Favorite Moments of 2013

Christmas is over.

I’m back at work, sitting at my desk trying not to cry that there is no more Christmas music, movies, or people being extra nice. The Christmas hangover seems four times worse this year.

Know why? Because it’s been a pretty damn great year over here. As I grow older, I feel like I’m always saying something similar to, “This was the best year yet!!!”. But truly, this year was full of so much love and growth. Each year is a blessing and I feel like I become more and more aware of that as I accumulate more years under my belt – which in turn makes my days so much fuller.

And it’s not just the big blessings, like vacations, our wedding, and success at school and work. The smaller everyday moments, when added all together, turn our life into the beautiful masterpiece we will look fondly back on when we are in our 80’s talking about the good old days. I’m talking about the good morning kisses, the sing a longs in the kitchen, the chats with parents, the meals with Pop-Pop, the walks around our neighborhood. That is life. That is what we will remember.

Who knows what 2014 holds for us. We have some hopes but fate is always full of surprises. But I never give up on our hopes, they are what define us as a person and couple. We look forward to the adventure.

As we prepare to say goodbye to another year, I wanted to share five of my favorite BIG moments of 2013.

1. New Years 2013 in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques Puerto RicoDecember 31, 2012 it was a blustery and cold day as Ryan and I boarded a flight headed to a very small island off of Puerto Rico. Veiques is a gorgeous island with some of the most pristine and tourist free beaches in the world. There is only one hotel on the island. All other accommodations are inns and rentals. We had quite an adventure staying in a waterfront apartment, exploring the island on a jeep and checking out the local cafes. Other highlights included the Bioluminescent Bay kayak tour, wild horses, and getting lost in the jungle.

New Years eve was spent dancing in the street to a Puerto Rican band with about 100 other revelers, sipping drinks out of paper cups, and dipping our feet in the ocean. You cannot beat that for New Years!!

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2. My 30th Birthday/Bachelorette combo Party

On March 26 I turned 30 and was excited about it! Most people are hesitate about saying goodbye to their youth. Not me, I’m celebrating getting older – it’s a gift some people are never able to receive…not to mention my 20’s were a MESS! I loved my casual joint 30th Birthday/Bachelorette party at a cabin in the mountains. It was a small group of just my bridesmaids. We had so much fun just being silly together, shopping, eating, drinking, making YOLO t-shirts, hot tubbing it, and singing karaoke. It’s rare for all of us to be together – so it was really special to me.

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3. Our Wedding

I think this is pretty self-explanatory – but yes I loved every minute of our wedding and most of every minute of our wedding planning. I loved sharing our vows to each other in front of all our family and friends. I loved having an excuse to get all of our family and friends together for a big party. I loved all the preparations and how it was a reason for my Mom and I to bond for 6 months. And yes, I loved my dress. It was a simple yet elegant Sunday and we were very lucky.

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4. My Mom’s Surprise 60th Birthday Party!

On July 9 my mom and best friend turned 60! After all that she did for me for my wedding I wanted to give her a big celebration. Together, Ryan, my dad, and I planned a SURPRISE birthday party at Ryan and I’s house. My mom loves all things beach and ocean related so the theme was easy. I had a blast planning and preparing all ocean themed decorations and food. About thirty guests attended and we managed to keep the surprise under wraps. The night was so much fun!

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5. Taylor Swift Concert with Kay Marie 

 Also in July, my bff and I went to go see Taylor Swift in concert for our second time together. I have no shame in expressing my complete love for Tay Tay. People can knock her relationships and music as much as they want, I will never waver. Girl is talented, driven, positive, and a great role model. We had so much fun rocking out with all the teens and moms at the sold out stadium. We even had fun waiting for 1.5 hours in between sets until a terrible thunder storms passed through. I’m so happy by bestie shares my love of Taylor!

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 2014, I’m ready! Come and get me!!

xoxo katie

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without…

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Linking up again with Amber (Mr. Thomas and Me) and Erin’s (Hooley with a Z) 12 Days of Blogging Christmas link up.

Today we were asked to finish the phrase, “Christmas Just Wouldn’t Be Christmas without…”

Today’s prompt in the #12daysofblogging link up gave me a little bit of a mind blank. I’m a Christmas fanatic and love going all out during the holidays. I decorate the house to the nines, play Christmas music non stop, decorate the tree with passion, and wrap presents like they are pieces of artwork. The season turns me into an overly emotional woman who will cry at the sight of a reindeer or a smiling child.

But what exactly makes Christmas so special?

The idea of taking away any of my favorite things about Christmas gives me a slight anxiety attack. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the tree, the music, the decor, the cookies, the movies. I would never want to do Christmas without my favorite holiday traditions. But saying, “Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree in my living room” or “Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without my favorite rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas…or my mom’s cookies, or a viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life”…or all of our decorations”  sounds SO terribly trivial.

If we no longer had all these beloved elements of the holiday, Christmas would still happen and of course it would still be lovely and beautiful.

What exactly is it about this season? How does it maintain its magic year after year?

Just imagine experiencing Christmas for the very first time. Imagine that you have never heard of Christmas. You have  no recollection of childhood Christmases. No fond memories of tree decorating, or the magic of Christmas Eve, or the excitement of Christmas morning. Imagine hearing all about the “silliness” that happens during this season.

Bringing a whole live tree into your living room. Playing rhyme heavy and childish songs over and over. Decorating your yard’s shrubbery with twinkling lights. Filling stockings with gifts. Believing in a fat man in a red suit that travels all around the world in one night delivering gifts to children. All these activities would sound completely ludicrous.  This whole idea of Christmas would  be so alien and absurd to you.

Kids, it all boils down to this: Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without memories and traditions.

Christmas is made by traditions. Traditions that would be completely pointless without our family and memories of our family’s past. Everyone’s traditions are different, unique to their particular family – that is what makes them so very special. Christmas wouldn’t mean anything without our memories. Our memories tie our family together –  they act as the bond that makes us a unit. Christmas is about family, about remembering where you have come from, and about making hopes and plans for the future – together.

So, I’m here to tell you what every single made for TV Hallmark holiday movie throws in your face; Christmas means nothing unless you have someone to share it with. Christmas means nothing if you don’t hold onto happy memories and have hope for the future. Christmas means nothing without love.

xoxo katie