Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013: A Year in Review

Last year, we rang in the new year in Belize with the most colorful and awesome fireworks show on our little island in the middle of the Caribbean. Sure beats this year's end: horizontal on the bed/couch with maybe the worst flu I've ever had. As they say, man plans and God laughs.
But after a year full of tremendous adventure, countless blessings, and lots of fun, worse things could have happened. A look back at 2013:

We returned from an incredible trip to Belize and Guatemala just after we rang in the new year on
Caye Caulker. To date one of our favorite trips, and the most perfect way to start a year.

A short month packed with a whole lot of good. I started working with a new social media client, Justine. She's a phenomenal filmmaker and though it was a quick stint, I learned so much about how I work as a freelancer and finally felt like maybe, just maybe, I could do it one day. We headed home to Orange County to celebrate Danielle and Kyle's engagement, spent Valentine's Day at home with lobster and good wine, and welcomed good friends to San Francisco (Jessica and David).

The highlight this month was visiting Nicci in Portland. We packed so much fun and games into a few short days, and of course enjoyed every minute with my favorite gal pal. The Supreme Court took on gay marriage, and our little family launched another small campaign to find Dad a kidney in honor of World Kidney Day!

This month we celebrated the long-awaited end of grad school for Todd! We drove down the coast to Monterey for a quick getaway, checked out the aquarium, had an awesome dinner on the water, explored the local beaches, and enjoyed time away from papers and computers. We were also spoiled rotten with a trip to Napa with Thom and Diane to celebrate our 30th birthdays, belatedly. It was such a treat. Raffi visited us at the office, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the amazing Twin Peaks one day, and tragedy struck at the Boston marathon. It was a crazy and emotional event, one that is forever etched in my mind.

We said goodbye to Kyle and Dani, who left San Francisco for good :( Todd finally convinced me to start Yiddish lessons with him, I got a quick visit in with Galit at the Ferry Building, and we traveled down south (once again!) for Kevin and Robin's wedding in Temecula.

One of my most memorable nights in San Francisco happened this month when the Supreme Court struck down Prop 8. We joined tens of thousands of people in the Castro for celebrations on the street, and I don't know if I've ever witnessed such camaraderie in one place before. We walked around for hours trying to find a place to eat and ended up a couple of miles away before we could get seated! It was a night I'll never forget. We also celebrated Father's Day in Orange County, and took a separate road trip down the coast to begin our adventure in Puerto Vallarta. The drive was invigorating, and an incredible reminder of how lucky we are to live in California. The scenery just blew my mind over and over again. Another highlight from the month was being given the opportunity to share our "Find Jeff a Kidney" campaign on Beth Kanter's blog, and educate readers about how social media is helping people find organs!

After a few days in Orange County to celebrate Mom's, Dad's, and my birthday (at Mastro's no less!), we enjoyed five blissful days in Puerto Vallarta for Kayla and Matt's wedding. Other fun summertime activities included a visit to Point Reyes (and Marin Sun Farms, where Todd bought goat for the first time - ew!), a Counting Crows concert at America's Cup with an old friend Becca, aaaaand that one time our work building was on lockdown thanks to a crazy killer on the loose.

August was a big month! Robby and Joe came to visit for a fun 48-hour adventure, we hosted Jen, Marsha, and Diane for an awesome weekend, Kerri and Lee got engaged (!) and we surprised them down in San Diego to celebrate. We also did an incredible hike along the Matt Davis trail in Marin, and swore to get in better shape after we limped around for three days following.

It's hard to believe we celebrated two years of living in San Francisco this month. We started the month still in Orange County at a Dave Matthews Band concert, hosted friends for Yom Kippur break fast, and I got to spend a few days at the Exact Target conference in Indianapolis. It was honor to hear Jim Collins and Condoleeza Rice speak there.

October brought the anticipated surprise visit to Connecticut to celebrate Grandpa Bernie's 90th
birthday. It was really a trip to remember. We also snuck in a couple days in New York to see friends and foliage, and got some really unique east coast experiences in -- like trips to family farms and a fun day of miniature golf with the whole Horowitz/Degnan/Lodge clan.

This month was all about family and celebration. We took a trip down to Orange County (notice a theme here?) to attend Todd's graduation ceremony, and then took the whole family out for an awesome meal to celebrate. We felt so proud being able to do that for everyone. We also hosted a huge bunch of college friends (and babies!) for a BBQ in Irvine which was such a blast. So great reconnecting with everyone in person. And then came the best week of the year, Thanksgiving at the cabin, where I promptly caught a bad cold and was mostly miserable, give or take a few games of Cards Against Humanity and Mexican Train :)

Aside from all the usual holiday merriment -- work parties, lights galore, and latkes, we spent most of the month counting down to a two week vacation at the end of the month! My dear coworker Molly left San Francisco for greener pastures, Shawn came to visit for over a week, and Todd and I spent an entire week curled up on the couch with bad flu. It certainly wasn't what we had planned for New Year's Eve and the start of a new year, but life goes on... looking forward to our biggest adventure yet, Thailand in 12 days!