Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good-bye 2013

Recap of previous years posts (click title to go back):
2008 Surprises
2009 Happiness
2010 Peace
2011 Change
2012 Hope
2013 Reflective
So, the last 2 years, we got off to a rough start. We started out 2012 with an ectopic pregnancy and 2013 with a miscarriage. Hasn't made for the easiest start of a new year. At times it was easy to feel down, feel sorry for myself or ask why not us? But I've tried to use 2013 as a year to be reflective. To be reflective on all of the blessings we've been given. And there are so, so many and 2013 brought so many happy memories.
Like in January, when we celebrated Jake's 4th birthday party with a fire truck party. In February, Jake started playing his first team sport, soccer, the Bush's moved in with us for a few months while their house was rebuilt and we had a fun trip down to Hattiesburg to visit my best friend Amanda. In March, Jake had his first soccer game, he spent spring break with Mimi, Granddad, Granddad Jake & Kathy in Helen, GA. Jake got his first library card and we celebrated Woody's baptism in Atlanta. In April, Jake had fun on his 2nd field trip to Baker's Farm and Robbie & I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in Chicago. In May, Jake got to visit the Talladega racetrack with Robbie, he got to meet the Gator Boys at the fair and he got his first big boy haircut (that I'm still getting used to). Also in May, we welcomed a new little friend, Cameron. We spent Memorial Day in Seagrove Beach with our good friends from Chattanooga, the Strickland's. In June, we took Jake to his first baseball game (that he will remember!), Jake went to Covington Classical School during the summer and he took his first swim lessons. We spent the 4th of July at the beach with my family and also went to Atlanta to celebrate Woody's first birthday. In August, I had a girls weekend with my 2 best friends from college, Amanda & Stephanie in Destin, FL. We made a trip up to Chattanooga to celebrate Addie's 4th birthday and we welcomed new friends Vivi & Isabella. The month of September, we had a family vacation at the beach, we visited the space museum and celebrated Marrell's 5th birthday. Jake also started his last year of preschool (which was very sad for this momma). During the fall, Jake went to 3 Auburn football games and he loves cheering for Auburn (which is also very sad for this momma). In October, I had another girls weekend with my 2 best friends post-college, Margaret & Kimberly in Rosemary Beach, FL. (What can I say? I'm more reflective at the beach :) Also in October, Grant went to an Auburn game with Jake, Jake was Batman for Halloween (for the second year in a row) and we celebrated Robbie's 35th birthday. Baby Evan joined the Bush family in October as well. During November, Jake went on a field trip to Bud's Best Cookies, he finally got a skateboard and finally got to climb a tree. Finally came December, where I celebrated my 35th birthday, Auburn won the SEC Championship Game and gets to go to the title game (much to Robbie's happiness & to my despise). We celebrated Jake turning 5 and had an amazing Christmas.
2013 was a good year, and I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for us.
Psalms 139:1-2, 23-24 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Our House at Christmas

Living Room



 Breakfast Nook
My favorite Christmas decoration -
All of the sweet cards from our friends & family!
Since I can't remember how to scan, here his is Jake's
2013 Christmas picture with Santa
 Dining Room

Not shown for the second year in a row: Jake's Christmas tree
I can never remember to take a picture of it!

Christmas with the Hollon's

The Saturday after Christmas, we headed down to Prattville to celebrate Christmas with my family. For lunch, it was my grandmother, her 2 sons & spouses, 5 grandchildren & their spouses & 6 great grandchildren (+ 2 more babies cooking in their mom's bellies). We all grew up together, living less than a mile from each other until we each went off to college. So we've always been a tight knit family and we always all celebrate the holidays together. It's so much fun to see the family grow. Growing up, it was my brother and sister, my 2 cousins & me. Now, we've all gotten married and everyone has kids or are having kids. Even though us grandkids as adults don't all live close together, we all still get together every holiday. Now the great grandchildren get to play together, just as us grandkids played together growing up.
Eating lunch at the "kids" table,
just as Billy, Lindsey, April, Tiffany & I did growing up

Watching movies


Running through the house
(yes, the great grandkids are just
as bad as their parents were)

Even baby Woody got into the action
 The great grandkids
Maddox (9), Isabella (9), Marrell (5), Jake (5), Jackson (4) & Woody (19 mths)
+ 2 more babies coming 2014 -
Gaines (Feb) & Baby Boy Gates (June)

Playing is a lot more fun than taking pictures

The kids opening their gifts from Maw-Maw
(their great grandmother)

Marrell was excited

She got makeup!

Making over Maw-Maw

Woody the toy hoarder

These 2 are such a mess
 After lunch & gifts, my cousins headed home, and then it was just our immediate family. We hung out, caught up and the kids of course played & made a mess.

Looks like a sweet picture with Gran hugging Jake & Marrell.
It's not.
They were really fighting & Gran was holding them captured

Jake, Maddox & Marrell

These 2 are such a mess!

Flashback to their 1st Christmas together
Nana & Grand with their 4 grandchildren
(+ 1 more on the way!)

Opening gifts from Nana & Gran and each other

One excited little boy...
He got a Batman utility belt

Marrell loved her Frozen nightgown

Of course they had to put on their new pajamas immediately
(Jake gave Marrell hers & Woody gave Jake his)
 My brother lives in town, so his family headed home, but Lindsey & I and our families stayed at my parents. We all went to church in the morning and then had lunch together.
2 handsome little men - Woody & Jake
 It was such a wonderful Christmas! And because I love a look back.....
We haven't always been the most consistent in
taking a family picture
 The grandkids

Love these 4
Merry Christmas from the Hollon's!