2013: A Look Back

To say the last year has been full of adventure would be an understatement.  We started off the year saying it was going to be our year of travel – boy were we right on that one!

We started off by ringing in the New Year with great friends in Columbus

Technically in 2012 but it was part of the Columbus New Year's trip

Technically in 2012 but it was part of the Columbus New Year’s trip

Food and friends on NYE

Food and friends on NYE

 

Our next adventure was a weekend getaway to the Texas Hill Country.  We toured a distillery, did some hiking, drank great wine and just enjoyed each other.

Fredericksburg in January - hiking the Enchanted Rock

Fredericksburg in January – hiking the Enchanted Rock

Lacey even joined in on the fun

Lacey even joined in on the fun

In February we packed our warmest clothes and flew across the pond to visit Dublin, Edinburgh and London.  It was rather chilly but we loved exploring two new cities and finding more fun things in London.  Highlights in Dublin included touring St. Stephen’s Green, Trinity College and the Guinness Factory.  Edinburgh was beautiful and filled with amazing history – its definitely on the list of places to visit again!  London was fun and we spent a lot of time (and £’s!) watching musicals and staying warm.

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

Dublin

Dublin

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Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Holyrood Palace - the Queen's Scotland Home

Holyrood Palace – the Queen’s Scotland Home

One of the 4 shows we saw

One of the 4 shows we saw

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Wimbledon - little did we know we would be back on this court 5 months later

Wimbledon – little did we know we would be back on this court 5 months later watching Andy Murray win a quarterfinal match

After a great trip we had about a month to recoup before jetting off for a trip to paradise celebrating 5 years of wedded bliss.  We stayed for 4 days in a beautiful mountainside plantation in St. Lucia enjoying the sun, nature, pools, cocktails and the ocean.  It was the perfect way to spend our anniversary.

This place was beautiful

This place was beautiful

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I spent a lot of time in the hammock with a book and rum punch

I spent a lot of time in the hammock with a book and rum punch

Sailing away

Sailing away

After our short stint of island life, it was back to the real world and a mad scramble to pack up our Texas lives.  We had just about 6 weeks to make the move to England!!  We learned about 2 weeks before we went to St. Lucia that I was accepted for a contract position for the USAF in England.  They wanted to me start ASAP so we quickly began making plans to get ourselves and Lacey across the pond.  But before we could leave there was one more very important trip we had to make.  Em and Matt were getting married in Ohio and there was no way we were missing out on that!  I was lucky enough to step up as a bridesmaid for the wedding and we had a blast celebrating these two wonderful friends.

We got to take pictures on OSU's football field - so fun!!

We got to take pictures on OSU’s football field – so fun!!

We kinda love these kids

We kinda love these kids

The week after the wedding was our last week working.  It was a bittersweet goodbye to all our coworkers and friends but we were thrilled to start our big adventure.  We had just about a week to say our goodbyes to friends and family, finish packing up our lives and get the dog situated for her portion of the move.  Then, before we knew it we were heading to the airport with our most important belongings stuffed into 4 large suitcases and 4 carry-ons.  Lacey joined us a few days later and within a few weeks we had a house, a car and somewhat of a routine.  The next 5 1/2 months were spent traveling around the UK and Europe, sometimes with Lacey in tow.  We enjoyed time at the beach, a trip to The Championships at Wimbledon, a few day trips to London, the romance of Paris, delicious food in Belgium, royal countryside in Scotland, views and history in Prague and so much more (way to much to recap in a single post!).  We met wonderful people, I worked with great servicemen and women and we experienced so many amazing things.

Abbey Gardens

Abbey Gardens in Bury St. Edmunds, one of my favorite places

Our quaint home

Our quaint home

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Enjoyed the English seaside

Wimbledon - C's favorite activity/trip of our entire time in the UK

Wimbledon – C’s favorite activity/trip of our entire time in the UK

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In the Royal Deeside, Scotland

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Ah Paris

The pup and I

The pup and I along one of many canals in Amsterdam

Atop the castle grounds with the city behind us

Atop the Prague castle grounds with the city behind us

She loved lying next to the window watching the countryside fly by

Lacey loved the train trips, especially when we had a sleeper cabin in Germany

Unfortunately the adventure came to an end before we originally planned or hoped.  So in October we were making the move back stateside.  Thankfully we were able to get hired back at our previous jobs fairly easily.  I had an extended period before starting work and took advantage of it by taking a trip to Park City, UT with Em and then another trip to CA to visit family and friends.

Disneyland!

Disneyland!

Meeting the first boy on my side of the family (born while we were in the UK)

Meeting the first boy on my side of the family (born while we were in the UK)

So happy to spend some time with Em!

So happy to spend some time with Em!

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Beautiful landscapes in and around Park City

Since starting back at a new position at my old employer life has been busy busy busy!  Both C and I have taken on new responsibilities in our roles and its keeping us on our toes.  We’ve enjoyed being back in Texas, seeing some TCU football games and catching back up with friends and family.  To cap the year we spent Christmas in CA with my entire family.  The first time my parents, all 3 kids, their spouses and all their children were together in almost 6 years!  It was nice seeing everyone in one place again.

TCU Tailgating

TCU Tailgating

I think these guys were happy to see each other again

I think these guys were happy to see each other again

We missed this little lady while away

We missed this little lady while away

A whole lotta kiddos and gifts for Christmas day!

A whole lotta kiddos and gifts for Christmas day!

Family photo day

Family photo day

As you can tell 2013 was a huge year for us!  We knew when it started that it was going to be a busy year with lots of travel, but we had no idea just how great it would be.  It’s been fun looking back at all the great stuff we did and experienced and honestly, it makes me a little sad.  But at the same time, if 2013 was so great, I’m excited to see how 2014 will top it (and I’m pretty sure it can)!

Happy New Year!