The last few days of 2013 are here … Hallelujah! I’ve mentioned more than once that this year has been a rough one, and honestly, I think it’s been the most difficult year of my life to-date, with its loss, change, and constant ups and downs. 2013 is a year I won’t be sad to see go, and I am personally thrilled for the fresh start that kicks off on Wednesday!
With that said, however, I do think it important to keep in mind the positive things that happened this past year. After-all, there were some really great moments and it wasn’t all bad all the time. I’m participating in Lara Casey’s 2014 Goal Setting series, and Step One involves looking back at what worked in 2013 – those good things that we’re grateful for and that kept us going throughout the days and months. I’ve made it a habit to list these things throughout the year and today, I’m happy to share my ‘Good Things of 2013’ with all of you!
Enjoyed a lovely 11 day vacation in Las Vegas, complete with touring the strip, Red Rock Canyon, and the Hoover Dam. My hubby and his students also took First Place in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Residential Construction Management (RCM) competition, making the Michigan State Spartans National Champs! That was a magical moment for all of us!
The end of the month made me an Aunt again with the birth of my niece, Addison Olivia! Such joy she is to our family!
Took a long weekend trip to Colorado with the family to visit my brother and nephew. Visited Garden of the God’s, Pike’s Peak, Manitou Springs, and Golden. I can never get enough of the mountains and the beauty of the western sky!
Hosted a ‘My Favorite Things / Thirty-One’ party and enjoyed the company of some of the great ladies in my life.
Ran the Lansing Half-Marathon, my 5th one to date, and finished with a PR of 1:47:34! It was actually the first race, nationally, to follow the Boston Marathon tragedy, so it held special meaning for all of us who participated, whether we ran, volunteered, or were spectators. I was so grateful to have dear friends and my hubby cheering for me as I crossed the finish line! Those are the moments a girl cannot ever forget!
The hubby and I experienced the Holland Tulip Festival for the first time together.
I also got my new car – Lil Red!
Ran the Ludington Lakestride 10K and finished in First Place for my age group. Gotta love that!
Through my previous job, I also had the wonderful experience of traveling to Grand Rapids for a conference which included a stay at the Amway Grand Hotel and the opportunity to explore the downtown scene. Really enjoyed the alone time and seeing new places.
Probably my favorite month of the entire year. My brother and nephew visited from Colorado and we spent the long 4th of July weekend in Ludington as a family.
A group of us girls did our first Color Run together. We definitely need to do this again in the future!
Our long-time family friends welcomed their first child into the world – a boy – Owen Lee. Such happy news and a beautiful little family they make!
The hubby and I enjoyed an 11 day vacation in honor of our 6 year wedding anniversary. We ventured to the U.P. for a few days, followed by a return to the mitten. Took in various sites, did some hiking and kayaking, and even fit in a little wine-tasting. Truly a wonderful time together to bask in the good and simple things of life in the state we are proud to call ‘home.’
My sister married her long-time sweetheart on the shore of Lake Michigan in Ludington. So happy for these two and their little girl!
We hosted our First Annual Gottschalk Fall Ball at the ranch. It was a great time spent with family and friends to kick off the autumn season and share our home with others. We definitely plan to do more things like this in the future!
Drove to Grand Rapids for “An Evening with Shauna Niequist” at Mars Hill. Truly blessed by Shauna – in the flesh and by her words (blog and books). It was awesome to be a part of this!
Passed my Social Work licensing exam! Thrilled to be done with this FOREVER!
My brother and nephew visited from Colorado for the Thanksgiving holiday, and to celebrate my dad and step-mom getting married. Great weekend of all of us kids and grand-kids being together in the same place at once for the first time ever! Loved it!
Enjoyed a beautiful and relaxed Advent season. And despite not having power for the holidays, due to a major ice storm, we made the best of it and celebrated with family and friends, taking the time to focus on the things that really matter in life!
So, that’s how I lived the ‘good life’ this past year. Good memories and great joys, even in the face of hardship. These things I will treasure and keep in my heart as I move into 2014.
Wishing all of you a fabulous end to the year!