January: We left New Year's Day for a wonderful trip to the British Virgin Islands with my family. We enjoyed the week together on a 40 foot catamaran sailboat complete with a kitchen, bedrooms, showers. We sailed, snorkled and explored islands by day and shared meals and played games together in the evenings. Amazing and about as memorable as trips come!
My family (Left to right: Dan, Sarah, Nate, Grace, John Paul, Dad, Matthew, me, Mom)February/March: Perhaps its because these are my least favorite months of the year that they get smashed together in this update. In February we collected bids on some major structural work in our basement while the work actually took place in March. The job cleared out lots of old wooden beams and created more space with 3 new support columns and 1 large beam. It's still an unfinished basement but now has more room for Nate's woodworking tools. Sorry, we forgot to take a before picture!
Our catamaran for the week
Nate and me on the boat
Our catamaran for the week
Nate and me on the boat
April: I don't like February and March because its usually just cold and gross outside. Thankfully April brought a beautiful spring which motivated me to do some gardening. When I was out jogging, I would take note of plants that I liked in other people's yards. The blue star juniper (the lollipop looking one in the middle) was my favorite addition to the garden this year.
May: Georgia, Nate's youngest sister led her ultimate frisbee team to the semi-finals of the national college tournament. For us, the best part was that it was held in Madison this year. So Memorial Day weekend was full of hot sun and ultimate frisbee. That same weekend, I ran the Madison 1/2 Marathon, finishing with a great time despite the unusual heat for that time of year.
June: I became an aunt and Nate became an uncle! Grace gave birth to Cohen Jack on June 8th in Monterey, CA. He's super-cute and Grace and John Paul have done an awesome job of sending videos and pictures so we feel like we are there watching him grow! At the end of the month, we turned our back porch into a stage and hosted a house benefit concert to raise money for ACT 8. We didn't sing, but our talented friends did.
August: The day of our 3rd wedding anniversary, August 18th, we found out we were pregnant! I think the timing is so awesome because when we first got married, people asked when we were going to have kids and we would say, "Oh, we want to wait three years or so." That night we went out for sushi to celebrate our marriage - I just had to stay away from the raw stuff to protect the little poppyseed inside. One other exciting thing happened in August - our Ultimate Frisbee summer league team won the competetive division championship. Nate has been trying to clinch this title since 1997, so its quite a feat.
July: The month began with a camping/road trip around Lake Michigan with our good friends Paul and Abbie. We went north through WI and up to Door County before heading to the Upper Peninsula, Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore, Holland and Grand Rapids. Mid-month, my sister Sarah returned to Washington DC after a year in Baghdad. At the end of the month, Nate and I rode our bikes over 300 miles in 3 1/2 days for an HIV/AIDS fundraiser - ACT 8! What a month.
September: Nate bought cherry wood from a guy nearby with plans to start our new kitchen cabinets. He's doing all the work himself and the lower cabinets are now installed. Our new Silestone counter-tops should be installed by the end of January. It's a slow process since Nate also has a full-time job, but it's very much worth the wait. The lower cabinets are beautiful...you'll just have to wait until the whole kitchen is complete to see photos! Oh, and Nate wanted me to add that I turned 28 this month...next year is my GOLDEN birthday :)
October: My good friend Laura and I traveled to Tampa, FL to cheer on Nate and his men's ultimate team at Club Nationals. They finished 10th out of 16 teams and despite having a baby on the way, his 2nd trip to nationals in 2 years got him thinking about how he can play again next year. We'll cross that bridge when we get there...its a big time commitment! The most memorable part of the trip for Laura was learning the team's ridiculous cheer: "MURDER BALLS, MURDER BALLS, STAB, STAB, KILL!"
November: Wow - it got super-cold really fast. I remember hearing that the high on Thanksgiving Day would be around 20 degrees and thinking how cold that sounded after such an extended summer and warm fall. Luckily Nate had a work trip in San Diego and I was able to go with him. We saw my mom's extended family as well as Nate's mom's twin brother and family. Unfortunately the weather was rainy, but we still found great restaurants like The Mission, breweries like Stone Brewing Co and wineries like Longshadow Ranch Vineyard to to explore and enjoy.
December: Advent season is one of our favorite times of the year. We hosted the 2nd Annual Ugly Mug Exchange and some of our dear friends had the idea to gift all the ugly, second hand mugs to us by hiding them around the house before leaving for the evening (the rules of the part are: bring a mug, take a mug...white elephant style. But alas, they tricked us and I am still finding mugs to this day. We flew to Washington DC to spend Christmas with my family and had a really nice, relaxing time. So relaxed in-fact, that we didn't take any pictures, so I'll leave you with our family Christmas picture taken in front of our small, live, Christmas tree.