Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Top Ten Best Moments of 2013

I wasn't much of a blogger this year--not until October when I decided to take back my blog and start doing something for myself again.  But, whether or not they were documented here, I had some pretty awesome moments this year.

In no particular, but sort of chronological, order (some have associated blog posts since they were, after all, the greatest moments of the year...but most don't):

I surprised Joel with a trip to Chicago in March to see the Chicago Symphony play Wagner. We shopped, we ate, we went to the temple, and most importantly, we recharged our spirits and renewed our relationship. I'm looking forward to our trip in May 2014 to NYC. I already need the recharging and renewal it is sure to bring.

Are these the little girls I carried?  
Watching my three girlies perform in Fiddler on the Roof

They had the time of their lives being in this production together. And even though the rehearsals were a bit hard on this Mama, I was so happy for them to have the opportunity and the experience. I hope they'll do it again. There's nothing quite like the joy of performing, right?  Of course, right!

Eagle Harbor Gala Lara

I had the opportunity to sing in 12 opera/musical theatre concerts all over the UP this summer with the Pine Mountain Music Festival. This was one of the most difficult and rewarding things I have ever done as a musician, but I loved every minute of it.  I was pushed in ways I've never been pushed and I grew so much. I'm going to need to rely on all that growth for the next four months as I attempt a lead role in Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Hosting my mom, one niece, and two nephews in June

While The Maestro and I were in the throes of Pine Mountain, my mom came to help out and brought along a few of my brothers' kids. I am forever grateful to them for being here and keeping my own children busy and happy while we were playing the role of traveling musicians. I had fun with them, too, whenever I could! I wish ALL my family could come up and see what a cool place we live least I've got a few more of them converted!

Flying to Utah with Chloe

Two years ago, I flew out to Utah with Bria for my birthday, and this year I did the same with Chloe.  We had such fun!  We shopped, we ate, we saw plays, we hung out with tons of family, we rode horses and motorcycles, we hiked the Y, and so much more!  Someday I will actually blog about this trip.  And the trip I had with Bria.  And probably the one I will eventually take with Sophia.  Hooray for Utah!

Being Beach Bums this Summer

After being buried in twenty feet of snow until May, and having a colder than usual June, the warm days of July and August couldn't have been more welcome! Once Pine Mountain was over, we spent every possible day we could at the beach.  Even if it was just a quick jaunt in the afternoon to the closest one, it was soul-recharging. I think one week we went to the beach for four days in a row. I got a few sunburns, but the family memories and the peace and warmth I felt in the sun were absolutely worth any momentary pain and red skin.

IMG_6836 BTS Feast 2013 web

This tradition has quickly become one of our favorites. But I also just love the newness that a new school year brings. Even more than the New Year we are celebrating right now, it inspires me to clean out my life and start fresh. It's a little difficult to watch my children grow up, but man, I love their excitement as a new school year starts.

Having Puccini

Even though this isn't technically a "moment," and we've now had her for nearly two years, this was the first full year I had with her. I know I risk being one of those people who treats her dog as if it were one of her children, but oh well. She's a member of the family, that's for sure, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that she saves me from my depression. I don't think I could have survived the never-ending winter of 2012-2013 without her. And since we already have 143 inches of snow (what the what?) this year, I know she's going to have to work her magic and save me from my SAD again. And besides all that, she's the cutest dog in the entire world, even when she's being totally naughty. Admit it.

IMG_5070 Bria web

I don't know if I can say I'd been dreading having Bria turn 13, exactly, but I sort of was. I dreaded navigating all that comes with teenagerhood--the emotions, the rebelliousness, the learning who you are, and boys. And, quite selfishly, I dreaded realizing that having a teenager makes me OLD. I'm going to be 40 on my next birthday and somehow that's made worse by being the mother to a teen. But, as it's turned out, Bria has (mostly) been a lovely teenager. Sure, she has her moments, and occasionally has to have her iPod forcefully removed and hidden from her in order to turn her back into the nice girl we all know, but she is mostly kind and helpful and more responsible than ever. It makes me dread the advent of Chloe's teenagerhood a little less.

Halloween in Wonderland: Alice, the Cheshire Cat, and the Seven of Hearts

Okay, so this one isn't much of a moment, either. But it still makes the top ten list. It begins with Halloween, continues with Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions, and ends with the New Year.  I love these last three months of every year. They inspire me to be more present for my children ALL year round, make my home a lovely place to be, create traditions that keep us together, and remember my greatest blessings.

2013 wasn't all great--I had some hard stuff, to be sure. But it's good to reflect on the really great things that happened and to look forward to a new year, ready to take on its challenges and blessings. Bring it on, 2014!

Happy New Year!

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered your blog while randomly searching for new blogs to follow (kind of starting anew with blogger).

    Found myself grinning about the "mother of a teenager" thing - our eldest turned 13 this year, and suddenly we have Facebook, makeup, and clothes to deal with :)

    Following the blog straight away :)