Settled: 2013, A Year In Review

Cabo, July 2013

I still remember how scared I was when I stepped onto the plane at Dulles airport in Virginia. How frightening it felt to know this was a one way ticket to Seattle and I didn't know when I would be back. I was nervous about things not working out and me returning home hanging my head in shame, telling others that Steven and I didn't work out, he wasn't "the one" for me after all, I couldn't find a job, I was out of money, out of luck, out of hope. I sat in between an old man who slept most of the way and a young girl returning to Seattle - her home- after spending the summer in DC. I cried silently as I sat there, hoping if they did notice, they'd assume it was the book I had buried my face into that was making me do so. 

That was over 2 years ago. 

If I had to summarize this past year in one word I would choose "settled." I know I've blogged about this back in September (here),  but while reflecting on 2013 that word keeps pressing it's way to the forefront of my mind. This is the year I felt settled. Settled in my job, in my marriage, in friendships and community, and, most importantly, in myself. Probably for the first time in my life. 

I don't want to repeat all I said in my previous post on being settled, but just that there were a lot of changes and challenges this year for me but not one of them knocked me down. I felt grounded enough to withstand all the strong winds swirling around me. I experienced plenty of fear this year and plenty of disappointment, but I also found strength and joy in abundance. 

Together, Steven and I shared our first overnight stay at the hospital, tackled many home projects, handed our financial situation over to God and found a burden lifted through the simple obedient act of tithing, bought a truck, went on more hikes than I can count with our favorite sidekick, Huckleberry, delved into the world of Paleo and hot yoga, celebrated our one year anniversary in Cabo, and received the surprise of our lives...the news that we'd be welcoming a son in 2014. And yet, through all the high and lows I felt overwhelming settled in where I was in life. I felt firm, grounded, and immensely blessed in the good and not so swell times.

I think as humans we crave intimacy, security, and a sense of belonging. And this year I found all three. This year I discovered myself, where I belong, and with whom I belong. 

I'm finally settled and, oh, so grateful!
 2013, you're going to be a hard one to beat.


Christmas 2013

Like every year before it, this Christmas flew by in a whirlwind of wrapping paper, good food, and laughter. Steven and I spent a relaxing morning together opening presents and eating his favorite breakfast, biscuits and gravy (yuck!) the things you eat for love ;)! Of course, when it came to opening presents Huck went first, because for 2 more months that fluff butt is still the baby of the family! He was pretty excited to receive his treats, stuffed toys, and ropes that he demolished within a matter of minutes. 
Steven and I, too, made out like bandits this year for Christmas. We were beyond spoiled with the gifts we received from friends and family afar as well as from one another! 

After spending a few hours at home we went to my in-laws where more gift giving ensued, lots of yummy food was eaten, and we ended the night with a lot of laughter and games. It was definitely a joyful Christmas and I have much to be thankful for! 
My new mug from the hubby. He knows me too well ;) 
Strawberry Cheesecake bites I made for dessert! Yum!
The only picture I bothered to take of us together on Christmas. (Hopefully, by the time our little guy arrives I'll be better at taking my camera places! I'd hate to miss he many kodak moments!)

It was a very Merry Christmas, indeed!! And now that the countdown to the holiday's has ended, I've begun the countdown to our little boy's arrival!

How was your Christmas? Are you prepared to read all the 2013 recap posts tomorrow in the blogsphere? ;)


Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas

I'm working from home the rest of the week and soaking up these last few remaining days of Christmas as much as I can! I love the holidays! I hope each of you are able to spend the holidays with the ones you love and have a very Merry Christmas! 


Christmas, Babies, & Projects

Lately, life has been a whirlwind. I feel as though for every item I cross off my to-do list, two more are added. This time of year is always crazy, but it's the best, isn't it? Here's a little bit of what's been going on around here these last few weeks.

Christmas | Christmas came easily to me this year and I was able to get all of my shopping done early. I'm now in the phase of the season where I can sit down with a cup of cocoa and simply admire the twinkling lights and the aroma of our Christmas tree. I'm already dreading packing it all up again after the New Year. I just love this time of year and wish it lasted a little longer. 

Oh, and the Christmas music constantly playing everywhere you go.. I simply cannot get enough. 
Fur Babies | Huck has just as many gifts under the tree as I do this year! He's easy to spoil and we do it all year round. I often wonder how Huck will adapt to having a little baby in the home, but I just can't imagine him taking it badly. He is so sweet and gentle that I think him and our little man will soon be the best of friends.

Now Herschel on the other hand...I worry about that ninja kitty! One second he's a cuddle bug and the next he's trying to amputate your leg. He loves to lay on my belly, which is cute, but he also loves to stare at me evilly while doing it. Is this a possessive "my baby" stare or an "I'm going to eat this thing when it comes out" stare? I'm not quite sure.
Baby | Speaking of baby, I can't believe his arrival is only 9 weeks away (give or take). Some days I feel prepared, as if this mother thing has nothing on me, and other days I feel overwhelmed with anxiety and worry. I just don't know what kind of mother I'll be and what kind of baby I'll have. I worry about bonding with him, about going back to work, and I'm still struggling with feelings of not wanting to share him when he does arrive. I think, as a first time mother not really knowing what to expect, all I can do is pray about it. Pray for motherly intuition and wisdom, pray for a happy, healthy babe, and pray for a patient, understanding husband. So pray I do. A lot.

Projects | And with our little guy's impending arrival comes an overwhelming need to get some projects done that we've put on the back burner for quite some time! This weekend Steven tackled the garage. We had some old, ugly, and not very functional cabinets in there that needed to be demolished and taken to the dump. Now we have lots of open space to put our own spin on the garage and create some functional storage solutions! (Is it weird how happy that makes me?) I know it's just a garage, but we have a MASSIVE garage that has turned into quite the project for Steven.
There are many more projects we hope to accomplish before baby arrives, but if nothing else I just hope we are able to complete his nursery in time! We are definitely making progress though and everyday I feel a little bit better about where we stand. I guess we can never be fully prepared! There will always be projects, needs, wants, and wishes on the many to-do lists I have juggling. I'm just trying to take things one line item at a time for now.

Hope you had a great weekend! Any procrastinators out there who have yet to finish their Christmas shopping?? Christmas Eve is tomorrow. Tick. Tock.  :)


Iron Springs Resort, part 3

This is my last post about our weekend getaway, I promise! I'll keep it short and sweet. Just a few more snapshots of how we spent our time inside the cabin. 
Huck tried to stay busy and play in the cabin but he would soon give into slumber. He was one pooped pup after chasing all those birds on the beach! I'm so glad the resort allowed dogs though. He definitely had the time of his life and couldn't have been better behaved all weekend!
 The 30 clams the boys caught. Cleaned and ready to be fried...(ewww) 
 My non clam meal. You can never go wrong with a burger. You just can't. 
 Kristen and I spent a lot of time trying to finish a 500+ jigsaw puzzle (we did not succeed).
And when we weren't working on the puzzle and were all board gamed out, we all decided to make some gingerbread houses. It really doesn't get more holiday spirit filled than that!
I'm pretty sure I ate more candy than I actually put on my gingerbread house, so I went to bed that last night with quite the tummy ache. But it was all worth it! Such a fun trip that I hope to repeat again next year!

And can you believe Christmas is less than a week away? The holidays always seem to fly by so quickly.


Iron Springs Resort, part 2

Before we went to Iron Springs Steven had been talking about clamming forever. I'm so glad he was finally able to experience it with his friend Dave! Dave's wife, Kristen, and I simply observed since we didn't have a clamming license and snapped a few photos of the guys before heading back to the cabin for some hot cocoa! All photos were taken by Kristen
The guys ended up catching 30 clams! And by all the grunts and murmurs at dinner I'm guessing the ones they fried up were pretty tasty. I didn't try any because a) I'm pregnant and b) they looked disgusting :) 

Huck quickly lost interest in what the boys were doing when he noticed all the birds on the beach. He was pretty convinced he could catch every last one and truly tried his hardest! I don't think I've ever seen that guy run so fast! 
I'm so thrilled with all the wonderful picture we got from the trip! It was such a fun time. And yes, I do believe I have enough picture to do a part 3 post. My apologies...

Happy Wednesday! Today I have my 30 week midwife appointment. Can't believe I only have 10 weeks to go! So a very happy Wednesday indeed!


Iron Springs Resort, part 1

Even with the fog, rain, and chilly weather, we had a great stay at Iron Springs Resort! It amazes me how beautiful Washington is at times. Although I've been here for over 2 years now, I really haven't had the chance to explore the state much. It is so "Twilight-esque" and truly breathtaking if you can see past all the grey and mist ;) It was hard for me to put my camera down! So pardon my photo dump. 
I loved how all the trees were permanently swept back from the continuous strong breeze off of the ocean.
All the cabins are located on that cliff. You can just make them out in this photo..
 Can you tell he's one happy pup?! That smile didn't leave his face the entire trip!
 My handsome boys :)
 I loved the bright brown, reds, and greens in the clay cliff against all the gray skies and beaches. Beautiful contrast!
We spent a lot of time walking the beach, (the boys even went clamming!), but the weather would quickly drive us back into our cozy cabin where hot cocoa and a warm fire awaited.

More photos to come!!