Overall, the first 2/3 of 2013 was rough, mostly because of a really frustrating adoption scenario that dragged on from February until August and which never fully resolved itself (since it is possible that it had been a scammer all along). But there were lots of really amazing things and highlights that I sum up below. And lots of day-to-day stuff that doesn't get mentioned a ton but which included lots of running at the gym, lots of playing and reading books and doing crafts and going for walks and bike rides with Clara, lots of quilting, lots of working, lots of house projects, and lots of time spent together as a family just feeling grateful that we have each other. Clara grew SO much this year. It is like she went from a baby to a little girl and somehow skipped so much of the toddler stage! Here is the highlight reel though...
Day trip to Carmel, lots of fingerpainting and indoor play, breakfast on the wharf in Santa Cruz, healing from a failed adoption that was supposed to happen in December
Installing crown molding in the living room/hallways, Clara started potty training and picked it up in about 3 days, quick trip to Utah to visit Kayli and see family, lots of quilting, started emailing with a possible birth mother
San Francisco Zoo with the Millers (minus Jason and Paul), hiking at Pinnacles National Park, Disneyland trip with my parents courtesy of my friend Lisa's sister who got us free tickets, celebrated Easter with lots of Easter egg hunts
Paul's parents came for a visit, we finished "landscaping" the backyard, Adelaide (my sister Jennie's third child) was born, I started working on a recipe book that became a hugely consuming project for me during the year (and which I still need to post about)
Discovered the most perfect recipe for M&M cookies ever (this is totally worth noting when recapping 2013), Clara's 2nd birthday, trip to Utah to meet Adelaide and take advantage of the last time Clara will ever fly for free, Lake Tahoe trip with the Millers, celebrated our 9th anniversary with a weekend trip to Carmel
Celebrated Paul's 32nd birthday, trip to Huntington Lake with Paul's parents, Clara started gymnastics, lots of trips to Happy Hollow and visits to the Farmer's market, Paul started learning to play the banjo (his birthday present)
4th of July impromptu roadtrip through northern California and southern Oregon to see Lassen National Park and Redwoods National Park, I went to a "Favorite Things" party (so fun and I totally want to throw one sometime in the future, Clara started swimming lessons and became convinced she was a mermaid
Paul did a big fly-fishing trip in Montana with his dad, Clara and I did a roadtrip to Utah to surprise my mom for her birthday then dragged her back to California with us for a few days, went through a third failed adoption when the young woman who had first emailed us back in February about the baby she was carrying had a change of heart shortly before the birth
Apple picking with friends at an orchard in Watsonville, finished landscaping the front yard (which had turned into a months long project), sewed Halloween costumes, Clara started sleeping in a big-girl bed
Had a new furnace installed in our house, celebrated my 33rd birthday, went to Disneyland with Paul's parents when our annual Yosemite trip got cancelled thanks to the government shut-down, hosted our 4th annual Halloween party, went to the pumpkin patch, celebrated Halloween as WWII icons
Yosemite trip since we just couldn't bear the thought of going a year without visiting one of our favorite places in the world, our friends the Millers came to visit, I was able to do quite a few photo shoots for friends, Thanksgiving dinner with our friends the Fischlis and my mom and sister, lots of sneaky sewing to finish Paul's quilt for Christmas
Took Clara to her first ever ballet performance - the Nutcracker - which she loved, sang lots of Christmas carols and read lots of Christmas books, enjoyed a nice long trip to Utah for the holidays, and rang in 2014 with good friends in California
Here's to 2014!!