2013 Year in Review

I’ve done this simple little question/answer style year in review post for years now. 🙂 It’s become a welcome friend at the end of a year, as I look back on the year that was and look forward to the year that will be. 

The Year that Was – 2013

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? became a mom to three children. 

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I made goals again, not resolutions and accomplished some! Several were made null and void by nature of being pregnant. A little hard to lose 15 lbs. when you’re supposed to gain around twice that. 😉 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? a few friends did this year! :-)

4. Did anyone close to you die? Not anyone close, but many friends of mine have had hard losses this year. 😦

5. What countries did you visit? {Some year I hope i can put countries in here and not just states.} I went to North Carolina in January with my parents, and Jack and Taylor to see my brother Nate graduate from Special Forces school and visit him and Karla. We also enjoyed visiting with my dear friend Sarah and her family! Kyle and I took a little trip to WI to see JJ Heller in concert in March. Then in September, I traveled to Ohio to stand up in my sister-friend Lindsey’s wedding. It was a privilege to be there when she married her Marcus. Love that girl so much. 

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? more patience and grace for my busy preschooler and toddler. Babies are easy for me – kids are harder! 

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? December 6. Grant’s birthday! Our little surprise baby arrived on St. Nicholas Day. SO happy he’s here. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? surviving another pregnancy, and a wonderful labor/delivery of our sweet Number Three Baby, Grant. 

9. What was your biggest failure? not enough exercise, not being patient with my kids. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? the usual basic colds/sore throats/stomach flus, and sleep deprivation. 

11. What was the best thing you bought? I really liked the gifts I gave Kyle for our 7th anniversary – a wool, hand-knit hat and a copper guitar pick inscribed with “i’ll stay with you”. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Kyle’s. He supported me so well through this third pregnancy, birth and recovery time. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? those who took the lives of innocents. heart-breaking and appalling.

14. Where did most of your money go? housing, food, church/missions and gasoline. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Lindsey’s wedding!!! and finally meeting our baby, learning he was a he, since we didn’t find out the gender before the birth. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2013? Goo Goo Dolls’ “Come to Me” and Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive”. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? happier. My little snuggle bear has brought immense happiness to our home. 

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? exercising, reading, writing and praying.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? sitting on my butt, whining, frivolity, and judging.

20. How did you spend Christmas? we opened gifts with Kyle’s parents and youngest sister on Christmas Eve, then had our own family Christmas in the morning on Christmas day with a special breakfast and gift opening, and wrapped it up with all of my family over for Christmas dinner and gift opening with them. It was a great time! 

21. How will you spend New Years? Kyle is working, and I’m trying to be good about going to bed as soon as the baby does, so I’ll probably be sleeping when the New Year rings in. 🙂 Then on NYD, we’ll be with Kyle’s family celebrating together. 

22. What was your favorite TV program? Parenthood, Southland, White Collar and Suits. 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? no.

24. What was the best book you read? ooh good question – I read more books this year than ever in the recent past! I’d have to say “Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl” by N.D. Wilson. It totally inspired me and resonated in my soul. Loved it. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Rend Collective Experiment. SO GOOD! 

26. What did you want and got? a new baby/child home by December. I thought it would be through adoption, but God gave us one the homegrown way. 

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Either “Captain Phillips” or “Parkland”. They were both fascinating, based on true events. 

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I ticked over to 31, and we had an enjoyable day with my family in a little celebration here at home. 

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? spending more time at the feet of my Savior.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? maternity clothes suck. bump minimization. 🙂 

31. What kept you sane? my husband, my friends, coffee, and the Word. 

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Nelson Mandela. 

33. What political issue stirred you the most? I just don’t get stirred up by politics really, but the health care debacle sure has been amusing/frustrating. 

34. Who did you miss? my best friends that live far away. and my Grandma Alice.

35. Who was the best new person you met?  this wasn’t a year of new people, but rather a year of loving the ones currently in my life better and with more intention. 

36. Tell us some valuable life lessons you learned in 2013:
~The journey of adoption rarely goes the way you anticipate. And the road is long…
~Surprise babies are pretty neat blessings. 🙂
~I need to become more disciplined and structured in my life to create space for what I want to be and want to accomplish. 
~It’s painful to have friends point out your weaknesses and inconsistencies, but it’s better to grow than to have never been so stung. 
~I have far to go, but God is making beautiful things out of my dust. 

This morning, my mother in law posted this beautiful quote that resonated with me, and I leave it with you. 

“Your goodness has been with me during another year, leading me through a twisting wilderness, in retreat helping me to advance, when beaten back making sure headway. Your goodness will be with me in the year ahead; I hoist sail and draw up anchor, with You as the blessed Pilot of my future as of my past.”

Here’s to the beautiful and amazing adventure of 2014, with the blessed Pilot of our future at the helm. 


2013 Book List

one of my goals for this year was to read twelve books. One a month. No big deal, right? Well, considering over the previous 5 years or so, I’d not read more than 2 a year, it was kind of a big deal for me!

And I did it!

These are the twelve I picked out at the beginning of the year, but I didn’t read a few on the list and did a few that weren’t on the list.

  1. Give Them Grace – Elise Fitzpatrick
  2. The Power of Prayer – E.M. Bounds (started, but didn’t finish)
  3. Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton (read 2 more chapters)
  4. Don’t Make Me Count to Three – Ginger Plowman
  5. The Faithful Parent – Martha Peace
  6. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley
  7. Peter and the Starcatchers – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  8. Peter and the Shadow Thieves – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  9. Peter and the Secret of Rundoon – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  10. *The Dragon’s Tooth – Ashtown Burials #1 – N.D. Wilson
  11. *Unbroken – A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand
  12. Real Marriage – Mark and Grace Driscoll

Bonus Books:
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender
Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (read before but it is beloved)

Not on the list, but ones I read:
*Erasing Hell – Francis Chan
*The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Alan Bradley (sequel to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
*A Red Herring with No Mustard – Alan Bradley
Adopted for Life – Russell Moore
*The Man Who Knew too Much – G.K. Chesterton

(*the asterisk denotes books that I read on my Kindle app, borrowed from our local library via free download. Half of the twelve books were read in such a manner – I found it to be a very quick and almost hands free way to read while we’re driving, while holding a kid, traveling on planes…etc.)


For 2013, I’ve added a few books to my goal, kept some from the 2012 list that went unread and found some more that I wish to read. I’m excited! (Again, in no particular order.)

  1. Real Marriage – Mark and Grace Driscoll (Kyle and I are reading this together and discussing it.)
  2. The Explicit Gospel – Matt Chandler (this is for our church small group)
  3. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Eric Metaxas
  4. Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl – N.D. Wilson
  5. The Connected Child – Karyn Purvis
  6. The Grace Effect – Larry Taunton
  7. Thinking. Loving. Doing – John Piper & David Mathis
  8. Peter and the Starcatchers – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  9. Peter and the Shadow Thieves – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  10. Peter and the Secret of Rundoon – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  11. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  12. Fit to Burst – Rachel Jankovic
  13. Building Her House – Nancy Wilson
  14. Forgotten God – Francis Chan
  15. Seabiscuit: An American Legend – Laura Hillenbrand
  16. The Kite Runner – Khalid Hosseini

Finish Orthodoxy & The Power of Prayer

Bonus Books:

  • Parenting with Love and Logic
  • Surprised by Joy – CS Lewis
  • Assassination Vacation – Sarah Vowell

What books are on your list for this year? Are there any I MUST add to my list? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Tell me!