01 January 2014

2013: A Year in Review {Part 1}

Please forgive the post overload. I know three days in a row can seem to fill up an email inbox quickly! But I'm ripping off the irresistible idea of recapping 2013 from my friend Victoria's blog, who apparently is a big copy cat too. A major purpose of this blog is to document & journal this transitional life of ours, & I loved the idea of looking back over the past 12 months!

Going back two years ago, 2012 started off beautifully with Hubs home from deployment. It was one of those times when every moment is meaningful and all the small stuff is sweet. We were so blessed to say that we were both closer to each other and our Lord when he came back. But 2012 went on to prove one of our most difficult as well. We experienced heartache and a new kind of distance from each other shortly before we wound up in Niceville, FL late that fall. With new dedication to our marriage, Hubs' career direction, and God's guidance, 2013 was a fresh beginning, as most new years seem to promise. The first half ended up being one of the most precious seasons Hubs and I have had yet. We began in Florida, soaking up friendships in our favorite place that feels like home, and ended with new challenges, expectations, and adventures in Alaska.

By January, we were all settled in to our new Florida digs. I even bought turquoise fish lamps.
We joined our church, and I joined a bible study. The first day, I met two sweet friends, Krista and Victoria. We went to chikfila, to Johnny Rockets and Les Miserables at the theater, shopping trips, running errands, and more. Answered prayer.

These new friends, the Hull's and the Bobo's, came to dinner for my birthday. Hubs and I spent the day doing random acts of kindness before meeting our new stranger-friends at Bonefish Grill.
Photo stolen from Victoria's blog
We also went to the Sandestin Gumbo Fest with the Hull's. I shamelessly stole these photos from Krista's blog.
I stole all of the Gumbo Fest photos except this selfie.
March was busy! Krista had a sweet baby shower and the same day, we all went camping. I use the term "camping" loosely, but I loved that mini trip. Again, photos stolen from Krista's blog.
I did take this of "Ms. Toria" & her full lap.
I got to see my cousin Amanda! She drove over from spending spring break in Panama City. We went to Pompano Joe's, to Nana & Papa's old house, to Resurrection Catholic Church, and a couple of shops together. Much needed time with her!
Kelcee, Ethan, & Fischer made a quick visit.
My mom and Maw Maw made their second annual trip to visit us during my momma's spring break, which also happens to fall on Hubs' birthday.
Beginnings of his first stache of 2013 in AIR div.
I flew to CA for my friend Karla's wedding reception. There is something about my connection with Karla that can't compare and I can't really explain. She is a soul mate of sorts. I also got to reconnect with Karla's family, my former-boss and current-friend DiXee (who is now only a week behind me in her pregnancy!), and my birthday buddy Raychel.

April brought beach time. We got into a great routine for the rest of the summer. During the week, Andrew would work, pt, come home, eat dinner, sleep and get up to do it all again the next day. It was stressful, but he seemed content with the challenge. Our weekends were wonderful. Every Saturday, we headed out to our spot on the beach, ate lunch at Pompano Joe's, took walks or went swimming, then went home to grill out, watch a movie, and sleep. Sundays were church, lunch at One20, maybe a movie or to dos, a quick dinner, and sleep. It was glorious. I miss all this so much right now.
A typical day on Miramar Beach, Destin, FL
The Hull's moved to Louisiana, and Victoria and I started a bible study in the Bobo's adorable home. I was there the day I got the phone call from Hubs that we had projected orders to Ft Richardson, AK. This group pic was stolen from Victoria's blog and taken at our last meeting in July.
Late April, I started a part-time nannying job for the Carey family. I have a special place in my heart for sweet Ryleigh and her mom Michelle. I felt such a friendship with Michelle and miss getting to see her several times a week!

Lea Anne & Cody came for a weekend visit on her break from school. Also, we got to hop over to St. Augustine for the annual Thompson family vacation on Memorial Day weekend. It's weird that Hubs and I knew each other for over 12 years, dated twice, and had been married for two and a half years, but this was his first time getting to go on this family trip!

I got to cruise with my dear friend Alicen, another friendship that has lasted through many miles and moves. This was our second together and I hope not our last! Alicen is my first military-wife friend and I will never forget how we met and how our paths totally merged to make us life long friends.
On the drive back from Tampa, I got to make a pit stop in Ocala to see one of my oldest friends Mary Coul. She has two girls now and it is so fun texting and catching up with her. Our moms had our baby showers together at church and now we are having babies! It is crazy and comfortable having someone in your life that has known you for the entire thing. That we are still friends is a major testament to MC's capacity for patience and forgiveness!

Also in June, my good friend Melanie came down to vaca with friends, and I got to spend a much needed girl's day away in Sandestin. Such a hilarious and generous group and I loved getting to crash the party! Mel is a ray of sunshine, and I'm always blessed and leave better by being with her!

Hubs' dad, Mike, came for a weekend visit. We absolutely loved living in a place that family and friends could take a weekend to come relax and having the space in our house for them to stay!
Beach days and date nights continued.

Agh, I'm drowning in nostalgia today! Stay tuned for Part Two tomorrow... 

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