Happy New Year! If you’re new here, head over to see our Word of the Year for 2015.
Without further ado, our 2014 Year in Review! A year designed to inspire!
Jackie Dean turned three (his golden birthday), Charlie turned the big FIVE, and I started a health journey with a one month update. We also celebrated the boys’ birthday with a VERY low-key, almost stress-free birthday party with gold accents and Mexican deliciousness. We also experienced a brutal winter that basically froze us into oblivion.
I said hello to planks again and almost died and caught a preview for Mom’s Night Out at which I laughed out loud. The month was fast and furious so I recapped in pictures and David, Kaeli, David N. and I climbed the Oak Brook Terrace Tower (31 floors) 3 times in honor of our Aunt Joan. We also found out that TWO cousins were coming in the fall! WOOHOO!
I finished my first REAL 5k (The Oak Forest Fleadh) and basically froze to death. I started my mediocre attempt at the #DTour Remix and we slowly thawed out from our winter beasteous weather. I also decided to go to Africa in the Fall!
We celebrated an AWESOME Mother’s Day with my favorites. The boys and I visited a pretty fancy preschool and I ran my first ever HALF MARATHON which felt AMAZING, exhilarating and awesome. Jim ran that same half-marathon and set a personal record for his best time. It was a pretty awesome day and I felt like I had accomplished so much!
We sold our rocking chair to raise money for Africa (and held a MASSIVE garage sale!) I ran my first ever Warrior Dash and got really muddy (and really sweaty). We visited Medieval Times. Kaeli and I saw Jason Derulo’s abs. And I relived my teen years with Julie at the Backstreet Boys concert.
Jim ran the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon and KILLED it on behalf of Team Chocolate Milk. David N., the boys and I all got to meet Frank Thomas at the Taste of Chicago. We started talking about a Disney trip in 2015. Marisa, Ethan, the boys and I spent some time in the waves and sun at Raging Waves Waterpark and we celebrated the Fourth with our usual vim and vigor (except that Jim was sick!).
We visited our friends in Nashville and tried ice cream that was heavenly. Jim and I spent some time with Miranda Lambert. We made S’mores indoors. The boys and I trekked up north to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Mr. Hot Stuff and I celebrated a DECADE of marriage! And I made a plan to meet Pitbull with Steve Harvey. I also wrote a high school love letter to my niece as she STARTED HIGH SCHOOL complete with a shoutout to Zac Efron.
Jack started PRESCHOOL. Charlie started Kindergarten. And I went to Atlanta for work. Suddenly, we all aged by about ten years. We also had another successful garage sale for Africa and I appeared on FOX News talking about my favorite back to school gear. I also saw Pitbull with Melisa and almost died from his awesome. #dale
I talked about my husband’s love affair with Ross. The boys nailed their first picture day. My first niece in ten years was born. We celebrated some of our favorite birthdays, including Sarah Cupcakes’ and my own. We talked a lot about Bae and how much I loathe it. We also got a bit crazy at Main Event in Warrenville. Our family was invited to join the #Netflix #StreamTeam and I answered a whole lotta questions about myself. Halloween was filled with Thor and Hulk and superhero shenanigans (not to mention SNOW?!?! Flipping snow).
I welcomed another nephew and I had a sleepover with him. He was an angel. We joined team #VZWBuzz and worked with an amazing #DroidTurbo device. I headed to Zambia, Africa with Habitat for Humanity and started the adventure of a lifetime! I even lost my luggage and had to get a shot while I was there, but I also met my Zambian son, Dola. Stephanie even made an appearance on WGN Morning News Black Friday in lieu of shopping.
We slowed life down immensely. I ENJOYED the season. The boys had their first live nativities (both wise men) and were in our church productions – Charlie was a real STAR.We celebrated daddy’s birthday by watching Guardians of the Galaxy. We made a case for Santa and the boys got to enjoy
Poppy, I mean Santa Claus while at school. We even made special ornaments just for fun! We ended the month dealing with some health issues for family members, but are hopefully on the mend as we enter 2015! We rang in the New Year pretty quietly with just one of our crew really awake at midnight.
This year has brought its share of ups and downs. Two uncles received amazing news about their battles with cancer, we added two new little family members within a month of each other and we celebrated putting up with each other for ten years. The boys became little men as they traipsed off to school for the first time and we learned lots about inspiring other people. We watched as friendships developed and were strengthened and reconnected with friends from our past. It’s been a true learning year about relationships.
We donated money and time to cancer research efforts, had donations made in our name to St. Jude’s and Samaritan’s purse (think video games, parties and baby chicks!), and traveled across the world to help two families get the much-needed housing they needed. We were blessed and are in an ever-constant process of learning how to bless others.
As the clock struck midnight, I thought about 2015 and can only hope that we are just as ready to continue our journey. We have many plans for you, 2015, I hope YOU’RE brave enough to handle us.