Friday, December 27, 2013

Wrap that bitch up!

I thought about writing my typical novel to wrap up what has been one of the most surreal and emotionally taxing years I've experienced in my life thus far.  Yet, as I was sorting through various thoughts & events to highlight, I decided to take this a different route.

At the beginning of this year, I joined a 365 picture challenge.  I managed to keep up with it until right after my mother-in-law passed away.  Understandably, things were a little too hectic for me to maintain a daily photo challenge.  At some points, between the nausea of a new pregnancy and the stress and strain of our family's loss and the ensuing discord, I was lucky to maintain my job.  After a couple month hiatus, I realized how much I missed the challenge, so I jumped back on that horse and with the exception of 3 or so days during our big move into my mother-in-law's house, I have stuck to it and will see it through to the end.

Instead of blathering on & on with words, I'm going to choose 1 or 2 of my favorite or most relevant pictures from each month in the last year. I'll try to keep the words minimal, but knowing me, I'll probably elaborate way more than necessary.


New Year's Day 2013:


Traded in the soccer mom minivan for a sporty little number we named Car-la:


Coloring Easter eggs w/ the kiddos:


Meeting Dana Carvey was pretty much the coolest thing ever:

Justin's urology appointment, trying to figure out why we weren't conceiving. Turns out, his swimmers were top-notch all along:


A little pre-gaming in the hotel room before we went to see Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie:

Our favorite band, Rehab, finally made it to our hometown to play a show:

Since Justin's swimmers weren't an issue, it was time to get my utes looked at:

And finally, the night (unbeknownst to us at the time) that we conceived our little "Blueberry":


A beautiful weekend in Crescent City.  We didn't know it at the time, but this was the last trip we'd be making to Crescent City with Judy:

June 21st brought us the most wonderful shock of our lives:

Our final coast trip with Judy to Rockaway Beach.  This trip ended up being very good for us in hindsight because there is very little we didn't talk about during the 7-8 hour drive there & home.  Some of the things we all discussed gave us a lot of peace when making her final decisions:


The most beautiful sight in the world to our family was the beating heart of our little Blueberry.  Judy & I both welled up with tears when we saw it on the screen:


One of the very few pictures I took in August was this photo from what would have been Judy's 59th birthday.  (Though she always maintained each year was her 29th birthday.)  She had passed away suddenly just 3 weeks before, but we decided to celebrate her life anyway:


Though I wasn't participating in the challenge at the time, I did manage to post a few photos in September.  One very big one being Trin's first day of 5th grade and the beginning of her "I hate pictures" phase:

September 7th was Judy's memorial.  Justin's boss sent these beautiful flowers to the chapel that day:


It's a girl!!!  October 7th we found out our little Blueberry was testicle-free.  To celebrate, I bought her this outfit:

Back on the #365pic2013 challenge bandwagon, here is my post from Halloween:


The beauty of this pregnancy is that not only are we expecting, but 8 weeks ahead of us are our good friends, the String-Greens.  Here is the diaper cake I made for my first ever baby shower hosting gig:

Less than 3 days after it went on the market, we got an offer on our house.  Bye-bye Fairweather Drive:

The holidays without Judy were tough, but celebrating Thanksgiving with good friends and delicious food definitely made it better:


With all the upheaval this year, the hubs & I decided to give the kiddo a new holiday tradition, Elf on a Shelf.  Santa's Little Helper found herself in quite a few embarrassing situations:

She's a very mischievous elf:

The end of the month brought on the big move into Judy's house, which we are in the process of buying.  Lucky for us, we had good friends to help us collect empty boxes & move:

Santa's Little Helper slacked off during the move, so she went a little over-the-top one night:

And, finally, there was Christmas.  It sure didn't feel much like a holiday to us grown-ups, but Santa did his best to make sure it was a memorable one for Trin.  Between the elf's shenanigans and a huge over-abundance of gifts, our kiddo was plenty distracted from our sadness:

That about wraps it all up.  It's been quite a year with some of the highest highs and lowest lows.  Through it all, we've had each other and our amazingly wonderful, don't-have-enough-adjectives-to-describe-their-awesomness kick-ass friends.  With less than 2 months until our baby's big arrival, plus the impending closing on our purchase of Judy's house, which will in turn close probate on her estate, it looks like 2014 might bring a lot more happiness than it's predecessor.  Much of it will be bittersweet without Judy around because she was such a huge part of our lives, but if we can make it through the year we just had, we can make it through anything!

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