25 days ago, it was 2013. Man, January flies. By no means have I been putting off posting a highlight reel of our last year. It’s just that, well, do you know how much fun we had in 2013? Do you know how many giggles and memories and photos and moments there are for this girl to sort through, nostalgically relive, then make sense of for the rest of you?

Here, I’ll show you. In no particular order, my top 10 favorite faces, places, and memories from 2013.

1. Colt. You know I can’t start a list of favorite ANYTHING without this guy.  The headline this year was starting kindergarten, of course, but this kid had an overall big year! When he wasn’t teaming up with his best friend Scout for a photographic expedition of downtown Fayetteville or freelancing as a handyman or an architect, he was fighting crime in the NYC sewers and trying to knock the teeth out of his head. Somehow he found time to perfect his laser-tag strategy, pose for the cover of a magazine, charm the heck outta Charlie the Camel, and TURN FIVE! (Video of year 5 is HERE. *Thinly veiled excuse for me to watch it. AGAIN.*)

2. Lonette’s Wedding. In September, Jeff and I flew out to Albuquerque for my high school best friend’s wedding, and it was unspeakably wonderful. Our third amigo Glenn was there, too, of course and — after not seeing each other in person for over 13 years — we were like peas and carrots again. If only for a few days. Lonette is expecting her first little one — due in June — so look out, Albuquerque! Glenn and I will be back before you know it!

3. Family Photos. I know what you’re thinking — “don’t these people take family photos… like, every DAY?” Yes, yes. It’s true. I’ve made a name for myself in the photos-by-tripod-and-self-timer world, but last January we connected with Kim at Sweet Portrayal Photography here in Northwest Arkansas — and she took some of my absolute favorite photos of our little family. In fact, it’s been a year — might be time to call Kim for another round!


4. The Life List LIVES. One of my goals for 2013 was to revive my Life List. I wrote the first draft nearly four years ago and had a great time diving in — then I unexpectedly fell in love with running and the Life List started to collect a thin layer of dust. But 2013 was the year I wanted to refocus a bit on the spontaneity and adventure that inspired the Life List in the first place. And I had a great year! I tried hot yoga, visited 4 new states (New Mexico, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina), sat on a jury, and, according to a few trusted and discerning sources, learned to wear color. I also had plans to make a dent in my Best Picture winners list, but I only watched one – The King’s Speech.

5. Scenery and Solitude in the Boundary Waters. We didn’t know if we’d love it, but we knew it would be an adventure — and that was all we needed to know. In July, Jeff and I took a float plane into the Quetico wilderness of Canada and watched it fly away — we were left standing there with a canoe, two paddles, and a map to get us back to Minnesota in one piece. Spoiler alert: we made it AND had the trip of a lifetime.

BWCA+Quetico 164_edit

6. Listen to Your Mother. After throwing caution to the wind and breaking out my tattered notebook from high school speech and drama for a little rehearsing, I auditioned for the Northwest Arkansas cast of Listen to Your Mother and was selected for the show. Ironically, the story I shared for the show was one I’d never written here — I guess I finally waited long enough that I can laugh at myself…!


7. Half Marathon with Dad. Neither of us can reliably remember whose idea it was, but my Dad and I registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon (his first half!) this past November and went for it. We let his knees set the pace and had 13.1 miles of 1-on-1 conversation and a great day of memories. On top of the race, I spent a rare weekend with my parents all to myself — Jeff and Colt didn’t travel with me, and neither of my sisters could be there. Mom and Dad, we should do that more often!


8. Blogging about blogging. Back in March, the blog celebrated her 8th blogiversary with a new home and a makeover. I talked about it and thought about it and dreamed about it for years, but I FINALLY took the plunge and moved from Typepad to WordPress — and I took the opportunity to spiff things up with a full design makeover and some new navigation. Hopefully, it’s easier to find my categorized nonsense these days — stories about the kiddo and family, a little running, adventures from the Life List, and a splash of travel.

9. 4th of July at Mountaintop. For the second year in a row, we spent the 4th of July with the Atlanta Hoods — Paige, Lynn, and Courtney. This year, they invited us for the week to their new house at Mountaintop in North Carolina — where it proceeded to rain buckets the ENTIRE TIME we were there. The rain couldn’t dampen our spirits though and we had a fantastic, relaxing holiday — including a Ferris Wheel, a tiger named Razorback, and the best nap of my life.

4th in NC 026_edit

10. My bucket fillers. In November, I spent a weekend with a small group of women I’ve met over the years through writing and blogging. What was intended as a retreat and a weekend of uninterrupted WORK time for our various projects delivered all that — plus new and stronger friendships, and a support system that has proven empowering and inspiring. These girls are my bucket fillers, and we’ve already got a date on the calendar for Power Weekend, Part 2 this spring.


2013 was more than we deserve. We have incredible friends and family, health, happiness, and the Hogs. 2014, you have big shoes to fill.

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