I have been thinking about what I would write for my 2013 Best/Worst list for months now. At first I thought maybe I didn’t have a lot to contribute to the list this year. I considered abandoning the list for 2013.
It wasn’t that it was a terrible year, or a particularly awesome year. It wasn’t an uneventful or boring year. This past year was a strange year, filled with moments of pure pleasure surrounded by difficult life situations.
If I had to sum up 2013 for our family, I would say it was particularly unpredictable. By the end of the year there were some very difficult health challenges, but also a few of my life goals had come to fruition.
The Best of 2013
Mumford & Sons Concert
A couple of months ago when I started to silently brainstorm some of the best things of 2013, the first and only event that popped into my brain was the Mumford & Sons concert we went to in May. Since then, I have thought about that concert at least once a week, and how it made me feel so happy.
Previous to last May, I hadn’t seen a concert in countless years. With kids and other priorities, concerts were not on the top of the social calendar. But our good friends are serious concertgoers, and when Mumford & Sons tickets went on sale, they got us tickets. The Mumford concert at The Greek Theater sold out in four minutes.
The week before we had gone to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I sang and danced and enjoyed the power of music and how uplifting on the psyche it can be.
I was in no way prepared for how absolutely awesome the Mumford concert would be. What I hadn’t anticipated was that going to an amazing concert creates memories and positive vibes that last a lifetime.
Take a minute and check out some video that Chris took at the concert. You will want to be at the next Mumford concert!
I already have tickets to two concerts in 2014.
DOMA and Proposition 8 Overturned
I remember Chris and I were in Sonoma when news came down that DOMA (Defense of Marriage act) and Proposition 8 had been overturned. A speech given by San Francisco Mayor Lee still gives me chills when I think of it today. He said, “It feels good to have love triumph over ignorance.”
The Supreme Court overturned the federal DOMA law by 5-4 — a law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The court also voted to overrule a 2008 ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California.
In 2013, we eliminated two prejudiced laws and proved to the world that ALL WE NEED IS LOVE.
California Montessori Project (CMP)
First of all, I made it to Kindergarten! Can I hear a whoop and holler? My lovely triplets are now going to school all day and loving it.
I have said this many time before on my blog, but where we live, we are fortunate to have many great schools to choose from.
Three years ago I was looking for something a little different for Ava, since she is a fairly different child. I knew a lot of people who sent their kids to this small charter school near my house, and they love it. Chris and I took a tour of the school three years ago and we knew our kids must attend.
The only problem was that the school is very hard to get in to. They use a lottery pull system. So, for three years I could not get Ava in. I offered bribes, pulled in favors, had my people corner the school’s people in dark alleys (ok not quite) to put in a good word. Nothing worked. Until this year. With three times the chance of getting drawn in a pool for Kindergarten, two of the three triplets were drawn. CMP then let our other two kids in so they would attend school with their siblings.
This was one of my life goals and it happened in 2013.
New York and Hawaii and Sunriver
My friend Sarah and I literally ate and shopped our way through Manhattan for four blissful days. It doesn’t get much better than that right? If you are taking a trip to New York, you should refer to the post I wrote in May about our trip because we dined at some amazing restaurants.
This was way rad and definitely makes the best of 2013 list. Chris and I got to take a helicopter to a private dinner at an estate on the beach in Kauai during Chris’ work reward trip. I cried it was so beautiful.
We took an awesome Woolsey family trip to Sunriver in 2013. It was the first time all 18 of us have ever gone on a family trip and it was amazing, filled with outdoor adventures and cousin love from beginning to end. Definitely a trip worth taking again in 2014.
I really didn’t know where this job change belonged. Sometimes life really isn’t black and white like the best or the worst. Sometimes things that are really great and positive have undertones of difficulty or sadness. In 2013 Chris left his company that he has been with for 15 years for a very positive career change. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, this change was positive but came with a lot of sorrow to leave behind a great company and a lot of company friends. Change is not supposed to be easy.
Chris convinced me that despite some of the difficult days we endured during the decision-making process and afterwards, this job change definitely belongs in the best of 2013.
The great Herman Winters, Chris’ grandfather, used to tell him that “if you don’t take a chance, you won’t have a chance.”
The Worst of 2013
Kidney Stones and Herniated Disks
This year I was introduced to the Kidney Stone. Luckily it was not a first-hand experience, but I was witness to Chris in sheer agony for days while a couple of 2-millimeter stones passed through to his bladder. I have never heard so much moaning and groaning from a man in my life.
In addition, Chris spent the entire summer of ’13 in agony over a slipped disk in his neck. He had to get two epidurals until the disk finally slipped back into place.
This is a good reminder to never take our healthy mind and body for granted.
Grandpa and Sagie
My last remaining grandparent Gordon died this year. I remember my sister and I taking trips in the motorhome with my grandpa and grandma each summer. He was a quite man and he is missed.
Our dog Sage died this year. While I wished for her to be gone from my life many times over the course of 12 years that she resided in my house, the absence of her is quite sad. Animals really do inhabit a big place in our homes and our hearts, no matter how naughty they may be.
Since then, my children have asked me to buy them any one of the following animals: a rat, a hamster, fish, a guinea pig, a mouse, a ferret (illegal to own by the way), a dog and a cat. All I can say is, it’s not happening.
What Did We Learn From Sandy Hook?
I think what we learned is that anyone can go into any school with an assault rifle and shoot a bunch of kids, teachers and administrators dead, yet Congress still won’t pass any significant gun laws to make our country a safer place to live.
I do not begin to understand how such a catastrophic event isn’t a catalyst to change the way we distribute and handle guns in this country. Pathetic.
This happened to all four of my kids this year. Twice. Enough said.
I am not a news follower. I do not watch news or listen to it. I read some news. This is how I found that as of July, more than 100,000 Syrian civilians have been killed in the Syrian Civil War. The Syrian Journalists’ Association documents that 153 journalists have died covering the war.
This civil war began as a peaceful protest. It is now believed that forces loyal to the Syrian government have used chemical warfare on civilians.
I hope that 2014 brings peace in Syria.
I learned a few important lessons this year. Change really is hard. You have to be brave. A strong family unit helps to get through life’s challenging times — health problems, job changes. During these times we are reminded about how important our family and friends really are.
At the end of the year, we won’t cherish the new chair or the pair of leather boots we purchased as much as wonderful experiences we have. Traveling and concerts and life experiences will bring a smile to our faces for years to come.
I will look back on 2013 with the perspective that it was another year of ups and downs and best and worst moments and appreciate this beautiful and imperfect life for what it is: precious.
Cheers to a wonderful 2014 friends!
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.