2013 started out to be Hubs and I's worst year since we've been together. Hubs's mother became ill and entered hospice care in January, then sadly passed away in February. It was very unexpected, and yet wasn't, since she has suffered from Alzheimer's Disease for years. We just didn't realize how advanced the disease had become until it was too late.
About a month later in March, I left a difficult job situation with a company I'd worked for for more than 7 years. A few months earlier, I started to realize that I wasn't happy and that things at that company were fundamentally changing, but I'd hoped I'd never feel like leaving was the only answer. When that became a reality, I was disappointed, but had already been interviewing for a new job and I hoped that would work out.
Hubs and I worked through those tough times together and we remained a strong, resilient couple. Honestly, I don't know what we would have done without each other. We were really each others' rocks.
Thankfully, I started my new job, the one I'd interviewed for being in February and March, within weeks of leaving my old job in April. My new job has been amazing, and I just got an awesome first performance appraisal. My team appreciates me and my work, and I feel incredibly valued. It's such a blessing, and even though I've never worked harder or been busier in a job, I know I'm doing great work for people who appreciate what I bring to the table.
In June, my twin sister had her first baby and my first niece, Elise. Elise is the apple of my entire family's collective eye and her presence makes us all incredibly happy. She's always happy, smiles constantly and she's just a good baby. After Elise made her arrival in the world, Hubs and I agreed that starting a family would become a priority, as would be buying a larger home. These were huge, huge decisions that represented big steps in our lives.
We started looking at houses later in June, and we found a house we both liked in mid-July. We didn't want to lose the house, so we put in a competitive offer and got the house! Halle-freaking-lujah! We started packing up the condo at the beginning of August, then closed on the house at the end of August. But we didn't move in right away. Instead, we took on a month of renovations to help make this house livable for us long-term, including redoing floors, painting the whole interior of the house, changing lighting and electrical throughout the house, and more.
Major renovations ended at the beginning of October, and we moved in later that week. We had boxes everywhere, but we got through most of them and put many things away. We still have a bunch of boxes that haven't been unpacked, sitting in our bonus room and the garage, but we'll get to them eventually.
Hubs and I enjoyed our first Halloween in the new house, and loved how many trick-or-treaters we got! The previous homeowners said that they didn't get very any kids on Halloween, but we certainly did, and we were thrilled. It was also a great opportunity to meet our neighbors and become part of the neighborhood.
November and December passed by in a whirl, and we enjoyed hosting our first big family Thanksgiving in the house. We attended Christmas parties, cookie exchanges and happy hours, and generally lived it up over the holiday season. I also had my friend Jessie over to watch movies and bake cookies in my big new kitchen (well, a lot bigger than my kitchen in the condo!), and I've gotten back into my regular routine of preparing delicious dinners every night. It's felt SO good to get back to my normal routine!
At the end of December, I celebrated my birthday without much fanfare, and went on to celebrate a very low-key New Year's Eve with my hubby. Playing it low-key after Christmas felt great and has given me a chance to rejuvenate and think about how I want the next year to play out. I have so many goals and I want to give each one of them a chance to blossom as I move forward in the year. That takes careful planning, budgeting and preparation, which I'm now working on.
All I can say is that 2014 could be my best year yet. I think about the possibilities and smile, because I know after 2013 that you never, ever know what will happen next.
Best wishes for a fabulous 2014!