It's New Years Eve and, to be honest, I'm ready for 2014 to arrive. There have been a lot of good things happening in 2013, but it was a year of many changes, quite a few of which have been challenges that I've had to work through to get to where I am. While a new year really is just another day beginning, it does mark a clean slate for us.
January held evenings with family, hikes around Maryland, visiting the hirshhorn, and meeting good friends back in Virginia for outdoor adventures.
February consisted of me stressing out over my job and taking weekend trips to DC, Harrisonburg, and Winchester. Noah and I checked out the Newseum. My sister and I met in Harrisonburg one weekend to explore old stomping grounds and grabbed some tea. Some weekends were also spent at home luxuriating in the company of Artemis and Noah in our Hagerstown apartment.
In March I began working out at the YMCA. I loved their facilities in Hagerstown and was finding, for the first time ever in my life, that exercise could be an escape. It's something I could control and feel good about. Noah and I visited the Antietam Battlefield as well as the Great Falls in Virginia. For Easter, I hid eggs around the house while Noah took a shower. He had to hunt them down and put together a puzzle to find his easter basket.
April brought an upturn in my attitude. I got to see a lot of friends. I visited the Zoo and DC with Allison and Noah. Brandon and I went geocaching in Winchester and on Earth Day I went out to pick up in my local park in the name of geocaching.
May took Noah and I on a few different adventures. His Jazz Band took a trip to Six Flags (my first time there) and we were chaperones for a few kids. Noah also took me on a big date to Fort Frederick in Maryland and they were having a big festival that weekend. I also took time to go down to Richmond with my sister. She was going to move in June so we went apartment-hunting! May also brought the classic Apple Blossom Festival to our city and we spent time with friends and family there.
June held Noah's birthday as well as a bike and several trips. Noah, Nic, and I journeyed down South to visit our friend Jake in Louisiana. On the way we stayed with some friends in Knoxville which is a beautiful southern city. We spent a week down south exploring Shreveport and catching up. We had some great hosts! I biked the C&O Canal about three days a week and started working at Books-a-Million. Noah was off of school for the month and was loving life.
In July we had some summer celebrations and trips. Noah and I hung out with my family on the 4th of July and enjoyed hitting up downtown Winchester for the pubs. We visited with his mom and I saw my first beer hops. While beginning to pack up our stuff in Maryland we hit up our favorite little park two or three times a week while I intermittently drove back and forth to Winchester to work.
Over the course of two days at the beginning of August, Noah and I moved into our townhouse in Winchester before heading to Bethany Beach. We played and enjoyed the ocean for a week in what is one of the best value vacations I know about. Mitsi took us to see the Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center and when we finished with all of our vacationing we settled into our townhouse before Noah started back up at his middle school.
September was a fantastic month filled with warm outdoor events. We had cookouts in West Virginia and picnics in the country side while playing in the creek. I started classes again which was jarring and delightful. We took several trips up to Shenandoah National Park with friends and enjoyed getting outside much more before the weather cooled off.
We visited our favorite farm, an annual tradition for us, and picked pumpkins, hiked through the corn maze, and rode on haywagons. We held our first game night at our new place inviting a group of friends to join us for some Cards Against Humanity. Our inner children came out as we built a blanket fort with our roommates and we tied up October with a big Halloween Bash at the lake house.
November may be my favorite month of this past year because it's when I finally got to meet my companion. You may already know how much I adore my dog Odin and I don't think my obsession is going away any time soon. I interviewed at a pharmacy and got the job and met with friends for coffee dates. I took the PCAT in Richmond meaning I got to be with my sister for three days or so. It was very nice to explore the fan district with her and on my own for a few days. Most of November was filled with puppy romps and exploring parks and school campuses with Odin. In the last week Noah and I celebrated three thanksgivings with our families and my sister came to stay with us for four days. It was a very busy month!
Finally we hit the end of 2013 and we decorated our Christmas tree, I finally painted our psychedelic bedroom, and Odin got to play in lots of snow that hit Virginia. We hosted a Christmas party that was tons of fun with thieves Christmas, food, and friends which I hope to make an annual event. Not pictured is all that family Christmas activity. Christmas Eve was wonderful (and I may catch up with this more in January) and the following couple of days were incredibly busy. Kelsey stayed at our place this year and Odin got to join in with most of the family events. We were rocking through December and BAM it's time for the New Year to begin.
So, we laughed, we cried... I went through dark times and began to see the light. I am rebuilding myself and my confidence and I am looking forward to pursuing my dreams again.
I hope you have a very happy new year and I wish you all the best in 2014!