I know everyone's sisters twice-removed uncle is doing these, but I love reading them, and even moreso I love writing this every year. I love seeing how far I've come in a year and how much my life has changed.

2013 was my year. And that's a big deal, because I can't think of any other year I would've said that. It came on the heels of several very difficult and very stressful years that pulled me and pried me and completely changed me. This year things finally settled. It wasn't without some personal tragedies and many tears, but so many things happened this year that I had praying and working for.

It was my first full year of being a pseudo-vegetarian (I say that because I still sneak pieces of bacon and a bite of a cheeseburger when the mood strikes) and completely changed the way I feel about food and taught me how my body responds.

This year I learned so much about being content with my life, even if I feel lightyears behind everyone else my age. I still struggle at times, but I've learned to be happy and grateful for what I have. When I think about where my life was several years ago, jobless and without a penny, it's hard to not be so thankful. I learned some hard lessons about friendships and that some need to be let go, and some you need to fight to the death for. I also learned that I am happiest when I'm cozy at home with my cat, my husband, and a stack of good books.

2013 is the year we bought our first car together, a car we had been wanting to buy for several years.

2013 is the year I finally said goodbye to my job from hell and started a job I love.

2013 is the year I celebrated my 24th birthday, and James surprised me with my dream bike which my blog has somehow become known for.

2013 is the year we celebrated 2 years of marriage. Every year is a reason to celebrate, because you know what? Sometimes being married is really hard. It's really great, but sometimes it is freaking hard.

2013 was the year of the library. After much prodding from one of my coworkers, I signed up for a library card and it's the best decision I made all year. My bank account is beyond grateful.

2013 is the year I finally saw Ben Folds Five in concert. I have still not recovered.

2013 is the year we made the decision to put off house hunting for several years and keep renting instead. We moved into a townhouse that is perfect for us, and even though it is not the popular choice and at times I yearn to have my own yard and to paint my walls, it was the absolute right decision.

2013 is the year I met the Duggar family. I sat through several hours of horribly boring presentations to hear them speak. Michelle Duggar gave the most powerful speech I have ever heard. I got to meet her and Jim Bob and talk to them for a few minutes. Say what you will about then, but they are the nicest people I've ever met.

2013 is the year I got to spend time with my grandma without the presence of cousins and aunts and uncles for the first time in my life. We spent days playing piano together, going through photo albums, and listening to her tell me family stories.

2013 is the year I finally met two favorite blog friends. They stayed with me for a weekend, and we got to see Justin Timberlake in concert. It could've gone horribly wrong, but it turned out to be one of the best weekends ever.

I have no lofty goals and resolutions for the new year, because even though goals are a great thing, turning the page of a calendar will not give me a miraculous wave of willpower or make all my problems go away. It's going to be another year of building on the lessons I've learned this year. 2014 is not the year of a whole new me, but it is a year that I will continue to work hard in my job, in the gym, and with our finances. And I'm looking forward to it.


  1. I loved reading your post! :) I love Ben Folds...I don't meet many people that love him, so THAT is awesome in itself :) I look forward to following you in 2014! Happy New Year! :)


  2. You met the Duggars??? I did not know that!! How amazing. And can you help me out with the vegetarian thing? That was one of my goals for 2013 and I failed miserably. Mostly for lack of planning. Favorite cookbook? Happy New Year!

  3. Oh yeah, and I am beyond jealous that you saw Ben Folds.

  4. Wonderful recap :) That bike! It probably would have made my year alone! Happy New Year, friend…so glad to be following into 2014!

  5. This was fantastic to read. I'm happy that you had such a wonderful year and you are truly, genuinely feeling content and happy with your life and where you're at. The work to get to that place isn't easy, but so worth it. Happy New Year!

  6. i love all of these end of year posts - sometimes life sucks but remembering all the good things keeps perspective

  7. Did I know you met the Duggars? Back when we still had Comcast, I had a strong fascination with their family dynamics and how all of those children can appear to be so well mannered all the flipping time.

    2013 was a fantastic year for you. 2014 can only get better.

  8. This is probably one of the best recaps I've read, happy 2014!

  9. I love your townhouse - it's perfect! And decorated just how it should be. Seriously, I want to steal your couches.

    "HE'S RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!" - the best thing you've ever said, and I'm so glad I was there to hear it. Looking forward to hanging out more in 2014!

  10. so glad to hear 2013 was a good one for you! I also decided to be content renting for a bit longer... I have house fever, but know it's best to put it off. Good luck in 2014!!! :D

  11. It sounds like you had a wonderful year!

    I'm soooo incredibly jealous that you got to meet the Duggars! I have spent many a nursing session watching (and admittingly re-watching) all of the episodes that they have on Netflix. I would love to meet them in person and honestly find Michelle & Jim Bob to be quite an inspiration when it comes to raising kids.

    Don't sweat not having what others your age have. You have plenty of time. I wish I was back in your situation at times. Less responsibility sounds like a dream some days.

    I pray God blesses you in the coming year!

  12. i really need to get a library card. like really need to.

  13. Honestly, I think it's a blast to write year in review posts, and that's why I wrote one, whether people actually want to read them or not. :P
    I think it's awesome that you can look back on the year with joy and be content with where you're at in life. And, honestly, I know how it can feel like you're behind "everyone else" in life... (ummm, Angel's little brother and wife have a baby and a house) but it's all perspective. In reality, there's plenty of 24 year olds out there still convinced that acting like a teenager is the smartest thing to do and totally scared of the commitment that is marriage. We'll always be behind some and ahead of others...and that's why the best thing is contentment!

  14. I love all of these things! And I am with you on the no resolutions thing. Just keep on keepin' on! Also I can't handle pressure, so there's that...

  15. I cannot believe you didn't have a library card! Says the girl who got a library card to one library and immediately began going to a different library.

    Where did you meet the Duggars?! I love their show. Michelle seems like the calmest, most mild-mannered person on the face of the earth. I hope I have half her patience when I have one child.

    Let's make this the year we meet!!

  16. I like your look back on 2013 and I like your outlook for 2014 (I'm not one for resolutions either). You're cool.

  17. I like your 2013 in review post most of all, because you included additional thoughts instead of simply linking to old posts (like boring people... like me...). Cheers to 2014!

  18. I like it. I hope it's an awesome year for you.


Talk to me! If your email is linked to your account, I'll respond to you via email. If not, I'll respond to you right here.