Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year End Review

Wow, 2013 has been one heck of a year. I can't believe how much has happened, and how quickly it has all flown by.

My husband came home on emergency leave from Afghanistan for two weeks while our daughter had a major lung surgery. She also turned six months old. We made our first trip to Jacksonville Florida and Miss A went to the zoo for the first time.

Jimmy returned to finish his deployment. A whopping three days later, Miss A started crawling! Having a mobile baby changed my life for sure. No more setting her down and actually finding her in the same place. I loved watching her explore new places for the first time, and listening to her small giggles when she hid from me. 

Miss A went to the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. We had some friends down from Michigan and did lots of sight seeing in Savannah. She'd been to the Gulf when she was only a few days old, but hadn't been to the Atlantic until this trip. I'm sad it was too cold for her to actually go in the ocean, but we still had fun. 

My husband's family came down for Spring break and we went to Jacksonville Beach for the first time. It was a lot of fun, despite the long drive. I haven't been back since, but maybe we'll make that a once-a-year trip with them. I also got my first prime lens for my camera, which completely changed the game for me. This is when I decided I was going to get serious about photography.

My mommy came down to visit and watch Adalin while I shot my first labor and delivery for one of my best friends. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I've only ever seen two babies be born, mine and hers. Miss A also started using her pool in the front yard and became quite a little fish. I also got to welcome home more soldiers in one month than I ever had before. So many homecomings, it was amazing.

One of the best months of my life. Miss A started walking, my husband came home from Afghanistan. She walked to her daddy for the first time. Our family was reunited again. I can't believe that was almost six months ago now. 

Jimmy and I celebrated our second anniversary. We went home on block leave (for four whole weeks!), and were able to spend lots of times with friends and family. Jimmy turned twenty-one, and Miss A celebrated her first birthday. July was jam-packed with celebrating Hubby's safe return, birthday, and Miss A's first year of life. We also got a great dane puppy, Gunner.

I celebrated my twentieth birthday. We returned to Georgia from block leave, and Hubby's schedule slowly returned to normal.  We made the adjustment to having two dogs in our house, as well as trying to figure out how our new schedule would work with Miss A having both of her parents back in the same timezone. We got our first set of family photos done since Jimmy came home by Carmen Garza Strong Photography at Driftwood Beach. They turned out amazing. 

I returned to Michigan with Miss A to be a part of one of my best friend's wedding. Miss A had her first plane ride, which went better than I had expected. I also got my Ergobaby Carrier (that I still love and try to use almost every day). This was only the second wedding I'd ever been a part of (including mine!)

We kicked Halloween's behind. Since Jimmy wasn't here for Miss A's first Halloween, I decided to go all out this year. I made our costumes by hand, and they were a huge hit. We set the bar pretty high, so I'm excited to see what we'll come up with for next year. 

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family. Dinner turned out great. It was nice celebrating with just the three of us, even though we missed our Michigan family dearly. I also had a record number of photo shoots in one month, over 25 of them. I hope that this kind of productivity is a trend for next year. We also started cloth diapering Miss A. I wish we would have made that decision a lot sooner. 

I experienced my first close friend PCSing. It was harder than expected, but we're still in touch almost every single day. It hasn't been a month yet, but I'm hopeful that we won't ever lose touch. Our friendship is one that I'd love to keep strong for the rest of my life. Miss A had been fighting ear infections since May, so we opted to have ear tubes put in. So far, we've noticed her speech has improved, she can understand us better, and she seems like a happier child overall. It also made traveling easier too. We traveled back to Michigan to celebrate Christmas with family. It has been a great visit so far. Though we haven't got to see everyone as much as we would have liked, we're definitely enjoying our visit. Another big exciting thing that happened, I got my camera upgrade. Between saving for six months, and using all but $12 of my Christmas money, I was able to upgrade to the Canon 6D. I'm already completely impressed. I can't wait to get even more used to it. 

Overall, it's been an amazing year. Even though my husband spent half of it in a war zone thousands of miles from home, we've grown closer than ever and are enjoying every minute of life. I'm so excited to see what next year will bring for us. 

Happy new year and God Bless ♥ Victoria