But years ago, I gave up on trying to send out physical holiday cards. My list got too long as we kept moving and making wonderful new friends and as I developed long lists of great friends through Power of Moms. And for years, I've felt like I just don't have any discretionary time or money and that putting together a decent Christmas experience for my family took any discretionary time and money I did have.
So while I totally admire and appreciate those who send us beautiful cards in the mail and I feel a bit guilty about not reciprocating, I don't think we'll be re-joining the ranks of card-senders anytime soon. We've grown quite attached to the convenience and immediacy and price of emailed/blogged cards and I think my snail mail addresses for all the people I know and love are hopelessly out of date.
So here you go - our digital New Year's Card including a couple collages to give you a quick snapshot of our year and a list of everyone's favorite highlights. It's been quite a year! Of course there were plenty of hard things that went on, but we'll focus on the positive here as we reflect back on all that 2013 brought to our lives.
(Click on photos to enlarge/see the part that insists on being cut off when I publish this post . . .)
- Being on the school volleyball team - great coaches and team members, learning to play a new sport
- Chicago - the pizza was absolutely amazing, the Bean was so interesting and cool
- Boston - seeing my cousins' house for the first time, winning the taco-eating contest, cool to see where my parents went to school, super cool robots and stuff at the MIT museum, street performers at Quincy Market
- NYC - the Apple Store, FAO Schwartz, Dad getting in a street performance, staying with my super cute little cousin, musicians in Central Park
- Washington DC - meeting my newest cousin, finding the apartment I want to live in some day (Eli and Julie's awesome modern apartment with a view of the Capitol), the new Air and Space Museum with Eli, visiting the memorials at night
- Bear Lake - seeing all my cousins I wish I could see more, wakeboarding, jet skiing,
- School - great friends, my photography class, going on an awesome backpacking trip to Havasupai with a school group (check out the video I made here), getting good grades
- Doctor Who - discovering the greatest TV show of all time, having a special party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show
- Ghetto Racer - transforming a shopping cart into a downhill go-cart with one of my friends (picture)
- Going to Washington DC TWO times this summer - once with my family and once with my aunt and cousins, loved staying with the Archibalds, meeting new cousin Zara, touring the Capital building, watching the fireworks on the 4th of July, going to Busch Gardens
- Chicago - the awesome pizza, walking around all the big buildings, the Bean, great music at the amphitheater
- Ohio - visiting the Turner family, playing soccer with them, jumping on their trampoline
- Bear Lake - going on an RV trip with my grandparents and cousins to Lagoon, getting good at wakeboarding, playing with my little cousins, running in the Eyrealm relay race
- Cross Country Team - had a lot of fun, really improved my time
- Soccer - great coach and team
- School - excited to get my best report card ever and have some of the best teachers ever, really good friends
- Church - was ordained a Deacon, pass the sacrament each week in Church, favorite church youth activities - scout camps, shooting guns, going to Temple Square on the train.
- Bear Lake - getting to be with my cousins for lots of days in a row, Grammie Camp, playing on the beach
- Road Trip - going to Subway like 100 times (well, I got bored of it by the end), staying at good hotels with free breakfast and swimming pools (one with an awesome water park), reading good books in the car, seeing the church history sites, especially the Kirtland Temple and Nauvoo Temple.
- New York - seeing the really tall buildings, street musicians in Central Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, being with cousin Annina
- Boston - staying with cousin Hazel and having fun in her attic, the cool old buildings everywhere,
- Kansas City - making a new friend named Abbie while my mom did the Retreat there, seeing Liberty Jail
- Basketball - getting first place in the "hot shot" competition, having all my friends on my team and my friend's mom as our coach, getting better at basketball (she was one fiesty player - great at defense)
- School - elected the school Historian, love being on Student Council, awesome science teacher, great friends, being the only blond-headed kid in the Spanish-for-natives class (I love Spanish!)
- Dance - performing in three big recitals this year, having great friends I've been dancing with for 3 years, my teacher, Miss Jasmine
- Violin - Started 5 months ago, almost done with Suzuki Book 1, wonderful teacher - Miss Hailey, performed in my first recital, love playing my mom's beautiful old violin from England
- Being with you, mommy. (yep, it's nice to be adored and to receive tons of hugs from these twins of mine - I'll take it while I can get it!)
- Seven Peaks water park
- Nauvoo - the temple and the blacksmith shop where we got our own rings made of horseshoe nails
- Boston - the old Statehouse where they read the Declaration of Independence from that little balcony and that started our country
- Scouts - I love EVERYTHING about Scouts.
- School - playing with my friends at Recess, math and computers, having all my best friends in my class
- Bear Lake - swimming and having fun with cousins and staying on Grandfather's boat overnight with my group and Uncle Josh
- New York - staying with Tal and Anita and seeing the big screens in Times Square
- Chicago - feeling like I was teleporting when I was seeing myself reflected in "The Bean"
- Boston - building forts with cousin Charlie and sleeping in it in the attic of his old house, following the red line on the sidewalk to do the Freedom Trail
- School - my teacher, hula hooping at recess, math and all my friends
- Scouts - being with my friends, having awesome leaders, doing the Pinewood Derby and Raingutter Regatta (I had to sand my car and boat a LOT but it was worth it)
- Fulfilling my long-held dream of an epic family road trip to visit interesting new places (Chicago, Kansas City, Nauvoo...) and places that helped shape me where dear family members live (Boston, NYC, Washington DC). Loved the time to really talk in the car, the chance to with our kids some places we loved and experiences we had while creating great memories. So enjoyed spending time with great moms at the 5 Power of Moms Retreats I helped conduct as part of our travels.
- Spending relaxing time at Bear Lake and in Ashton Idaho with family, soaking up the beauty, seeing cousins bond, catching up with everyone.
- Seeing Power of Moms reach tens of thousands more moms and learning new things every day through my work on the website.
- Seeing Jared do such a great job as our ward Bishop and getting involved as a family in helping and learning from many people in our community.
- Enjoying exercise and fresh air and beauty through weekly hikes.
- Going on a wonderful trip to CA with my mom and sisters and learning so much from each other while laughing ourselves to tears.
- Seeing our children really come into their own as they've pursued new interests and talents, found new friends, and actually surpassed me in height (in Ashton's case). I love being with my children and I'm blessed to call them some of my best friends. (Yes, there are times when they drive me crazy . . .)
- Learning to let go of a lot of things and finding more contentment in life, bit by bit.
- Work (Director of Software Architecture at a company in Salt Lake that creates products for tire companies): Launching the product I've been working on for a year and seeing it move forward successfully.
- Church: Completing a year as Bishop of our ward, working with really great people, learning a ton.
- Family: Seeing the kids getting excited about sports and other pursuits and doing well in school. Skiiing with the kids and seeing them really progress.
- Travel: Great times in Boston and New York for the part of the road trip I was able to join the family for, good times with extended family at Bear Lake, in Ashton and at family weddings.
Thanks for caring about our family enough to read this blog. I so appreciate the support and kindness I experience here quite regularly.
I started blogging as an easy way to keep a family journal/scrapbook. And somehow I wound up with thousands of blog visitors every week. Many of you are dear friends and family members.
Most of you I don't know - but you're surely fabulous people who I wish I could know in person.
Thanks for being part of this little micro-community and I wish you a fabulous 2014!