I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t just a little bit glad that 2013 is over.
It was a year of high highs and low lows.
Trials and blessings.
And yes, we put another (successful!) notch on our expat belts and grew our family by one sweet boy, but we also felt sorrow and grief like never before.
Looking back, here are some of the highlights. While some of these aren’t happy times, I refuse – REFUSE – to let the hardships and sadness overshadow all the good. I made up my mind early on that I wasn’t going to wallow or carry on in ways that are beyond reasonable because ya know what? Every bit of this is part of our story. And I have full faith in the One who’s doing the writing.
In the early morning of January 25, we circled around my dad as he took his last breath.
51 days later, we welcomed our sweet baby boy into our family. Finley was born after 4 short hours of labor, weighing 9 pounds and 4 ounces. Even now, 9 months later sometimes I still can’t believe that I had such a big baby.
I think this may be my absolute favorite picture of 2013.
My first Mother’s Day as a mom of two.
In May we said goodbye to two more family members.
Finley made his first trip to the US and got to meet my grandma for the first time.
After a couple of weeks and a few scary doctor appointments, Hannah continued to fully recover from an illness.
In August, we went on the vacation of a lifetime, renting an RV and driving around Europe. You can read about all of the adventure here.
THIS, however, will probably be one of my favorite travel memories ever.
Shawn and I celebrated 13 years of marriage.
Hannah started Kindergarten. (It’s called Year 1 at the British school.)
Hannah turned 6!
After my grandma’s funeral, my mom came back to Luxembourg with us.
We celebrated our third Thanksgiving in Luxembourg.
And finally, for the third time this year, we traveled to the US, this time for Christmas. It was Finley’s first and it felt so good to be home. We remembered and laughed with so many dear friends. I’m so thankful for friendships, and especially for the friends who love me for who I am and talk me out of my crazy. They are calm for my soul and I miss them.
We’re back in Luxembourg now – we just arrived home this morning. The part where we say goodbye to our family at the airport and when they stand outside of security, waving until we can no longer see them, well, that doesn’t get any easier - no matter how many times we’ve done it before.
Our travels were smooth and uneventful and then we discovered that somewhere between Atlanta and Paris the airline lost Finley’s car seat and stroller. There’s nothing like being 10 minutes from home sweet home after a 14 hour trip and then you can’t actually get home because the airline lost your baby’s car seat.
So, goodbye 2013. You were great in so many ways.
But I’m looking forward to a better 2014.