It seems a little bit silly to be posting a year in review on this blog, considering I've made a grand total of 13 posts on it all year. But, these posts are refreshing and timeless to look back on, so I'm gonna take a stab at it nonetheless.
Odd-numbered years are always seem to be such a conundrum for me. On the one hand, the BEST things in my life have happened in odd-numbered years (Wedding 2009, Emerson's birth 2011, Anna's birth 2013), but these years also seem to be dotted with one or two huge challenges that we've had to overcome. (2009 = Jon's architecture firm going under and him being forced to change careers; 2011 = me changing jobs while 6 months pregnant and having a pregnancy wracked with anxiety after losing our first baby, 2013 = Anna being in the hospital).
2015 was no exception. Though I was reminded day in and day out that I am incredibly lucky and incredibly blessed, the good times in 2015 will be flanked by the loss of one of the two most important men in my life.
However, being the eternal optimist that I am, I am taking a look back at 2015 and recounting all of the food, friends, fun, and family that made this year so special.
In January, I revealed our Basement Renovation. I love the value that it has added, as well as the size, space and function to our house, and it continues to be one of my favorite spaces in our home.
Even cooler? Our basement was chosen as one of 3 spaces featured in the Columbus Monthly Home & Garden Magazine's summer issue. I felt a little like Charlotte York as they were taking the pictures, and the whole experience was pretty cool! As always, major kudos to Jon for taking on such an insane project and turning it in to something spectacular.
February was the month I discovered Home Chef, and my life has never been the same. 10 months later and we still get a box almost every single week. I know it's not a practical choice for everyone, but for this busy working mom whose daughters eat like birds, Home Chef was a gift directly from Heaven. Or Chicago. Where they're located. Whatever.
In March, I started my new job. Though I was incredibly sad to leave my coworkers and a job I loved, I am very happy with the direction my career is headed in, and I also love all of the new people and friends I've been able to make. Not to mention the discounts on clothing and candles - hard to compete with that! ;-)
In the midst of learning a new job, most of my April was spent outdoors with these two cuties:
After being cooped up all winter, it was nice to get to play outside again, and (though this is hard to believe) it was Anna's first spring as a walker, so it was fun to watch her explore the playground and increase her confidence.
April was also super fun because I got to visit Geneva-on-the-Lake for the first time for my friends Stephanie's bachelorette party. What a gem of a place that is just tucked away on the shore of Lake Erie. We stayed at the Lodge and it was just gorgeous. I honestly didn't know water could look that blue in Ohio. Color me impressed!
I had an absolute blast wine tasting and enjoying the perfect weather with some of my best friends. My favorite stop was definitely the South River Winery. I could've sat in that Adirondack chair all day, drinking in the sun. And the Merlot.
May is always a jam-packed, fun, and wickedly awesome month, and May 2015 certainly did not disappoint.
Because May 9th is also Anna's birthday and our wedding anniversary, Jon surprised me a week early with a very thoughtful Mother's Day present. The girls love being on their bike (though honestly just sitting it in more than riding - haha)
On Anna's birthday we celebrated with a simple brunch birthday party, because this girl loves her waffles. It's crazy how much this sweet girl has grown, even since May. Her vocabulary is ridiculous and her personality is really shining through. I am in love!
Also on May 9th (why not?) we attended Stephanie and Mike's wedding at the Westin downtown. Such a gorgeous venue, such a beautiful couple, and such a fun wedding and a way to celebrate love with people you love. Love fest all around.
I got to go to New York City a couples of times in May for work, so I took advantage and checked out Serendipity 3 with my favorite (former) NYC resident. I wonder if the owners of that place are grateful for the publicity that the movie brought it, or not? Deep thoughts.
We also got to attend our good friend Brian's wedding in New Jersey with our whole family, which was so fun!
And for May wedding #3, we flew to Puerto Rico. It was terrible.....
Just kidding, it was amazing and I loved every second of it. Also, I can confirm that Puerto Rico has the best pina coladas in the world.
June was pretty easy and low key after a busy May. Emerson started ballet lessons, and I enjoyed Food Truck Wednesdays at work.
Then toward the end of June, I got a call from my sister that changed everything. My Dad was in the hospital, and we weren't sure what was wrong. After 3 weeks of driving up to Akron and praying for a miracle, we said goodbye to my wonderful father on July 14, 2015. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. July 2015 was tough to say the least.
I am eternally grateful for my friends whose sweet gestures, calls and texts during this time really lifted my spirits. I am a very lucky girl.
Most people turn to normal things like exercise, reading, or watching movies to take their minds off of their grief. I turned to Home Renovation. We (well, mostly Jon) spent much of August ripping out our old carpet and installing new dark bamboo floors on the first floor of our house. It was quite the undertaking, but I am IN LOVE with the finished product. A little before and after action:
In September we enjoyed (what we thought were) the last remnants of summer, went to Cedar Point (after my company bought it out for the day, which was SO cool!), and my big girl Emerson had her first day of preschool! I can't believe I have a daughter big enough to be in school! Crazy. I also had several awesome (and very needed) girls nights.
We had a blast doing fall things in October. Pumpkin patches, playing in the leaves, and Trick or Treat. Both girls wanted to be princesses for Halloween, which works out well, since we booked a weeklong trip to Disney in May. I am so excited to take them and watch their eyes light up when they meet the characters. They'll be 3 and 4, which I think is the perfect age for this trip. We can't wait!
November was a blast! We hosted a baby shower for my bestie Holly, with an "Adventure Awaits" theme. It was so much fun to plan, and her baby girl got spoiled!
We also took a huge leap and booked a trip to Europe. We used our United airline card for everything, and were shocked to see we could fly directly to Switzerland for free, so we went for it. Sometimes, you just have to book it. We both want to see Venice and Tuscany, we decided to stop making excuses to just go. Our girls are at a good age where, though we'll miss them, we know they'll be in good hands with Ma and Papa while we're gone.
Lastly, December has been busy and magical as always. Filled with food, friends, family and fun. We celebrated Emerson's birthday with a quiet little Ariel party, took Jon to Third and Hollywood and Hofbrahaus for his birthday, and celebrated Christmas with the most wonderful gifts I have ever and will ever receive, my beautiful daughters.
Phew. That was alot. If you made it to the end of this post, bless you.
All in all, 2015 was a wonderful year. Though it will be a year I'll never forget for one really sad reason, there were so many bright and happy points that I can't help but feel blessed looking back on it.
In 8 hours, 2015 will be over and we get to start anew. I am very much looking forward to everything 2016 has to offer!
Happy New Year!