My 2013 Year in Review

As I was reflecting on 2013 I originally thought that 2013 had royally kicked my ass, but in writing this I realized there were some highs and lows just like most years. It just so happens that the two lows were life altering and at the time felt very overwhelming and sad.

I started off the year by creating a raised garden bed.

starting to turn my lawn into a veggie garden

Towards the end of January I had a miscarriage.  I was 9 weeks pregnant.  I will refrain from showing you pictures.  When I first felt the cramping and started to bleed, I called my midwife and we scheduled an ultrasound.  Bleeding doesn’t always mean a miscarriage.  The ultrasound was scheduled for the next day.  I immediately was thinking it might be a miscarriage so I Googled something like ‘miscarriage 9 weeks pregnant’.  I knew miscarriages were quite common during the first trimester, and that it wasn’t anything to worry about, and that it didn’t mean that something was wrong with me.  Throughout the day the bleeding and cramping got worse.  I found women’s personal accounts of their own miscarriage that they had posted on the internet to be of some comfort.  Maybe knowing that other people had been through this before and and gone on to have more kids or do whatever they wanted made me realize that there will be an end to the pain and sadness.  My husband and I were quite sad and affected by the miscarriage.

After the initial sadness I took the opportunity to express my anger while demolishing some shelves in our shed that were falling apart.



In February our town has a great celebration for the kids and this year my husband could attend with us as he didn’t have to work.


My husband started getting back into photography.


He also designed a great new logo for my business.


My daughter made me laugh so much throughout the year.  I really love her creativity.


Our daughter turned 3 and would not let me leave the store without this dress.
twirling spring dress

We became members of a nearby state park because it included kayaking in the membership.


Our garden yielded some onions, various types of lettuce, carrots, and potatoes.  I understand why my ancestors grew potatoes as a staple of their diet.  They were the easiest got grow.
my garden harvest today

We met a bunch of family in St. Augustine.  Rode the carousel, saw the alligator farm, and the old town jail.
playing trains at the beach house in Vilano Beach
davenport park st augustine fl
at the alligator farm un st augustine
taking pictures vilano beach
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castillo de san marcos

We also really pushed our luck and were almost home at the end of our gas tank.

had to stop for gas at the exit before ours on way home

Our daughter started tumble tots.


We continued to learn a lot about parenting.  Patience is important as well as modeling the behavior you want your kids to emulate.  Even when you think they are not watching, they are.


Our friend Jeff finally came down for a visit.  After we had lived here in Southern Florida for 4 years he drove down in his jeep with his black lab/boxeador Sammy.  Reflecting we are glad he made the trip in May because at the end of the year Sammy passed away due to mouth cancer.  She was a really good-natured dog and had been wonderfully trained by Jeff.  Its the only dog my husband doesn’t watch like a hawk around our 3 year old.

napping with Sammy

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I even had to put our 3 year old in a little time out and Sammy laid down right next to her.


Happy Father’s Day


We started painting our house!

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halfway done painting the house.

My Aunt and Uncle came down for a visit and we put them to work some before we took them to the beach.

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We went to the Zoo a lot.  This involved face painting and carousel riding.


I purchased a new computer!


The husband started working another job (so we can pay off Sallie Mae ASAP) and he started getting more photography work.


We saw a friend of ours partake in Roller Derby.


We enjoyed the South Florida Science Museum

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In October some family came down to visit us. My Mom found a large beach house nearby to rent for all of us to stay together.

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At the end of that week I managed to pull a back muscle so bad that I could hardly walk the next day.  It put our next scheduled trip in jeopardy.  It was in jeopardy when I made the plane tickets as we planned to visit a national park during the government shut down of October 2013.  Luckily the shut down was over before our flight.  The flight was not fun with my pulled back muscle but it gave the husband a chance to be the primary toddler wrangler for an extended period of time.  We flew to Atlanta, rented a new blue Ford Focus and drove to Elberton GA to see the Georgia Guidestones and then on to Gatlinburg TN to see the mountains and some awesome long time friends met us.

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bears in cades cove
cades cove
great smokey national park
clingmans dome trail
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glenstone lodge pool
ripleys in gatlinburg

It was a nice vacation.  Its the first vacation in a few years where we went somewhere as opposed to going to visit family somewhere.  My pulled back muscle was sore the entire time.  The hot tub and pool in the evenings where the kids had to go every night after dinner until they closed it down was a big help.  The day before our flight home I overdid it.  By the time we had driven back to Atlanta, returned our rental car, made it to our gate, and boarded our plane, I felt devastated to learn we would have to deplane due to an issue with the plane.  I was glad of course that the caught the issue before we were up in the air.  My back was screaming at me and i didn’t know if I could make it to the next gate.  I did and we landed and got home safe.

The next day was Halloween.  I don’t have any pictures because I laid on the couch with ice on my back while my husband decorated the house.  We didn’t even make it to the pumpkin patch.  Our daughter had fun with dad passing out candy.

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Due to my pregnancy, we didn’t plan on traveling for the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s.  It is always really hard for my husband to get any time off then.  ERs are busy places on the holidays.  Did I mention the pregnancy? We were are!!!  We heard the heartbeat back in October and told my family when they were in town to visit us.  It was so nice being home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I think I will have to start a new tradition of being home for Christmas and visiting extended family in the summer.

Right around Thanksgiving we had it confirmed with an audiologist.  Our 3 year has mild-moderate (depending on the frequency) sensorineural hearing loss.  Talk about a swift kick in the gut that takes all of the air out of your lungs so you can’t breath.  I will write many more posts about the process in the near future but the good news is that she will only need hearing aids to amply sounds and she should be and develop totally normal.  Hearing aids that range in cost of $2,000-6,000 are not covered by most health insurance plans….don’t get me started.

She had ear molds done and she gets her hearing aids on January 9th, 2014.


December was filled with trips to doctors, some appointments, and trips to the zoo, the wildlife sanctuary,  her ballet class and recital, preparing for Christmas, and our toddler starting her morning preschool class.

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