A month into 2014, and I've finally found space to look back at the last year on Packing Lust and review 2013. 2013 was the first full year of this blog's existence, since I started it in the summer of 2012.
2013 started out with visiting family on the East Coast, where planning for my mom's Cruzbike Race Across America (then 6 months away) to race 3000 miles for the cure for brain cancer was in full swing.
Down in beautiful and sunny Florida, I visited with my aunt and uncle, Trog, and Grammy.
In the meantime, Prince Charming was struggling through a very snowy week back in Ramallah.
In March, we left our new-but-problematic-and-far-flung apartment and moved into a fixer-upper, near the city center. Along with our new home came a bunch of new friends we are thankful for. We tried not to offend our neighbors.
It was a Spring of enjoying both Palestine and Israel, with trips to Jaffa and Herzeliya beach, where a bulldozer almost ruined our day.
In May, I officially unveiled Prince Charming's handsome face. For now, we are still keeping his real name off the blog. Our marriage turned one in April.
Also in May sometime, we took a trip to Amman and Petra, Jordan. I blogged it, then lost that post. Eventually I re-blogged what I could remember. [Update: that re-blogged post is here.]
In June, my mom won the Race Across America, and I was there crewing from California to Maryland and every state in between.
Jelly Bean turned one sometime in June. We forgot to celebrate, but we give her birthday presents almost every day in the form of treats, toys, and bones.
I celebrated my July birthday with a small, quiet celebration, and by posting some sun-soaked photos I took with my birthday present.
In August, it was back to the states again for another big traveling month, with visits to Maine to see Charming's parents, then down the East Coast to see lots of friends and attend two weddings.
K&C got married:
And then my brother too.
I didn't post it on Packing Lust, but I had a great time painting my own and some friends faces for a Ramallah Halloween party:
We found a home for this stray puppy.
Just before Christmas, Ramallah got hit with some heavy snow; despite the weather, my family still managed to survive and thrive on their visit here.
Then it was Christmas in Rome. I plan to post soon about our Rome-antics and Italy fun, but for now here's a preview photo.
My writing got a boost when my first book, Minimalism for Grandparents, won an About.com Reader's Choice Award early in the year. In April, I started blogging for Fairy Tale Life and officially launched my coaching business, Fairy Tale Life Coaching, in May. Today, I'm planning to bring my coaching practice over here to Packing Lust, and to bring my blog content over here too. In November, I focused hard on drafting book number two, Minimalist Living, and launched the book in December.
There was only one post in 2013 dedicated solely to packing advice:
Must remedy that in the 2014 with more packing advice!
A huge theme for the year for me was community. When we moved into this home in March of 2013, we instantly had good friends in our neighbors, and we also gained access to the vibrant cafe downstairs, where it's easy to meet up with or bump into friends and colleagues. Over and over, whether it was through what I was reading or in my life around me, I saw that community matters more than almost anything else. Whether it was my neighbor showing up at my door with fresh eggs from the chickens in her garden, family and strangers rallying around my mom's Race Across America in support of brain cancer victims, or my online community of beta readers and supporters of my book publishing, I felt deeply thankful for my community is 2013.
What were the themes for you in 2013?
What did you learn, experience, or do that you are proud of or grateful for?
Here's to a great 2014,
P.S. I thought this "year in review" thing was such a good idea, that I recently did one for 2012, too! I backdated it, but you can see it here.