Even if I don't blog here as frequently anymore, I still had to pop in and do my annual year in review.
It started out looking like 2012 was going to be a repeat of 2011. Nate was still stressed at work, we lost his grandpa, we lost my family cat, it was just feeling like every day was kind of blah. But then somewhere around late March/early April things turned around and started improving. We ended up having one of the best summers we've had in quite some time, even with extreme heat. Fall was wonderful and we had a good holiday season as well. So, in the end, looking back at 2012 I feel pretty good.
A specific recap -
January - I started homemade cupcake baking, we discovered the world's best barbecue place (at least we feel like it's the world's best), we did our first Living Social adventure taking a Glassblowing class in NE Minneapolis and I finally had a chance to meet some of the other local MN fashion bloggers at an event.
February - We attended our second Winterfest event, but that weekend turned sour when we lost Nate's grandpa Pete after a brief illness. We said our goodbyes to him. We celebrated Valentine's Day at a new to us restaurant and discovered a whole new style of Italian cuisine. I continued experimenting with cupcake baking. We bought a pretty new pantry for our extended kitchen area from Ikea and managed to rearrange and reorganize.
March - We attended the Russian church 40 day traditional service for Nate's grandpa. Nate made his very first batch of Russian Sausage and started smoking various types of meats in his brand new meat smoker. I made delicious Irish carbomb cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day. My family said goodbye to Cleo. We did something out of the ordinary for us and went to a late night showing of the Hunger Games. We finished out the month staying at a fantastic bed and breakfast in Duluth for a little time away together.
April - We celebrated Easter, my mom's birthday and Russian Easter. We made more Russian Sausage and the Russian traditional food known as hrutka - an egg cheese. My work began a large construction project in my building. We started gearing up for the upcoming golf season and bought new bags for our clubs and registered for lessons.
May - We took golf lessons to work on our skills and spent a lot of time at the driving range. Nate continued experimenting with his meat smoker and we enjoyed many delicious things. We celebrated Mother's Day with both sides of our family. We started enjoying eating outside as the weather was definitely nice enough most of the month. We celebrated six years of marriage with a date at a movie and out to the same restaurant where we celebrated Valentine's Day.
June - We continued working on our newly learned golf skills and got out on the course once or twice. We decided to pass on this year's Rock the Garden when the weather was threatening to be as bad as last year's. My fashion blog celebrated one year of existence. I started working on my spiritual life with She Reads Truth. We enjoyed the nice weather whenever possible by eating outside.
July - I had a little mini break at the beginning of the month and enjoyed a beach day on one of the hottest days of the summer. We celebrated the 4th of July with family and Praise Project friends on the absolute hottest day of the summer. Despite the heat we continued trying to get out to a patio at least once a week. Nate started brewing beer again to gear up for Oktoberfest and took an all grain brewing class and from there on out brewed strictly all grain beer. We finally got to do a Surly brewing tour.
August - We went to Itasca! We had a wonderful few days up there with Nate's family and could not have asked for better weather. We made more beer for October. We went on another Living Social adventure to the Leinenkugel brewery in Chippewa Falls and also got to go tubing down the Chippewa River. We finished out the month going on our annual trek to the State Fair.
September - Continued enjoying the nice weather as much as possible. Started getting the house ready for Oktoberfest. Started staining and sealing our deck. Attended a fun Living Social boat ride on Lake Minnetonka and visited the Excelsior Brewery. Also finally got to check out the new Indeed Brewery in NE Mpls. Started catching all of our favorite shows as they were back on the air. My work completed it's construction project and we opened the brand new clinic on the 2nd floor. We spent our annual weekend at Marie's cabin with Praise Project.
October - Oktoberfest! Need I say more? But seriously, it was a great Oktoberfest. We also did an Oktoberfest boat ride down the Mississippi River on the last nice night of Fall. We went and visited some wineries in the western suburbs. We opted to not do a darn thing for Halloween and that was ok.
November - I flew solo at work for a bit while my boss had knee surgery. Work was a little busier for Nate and we were also a little busier with Praise Project so we didn't have much time for adventuring. We did have a fun Sunday date at the movies and saw Argo. We celebrated Thanksgiving with Nate's family as always and then celebrated our birthdays. We treated ourselves to a renewed Science Museum membership as a birthday gift to ourselves.
December - My dad treated us to a fabulous dinner for his birthday at Erte (I know he treated for HIS birthday). We decked the house all out for Christmas. Nate finally got me back to the gun range - a mere several days before the tragedy in Connecticut. I still haven't been able to write my thoughts on that and I'm not sure if I will. Did loads of Christmas shopping - including some last minute scrambling for Nate's gift after Living Social let me down and cancelled the gift I had bought him. We celebrated Christmas with both sides of the family and had a wonderful time with both. We went on a mini-adventure this weekend to the Como Zoo, to get my ring cleaned at Arthur's and then over to Cossettas in St. Paul to see their new space.
And that brings us to today. There are many other things I didn't mention in the recap - such as Nate losing weight, I don't like calling attention to it because it was very personal for him, but I am so proud of him for doing it. He has made a lifestyle change that he's been able to stick with and he's come so far.
There were plenty of ups and downs, but all in all, it was a great year. I had so many moments that were just so amazing in that particular moment and I look back on them and smile.
I don't make resolutions and I don't set out with expectations anymore at the beginning of a year - not because I'm pessimistic, but because it helps me better take each day as it comes. And it feels good living life like that.
When we got back from our adventure the other day, I told Nate "I really love our life right now" and he said "I love our life right now too." I can't ask for more than that.
Happy New Year to you and yours!!