I know, I know, we’re in the 4th quarter of 2020, but I thought, given how tough the year has been, it was a good time to look back at 2019 and all the joy it brought. I also want to recommit to doing this for 2020 because, no matter how challenging the year was, there is always an opportunity to “hunt the good stuff!”
January While we rang in 2019 with our closest friends in Charlottesville, they come later ;) and the highlight of January was the company I work for, Gray Matter Marketing, winning the Common Good Award for a micro company (1–9 employees). We have been recognized for this award before, but this year was the first where I was deeply and directly involved in our charitable giving which, since the company’s foundation in 2012, has raised and donated more than $1 Million to local and regional charities. Plus, it was a fun night at the Aldrich Mansion in Warwick to celebrate! February In February, I traveled to Raleigh to visit my friend Meaghan and celebrate 14 years of friendship! She is one of my favorite people and oldest friends, so it was fun to be able to celebrate that and also her birthday that weekend! March In March, we took a family ski trip to beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado. You can read all about what we did here, but suffice it to say there was skiing, eating, drinking, laughing and lots of love! April Ok, so not the best photo BUT in April we passed the one year mark of homeownership, and that included finally planting the hydrangeas I have always dreamed of having right outside our front door! We also added a walkway, reseeded the front, and paved our driveway! May In May, we not only celebrated my husband’s 29th birthday but at work we started a new volunteer initiative, doing a project as a team for each of our charitable partners for the Amica Newport Marathon. I loved setting this up and we hope to continue this tradition! June We traveled to Destin, FL in June with our friends Nick and Becky. Fun fact, we set them up and their first date was a double with us. I sailed with Nick in college, where he also spent a semester abroad with Charlie, and Becky and I were sorority sisters. To this day they remain our best friends and in 2020 they welcomed their first child! (we had no idea then that this would happen!) July In July, we celebrated my 29th birthday on what must have been the hottest dang day of the year at a vineyard near our house. This particular celebration meant a lot because I knew my husband would be missing #30 in 2020 due to an overseas deployment. Plus, my parents came and had a blast with my closest friends! August In August, my husband and I attempted to summit Mt Katahdin as a part of our quest to hike the tallest peaks in each of the New England states. However, freezing rain and wind turned us back a little over a mile from the summit. While it was a disappointment, two things stand out. First, despite the horrible weather and anticlimactic day, we still had a complete blast hiking together which is always a treasure. And, second, we made a safe decision and we survived to hike another day. September In September, I traveled to NYC to celebrate a bachelorette party for my friend Sarah who married Brian later in the year. This weekend was extra fun because there were small groups of people who knew each other but I really didn’t know anyone, yet I left the weekend with new friends. It’s amazing when someone can bring groups of people from different places and times in their life and they all get along — it really says some amazing things about Sarah! October We had our third annual “Family Weekend” in October in the greater Boston area. This group of friends formed in college and we are all truly inseparable. We are more than friends, but family, and as the family grows with new additions (husbands AND babies!) so does our love for each other. We are so fortunate to have found our people. November Though finishing the Philadelphia Marathon was definitely a highlight for November, the top picture had to go to hosting my first Thanksgiving, for 22 people, just 4 days later. The food was excellent, the decor was beautiful but most of all it was incredible to gather both mine and my husband’s families together! December December was not the easiest month for me — it was the final countdown before my husband flew overseas for a 10–11-month long military deployment. Even so, we really enjoyed a long weekend with his family down in Georgia, which included lots of time outside and together with various friends and family. We also had NO idea what 2020 had in store — this would have been the last month before we really understood what would be coming our way in the new year. Ah, to be that blissfully ignorant again!