Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 ~ The Year in Pictures

Warning: This might be the longest blog you've ever scrolled through. But what can I say? It's been a big year.

Oddly enough, the past 12 months seemed to fly by, but the year itself seemed quite long to me. I know that makes no sense, but I have no explanation. Here is a look back on how 2013 unfolded.

In January, I accompanied Leslie to the doctor to determine the gender of her child. I would've been happy with a boy or a girl, but Leslie was rooting for a boy. When the nurse told us it was a girl, Leslie was disappointed. However, after a few days, she embraced the news and I'm sure she wouldn't trade Miss Audrey for a boy now. I first shared about Leslie's unconventional pregnancy here.

February found me doing what I love to do: Decorating! Leslie asked me to bring a feeling of "home" to her new apartment, and I was more than happy to oblige. I love how it all turned out.

After months of debating the issue, I bought a Nikon D3100, and on a balmy day in March, me and Ann (my camera buff friend) enjoyed the early blooms at the nearby botanical gardens. If you're looking for a new camera, I highly recommend this one.

As April evolved, I attended a mass baby shower with Leslie. It's hosted by the Houston Fertility Institute, and the parents (and parents-to-be) of these much-loved and anticipated children come and celebrate their miracles together. It was quite inspirational. Here is Leslie, posing with Dr. Griffith and Dr. Williams, two amazing physicians at the Institute.

I also tried my hand at furniture refinishing. I bought this dull and boring coffee table for $20 at Goodwill...

...and transformed it into a gleaming, bright, useful piece.

May was a busy, busy month. Leslie's baby shower turned out to be perfect, despite an unexpected detour. The whole story is here.

...and I spent some time enjoying summer's bounty, along with my sweet grand niece, my spoiled grand dog, and a little DIY for my granddaughter's room.

I also celebrated Mother's Day with my dear mother. We tried out a new hamburger place in town, and the one you see here was the best burger I've ever eaten. Divine!

My beautiful niece celebrates a birthday in May, so I hosted her birthday dinner as well.

Without question though, June was THE month of the year. After many hours of painting and preparing a room for my new granddaughter, it finally came together. The coffee table fit right in, and the $35 chest of drawers was a great find.

But other exciting changes came in June...

After years of hating my kitchen cabinets, I called a contractor and did something about it. I LOVE how they turned out, and they continue to bring me joy on a daily basis. To see "before" pics, click here.

And then...

On Tuesday, June 18th, Miss Audrey Emeline (pronounced Emma-Line) made her debut. I had just stepped out of my car at work when my daughter called and said, "I think it's time." Audrey came quickly and peacefully at 2:59 p.m. Nonni cut the cord, and fell head-over-heels in love. My initial blog about her birth is here.

Audrey made her first official appearance 10 days later at my other lovely niece's birthday dinner. She slept like an angel the entire time.

July got off to a grand start with BBQ, watermelon and family. A great combo during any month.

And the heat of August didn't seem so bad when divided by three. We've done "sister trips" in the past, and I was thrilled when we were all able to enjoy a few precious days on Galveston Island. I don't recall a happier, crazier time. If you are intrigued, you can find a long narrative and lots more pictures here.

As the month came to a close, Miss Audrey popped in for a visit at work one day. Words can't tell how much I love this child.

Obviously, September was filled with "all things Audrey," including my first Grandparents Day. Memories for a lifetime.

Of course, October is birthday month for me and my beloved twin. Sadly, we couldn't celebrate together this year, but we both had memorable days.

 First here...

Then here.

As you can see, Dayle was far away, experiencing a little romance.

November is a time to give thanks, and we certainly did. My dear parents joined us for Thanksgiving Day, and how grateful we all are that Daddy is walking again and Mother remains healthy. Indeed, all the money in the world can't buy such riches.

December is birthday month for my one and only. If I close my eyes long enough, she is a little girl again. We celebrated her big day at my house with a requested brunch menu. I must say, the food was superb, and sharing it with my family made it even better.

And that's how 2013 played out for me. Sure, there were days of personal storms and struggles to battle through, but every rain brought its own rainbow, and every struggle brought a renewed sense of strength. I hope your year was a good one, and I pray that 2014 is filled with promise and peace.  ♦


  1. Gayle...what a great year in review. Your precious grand baby is just adorable and you do a lovely job at decorating too! I have enjoyed following you this year and I always look forward to your thought provoking posts. I pray your New Year is blessed beyond measure!

    1. Thank you, Debby. Happy New Year to you and your.

  2. Oh, I soooooo enjoyed this little tour of 2013. How truly blessed you were last year (sounds weird-- "last year") and how truly blessed you will be again this year. May 2014 be the happiest yet.

    Hugs, Gayle, and happy highways,

    1. Thank you, Kelley. I hope your New Year is blessed.

  3. What a blessed year you had!
    I like the way you presented this post, with an in depth story, just a click away.
    Well, done!

  4. Thank you, Christine. I hope your New Year is a blessed one.

  5. Beautiful year, dear sis, with so many gifts along the way.

  6. You had a most wonderful year! I was here for most of it and got to enjoy it through your eyes. Your Audrey Emmaline is beautiful, just like all the ladies in your family. You are multi generational beauties. My favorite picture on here, though I love them all, is the one of your parents sipping from the same straw.

    Looking forward to seeing more wonders in 2014