Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Remembering the Best of 2013

2013 was an incredible year and many of the best moments were not necessarily planned events and because of some of the best unexpected moments, I learned a few things like:

- being flexible;
- continuing to work hard; 
- being open-minded;
- learning to relax more and enjoy;
- and that putting things on hold isn't necessarily a bad thing.

We had some amazing family moments in 2013. My daughter's band came through Atlanta twice which meant we got plenty of down time with Mimi and Fruition. My schedule stays booked so it was fun to have to clear the calendar to make time to dance to the music.  
The granddaughters spent three weeks with us during the summer. It was fun to make crafts, play games and enjoy summer fun with the girls. I had to put a few work events on hold to be able to have evenings with the girls but the memories were worth the schedule changes.  Then to add to the grandgirl fun, we learned in August that my son and DIL were being transferred to Robins Air Force Base, Georgia!  They will be back in the states in just 10 days and will be just a two hour drive away.  Then came a really big event - my husband's brother got married in June so unexpectedly almost our entire family went to Greece. But I'll talk more about that under the travel heading. 

As the year began I was determined to work really hard at my job, and honestly in many ways I worked harder than ever.  It wasn't as if I hadn't been working hard but I set some specific, significant goals for myself and in some ways the year ended with amazing results.  Our firm ended up winning national recognition and it was gratifying to know that my efforts played a part in the recognition.  My workplace was proud which made me proud. 
The work I do impacts communities and I'm honored and humbled every day to be able to make a difference for those less fortunate and while my goal is not to gain recognition I was touched to have been personally recognized too. Now I'm feeling pressure to do even bigger things in 2014. The anxiety has set in!

Sometimes keeping up with work creates conflicts for keeping up with friends.  There are many friends I owe visits, letters, calls or emails but I'm happy to celebrate being able to meet with my vision group twice, participate in two book clubs and occasionally meet up with a few of my closest friends. While I'm still struggling to be a better blogger, being able to go to a bloggers' conference was one of the highlights of the year for me.  
I didn't just make new friends, I had so much fun meeting so many of the bloggers I follow. WOW!  2014 will be better for friend visits...I just know it!

Travel was really big for me in 2013 and let me tell you how lucky and grateful I am for every travel experience. Our family started out the year planning to go to the California coast and to do some exploring in Mexico but wow did life take us in a different direction.  We moved forward with our trip to Bodega Bay and had a great time seeing sights in the region but Mexico got put on hold.
In March my BIL sent an email asking us to plan to be in Mykonos for his wedding in June.  While it took a lot of planning and doing, we took a family trip to Greece.  Sometime this winter when it is cold and gray I'm hoping to share some of the photos. It was as beautiful as I'd imagined and when you coupled the near perfect location with being able to spend time with loved ones and lots of wedding fun, IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE WOW LIFE MOMENT!
Check out the Naja men!
  As the fall rolled around my husband arranged for me to join him in Beirut so Thanksgiving ended up being a family reunion mixed with vacation time.  We had the best trip ever and I made a new friend too!  I cherish the memories.
I love Lebanon and was so happy to spend time with family.
My daughter decided not to come home for Christmas so at the final hour I decided to travel to Portland, Oregon to be with her for Christmas.  And WOW, what a visit it was.  A sunny day at the beach...whale watching (yes we spotted at least 7 whales)....unbelievable food....Voodoo donuts....a visit with my Goddaughter and best friend....boat tour...elk...Tillamook cheese....hazelnuts...Stumptown coffee....gorgeous countryside....snow!  I love Oregon too!
So I'm thankful for 2013 and all the friendships, time spent with family, travels, work experiences and lessons in being more flexible, open-minded and patient with life situations.  In the end the year brought me so much joy and beautiful memories that I will cherish forever.  

Now, on to 2014!


  1. What a year! But so full of wonderful memories.

  2. What a busy, yet fulfilling year you have had! I know 2014 will hold more travel and family time for sure!

  3. Looks like you had a really productive and wonderful year. We love Northern husband is from Bodega Bay is very familiar to us. Haven't been to Greece yet but it is on my bucket list! Love your travel selections! Happy New Year!
    Miss Bloomers

  4. What a year for you! Great memories, accomplishments and recognition. All the best for you in 2014!

  5. You had a fabulous year! I hope 2014 is everything you wish for.

  6. What a wonderful and exciting year. 2014 will be even better.

  7. I'm exhausted just reading about all your lucky thing.....I thought you were in California the same time daughter was there but that was Portland!! It looks beautiful from all the pictures I always see of Cathy the Blogger "Wives With Knives".....I hope you have another amazing year as you are an amazing person.....hope to see you soon...I think Joyce is planning another V-Day luncheon!

  8. A busy, productive, fulfilling year for you. How wonderful. Here's to an equally wonderful (if not so busy) 2014!

  9. Wow! Glad you did a 2013 recap. I knew you and Hassan had done a lot of traveling this year. Thrilled that Sami and DIL are going to be closer. Can't believe our girls just turned 27. You are an amazing lady. I'm honored to be your friend.

  10. Sounds like it has been a wonderful year! I hope 2014 is just as wonderful, Laura

  11. What a fascinating year! Love all of your photographs, they are wonderful!! Happy 2014!

  12. What a tremendous year you just had. When you are retired, like I am, you will have fun remembering all the great assignments you had at work, and all the wonderful trips you made. I hope your year 2014 will be a successful one too and that you won’t get too tired. Life is good.

    1. Vagabond, I love traveling almost as much as you!