January 2, 2014

2013, you were good to us. Very good.

I'm not very good at this blog thing any more and that sucks for me. And for my grandma (the only person that I'm certain reads this thing). So gram, I'm sorry I've been so terrible at keeping up with my life.

So even though I've been terrible at keeping up with blogging this past year, here is my attempt to recap 2013:

(Picture overload)
Here we go....
We started the year off by traveling back to Bluffton University. This is where I met my best friend Sam and my husband Matt back in 2004. We had not been back in years and boy have things changed. We are all so thankful for that place. So much joy and blessings come from our time at Bluffton during those college days.

Somewhere around March we visited one of my greatest friends from college, Carrie. Her and her husband were living in Charlottesville, VA at the time. They are world travelers so it was amazing to sneak a visit in, before they hit the road again.

Later on in the spring we had to say goodbye to my very first best friend, Moxy. She was such an amazing pup. To this date she is my most favorite birthday gift I have ever received. My cohort was amazing and supported me with the kindest words.

In May, Matt graduated with his Masters degree! This is probably my favorite happening of the past year. So much was accomplished by my husband. I could not be more proud of this milestone.

To celebrate Matt's major accomplishment we vacationed in Maine. We spent a week exploring Acadia National Park. Amazing!

 Then we headed back to Port Clinton for our summer on the Lake. I went back to working at the World Next Door, as well as taking care of Ali and Matt worked his last summer at the yacht club. 

 We took a trip to Put-n-Bay, watched fireworks from a pier and admired sunsets all summer long:

 Near Matt's birthday we were able to attend Creation, a huge Christian music festival in central PA. This has been a large part of Matt's life growing up and it was really great to finally experience it firsthand for myself. 

Near the end of July Matt and I celebrated three years of marriage. We celebrated by revisiting all the locations we took pictures on our wedding day. It was so fun to go back and talk about our special day. 

My nephews spent a week at "Grandma Camp". So we were able to help in the fun. Ice cream, slip and slides and messages in a bottle seem to be the best source of fun in the summer.

I spent a good chunk of August shooting. I had such a great time meeting new families and visiting with old friends as I got to do something I truly love. Take pictures!

Before we all knew it, it was time for Matt and I to head back to Athens to start the school year. I started the school year as a second year graduate student and Matt started his first year as a professional in the field. 

This school year a lot changed from the last. I changed assistantships, with that came new responsibilities, new colleagues and new friendships! I even taught a freshman course!

And then something crazy and life changing happened: we bought a dog. WE BOUGHT A DOG. This may not be all this big of deal to most, but to us it was. This was the beginning of our family. This was the decision to co-parent another living thing. This was a decision step away from our easy and care free lifestyle. We had bigger responsibilities than just ourselves. Matt and I learned to communicate in new ways, we learned to take turns in care giving and stepping up when the other needed a break. Yes, all of this because we bought a dog. 

The truth is, we loved being just the two of us. It was easy and freeing, and a lot less work. But we are loving even more the life we have with our pup and hopefully someday kiddos too. Gouda, our dog, makes us laugh, makes us happy, makes us angry and frustrated too. He makes everything better. So here is the journey of getting our pup pup:

The second year of graduate school in my program is considered to be a bit more intense than the first. We are expected to write a 50 page, four chapter long paper as our capstone to our graduate experience. This had been stressing me out all summer. Due to the craziness of summer and the start of the school year, Matt surprised me by taking me on a get away weekend to a cabin in Hocking Hills. It was so nice to relax, sit in a hot tub, play with our puppy and start working on my seminar paper. 

Most of fall consisted of things like Ohio University Homecoming, my birthday, seminar paper, and surviving puppy training. It also consisted of a lot of pictures of Gouda:

Somewhere in there I also chopped my hair. I called it a mid semester crisis. However this crisis turned out to be kinda cute. 

We hit a deer. And we learned that Gounda can jump. High. 

We saw Capital Cities. They were awesome!

I hosted my cohort for an end of the semester slumber party! We also took this opportunity to burn all our sources and rough drafts of our seminar paper. It felt so good to know we were done with that thing.

Oh and then I chopped my hair again.

Gouda got 'fixed' and had to wear little boy undies. We always knew that Gouda was a Batman fan:

Then Christmas was upon us:

Which included a visit with Ali!

Mom finished the quilt I started! It's beautiful and I love it. Best Christmas present!

New Years Eve I sat on the couch and drank Tamiflu. Bummer of a way to end the year. But so thankful to sit on that couch with my husband and puppy as we rang in the New Year. Maybe next year I'll be all dolled up.

Hello 2014: Let's do this!

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