Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013: Our Year in Review

This year has brought some of the highest highs and lowest lows. It's pushed myself and my little family to believe in our love and find strength in each other. It's taught me lessons about myself and my capabilities and it's brought along the chance to continue watching my amazing little boy grow and learn each day. What a year!

January was a long, exhausting but oh-so-worth-it month. As Conner and I continued to push through the deployment we were several months into, we returned from an extended stay with family only to pack up the apartment we were living in and move to a home located on our Military base. With the help of an incredible friend, a wonderful moving crew and an unusually patient Conner, we had a relatively easy, quick move to a beautiful home which happened to include a neighbor who I would learn was from my hometown....and who quickly became a great friend. Conner and I finished out the month enjoying our new house, though still missing Daddy, and working our way around being a twosome.

February brought a month of personal challenges for me. After a several-month battle with sciatica that just wouldn't quit, things came to a head when I found myself in incredibly excruciating pain and still being without any help in caring for Conner. Finally, on my fourth appointment with a doctor to help deal with my pain, I got an answer. A doctor on base determined the cause of my pain was from piriformis injury to my piriformis muscle which can be very difficult to help heal. With some gentle osteopathic manipulation I was back on my feet and had my faith restored in gentle healing. Meanwhile my thoughtful husband had plotted a very sweet delivery to me on Valentines day...which restored my faith in chocolates and flowers :)


March was the month where we celebrated Daddy's birthday via Skype, enjoyed improving weather, saw a dim light at the end of the deployment tunnel and spent Easter enjoying the company of our Army family. 

April was a month that brought the calm before the storm. As spring swung into full bliss, I enjoyed beautiful weather and a visit from Derek's parents which brought me a much needed break. For the first time in a while I enjoyed a little extra sleep and a pedicure and Conner got to spend some quality time with his grandparents. Their visit also marked my final milestone for the deployment...We now had an upcoming homecoming to look forward to!


The beginning of May was a slightly challenging start. As my husband began to make his way home from an eight month deployment, I experienced the incredible excitement of knowing he'd be home....only to be dashed hours before his supposed arrival with a delay that would keep us on our toes and anxiously waiting for three extra days. When the time finally arrived, Conner and I greeted our Soildier with full hearts and so much excitement that he was finally home. Conner treated his daddy like he had never left, and I very much enjoyed celebrating my birthday and Mother's Day with both of my men.

June presented the chance for us to begin a new chapter in the life of our family. After much consideration, Derek and I decided it was time to purchase our first home. After a phone call to a realtor friend we began househunting...and after getting outbid on what we thought would be an amazing family home, another amazing property came our way and fate was on our side!

With our home buying process well underway and our house on base being slowly packed to move, we paused everything to make a trip home to visit family. Derek and I even had the opportunity to spend a night alone to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Atlantic City. While home we enjoyed our favorite foods native to Philadelphia (hello, Italian hoagies), swimming in the pool at Derek's parent's house and lots of good quality family time. When we returned to the West Coast, home buying was in full swing. We closed on our home just two days after our trip and with the help of family and great friends, we officially moved into our first home!

As the summer slowly wound down, we enjoyed spending August getting settled in our new home. At the end of the month we celebrated by warming our home with great friends and some of the people we consider family out here. We couldn't have enjoyed it more!

September brought a milestone moment for my husband and son. Derek is an avid Philadelphia Flyers fan and played hockey as a kid through high school. Even as an adult Derek seizes any opportunity to hit the ice and play. We were invited to a birthday party for the son of a friend of ours who we adore, and his party happened to be at a local ice rink. Derek was so excited...dressed in jeans and matching Flyers jerseys, Derek laced up a pair of tiny skates for Conner and my men took to the ice. Watching them out there was simply could just see the sheer meaningfulness in Derek's eyes as he held our son up and skated him around the rink.

October sent fall into full swing and this year we had trick or treating to look forward to! Last year Conner spent his first Halloween flying with Derek's sister and I after having been stuck in Denver due to Hurricane Sandy. This year, dressed as the cutest Supeman ever, we enjoyed taking Conner to Derek's unit's annual Trunk or Treat followed by trick or treating in our neighborhood. We had an absolute blast and Conner certainly enjoyed all of the "punkins" and m&ms :)

On November 6th my baby boy turned two! We celebrated with a baseball birthday party, yummy cupcakes, a wooden Thomas the Train set and lots of hugs and kisses for our little dude. Later in the month we celebrated Thanksgiving by enjoying an incredible meal with our Army family...and hanging the Christmas lights up the next day!

Looking back on this final month of the year, it's been a great one. Derek and I enjoyed going to my first Military ball which was an absolute blast. We also very much enjoyed Christmas shopping and preparing for celebrating Christmas in our new home. For the first time we were able to buy Conner gifts without worrying about having to mail them across the country, and I fully decked out then house with all things gold, green, red and sparkly! On Christmas morning we woke up to witness our wide-eyed little boy so excited to see that Santa had arrived. We spent our morning opening presents, putting together toys, enjoying eggs Benedict made by hubby and sipping hot coffee. That evening we shared a meal with friends and sipped mimosas....what a wonderful Christmas!

As things wind down and the New Year approaches I can only imagine what 2014 has in store for us. So many things to look forward to, and so many blessings to continue to count! I want to wish you all a safe and very happy, prosperous New Year, and thank you for following along our family journey! I hope you continue to enjoy reading This Whole Mommy Thing as I continue to enjoy writing it.

Many blessings to all!

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