I debated whether or not to write a year-end blog but I finally figured what the heck? Might as well! 😉 My sister is so I will, too. 2013 was a great year for me. Some bad things happened and much of the year has been a struggle but I’m looking forward not backward. When I do look back on this year, I’ll think of the good not the bad. I’ll learn from my mistakes and use them to make me a better person.
I figured I’d write the 13 best things that happened to me in 2013. So in no particular order…*drumroll*
1. As always, the time spent with my children will always top the list. I wish it could’ve been longer. In case you don’t know, my oldest two children, now teenagers (cries) live in Missouri with their dad. In July, I spent a few days with them. Not enough time but I’m grateful for every second with them. At least we were able to Face Time with the iPhones I got them (specifically for that purpose) when we’re not together. I forgot to take many pictures during the trip & lived in the moment but here are a couple. I love you, Seth and Kirsten!!! Here’s my son with Abby and me with Kirsten.
2. My baby girl (who is no longer technically a baby) graduated kindergarten. She’s also become a fantastic reader and has gotten a couple of awards for reading. This makes me a very proud mama. One of my proudest moments was her first grade teacher telling me she was a very sweet, well-behaved girl. If only she acted like that at home too. 😉 Love you Adeline!
3. Starting Blockheads Against Alzheimer’s. We’ve had moderate success with the charity group. It started a couple of days after the Boston Marathon. I wanted to do something, anything to help people. At first, specifically for Boston but the Boston Strong movement and the One Fund seemed to have that covered. Still, I felt driven to do something to help people. Then I saw the Alzheimer’s Association tweet about The Longest Day. I remembered it from 2012, even though I didn’t participate then. I checked out the website and decided to make a team for Blockheads, mainly to support Joe McIntyre and his mom, who has Alzheimer’s, but also because my grandmother had the disease. I knew many others would unfortunately have personal connections. I dreamed it would be as strong as Team Betty. We didn’t get that far but our Longest Day team ended up surpassing our goal, thanks to Joe McIntyre. Which leads to the next two memories.
4. Meeting Joe and New Kids in Charlotte on June 19. Yes, I’ve met them all before but this time was really special. They’re all special in their own ways. This meet & greet was two days before June 21, The Longest Day. At that time, we’d raised $700-something toward our goal of $1600. I’d begun to lose hope we were going to make the goal. I guess I’m not that great at fundraising but this cause meant so much to me. I worked so hard at it. At the meet & greet with New Kids, I had one big goal: tell Joe about Blockheads Against Alzheimer’s. Even though part of me wanted to be selfish and just hug him the whole time and have a moment for me (haha), this charity meant soooo much to me, it won out. This meet & greet was all about that. I just wanted him to know about it. I wore my shirt that says #EndAlz so I would remember to tell him (like I was really gonna forget!) I also wrote a little note to myself of things I wanted to remember to tell him. I don’t remember exactly what it said now. There were 4 or 5 things, the first two about BHs Against Alz. Without going into great detail, as much as I’d love to, I told him. I wish I could describe the look on his face. I’m teary-eyed thinking about it. Suffice it to say, he was touched and honored and said, “Thank you, honey!” and gave me the biggest, best hug. 😉 I took out my note to tell him these things I’d listed off, which included how much we’d raised so far and asked him to tweet about it so we could get more donations and reach our goal. I knew if he tweeted about it, we could do it. Before I could read him what was on the list, time was up so I kinda shoved the note in his hand and said, “Here, just take this. Read it if you have time.” I thanked him, hugged him again and walked out of the room on a cloud. 🙂
Here’s our part of the m&g pic, which I include because our shoes match one another’s shirts. LOL I was a happy camper. Mission accomplished. The concert was amazing and maybe should be another memory in itself. We also had tickets to the after party and after the mind-blowingly awesome show, we had another very brief m&g. I went straight to Joe, of course. I wasn’t expecting anything because they’d announced this wasn’t really a m&g but a photo op. “Take the picture and move your ass!” is how they announced it actually. Anyway, he told me he read the note and “thank you.” This blew my mind. I almost had forgotten I even gave it to him. It meant the world to me. As you can see from my face, I was blown away.
5. The Longest Day. This was one of the best days of my life, not just the year. I’d planned to run because you’re supposed to participate in any kind of activity for those who can’t. I think it’s so awesome. That morning, Abby, Adeline and I were getting ready to go for a walk for The Longest Day when Joe tweeted.
OH MY GAAAAAWWWWD. That did it. Donations started pouring in. I had to delay going for a walk because I was so busy answering questions and tweeting thank yous, although I couldn’t keep up. I cried so much but they were happy tears. We finally did go for a walk and later that afternoon, I ran 2 miles, which was a big deal for me. Joe also donated to our team, which I didn’t expect and caused more tears. We ended up surpassing our goal. Wonderful day that I hoped helped many people. I know it helped me.
We actually made even more than that by the end of the month. I know we wouldn’t have done it without Joe’s support. ❤
6. I guess I’m giving too much detail. 😉 The next one is my birthday. Abby and I got to see New Kids and have another m&g on our birthday, which was just so amazing. We went to St. Louis for this and the next day went to see my kids (see #1). It was soooo much fun and having Joe tell me happy birthday was really cool. 🙂 When he saw my Blockheads Against Alz button, he told me he loved it and I got the chance to tell him thank you in person. He was like, “Oh. It’s you. I didn’t recognize you at first.” 😉 He was incredibly sweet as always. The concert was even better than Charlotte, which pains me to say since North Carolina is home. But it was AMAZING!
We look great together. 🙂 I could post many other St. Louis birthday memories but this is probably too long as it is.
7. Walks to End Alzheimer’s. So, can you tell what cause I’m dedicated to? I participated in the Charlotte and Wilmington Walks and both were incredible in different ways. Charlotte was bigger and I made new friends, who were members of Blockheads Against Alz and Wilmington’s was more emotional since it was smaller and I really listened to the stories.
(I’m looking at Adeline who ran off as they snapped the picture)
8. Abby publishing GOING HOME AGAIN. This one is self-explanatory. Seeing my twin realize her lifelong dream will always be one of the greatest things about 2013. If you haven’t yet, please go buy it!
9. Discovering new friendships. I’d “met” Ashley McGraw through Twitter in 2012 but it wasn’t until 2013 that we became close. I now consider her a soul mate. I hope 2014 is the year we get to meet in person and hang out. I love you, Ashley! 🙂 ❤
10. An agent requesting a R&R. You might not think this would be a good thing but it ended up being the best thing that’s happened to my book, A SCARRED MIND. I was upset at first but when I thought about what she said in her email, I saw what I needed to do. I changed the entire novel to first person and although the agent didn’t say to, I did a complete rewrite. It’s also now in present tense, which I never thought I’d write but I now see this is the best way to tell the story. Here’s hoping I finish the rewrite by the end of January. I also hope to get an agent and/or published in 2014. I don’t know if it will be this agent or not. I’m just grateful for her suggestions and input.
11. Discovering Love It Or List It and Property Brothers. LOL I’m addicted to hgtv, I admit it. This all started on New Year’s 2013. After we rang in the new year, we were channel surfing and came across Love It Or List It. I’ve spent much of the year watching the show. And then on the way home from Missouri after seeing New Kids and my kids, we caught an episode of Property Brothers. Now we’re hooked.
12. The Release of 10. I know this may seem silly, unless you’re also a Blockhead and know how fricking exciting it was to have a new album after five years. And for that album to kick so much ass. I sincerely love every song on the album and listened to nothing but 10 for a month or two after its release. Back to Life and Wasted on You are probably my favorites but they’re all amazing. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Here’s the video to Remix just because. 😉
13. Christmas. Since Daddy got sick the day after, the fact that we had a wonderful Christmas will be one of my favorite memories of the year. No arguing. No Daddy being a jerk. Just happy times. From playing 90s Trivial Pursuit and hearing Mom says “Pooty-Tang” and “Gangsta Rapper” to seeing that everyone loved their gifts even though we didn’t have a lot to spend this year. It was about family, not sutff we got. Really special day. ❤
Bonus: 14. Because I can’t believe I forgot to include this: Running my first 5k! After watching the Boston Marathon online, I decided I will one day run it myself. I was already a runner at the time but couldn’t do more than two miles. Watching Joe McIntyre run it inspired me beyond what I expected. And also Shalane Flanagan crossing the finish line in fourth for women. I saw the emotion on her face and imagined what a thrill it would be and all I could think was “I want to do that.” Someday, I hope I will. The running slacked off during the summer, after The Longest Day, my excuse being the heat. Now I wish I’d kept going and I would’ve run my first 5k sooner. I finally ran it on December 15 and finished fifth overall, the third woman. I proved to myself I can do anything and someday, I will run the Boston Marathon.
**OMG how could I have forgotten?? Honorable Mention – The Red Sox winning the World Series at Fenway!!! One of the greatest things to ever happen. This was even more special than when they won in 2004, mainly because I was watching this time and also, because it was at Fenway! I didn’t watch in 2004 because I thought I’d jinx them if I watched the game. Thank God I got over that so I could witness the awesomeness. 😀 And that it happened the same year as the bombing at the Boston Marathon (notice how I didn’t mention it until now)…yeah…
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! And feel free to share some of your favorite memories in the comments. 🙂 I don’t make resolutions but my goals are to run a half-marathon, get an agent, lose 10 pounds and go to Boston. 🙂
Here’s to 2014 being the best year yet for us all!