a lunch.  I don't think we took any pictures but I thoroughly enjoyed my big day.

Me and a sweet co-worker.  This was probably the best picture of the day.

It's official!
While working hard toward my degree, Bobby and I also started a running regime with out best friends.  The week after graduation was our first 5k.  It wasn't easy but I did it.  As I made the turn down toward the finish line, I was so proud of myself.  It wasn't the time that mattered, it was that I committed to something and finished.  Lately I have taken a break from running but plan to get back on board and see what else I can accomplish this year.

Sweaty and blurry.  But proof!

So proud of my hubs!

Our best friends and running partners/cheerleaders/coaches.
I think most of our year was really devoted to spending lots of time with our friends and family.  I love being with our friends and their kids.  I got lots of "Aunt Mel" time in.

October had some seriously sad moments.  We watched our friends mourn the loss of one of their very close friends.  I did a post about Coach.  Towards the end of the month, my great-aunt Carolyn also passed away somewhat unexpectedly.  She was one of my grandmother's younger sisters.

Also in October, I organized a team and participated in the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure.  I did this in honor of my sweet co-worker Sheri who was diagnosed in May.  She has been a true hero this year.  She has taken ever moment of this journey with grace and strength beyond comprehensive.  I was so proud to have her join us on race day.


November brought a huge family reunion.  While it was sad not having my Aunt Carolyn there to celebrate, we enjoyed getting our huge family together.

Also in November, I was there as my best friend, Amanda, gave birth to her sweet baby girl, Caroline.  I was so lucky to spend the day(s) at the hospital as we waited for C.  She made her arrival around 7:30 p.m. on November 23rd.

Me holding Caroline who is getting some love from her big brother.

In December, my dad's family got together.  I seriously love this group of people.

As December came to a close, I looked back on my year.  We are lucky people - blessed more than we deserve. 

Another monumental moment came on December 29th when my cousin Kim suffered a brain aneurysm at age 46.  The last seven days have been a roller coaster for her family/our family.  I spent the first day of 2014 with my parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, my brother, and my husband.  Someone brought a New Year's feast to the hospital and we had our lucky peas in honor of Kim.

While we don't know what lays ahead, I know who does.  I trust that God knows best.  He has Kim and our entire family covered with His love and grace.

While this is a sad ending to 2013, it makes me see what we should see everyday - love.  This strong woman and the family that loves her so.  It's all about love.  The family that gathers together just to comfort each other.  We are quite a force when we are together.

My cousin Tiffany, my dad, and my cousin Kim (also Tiff's mom) at our annual Christmas party.

So for 2014, I wish for more love.  Everyday should be treated as if we won't see tomorrow.

Just love. 

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