Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2013 Year in Review Highlights

My favorite Christmas gift we gave our kids was a weekend getaway at the beach over New Year's Eve.  Normally we throw a big New Year's Eve party at our house, but this year we decided to change it up.  In keeping with Paigey's theme of reducing commotion and chaos, we decided to rent a cozy little ocean cottage and ring the new year in with just our family.  We gave the kids an envelope on Christmas Day announcing the news.  Once they got over being mad that we weren't having a big party (tradition reigns at our house), they got excited.

The weather was breathtakingly beautiful.  Unseasonably warm and dry with no wind or even a hint of rain.  That never happens on the Oregon coast in January!  The tide was really low on New Year's Eve uncovering rocks we'd never seen before.  The kids set up a soccer field on the beach and the six of us squared off in teams of three, playing soccer as the sun set on another year.  GLORIOUS!



Dinner was at the 60's Cafe' - a greasy burger joint with a juke box and really old cracked booths.  We pigged out, licking the grease and salt from our fingers and enjoying every bite.
Happy New Year!
After dinner we headed over to Grocery Outlet to stock up on junk food and candy.  $40 worth of "food" later, we headed back to our cozy cottage.  Grant was in Junior High Boy Heaven.  He ate and ate and ate, all with a huge smile on his face.


We played games as a family.  The closer we got to midnight, the quieter and cuddlier everyone got.  We watched the ball drop in Times Square and for the first time ever, all six of us stayed awake until midnight.  Happy New Year!


The next morning over breakfast I asked everyone to give me their highlights from 2013.  They all scoffed and said, "Duh Mom.  We just did that last week at breakfast.  You wrote it all down in your journal.  Don't you remember?"  Oh...  right.

After a family walk on the beach, we picnicked at the park in sweatshirts (in January!!!).  The kids even got brave enough to get in the water - all except Paige who watched as usual from her safe spot on the high sand. What a great way to start 2014.  I'm confident many more awesome memories will be made and I hope to do a better job about writing them down this year.

Here are the Stilp Family 2013 Year in Review Highlights.

Katie (11 1/2 years old, 6th grade)

  • Grand Tour (junior high camp) with Aly
  • Weekly youth group with Maddy
  • Soccer season.  I LOVE soccer!
  • Starting middle school.
  • Running back from Fred Meyer in the rain with Sarai.

Grant (12 3/4 years old, 7th grade)
  • Staying up until 1:30 in the morning reading Dork Diaries with cousin Alexa when she was visiting from Minnesota this summer.
  • Beating Tualatin Hills in the Rose Cup water polo tournament.
  • Uncle Chad, Auntie Lara, Madi and Alexa coming to visit from Minnesota.
  • Saving up enough money to buy myself a drum kit.
  • Epic come-from-behind water polo win in the last six seconds of the game during summer polo.
  • Hiking in the pouring rain with Dad on a Man Training Day.

Alli (9 3/4 years old, 4th grade)
  • Sleepovers with Jenna on youth group nights.
  • Two weeks this summer when Livy and I were like real sisters and we spent every night together.
  • Camping at Timothy Lake
  • Learning to overcome obstacles.
  • My new teacher, Mrs. Passmore, and how awesome she is.
  • Playing soccer.  I LOVE soccer!

Paige (7 3/4 years old, 2nd grade)
  • Uncle Chad and Auntie Lara, Alexa and Madison visiting from Minnesota.
  • Having a part in both of the Christmas Readers Theatre Presentations at school.
  • Getting my first pedicure and manicure as a reward for reading through my kids Bible.
  • Trip to downtown Portland with Mom.  (It was pouring rain and we got hot chocolate at Barista while we waited for Katie).

Jodi (39 years old - currently not in school)
  • Celebrating 15 years of marriage to Curt with a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
  • Summiting the South Sister - Oregon's third tallest peak - with Curt.
  • Road tripping to Minnesota from Montana with my big brother Shane. 
  • Taking Katie to Lost Lake for a great hike, peddle boating, and Woman Training.  A day all to ourselves with no agenda.  SO awesome!
  • Chaperoning at Outdoor School with Katie.  More time to bond.
  • Taking Paige to get her first pedicure.  I love that she's already reading her Bible.
  • Transforming - with the help of our Big's - the ledge above the rock wall from Weed Fest 2013 into a beautiful flower garden.  
  • Picking berries "with" the kids.  Mommy picked berries.  Kids sat in the shade and read library books.
  • Chad and Lara's (and the girls' ) visit from MN.
  • Completing an Olympic-distance triathlon and living through another terrifying swim.
  • Starting Jodi Stilp Photography LLC.  I still can't believe I get paid to capture beauty!
  • Sabbath days with my family: Silver Star Mountain hike and Oneonta Gorge.
  • Hiking Tom McCall Nature Preserve after running a half marathon.
  • Getting third place in two races.  Not sure when or if that will ever happen again.

Curt (38 1/2 years - currently stuck repeating the same grade over and over again)
  • Taking in all the monuments in Washington D.C. on a ten mile run around the city.
  • Celebrating 15 years of marriage in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
  • Summiting the South Sister.
  • Saying goodbye to the Old Gal - his Jeep of fifteen years.  206,000 miles later she died on the side of the highway. May she rest in peace.
  • Going to Graceland.  A Bucket List item crossed off.
  • Chad and Lara's visit.  (Clearly we all thought that was ah-mazing).
  • Timothy Lake camping trip, especially canoeing across the lake with Dusty in the boat, the girls on tubes behind the boat, and Grant swimming alongside the boat.  "My life jacket is rubbing my face Daddy."  
  • Backpacking the rugged Montana wilderness (Jewel Basin) with Shane.
  • Running a half marathon and living to tell about it.
  • The Beard.*
*Curt notes The Beard as a highlight.  Jodi notes The Beard as a highlight the day it got shaved.

We hope you all can find highlights from 2013 and that you make many beautiful memories in 2014.  Happy New Year.

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