A Year in Review

I don't know about you, but I love New Year's Eve. Not because we do anything fancy (we don't), but simply because I like looking forward to set new goals and looking back to see what's been accomplished. 2012 was an awesome year for me, and I can't imagine that next year won't be just as, if not more, wonderful.

After starting the year off with a horrific bout of sickness brought in by one of the daycare kiddos, things weren't looking as amazing as I had hoped. The beginning of the year was a blur of illness after illness, and trudging along just trying to survive. But things started to turn around in March, which is when I finally started to feel like Lucas and I had formed a bond after a long, long struggle throughout his first year. We still had rough patches, but this was most certainly our year of coming together. It was a year of love, and happiness, and adventures.

This was also the year that Lucas learned to walk, which meant fun like never before. Summer usually isn't my favorite season, but this summer blew all other summers out of the water because Lucas and I got to do so much together. We went to the zoo, took trips to the beach, visited California, played at tons of parks, explored the city, went on hikes, tried out swimming, and so much more. Plus we had amazing some amazing weather from April through September so it was a long, well-enjoyed season for us. Some of my favorite memories of all time came this spring/summer while we were outside playing the days away.

enjoying the sunshine in Bodega Bay
playing in the sand at Lake Tahoe
walking at San Rafael Park with Daddy
throwing rocks into the Truckee River
picking tomatoes in the garden, even the green ones
splashing in the pool with cousin Jocelyn

watching the Great Reno Balloon Races

Another great memory from this summer was going to Las Vegas with Rob on our first vacation alone since Lucas was born. Though there aren't any pictures (we were too busy enjoying ourselves to bust out a camera) it was definitely a highlight of the year. We didn't drink much or gamble at all, but the freedom to window shop and sip margaritas on the strip or lay by the pool and take afternoon naps was luxurious in ways we could never imagine before becoming parents. And the food, my god, the food! We spent a decadent amount on food, and I personally believe it was worth every overpriced penny. I ate steak at literally every single meal, and regret nothing. It was magical.

Then of course, summer came to close with a bang when in early September I found out this little person was growing in my belly.

And a girl, A GIRL, I can still hardly believe it.
So we navigated through a fun-filled fall while battling morning sickness. Luckily this pregnancy hasn't been as hard as Lucas', so symptoms hardly slowed me down at all. Which meant we were free to enjoy a bounty of leaf piles and pumpkin patches and of course, the big boy haircut.

Before the haircut
After the haircut
An amazing day at Apple Hill
The cutest sock monkey you ever did see
Leaves! Oh my goodness, the LEAVES!
That day at Apple Hill was sincerely one of the best days of my life. We had so much fun and got to do so many things. At Boa Vista Orchards we watched them use the big machine they use to peel, core and slice apples, we went mobbing through the pumpkin patch (Lucas loved stepping over the pumpkins, he thought it was hilarious), we ate some amazing apple doughnuts and shopped the farmer's market. We got to ride on a little train around the lake at El Dorado Orchards. And even though Lucas was all tuckered out by the time we reached Apple Ridge Farms, we put it as our top spot to visit in Apple Hill for next year. So much to do, so much to love. Happy, happy memories.

I also sort of loved the Presidential elections this fall. I was far more involved than I was in the 2008 elections, and I engaged in some really thoughtful dialogue with many of my peers. I took this election very seriously and was surprised to find myself undecided rather late in the game. It was an exciting political season whether you liked it or not. And though I'm glad it's over (because it was taking up way too many of my Hulu commercials), a part of me misses it. It was an exciting race.

Our year wound down with a quiet Thanksgiving at the ranch, an awesome little birthday party for Lucas (with amazing December weather to boot!) and a nice Christmas at home with family.

And even though this year is ending with me losing my job, I'm really excited for what the next year has to offer. I'm choosing to see my unemployment as an opportunity for me to find something better for me and my family. I'm giving myself time to pause, to reevaluate, to breathe. Bring on the New Year.