2013 was an adventure in so many different ways. We started the year with a positive pregnancy test, quickly followed by an ultrasound that showed two babies. TWO BABIES! We knew the moment we saw those little hearts beating that life was about to change. Little did we know just how much.
In many ways, 2013 was a difficult year. Our friend Mike passed away in February, which left us emotionally raw. He taught at the same school as us, and it seemed a piece of the school died with him. Just a week later, my Auntie Joan passed away. The winter cold seeped into our bones as we grieved.
That same month, our 900 square foot house got skunked. I cannot express in words how horrifyingly gross this was. It was too cold to open windows, and almost a week before we could go back into the house. The stench permeated everything – even now we catch a whiff of it on our outdoor gear.
April brought with it the Boston Marathon bombing, which injured Sydney, one of the members of my Outdoor Adventure Club, as well as her mom, Celeste, who lost both legs. Again, our school was rocked. Yet out of such tragedy, acts of heroism and generosity were born. Boston showed the world what we’re made of – pride and strength. May brought with it sunshine and joy. Sydney made it to prom and was elected queen, and a few short weeks later she walked across the stage at graduation. The grief hanging over us like dark clouds was beginning to lift.
In August, our lives changed completely. We moved out of our first home – the one we lived in when we got married; where we started our family; where our love grew strong; where we began our life together. It was emotional for all three of us – we had so many wonderful memories nestled into the cracks of that house. We had planned to stay there even after we had a second child, but we never expected to be a family of five, so we packed up our belongings and moved… a mile away. Not even a mile.
Less than three weeks later, Evan Felix and Katelyn Joan were born, making our family complete. Our joy was short lived when the doctors discovered Evan has three heart defects, two of which require open heart surgery to repair. We were terrified; yet at the same time, grateful – his heart could be fixed, and his prospects were excellent.
As if moving and babies weren’t enough, Addison started preschool the week after Evan and Kate were born! Somehow, she managed to take everything in stride. (Most of the time – there were a few weeks things got hairy, and there were a lot of accidents that involved peeing on the floor).
Despite Evan’s cardiac issues, we managed to continue getting outside, hiking, and spending time together. In the meantime, Evan began to surprise everyone, especially the cardiologists. He went from definitely needing surgery within six weeks to stumping the doctors. Unlike many cardiac babies, he is gaining weight, hitting milestones, and staying pink. For now, his cardiologists are monitoring him, and surgery is in the distant future.
Now it’s the last day of the year, and as I look back, I am grateful for where we are – because we are so fortunate. I can hardly believe the twins are already four months old – and yet I can’t remember a time when they weren’t a part of our little family.
We are saying goodbye to 2013 from the warmth of a small cabin in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, with our friends Meg and Marcy just next door. I am waiting for everyone to wake up from their naps so we can go snowshoeing. And I am ready for the adventures that await us in 2014. Here’s to a Happy New Year to all!
My Favorite Posts of 2013
- It’s Time for America to Rebuild its Villages
- Love: Keeping Our Days in Focus
- Snowshoeing: AMC’s Noble View Outdoor Center, Russell, MA
- Hiking: Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Ipswich, MA
- Praying for Justice and Equality this Pesach