Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review of 2014: Part 1

When I saw several bloggers teaming up to sponsor a review of the last year, encouraging bloggers to go back and review their year, several months at a time, I knew I had to participate. 2014 has been such a stressful, crazy, hectic, roller coaster of a year. I found myself with very little time to write. There are many things I wanted to share, but never got the opportunity to. So I'm taking that chance, and joining in the 2014 Review Extravaganza


January found us in the middle of one of the coldest winter on record. We had days on end of below zero temperatures, multiple school cancellations for the frigid cold, and became all too familiar with protocols to prevent frozen pipes.

We did our best to cope with the cold. We did indoor ice skating, we had game nights, plenty of evenings around our fireplace.

The cold weather made it possible to walk across the lake, freeze bubbles on the porch, and make ice lantern. Like I said, we dug deep to find the silver lining.

With the intolerable temperatures outdoors, I decided to fully commit to the whole running thing and bought a treadmill.


Bug and Monkey continue to compete in chess tournaments, so I spent many Saturdays in junior high cafeterias, cheering them on (but only very quietly, as to not disrupt the games.)

We went skiing several times.

Yes, you can ski in Iowa.

 I got the flu.

I thought winter would never end.

The one time I managed to blog this month, I wrote about one of the biggest struggles I face with parenting.


Things really started to pick up in March.  I started studying very seriously for my oral boards and that started to consume my entire life.

Despite the massive amount of book time I was putting in, we still managed to do plenty of fun activities.

We went to Wisconsin Dells for Spring Break. We packed in several days of water slides, laser tag, bowling, and just over all great fun and relaxation.

We tapped our maple tree, which I always look forward to with a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm. We didn't end up getting any maple syrup though, because I forgot about the sap boiling while doing board study and ended up burning all the gallons of beautiful sap we had collected.

I turned 32.

I maintained what little sanity I had left by completing one of my life goals and hiring a cleaning service.


I may be a little guilty of using this review as an excuse to share many photos that I wouldn't get to post otherwise. But I really enjoyed the chance to sit down, look back, and remember how the first part of the year went. Which is how the entire year went: in a flash.


  1. I'm so glad you decided to participate! It was a big year for you. I'm glad you got to finally share some great pictures. Looks like you and your boys had a lot of fun, despite the frigid temperatures!

    1. We did have fun, but I hope to never have another winter like that.

  2. Oh my gosh, brr! That is great that you guys looked on the bright side and made the most of the cold weather. Gives me the chills just thinking about those temperatures! I would love to try and tap a maple tree - how neat!

    1. We love tapping our maple tree. Hopefully this year, we'll actually get some syrup.

  3. Your boys are very, very handsome! How cool to be able to get your own maple syrup! I'm jealous. And I had no idea you could ski in Iowa. You need to come out here to Utah though and check out some of the resorts here. Very fun.

    1. We actually used to live in Utah, but we never took our boys skiing until we moved to Iowa. Go figure!

  4. Oh goodness your January just gave me chills. I hate cold weather :). Those ice lanterns are GORGEOUS! How did you do that!?!? And... freezing bubbles... seriously how cool is that?

    1. The Ice lanterns are water we frozen in balloons until mostly frozen, and then the top cut off and the unfrozen water dumped out. Maybe I'll do a tutorial this winter if it turns cold again.

  5. I went and read your village post and it made me wish I lived by you! Would love to be there and help you out if I could. We move a lot with my husband's job and rarely ever live by family, so yes I know what it feels like to be on your own that way. If it wasn't for my church and the friends I make there I don't know what I would do to be honest.
    Love Love those ice lanterns! How did you make those? Such a cool thing! You guys did have a brutal winter. I grew up outside of Chicago, but I so have adapted to SoCal, such a wimp now.
    So glad you are recapping with us!

    1. That's so sweet! We've actually been doing this on our own for a while, I think we've gotten used to it. My husband and I joke that we wouldn't know what to do if things got easy! :)

      A lot of people are asking about the ice lanterns. It's water frozen in balloons. If it ever turns cold this winter, I'll try to do a tutorial.