Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012 Recap

 Wow, 2012 came and went in a whirlwind. I hope to use this post to remember all the wonderful memories we shared in 2012. Many memories indeed! We started the year out with Jude's 9 month pictures taken by a wonderful family friend who is a photographer while still in NC for the holidays. They were taken in downtown Asheboro and I love how L.C. captures our family.
 Jude continued to teeth in January, having 9 teeth by the end of the month. (He would go on to to have 12 by his 1st birthday and all 16 "baby" teeth, only minus his 2 year molars by 15 months. Whew. January was a hard month in that Justin and I both had stomach viruses, again, and Jude kept a cold. We had a good visit over MLK weekend when Boofee came to visit!
 February was special because Pop and JJ came to visit and we got to see the Grand Canyon! Justin hiked the 19 miles down and back in 1 day and the rest of us stayed up in a hotel enjoying the scenery from above and having fun within the town. We also visited Sedona and Justin, Jude, and I travelled to Seattle at the end of the month to check out UW. (Little did I know this town would become my new home.)
 March was very special because not only did we go home, but we celebrated Jude's first birthday! He was also dedicated to the Lord at my Dad's Church, Iron Mt. Baptist, and all our families got to join. It was a very special weekend!
 3 days after Jude's birthday, he took his first steps. We weren't sure how quickly he would walk simply because his walker was his favorite toy and he would zoom around the house like Mario Andrette, but once he took those steps, he never looked behind. He also began to verbalize a lot more this month and continued to shower us love and snuggles.
 April was fun too! We celebrated Easter with Mamaw Joyce coming to visit! We had an Easter picnic with our church on a ranch which was amazing. Jude continued to learn more gross motor skills, trying running and jumping. We also enjoyed the warm AZ weather in our new kiddie pool and going up the Pinal mountains to go hiking.
 I surprised my Mom and MIL for an early Mother's Day present and flew home. Only my FIL, my brother, and BIL knew and everyone was surprised. It was especially fun seeing my Mom's face at the airport (she thought she was going with Zach to pick up his girlfriend at the time) and my MIL was totally shocked when we walked into her work office a few days later.
 Also in May, Justin's grandparents on the Caldwell side and great grandmother Mart drove all the way across country in their RV to spend some time with us. We visited Canyon De Chelley, the Painted Desert, and the Petrified Forest. We had a great time with them, enjoying the sights and spending time with them. They also helped begin packing our first home into a storage unit and helped prepare us for another move. We also found out my sister and best friend was pregnant!

I must pause here and say, this was a HUGE turning point for me emotionally and spiritually. At this time, we had made the decision to move to the Seattle area which meant another job hunt, house/apartment hunt, child care hunt, church hunt, and new friends. (We had only lived in AZ for 10 months.) I didn't want to move unless it was back east and man did the Lord do a work on my heart. I still struggle sometimes being so far away from family, but I know God's plan is better than mine and he will bless me for being obedient and submissive to my husband's leading.
 I finished out my school year at the end of May and we started our summer with a sweet couple's wedding in Prescott, AZ before flying home for the summer. Justin found a job in NC while I spent time traveling between family and friends. Justin's younger brother also graduated high school and his Dad celebrated a birthday. In June, Jude and I got to spend a week in Auburn, AL visiting old friends. Y'all, it was a really beautiful week and such a blessing to see Jude interact with my best friend's children, several who I had yet to meet b/c they were born while we were in AZ. I hope to have the same opportunity this coming summer.
 We also spent a week at N. Myrtle Beach with my family. Jude loved the tide pools, playing in the sand, and napping with Mo Mo daily. We enjoyed good sea food and lots of time with family. Jude also dropped his morning nap this month and officially began taking a 2-3 hour nap after lunch.
 In July, we spent a lot of time at the YMCA's Splash pad. Boy did Jude love it. We also had the opportunity to spend time with Justin's family. Good family dinners and playing out doors made for some great memories.
 Mom and I also spent some time in TN with her side of the family. Jude and Jamen loved going to the lake together. Jude also adores Mamaw Peggy.

July was also special because we celebrated Justin's birthday. Justin and I also celebrated our 4th anniversary. The inlaws kept Jude so we could do dinner and a movie.

I also got to go to Ocean Isle Beach with my best friends from college for a few days. (Minus Candice...we missed you.) I got to see my sweet friend Natalie's baby boy, Colt for the first time. He and Jude were born almost a year apart exactly. July also held 2 visits to the NC zoo, one being with some of my small group friends from college and their children and/or neices and nephews. What a blessing.
 In August, we celebrated my Dad's birthday and found out that my sister and BIL are having a BOY! Elijah Mason Ball (Eli) should be making his debut literally any day now. In mid August, Jude and I made our way back across the country to begin our new life in WA state. Justin had gone before us and drove the moving truck from AZ to WA with Mason. (After the 3 day drive from AL to AZ I vowed I would NEVER do that again.)

I started my new job, Jude started day care for the first time, and we found lots of new parks in the area, including the one above that is walking distance from our new place. Jude loves going to parks, even now when it's cold and wet outside.
 September was beautiful weather in Seattle. We continued to enjoy all the local parks, and there are many, and the Woodland Park Zoo. Jude's vocabulary had really spiked at this point and his love for animals was more apparent than ever. He also fell in love with "choo choo's" after seeing one at Kirkeek Park.

We realized the importance of webcams, making it a weekly tradition with both sets of grandparents.
 October was really busy and lots of fun. I celebrated my birthday and used my b-day money to invest in some rain boots, haha. Some of our best friends from AZ came for a weekend visit and we enjoyed showing them Pike's Place Market and the Space Needle. My Mom and sister also got to come for a whole week and see Jude be the cutest tiger in the town for Halloween.
 We also showed my family down town, the awesome dog park Mason gets to enjoy, and the fishery in Issaquah, one of Jude's favorites. Jude continues to blow us away with what he's learning, including his colors and most of his alphabet.

November was our "slowest" month yet, meaning that we were able to buckle down and spend time continuing to learn the city and spend time just us three. We celebrated Thanksgiving on our own for the first time ever and enjoyed the Seattle Christmas parade the day after Thanksgiving.
Justin and I used the fall to really embrace our marriage. We made a point to go on more date nights and be more intentional (my one word for 2013 by the way) with one another.
December was another wonderful month. We enjoyed going to Snowflake Lane in Bellevue, going to the Reindeer festival, decorating, and celebrating my personal favorite holiday, Christmas! Jude loved opening presents and Justin and I enjoyed teaching him about the true  meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We made it home to NC for the holidays and what better way to end a year than with family.

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