We have had a pretty exciting year and it is hard to place things in order of best to not-the-best-but-still-awesome. So I numbered things but really all of these things were fan-freakin'-tastic. Time is going by so quickly and it is hard to believe that another year is done. Looking back on this year makes me appreciate how blessed we have been.
13. Sam's trip to Bogota (August)
It was awesome that Sam was able to go to a training in Colombia. Although he didn't get to see very much of the city, he got a small taste and that was very cool. We both have the international travel bug and hope we have a lot more opportunities to see the world.
12. Sam running the Fargo Marathon (May)
He spent months training for this marathon and the mix of feelings (for both of us) as he crossed the finish line was really unexpected but amazing.
11. Visits from family
We somehow managed to trick several family members into visiting us in North Dakota. Although most of them were sissies and came in the summer, Michelle and her kids toughed it out in February. But we welcome visitors at any time of the year!
10. Seeing Jared
This was not something I expected to be in my top 13 from the year but it ended up being one. I cried when I saw Jared at Thanksgiving. I am so glad he got home safely from Taiwan and I had missed him like crazy. I am worried about how I will feel when my sons go on missions if I feel this way about my dorky brother.
I have always really liked bowling. Having an entire summer of free bowling was pretty awesome. It is embarrassing that I took two bowling classes in college but still get excited when I break 100.
8. Hilton Family Reunion at Zion Ponderosa (July)
It is getting more difficult to get everyone together but it was so great to go hang out with my cousins and siblings and have our kids hang out with their cousins. I am so glad we had this reunion.
I have not always liked cooking. I am not sure what I ate while I was in college because I remember thinking it was a big deal when I made Hamburger Helper one day; I was so proud of myself. I should probably thank my roommates for keeping me alive during that time. I took a cooking class at some point and then another one. Suddenly I loved cooking and my love has only grown since that time. I love planning our meals and then cooking them. I also love to go out to eat. I wish my kids loved eating my food as much as I love making it.
6. Library Trips
At some point, Alyssa and I decided to start meeting once a week at the library. I have pictures of it somewhere but right now I can only find a picture of us on a walk. Alex, Edison, Madisyn, and Alexa are such good friends. I love libraries. Reading to my kids in the library and visiting with Alyssa has definitely been a highlight of my year.
5. Serving in the Relief Society Presidency
I have loved the opportunity to serve in this aspect in my ward. It was so hard at first and I couldn't find my purpose but this calling has helped me grow so much and I am grateful for it.
4. Working out
I am not very consistent with working out. I go through periods of working out for a few weeks or months but then that dies out. I do not have anything close to a lifelong workout routine. In September, Maggie and I started working out together three times a week. It made such a big difference to have good company. I look forward to these workouts so that I get to see Maggie.
3. Babe Ruth World Series (August)
By far my favorite thing we have done in Williston thus far. It was a whole week where we breathed baseball. I am excited to sit in the hot sun and watch my kids play baseball one day. If they want to play baseball, that is. (Please, one of you has to want to play baseball!)
2. Celebrating holidays with kids
Is everything better with kids? Holidays are way better! I love seeing their faces when they are so excited! I enjoy spending time making things special for them.
1. Declan (April)
How could anything else be number one? The birth of our third child. He has changed our lives and brought us so much joy. His actual entrance into the world was a spiritual experience that brought Sam and me closer together. Sam is an amazing father and I love watching him be a Daddy.
Hip hip hurray, 2013!