Last night, as we celebrated the final moments of the year 2013, Michaela informed us that actually, only 28% percent of the American population was happy with this exiting year. It didn't take me but a couple of seconds to know that I was probably in that 72% of the less-than-happy crowd.
While we were richly blessed in a lot of ways, it was a year of struggles and heartaches-within and without our home. However, I am not going to focus on that. I am going to embrace 2014 wholeheartedly even though it begins with my most dreaded month. And because December decided to latch on to the frigid temperatures and ugly inversion that usually comes with January, I figure I have a pretty good tolerance already built up. Positive thinking, right?
And so with that, here are my five personal favorite highlights of 2013.
#1: Mission calls and farewells. 2013 was the year of 3 cousins receiving mission calls. For me, there is nothing like the nervous excitement that surrounds newly called missionaries. Even though their fear of the unknown is evident, their commitment is undaunted. Love that missionary spirit. I will continue to love reading their letters and hearing about their successes and struggles in 2014.
#2: Matthew Schuler. This may be super shallow but 2013 was the year I was introduced to The Voice. Some might say that I have a little bit of an obsession when it comes to certain singers:) Matthew was my absolute favorite last season and my family can testify that I watched this blind audition more times than is normal.
#3: The miraculous attainment of Buddha Number Two. Nothing more to say. Not a single day goes by that we don't love the heck out of that decision :)
#4: Having Molly and Cecil with us again for the summer. I won't lie, even after the previous summer's five additional cousins, having just two more rocks my world a little bit. But these kids are so good and we love sharing some of their lives for a little while each year. We always hope they take something good back to California with them.
#5: Honestly, this last one is a little selfish. Having seen so many friends and family pass on to the next life this past year, I treasure the time that we spent all together as a whole, complete family. And because Michaela is leaving for Russia soon with immediate plans to move out when she returns, this may very well have been the last year that we were all together under one roof as a family. Uhg. That was supposed to be a highlight but suddenly I'm depressed!
In truth, I couldn't be more excited to dig in to this new year, January and all. Here's to hoping for great opportunities, challenges, and growth in 2014.