I was sorting through photos and decided to do a Year in Review post since my blogging has been lacking at best. 2014 was a whirlwind for us so prepare yourselves for photo-overload!
January 1st started with a bang as we enjoyed the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
We nearly froze to death, but that's beside the point!
The Polar Vortex that swept through much of the US hit us hard. We had snow from mid November until April and windchills as low as 35 below. Not something we are use to here! The city was overwhelmed with the amount of snow, as most piles at the end of our driveways towered high above our heads and parking lots were filled. We prayed for an end to the snow, as there was nowhere left to put it.
I shared this picture on my Instagram feed in February, as we tried to be thankful for the beauty while still struggling through the deep freeze we were under.
This was March 17th and still no end in sight. The weight of the snow was causing many roofs to collapse and the ice dams were causing interior leaks. One "nice" day we pulled as much snow off the roof as we could.
By March 30th it had finally warmed up enough that I could get outside for a run. I'm a wimp when it comes running in the cold, and have no desire to slip on the ice, so although there was still mounds of snow all around, at least the roads were clear.
April 6th was our first official race -
Big House 5k: Trail to the Victors
By mid April we had hope that winter was finally gone, but of course Michigan always has to get one last snow fall in. . .
April 27th was a very special day for us!
So proud to watch my husband graduate with Highest Honor!
He had one more class that wouldn't end until July but we were celebrating anyway.
In May, I threw Mike a surprise party for his 40th birthday.
Perhaps the greatest surprise was the meat smoker we bought him, which was in constant use throughout the summer!
Memorial Day was spent adventuring, enjoying lunch outside in Grand Rapids before heading further north to enjoy some nature.
Rosy Mound Natural park
With June came smoked BBQ ribs.
One weekend I decided we needed to go pick organic strawberries. I found a farm online that advertised you-pick berries for $1.20/lb so we headed an hour that direction with great ambition. The berry in this picture was probably the biggest one we found. After an hour of digging through weeds and prickers, we had six quarts and called it quits. We're always up for an adventure!
4th of July weekend we both had a couple extra days off work and decided to make the most of it. One day we spent exploring downtown St Joseph (http://www.stjoetoday.com), the lakeshore, and delightful restaurants!
Lunch at Charlie's Piggin & Grinnin
... and a late dinner (it was a two hour wait to get a table)
at Silver Beach Pizza
We also spent many evenings enjoying our own town, like this particulate date that involved a late night movie, and midnight grilled cheese sandwiches at a downtown 24-hr cafe.
August 28th - Detroit Tigers vs New York Yankees
This was a bucket-list event for me, as I had wanted to see Derek Jeter play before he retired.
September 6th we ran our second 5k
- Harvest Stompede in Traverse City.
This race is held at Cicconi's Vineyard and was such unique experience.
There will be a separate post coming later with more pictures of our TC trip!
Late September held my birthday - the big 30.
We celebrated all weekend, touring Art Prize in Grand Rapids . . .
. . . trying Palazzolo's Gelato. . .
. . . hiking the dunes at Van Buren State Park . . .
. . . enjoying the lakeshore . . .
. . . and cake! Lots of cake!
Mom made me the Ultimate S'more Cake
October 4th brought along our sixth anniversary and some friends surprised us with an overnight stay at a bed & breakfast in Indiana. It was our first time staying at a B&B, but it was a lovely place and the grounds were beautiful.
That Pretty Place
On our way back home, I had to stop and get a picture by the Pure Michigan sign. Although I have lived in Michigan my whole life, a part of me fell more deeply in love with it this year. It truly is a beautiful place.
Football season arrived and on October 11th we were able to attend our first night game at The Big House! University of Michigan vs Penn State - Under the Lights
A couple weeks later fall hit us in full force and we were surrounded by an explosion of color. Truly God's handiwork.
Thanksgiving came in November and it was a lovely time surrounded with family and scrumptious food! So thankful to serve a God who so graciously guides our path and encompasses us with his love.
So much love. . . so much joy.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the your God will be with you wherever you go.”