Well, here we are again – the last day of another year. They seem to be getting faster – anyone else having that experience? As much as I love looking ahead to the blank slate of the year to come, it’s usually a little bittersweet to say goodbye to the old year. And before I bid the old year auld lang syne and whatnot, I like to take a look back at what I’ve done and thought and blogged over the past twelve months.
In January, I set ambitious goals for the year, showed you around some of our favorite Buffalo dining spots, trained for my second half marathon, and warmed up with a re-read of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series (a childhood favorite that I enjoyed just as much as ever).
In February, the biggest event was Peanut turning eighteen months old! And walking and talking and generally unleashing more adorableness on the world every day. We also enjoyed plenty of family fun – like “Take Your Child to the Library Day,” and a wintry stroll through the charming village of East Aurora. Oh, yeah, and I ran (and crushed) my second half marathon.
In March, I accepted a job offer and headed back to the office, ending my stint as a stay-at-home-mom. It was bittersweet, because while I was excited about the new opportunity and glad to contribute to the family income again, I loved having that time at home with Peanut and I wish it could have lasted forever. I also shared my comfort reads and worked on loving winter, and we took the first of our seasonal hikes through Tifft Nature Preserve and we visited the Buffalo Botanical Gardens for a third time so that Peanut could continue to commune with the koi pond.
In April, I continued to enjoy being back to a working routine, while making plenty of time for family fun. We dressed Peanut up and celebrated another Easter. I also participated in my first readathon and shared some of Emily Bronte’s poetry for National Poetry Month.
In May, it was all about biking and running. We started the month with a trip to New York City, where I joined my dad, brother, and my brother’s then-girlfriend (keep reading – now she’s his WIFE!) in riding forty miles through the NYC streets for the Five Boro Bike Tour. That was the highlight of the month! But I also made time for running, including dominating the second leg of the Buffalo Marathon Relay on a team with some friends from Stroller Strides… and then I bookended the month with another epic bike journey: the Skyride, twenty-nine miles through Buffalo, including over the famed Skyway. I also celebrated my second Mother’s Day and took some time to enjoy my amazing kid.
In June, I continued putting miles on my feet. We took our spring hike through Tifft Nature Preserve, I traveled to Albany for work and ran a 5K (that really wasn’t a 5K) with my dad, and I crushed my third half marathon with a thirteen-minute PR!
In July, we had plenty of local fun, including attending the Taste of Buffalo and hiking at Knox Farm State Park, but even more fun was travel at the beginning of the month. We attended a friend’s wedding in Central Massachusetts, spent a day at my parents’ lakeside cottage on the way home and – the best part of all – climbed our first two Adirondack high peaks! Oh, yeah, and we got some big news (that we kept under wraps for a good long while after)… our family would be growing by one Nugget in 2015!
In August, incredibly, Peanut turned TWO YEARS OLD. Seriously, the time is just flying. We celebrated with a family party in Chestnut Ridge Park and it was a blast. We also went to the Erie County Fair and I participated in The Color Run, which was a wild and wacky good time, and in the Biggest Loser Half Marathon, which was not as good of a time. We also finally made it to Letchworth State Park with our friends Zan and Paul. And, oh yeah, we celebrated nine years of marriage and closed on our house ON THE SAME DAY. We moved in on the very last day of the month and started the long process of unpacking, settling in, and dealing with broken household appliances – ah, home ownership.
In September, the big event was my brother Dan’s wedding in Camden, Maine. Dan and Danielle were married on a schooner and it was personal and lovely and so very them. We were honored to celebrate with them and I know they are in for a long and wonderful life together. We also squeezed in our third seasonal Tifft hike, getting our summer walk done just before the Equinox and the official end to the season.
In October, it sort of felt like everything fell apart. Peanut broke her finger at school, and my car died by the side of the road as I was driving her home from the emergency room that same day, which just seemed like a big cosmic joke (and not a very funny one at that). Meanwhile, we dealt with a host of other issues around the house, mainly in the form of broken appliances. My favorite month of the year wasn’t much fun in 2014. But we did get in an apple-picking excursion, our fourth seasonal Tifft hike (with Zan and Paul!), and a trip to the pumpkin patch to celebrate Halloween – so there were some good moments mixed in with all the stress.
In November, I was mostly hanging on for dear life as we continued trying to fix all the broken stuff. Hubby took a trip out of state to help care for a sick friend for about a week and a half, and my parents came to keep me company while he was gone – and they spent much of their visit helping me unpack and break down some of the boxes that were still littering my house. And while they were here, my dad and I ran our first cross-country 5K together! When hubby returned we dealt with some family stress, got hit with six feet of snow during “Winter Storm Knife,” and I mused about cultivating a feeling of gratitude even during a difficult year. I closed out the month by running the Turkey Trot and then returning home for a Thanksgiving “smalliday” with hubby and Peanut – it wasn’t the holiday we’d expected, but we focused on Peanut and how grateful we are to have her in our lives.
In December, it’s been more hanging on for dear life as I’ve had a crush of work deadlines to wind up the year. But we escaped to my parents’ place for a wonderful Christmas week, during which we had a blast watching Peanut experience the joys of the holiday, seeing friends, celebrating my baby shower, and even squeezing in a date night (thanks for babysitting, Mom and Dad!). Recaps to come starting next week.
And now, onward to 2015… I wonder what this year will have in store for our little family. I don’t suppose it’ll get any quieter, with another kid in the house! But I hope it’s a good one, full of laughter and learning and love… and I hope the same for you, too.