As many times as I hit my knees and gave thanks for all of my blessings, I hit my knees and cried out in despair for myself, for my friends, for my family, and for strangers whose tragedies burdened my heart. In my experience, life always balances out that way.
I still believe that at the center of it, life is crazy good. And looking back, I believe the same thing about 2012. It was a crazy good year. I’m not quite sure if it takes top ranks away from my Junior year of highschool or Freshman year of college quite yet, but it’s definitely up there in the hall of fame of my history.
This is the first year that I’ve had my blog to look back on as a reminder of the previous year, so it’s been a helpful tool in reflecting on all the adventures we’ve experienced in the past 12 months. So here is a timeline of 2012.
We started the year off right with a family vacation in Hawaii. For their 30th anniversary, my parents rented a house in Maui overlooking the mountainous island of Molokai.
The views were spectacular, as was the quality time with my family. From my grandparents down to my nephews, I cherished that week with them so much.
For me highlights from the trip included running along the hilly shoreline, eating shaved ice, giving Corbin swimming lessons, indoor/outdoor living, reading The Hunger Games by the pool with a million dollar view of Molokai, watching the Smurfs movie on repeat 20 times a day, swimming on a black sand beach with my Dad, and eating Hawaiian Pizza in Hawaii.
I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to replicate this vacation again, or to express to my parents how grateful we are for their generosity in including us in their 30th anniversary celebrations. It was certainly a great way to jump start the year, and a foreshadowing of the travels to follow in the coming months.
February: We started February off with a ski trip to Breckenridge with some friends.
It was my second time skiing and I’m still not sure it’s my favorite activity in the world. But still, the scenery was great, the company even better, and I fell head over heels for the outdoor, beer drinking, sweet potato fry eating lifestyle of Colorado. If you want to refresh your memory about my skiing experience, read the blog post here.
Jonathan and I had a chuckle remembering my lack of natural talent in the whole ski lift arena. I basically stayed on the kiddie slope the entire time because of the magic carpet that drops you off at the lift and the super slow chairs that allow ample time for off-loading. Nevermind that I was the creepy 28 year old who lingered on the kiddie slopes for 2 days straight…
February ended with some pretty big news: we were being transferred to Aberdeen, Scotland!
March: Most of March was spent preparing for our international move, though we did manage to take a long weekend trip to visit family and friends in Louisiana.
April: In April we travelled to Aberdeen to pick out our housing.
We signed a lease in Scotland and sold our house back in Houston on the same day.
May: In the first week of May, we said goodbye to Houston Texas and hello to Bonnie Scotland.
June: June was a bit laid back. We met some friends and spent a lot of time exploring our little area of Scotland.
One of the highlights of this past June was seeing the Olympic torch come through Aberdeen, and signing the Cask of Dreams at the Glenfiddich distillery.
The lowlight of June was hands down getting our shipment delivered and realizing that none of our furniture fit where we needed it too.
We still haven't fully recuperated.
In July we started travelling again, visiting both Warsaw, Poland and the English Lake District.
The Lake District has still been our favorite European trip and we can’t wait to go back.
We enjoyed some beautiful weather in August, and had a blast exploring more of Scotland and just hanging out in the sunshine with friends.
September: September was a roller coaster of travel.
We started out the month in Salzburg, Austria, and went straight from the Alps to Edinburgh to pick April up from the airport.
I spent the week on the road trip of a lifetime through Scotland with one of my dearest friends.
Once April left it was time to pack my bags for another trip, this time to Krakow, Poland.
Krakow was full of mixed emotions. We had a great time exploring a beautiful city and eating delicious food, but had a hearts broken while visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps and Oskar Schindler’s Factory.
October: We had our first ‘home visit’ in October and Jon spent 2 weeks while I spent 3 in the States visiting family and friends and getting in some vacation time while we were at it. We ran ourselves ragged traveling around South Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida but it was worth it to get to spend so much quality time with our loved ones.
Some of the highlights of this trip were: day trips to New Orleans, the Needtobreathe concert in Baton Rouge, watching LSU upset South Carolina in Death Valley, relaxing in Orange Beach, and of course, finally visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
learning to play Mahjong...
buying second vehicles...
December: By December, we felt ready to hit the road again. We decided to finally make our way to Italy and had a blast crossing off Bucket List items while we were there.
Highlights from this trip included: wine tasting...
enjoying a self-cooked meal outside in the winter sunshine...
looking out at the Tuscan sunrise...
shopping for pottery...
seeing Florence from above...
and riding in a gondola through the charming canals of Venice...
So what’s in store for 2013? So far on the books we have a ski trip planned in Morzine, France, a trip back to the States for Jonathan’s brother’s wedding, and possibly a rendezvous with my family in the wine region of France. We’re also hoping to spend some long weekends exploring London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.
We started 2013 out in style at the legendary fire festival in Stonehaven, but if you want to hear about that experience, you’ll have to stay tuned….
Happy New Year everybody!