2013 summed up, Happy New Years!

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I’ve been reading everyone’s New Years resolutions and reflections of the last year on different social medias and blogs. I can’t say I have ever really made resolutions. I’ve honestly never really been one to follow through with them. But I did enjoy going through one of my apps and looking at pictures of our last year and I can’t believe all that we squeezed in to it! It’s been a year full of blessings, family visitors, traveling, bonding, gatherings, parties, ending of toxic relationships, gaining of new friends, and so much more. I have to say it’s been one of our better years and I look forward to what the future holds for our family. Here are just some of our moments in 2013…
20140101-021353.jpg1. Bitty’s first trip on a plane. Thankfully nursing kept her content nearly the entire time.
2. Bitty’s first time in snow. A massive amount of snow at that. I’ve never really seen a tremendous amount of snow until Ohio myself and I’m sure this southern gal stuck out like a sore thumb!
3. I spent my birthday traveling all day with Bitty and couldn’t wait to get home to my little family.
20140101-021811.jpg4. Much to my surprise, my dad was waiting for me at the airport! He had flown out to be here for my birthday & Bitty’s.
5. After a very long day of traveling I came home to a little birthday celebration with my family. It couldn’t have turned out to be a more perfect day.
6.Bitty’s 1st birthday! She had an owl themed party. And loved her smash cake!
7. Naps, a rare thing for this daddy & mama, but certainly a welcomed treat especially if it’s with one of our monsters.
20140101-022324.jpg8. There are so many things for our family to give thank for. No matter how busy life gets, I adore the fact that our monsters know to stop and pray daily.
9. Buggie decided she was a boy and wanted to chop off her long beautiful curls, and so it is.
10. Bitty may have far too many toys, yet nothing is more entertaining than our kitchen cabinets.
20140101-022621.jpg11. Mardi Gras Day is just another day in Texas. But I got my monsters a king cake and made them a traditional Cajun meal too.
12. My sweet sweet Valentine.
13. Our first annual Valentine’s for maw-maw’s and paw-paw’s. With the help of family and friends our monsters delivered 209 handmade Valentine’s to a local nursing home. I’m not sure who enjoyed the visit more.
20140101-023306.jpg14. Matt’s cousin Rachel came to town and spent the night with us. We won’t talk about how she threw out her back that night:/ But I will mention how much I adore this kind hearted fun lady!
15. Lots of music is played in this home.
16. Oh the confusion of teaching Buggie this is NOT the finger to point with. Nothing sweeter than the innocence of a child.
17. We avidly support EBF (extended breast feeding).
20140101-100027.jpg18. We did our first annual 4 lil monsters Easter for Children’s Hospital. Along with the help of my monsters, some of my friends & family, Bunny’s class, & half price books we were able to make and donate over 100 pillows, hats, blankets, handmade cards, and three large boxes of books to every single child at our local Methodist hospital. Even more rewarding was being able to deliver said gifts to those precious children with my son and my husband. I will never forget some of those sweet faces and the happiness something so little brought them during such a scary time in their lives.
19. Buggie decided to pretend to take a nap, while she was really trying to give their barbies a bath in their garbage can. Sometimes it’s not easy to keep a straight face while correcting our monsters.
20. We got rid of all the toxic chemicals and cleaning supplies in our home and went all natural and started making our own.
21. My B-Boo and Nannie Boo to some of our monsters came out for a surprise visit. I simply adore my time with her.
20140101-101414.jpg22. We enjoyed a year of baby wearing our little bambino.
23. And our toddler too.
24. I discovered I needed glasses. The very next day Budah was prescribed some too. He wears his every day. I haven’t exactly been a good example in that department.
25. Lots of selfies happened.
20140101-101828.jpg26. We took our lil ladies to see Yo Gabba Gabba and Daddy & I may have been just as stoked about “Biz’s beat of the day”.
27. We spent spring break on the coast . This was also Bitty’s first time in the sand. She wasn’t sure about it.
28. Bitty & I neared a end as she started weening herself after 18 months of EBF (extended breast feeding). I will forever cherish those special moments.
29. Not all were a fan of the Easter Bunny.
20140101-102330.jpg30. A whole lot of skateboarding took place and then some.
31. We spent Easter morning in a hotel in New Orleans.
32. We made some memories in our fave city. You can take the gal outta NOLA, but you can take NOLA outta the gal.
33. We went to the annual Easter Freeman family reunion.
20140101-102719.jpg34. Najah had many baths.
35. Disney on Ice with our three lil ladies.
36. I spent lots of one on one time with my little Bitty while her siblings were at school or work.
37. My hard working son bought amazing tickets for us and after dinner in ATX he took Bitty and I to see The Lumineers and The Tumbleweeds (who happen to be from NOLA and quickly became another fave folky band of ours).
20140101-103220.jpg38. Our monsters became a huge help in the kitchen.
39. Lots of silly moments were had between our monsters.
40. I enjoyed Mother’s Day with these four little monsters I made.
41. There was a very special guest at Buggie’s 4th (pirate themed) birthday party.
20140101-103618.jpg42. First steps were taken.
43. Bunny celebrated her 8th birthday with a fun luau themed party surrounded by a bunch of her little friends.
44. A whole slew of sleep overs were had with either squealing little girls or a group of teenage fellas.
45. Many toxic folks were removed from our monster’s lives. Best decision we could have possibly made. Life is suddenly peaceful and only spent with folks that genuinely care about us.
20140101-104114.jpg46. Many weekends were spent with my Godchildren. Such sweet blessings.
47. My Aunt Glo spent a few weeks with us!
48. These two precious little cousins enjoyed a full spa day on Bunny’s birthday. Hair, make up, manis, pedis, & princess dresses!
49. Budah celebrated his 17th birthday Fiesta style surrounded by a ton of friends & fam before a day of skate parks with this huge group of fellas.
20140101-104551.jpg50. After much thought and prayer I have finally discovered forgiveness. And gained the knowledge from a very dear friend that forgiveness was necessary for my faith and self healing and didn’t mean I needed to be around said people that I forgave. Such an amazing feeling to be able to let go of years worth of hurt as well as the people that caused unnecessary pain.
20140101-104931.jpg51. The Guncles never let us down…literally. Our monsters are so lucky to have these four amazing fellas in their lives. Both as family and a good example that love has no boundaries. Teaching our monsters that no one has to be the same to be accepted is one of the greatest lessons we could possibly teach them.
52. These four little beauties had a blast at their week long VBS (vacation Bible school).
53. My mom & her sister celebrated their 55th & 60th birthdays together with lots of red & purple deco and were surprised by the flock of huge flamingos in the front yard.
54. We celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday early with a full nautical themed party before a trip to Big Lou’s.
20140101-105504.jpg55. 4th of July with these cuties!
56. Lots of swimming & fun took place.
57. We love our weekends with Aryie.
58. Knot-Geek flourished!
20140101-105833.jpg59. We celebrated Matt’s God daughter’s birthday too!
60. Enjoyed many visits with rad friends.
61. We spent a week in a condo on Mustang Island on the beach and exploring near by places.
62. Braces were removed!
20140101-110237.jpg63. Have I mentioned how much these monsters love their Guncles?
64. JuJuBee with Matt & Alex!
65. Much to my surprise I happily joined the mini van club.
20140101-110626.jpg66. Bunny donated ten inches of her hair to locks of love.
67. Just when I think it’s not possible I love these lil monsters a little bit more.
68. First day of school! Pre-K, 3rd, & our home schooled 11th grader.
69. Labor Day! Maw-Maw, Jamie, Dustin, Brylee, Britton, Phil, Angie, Billy, Syd, & Tanner. Painting, a little covered up Slayer,BBQ, & swimming fun.
20140101-111254.jpg70. Budah discovered he could cross his eyes…all the time.
71. Buggie decided she could shave like her brother and in the process shaved off her eyebrows & scraped her chin and lip. Budah also decided to face plant the very same night skateboarding and broke his glasses. Thanks for those near heart attacks monsters. Please no injuries in 2014.
72. We celebrated my MIL’s 60th birthday with her at her new beautiful ranch house.
73. I got my Van Gogh on with Em.
20140101-111915.jpg74. These lil doll faces started ballet & tap dance classes.
75. Pumpkin patch fun!
76. Duckies were fed for the first time by this little gal, and she easily ate as much bread as she shared.
77. I had two very unexpected surgeries in a matter of three weeks time. Thankfully I have amazing family that nursed me back to health.
20140101-112248.jpg78. We spent our first year in our new home. Still can’t believe it’s ours.
79. We did our first annual Halloween book drive for the local Methodist Children’s Hospital and collected 350 books!
80. Odessa! We loaded these 6 monsters in the car and drove to west Texas to spend the weekend with my love’s old Army friends.
81. Bunny’s school book parade.
20140101-112758.jpg82. Bunny was a homecoming princess.
83. Many days were spent at cheerleading practice & football games.
84. Superhero’s for Halloween! Budah- The Hulk, Bunny- Cat Woman, Buggie- Spider-Man, & Bitty- Wonder Woman.
85. Bunny did fantastic at her first cheer competition.
20140101-113136.jpg86. Many mornings waiting for the bus!
87. We didn’t let nosey folks change our routines.
88. We have constantly been surrounded by rad folks, that while they may not share the same bloodline, have been the most amazing family we could ask for.
89. Turns out Buggie likes to write on our house just like Budah did when he was little.
20140101-113623.jpg90. We didn’t have to leave our neighborhood to take this year’s Christmas pictures of our monsters.
91. Daddy, Budah, & I nearly froze waiting to watch Bunny & Buggie’s dance class in our local Christmas parade.
92. Our monsters have loved having Maw-Maw live with us.
93. I loved experiencing Buggie’s first class Christmas party with her!
20140101-113937.jpg94. Bunny was very proud to have Bitty join her for her 3rd grade Christmas party.
95. Bunny & Diamond danced beautifully at their first Christmas Dance Recital.
96. Bunny finally welcomed her first American Girl Doll, Audrey, into her little world!
97. While Buggie loves her dance classes, she wasn’t feeling her first dance recital.
20140101-114347.jpg98. Our little ladies sang away at their school Christmas programs.
99. Santa visited our little ladies at our house!
100. We celebrated our 2nd Christmas in our home with our four lil monsters, maw-maw, paw-paw, & maw-maw Susie.
101. Budah shot his first doe on a hunting trip with his dad.
20140101-115400.jpgWhat an amazing year we’ve shared together. While yes there were some disappointing moments this year, clearly there was far more happy moments to out weigh the bumps in the road. We truly are blessed beyond measure. I celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary with my husband this year. What a pillar of strength he is. He never ceases to amaze me. I know with him by my side we can take on anything that comes our way.

While we had such a fantastic year I watched many of my favorite people experience their worst year ever. I only pray that we have been some form of a comfort to them during their heartache.

So while I won’t be making “New Years resolutions” per say. I will continue to set goals for myself and our little family. I will continue to strive to be the best person I can be regardless of what some may think of me. I will hold on to my faith. I will be the faithful & supportive wife this loving man I married deserves. I will forever strive to be the best mama, daughter, DIL, sister, SIL, niece, cousin, aunt, Godmother, & friend I can possibly be. I will continue to work on forgiveness. I will continue to protect our monsters from hateful people. I will continue to be the best role model I can be to my monsters. After all they do learn by example.

Now off to cook our traditional New Years Day meal: pork (for health), cabbage (for wealth), & black eyed peas (for good luck). And spend this day surrounded by loved ones. Can’t wait until our Budah Booskie is home!