2014 — Highlights (and Photos) from my Year

I’ve seen a lot of people wishing to wash 2014 away from their memory, and it makes me sad. Was 2014 the best year of my life? Yeah, probably not. I mean, we celebrated Penelope Joy’s birthday — the first of many, many more without her. We also marked her one-year angelversary. Oh, yeah, and my dad died.

But I could never tell you that 2014 was an empty year. Or a year I wish to wash from my memory bank. There is something to be gained every year — and something to be celebrated. And, even if it wasn’t a great year when compared to some of the other years of my life, it deserves its space in my history book. And it deserves to have its tale told.

January

  • After many months, Mr. B finally convinced me that I wasn’t meant to be an apartment gal for the rest of my life
  • I finally found my running legs after Penelope Joy’s birth — and death — surprised by how much emotional recovery I had to do before running felt “right” again

    A Saturday run

    Scenes from my chilly Saturday morning run.

February

  • We purchased our first house

    Our first picture of our first home

    Our first picture of our first home

  • I celebrated my 33rd birthday

March

  • We moved into our house and immediately began turning it into our home
  • I attended some social media training in San Diego for work
Checking out the sights during a break from business.

Checking out the sights during a break from business.

April

photo with Piper

Our first photo with Piper.

May

  • Rosebud and I traveled to Indianapolis to see our friends, The Secret Sisters, perform

    The Secret Sisters, once again, wow The Rosebud Sisters.

    The Secret Sisters, once again, wow The Rosebud Sisters.

  • I ran the Fifth Third River Bank Run 5k for the Alzheimer’s Association of West Michigan

    My traditional post-race selfie.

    My traditional post-race selfie.

  • We found out that Sprout was on her way
  • A downed power line gave us quite the scare
An exciting way to welcome spring at our new home.

An exciting way to welcome spring at our new home.

June

  • We took a long weekend getaway to “The Island” with T and W and our crazy dogs
On our way to The Island.

On our way to The Island.

July

  • We took Piper up north to run (and run and run) around the farm
A stop-light family photo

A stop-light family photo

August

  • Piper passed her Canine Good Citizenship Test
Our Canine Good Citizen — silly as ever!

Our Canine Good Citizen — silly as ever!

September

  • Gary’s Gang raised thousands of dollars for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

    Gary's Gang at the Walk to End Alzheimer's

    Gary’s Gang at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

  • We celebrated Penelope Joy’s birthday with cupcakes and hugs on the beach

    Cupcakes for our precious Penelope Joy's 1st birthday.

    Cupcakes for our precious Penelope Joy’s 1st birthday.

  • We celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary by trying out a new restaurant we both agreed wouldn’t make our list of regular dining establishments

October

  • We marked the anniversary of Penelope Joy’s death
  • We found out that our Sprout is a girl and, at the same time, heard the high-risk pregnancy doctor say “your baby is healthy, and we don’t want to see you anymore”

    Sprout's a girl!

    Sprout’s a girl!

  • We said good-bye to my dad
Hugs, smiles and laughter were always a constant with Dad.

Hugs, smiles and laughter were always a constant with Dad.

November

  • We got a very positive report from Sprout’s echocardiogram and learned that her heart looked, as far as the scans could reveal, “perfectly healthy”
  • We joined my mom and lots of loud, wonderful family for Thanksgiving up north
Nothing like family and laughter on Thanksgiving.

Nothing like family and laughter on Thanksgiving.

December

  • We celebrated our first Christmas in our new home

    Christmas at Casa B

    Christmas at Casa B

  • We said good-bye to 2014 and hello to 2015 with “Lilo & Stitch,” a slice of cheesecake and a smooch

By no means is this list exhaustive. In fact, I know of many wonderful things I left off the list. But to include everything that happened in a year? It’s a list that would run long. Too long. Know this, though: the most important thing that happened this year was that we continued to live our love story. And we continued to learn about love and its many, many forms.

2014 was a transformative year for me personally. There was loss and love. Fear and hope. Dark and light. And through it all, I changed. I continue to change. My life continues to transform as I continue to live it and take it all in — the good and the bad. And I look forward to that continued transformation and growth in the new year.

As I thought back on my year and that word, “transformative,” I wondered how other people might describe their year. So, I asked. Friends and family from various social media platforms — and countries all over the world — shared with me the one word they would use to describe their year. It’s really interesting to look at that collection of words and how similar and how different they are from each other. See what I mean?

2014 Word Cloud

It’s fun to look back at 2014 — appreciating that while it may not have been a perfect year, there was good that came with it, too. With the dark, there is light. With the fear, there is hope.

No one knows yet what 2015 will hold. But I do know that it will be a very, very special year, indeed. We’re starting our year off with our continued countdown to Sprout. Due Feb. 3, Baby Girl Baker is already making an impact on our daily lives. And I simply cannot wait to hold her for the first time and touch her sweet toes.

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