January started as it usually does. With some celebrating with some friends, staying warm, and sledding when it was available.
In February, I flew to Orlando for an annual work conference. It was warmer than Milwaukee. But work was incredibly insane for me, so unfortunately, very little good was happening for me on a personal level.
But that all changed in a busy, but fun March. C-man turned 8.
And the biggest event of our year happened when we took our first out-of-country family trip together. First, we started in Paris. The crepes, the Eiffel Tower, and the museums - Paris was everything we'd predictably thought it would be, which was a fantastic way to start this trip with an 8 year old.
We continued our trip as April started when we flew from Paris on to Turkey. We started in amazing, beautiful, crazily busy, and delightful Istanbul, and made our way around the Bosphorous Peninsula. We saw Troy and Pergamom and Ephesus. We bought a rug. I had a Turkish bath. We swam in the Bursa hot springs. And we loved every bit of it. It was an amazingly, unforgettably, beautiful, perfectly perfect trip for all of us. And at the ripe age of 8, it forever changed C-man's worldview.
May got crazy, as it always does. C-man was in judo now, and had started competing in the tournaments. It was a pretty natural fit, as he was even winning them.
He also made his First Communion.
The same weekend I celebrated turning 37 at the Brewers game.
May marked the start of baseball season. His last year as a Yankee.
Beerman and I celebrated being officially together for a solid dozen years.
And C-man won the 50 meter dash at the school Junior Olympics, thereby being crowned the fastest 1st or 2nd grader around. (Something that has given him an entire year's worth of bragging rights)
In June, C-man said goodbye to 2nd grade. (And some teeth), and was ready for summer to officially begin.
We also celebrated a family high school graduation.
July rounded out baseball season with an All-Star game - one of C-man's life long goals.
Once baseball was done, we had the opportunity to do a few other things, like attend more baseball. At one Chinooks game, C-man ran (and won) his race as a Racing Minnow. Something he didn't want to do when I entered him into it, but then thought was fantastic after he did it.
In August, I took an unforgettable trip with my mom and sisters to New York City. We saw quite a bit of Manhattan in just a few days. And from now on, chubbies will always be on the family dessert plates.
From there, I few home from NYC to another judo tournament at State Fair. This time for a 2nd place. The State Fair food after softened the blow of not winning it all a bit, as did the giant medal. It was his last judo tournament, as he decided he didn't want to do it anymore after this.
Through the rest of August, we took advantage of the slower summer nights to go to the local biergarten and enjoy a few - one of my very favorite things to do.
And we spent the final week of the month, before school started, on Lake Wilson in Phillips, WI, lazing around on the lake and eating too many s'mores. It was a really great way to say goodbye to the summer.
In September, we married off my mother- and father-in law (again) in a beautiful church ceremony.
We picked apples at a newly discovered orchard.
And we picked out Mr. Pickles - the porcupine pufferfish that Beerman had been building a fish tank system for a solid year and a half just so C-man could get.
In October, C-man started another year of flag football, as a Saint this time. And while he has always enjoyed football, this year, the insane football gene kicked in. And it was all he could think about.
On his annual long weekend off school, and while Beerman was at the Great American Beer Festival, C-man and I took our annual trip to Chicago. We went to the Science and Industry Museum this time, as well as lunch, the Lego store, and for a photo-op at the Bean.
Harry happily enjoyed the cooler weather by spending lots of time at the beach.
And the headless horseman rode through Halloween, gathering insane amounts of candy.
In November, the largest group of family and friends we've ever had together for the event, jingled at the zoo on a beautiful day for the Arthritis Foundation. It was such a perfect day, that my heart overflowed.
In December, we made the trek to Wisconsin Rapids for the Pelot family Christmas gathering. Getting together on the happy occasions are always so special.
From there, we drove to Green Bay to cheer the Packers on to a win against the Falcons in 9 degree weather. It was loads of fun, and C-man declared he wanted to be put on the season ticket waiting list. (Which we did as soon as we got home)
In other news in December, C-man fell in love with skiing. (Which means I need to get up there in 2014 with my own lessons so we can do some family wintry trips together.)
He sang his heart out at the annual Christmas concert.
He kept his undefeated title by winning the Christmas Eve pickle.
We all celebrated Christmas with close friends, laughter, and (some of us with) sloe-gin.
And we ended the year with a fun trip to Shedd Aquarium.
2013 was a really fortunate year for us. So often, when I make it to the end of the year, I take time to lament the downs a bit. And while I could do that about work this year (because it was a big freaking drag for the majority of it), overall the downs were completely minor when compared to the entirety of our amazing year. I am so thankful for the trip we were able to take together. For the love we were able to share. For the friends we have. For the laughs we experienced. And now, for the promising future we have in 2014.
Happy New Year!