An Open Letter to 2014

SONY DSCDear 2014,

Hello, there! Let me start by saying that I’m overjoyed to see you. I can’t think of a time when I’ve looked forward to a New Year more than I have this year. I don’t know if you know it yet, but you’re kind of a big deal. I have some pretty serious expectations of you.

Pre-Deployment Family Photos 2013--web resolution

You’re already starting out ahead of where 2013 was at this point last year. As far as I know, you don’t hold any separations or deployments. Bonus points for you.

SONY DSCIt’s not that 2013 was a bad year. It wasn’t. But it sure had some pretty sucky moments. Like that time I had to say goodbye to my hubby for a 9-month deployment. That kind of ranks up there as the number one sucky moment of my life so far. So, there’s that. And that time I raised a baby by myself for 9 months. Tears were shed. Decisions were questioned. There was a lot of self-doubt. And a lot of emails that started out with the line “You may or may not come home to a house with one kid and two cats if we have another day like today…”

timothy-25But if we’re being completely honest, 2013 had some pretty awesome perks, too. I discovered just how fiercely independent I can be. I realized that I can, in fact, raise a child on my own for 9 months….and kick butt doing it, too. I spent almost half of the year playing at the beach with my favorite little beach bum. I had the privilege of watching my infant grow into an ambitious, joyous toddler. I got to visit with friends and family from across the country. I started working with an awesome personal trainer and have been amazed by what my body can accomplish. I learned to sew. And garden (I actually grew things. Huge accomplishment.) And I was incredibly blessed with new friends. Friends who could relate to exactly what I was going through and who were there when I needed them the most.

IMG_9999_27But the best moment of 2013 was, by far, welcoming home my Marine from Afghanistan after 246 days apart. It’s going to be hard to top that moment. Ever.

deployment. over.

Sad goodbyes and joyous reunions. Painful parenting lessons and exciting childhood milestones. Self-discovery. Deepening of relationships. Learning a complete and utter dependence upon God. Heartfelt moments with family. Blossoming friendships. Shared laughs to replace cries of desperation.

SONY DSCwhat. a. year.

I’m pretty pumped to see what you have for us, 2014. Like I said earlier, I really expect a lot from you. You hold some major life changes for us. Like leaving the Marine Corps. Moving…again. Reentering the civilian world. Parenting a 1-year-old. But the best part? We get to do it together. No deployments. No separations. As a complete family of three. How awesome is that?

SONY DSCI’m just going to warn you now. After conquering 2013, I’m feeling pretty invincible. So give me your best, 2014. I’m ready for you.




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