It may seem very redundant to say, but man this year has flown by fast! As I read back through posts from the year, part of me says - "Man, we packed a lot in!"; while the other part of me says - "It seems like just yesterday we moved into our house!"
This year has been pretty crazy for us. It has been full of surprises both good and bad.
The best surprise of the year is the fact that we got to go to Europe not once, but twice! Steve and I had been talking and preparing for the first Europe trip since before we got married. The second trip was just sweet icing on the cake! At times it gets frustrating that Steve has to travel for work, but we'll take all the Europe trips we can get ;-)! Other than the second Europe trip, Steve had to travel to Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Cincinnati for work this year, but I only accompanied the Cincinnati trip.
The worst frustration of the year has involved a mysterious pain in my side -- and no, this isn't a joke about Steve! Since March, I've had a pain in my lower left abdomen/pelvic area. I had several tests and gone to a couple of doctors but haven't figured it out. Since giving up aspartame (from my beloved Diet Coke) and caffeine, I've gotten some relief, but it still isn't gone. Right now I'm employing the, "ignore it and it will go away" strategy. Seems to be helping, but here's hoping to it disappearing in 2013!
The biggest blessings of the year have been the friends we have made! For the first part of the year, we made friends with some of Steve's co-workers, but there weren't any other couples in that group. At times it felt awkward to me that I was the only non-P&Ger at events, but being part of a group really helped our adjustment to Lima. Our neighbors (regardless of their older age) have been a huge blessing. I still maintain a biweekly date with one of them. Once we found the right church, we found several young couples that we instantly clicked with. Even though we've only met these couples in September, I feel like we've known them forever. It is so great to have local people that we can share our hearts and desires with!
The most accomplishments this year are definitely attributed to the house. So far, we have the main floor completely repainted (minus the kitchen that hopefully will be getting an upgrade in the near future); the front landscaping, and part of the back, revamped; fixed the slate roof on the garage; repainted the front door a bold color; gutted out the garage; trees trimmed &/or removed; and begun wallpaper removal on the 2nd floor. We know that the house will never be done. Although, every time we finish a project, we feel like the house is more ours :).
The saddest disappointment is one we've kept pretty quiet about. In November, I had a miscarriage. We hadn't even gotten the joy of finding out about the pregnancy. We wanted to stay quiet about trying to start a family, but God's plan is different from our own. Sharing the miscarriage with others has been hard for several reasons. First off, it's difficult to share such sad news when it is unexpected of us. It's also hard because it is sort of a taboo topic. Because every miscarriage is different no one really knows how to ask questions, or if it's even acceptable. We've shared our news with many responses ranging from complete quiet to tears and hugs. I have been debating writing about this on the blog, which has attributed a lot to the silence on the blog. I don't have any problems talking about it or sharing how it has affected me. It still just doesn't seem real and the feelings and emotions change everyday, so it's hard to put in solid writing. But I plan on trying to capture those feelings and writing about it in another post.
Even with all the sadness and hard times, this year has been my favorite year with Steve. Everyone usually says your first year of marriage is the best. I'd have to disagree -- year 3 has been the best! I think the 2 Europe trips may have helped, but not because we were on vacation and seeing places we always wanted. Those 2 trips helped because it was just the two of us, on our own, with no internet/phone distractions, on adventures and making memories.
We had no idea what 2012 would hold, and are excited for what 2013 holds. This year for the first time ever, Steve and I got to reign in the new year with friends in our own house! We had all of our small group friends over for the evening. Everyone brought food & games, and we had a great time getting to know people more and spending that special evening together. So here's hoping to a Great 2013!