As quickly as 2013 got here, it ended. It was a very eventful year for the Viper Pilot and I, kind of like a roller coaster ride. It definitely had its ups and downs. When we were up, we were up. When we were down, we were down. There really wasn’t much in between but we survived the year and ended in the best way imaginable – with our sweet baby boy! We did a lot of travelling, got pregnant, survived our first deployment, had a baby, so on and so forth. Our lives changed significantly for the better in 2013!
January presented several challenges that gave the new year a difficult start. The Viper Pilot was gone for training in Las Vegas for the month. While he was away, we received news that we lost a fellow F-16 pilot when his plane crashed into the Adriatic. It was a tragedy that greatly shook our F-16 community all around the world. The reality of my husband’s job hit me hard and not a day goes by that we don’t remember and honor the pilot, his dedication, and sacrifice.
We took a trip to Switzerland! We dusted off our skis and gave the powder of the Alps a try. It was a fantastic (and expensive!) trip and I would love to go back to see it in the spring. What a beautiful place and um, hello mountains!! You know me and how much I love those massive rocks. 🙂
I went on a “business trip” with the Viper Pilot to Aviano AB, Italy. When he wasn’t working, we traveled, ate, drank wine, and experienced the Italian way as much as possible. The best part about this trip is that the day we after we got home we learned Owen was on his way. It’s so fun to look back at the pictures from that trip – I was pregnant and I didn’t even know it! Thankfully they say alcoholic beverages you consume before you are aware that you’re pregnant won’t hurt the baby because I may have drank a bit of wine…
Undeniably, this was the most difficult and challenging month of 2013. We had known I was pregnant for only two short weeks when the Viper Pilot deployed to Afghanistan for half a year. The day he left was awful and coming home to an empty house was even worse. For the next several days, each time I drove by the squadron and saw the spot where we said our goodbyes, I cried. No, I sobbed. Eventually I learned that I had to buck up and learn to cope or it would be an even longer six months. I found a routine and thankfully, technology allowed us to communicate a few times a week which helped. He was very busy and I found ways to keep myself very busy. It wasn’t fun, but I’m glad the first deployment is under our belt.
I went on a much needed girls’ vacation to the island of Sardinia, off the coast of Italy. It was therapeutic and a great time!
My sweet mother came to visit for three weeks! During that time we did a lot of traveling and mother/daughter bonding. It had been almost a year since I’d seen her last and I was so excited for her to see Germany!
July was a lackluster month in terms of fun and exciting things lest we forget the day I drove the wheel off the car. Womp, womp <– sad trombone…so there’s that.
I somehow managed to get my pregnant booty in gear to scrub the entire house and host a baby shower for my friend who now has a baby girl just three weeks older than Owen! I don’t know how I would have survived the deployment pregnant without my fellow pregnant friend!!
A wonderful month! One of my very best friends, Kristin, came to visit for a week, the Viper Pilot came home (earlier than expected) from deployment, and we took our last vacation as a family of two to the beautiful beaches of Portugal. Life was good!
October was a really busy month! The Viper Pilot worked insanely long days (15+ hours) so we made the most of our weekends. We each had a birthday, we made wine from grapes and apples from our backyard, and we started preparing for Owen’s arrival.
10 + 1. NOVEMBER
There are 30 days in November. This month was the final countdown to baby. I finished the nursery, painted Owen’s crib (again), scrubbed the entire house from top to bottom, made a million (or 10) freezer meals and even decorated for Christmas. Eventually every day was groundhog day…will the baby arrive today? Today? Maybe today? Or maybe tomorrow? When November 30th came and went, I seriously thought I was going to be pregnant forever.
10 + 2. DECEMBER
The first two days of December were…well, kinda meh. No, that’s a lie. They were horrible. I moped around, bounced on an exercise ball eating eggplant parmesan, sipping raspberry leaf tea in between bites of dates, wondering why the heck I was still pregnant. Now forgive me for going baby gaga on you again when I say that December 3-31st were the best days of our 2013. Our lives forever changed when we welcomed our baby boy into the world! We ended 2013 sharing the joy of his arrival with our families, and celebrated the best Christmas and New Years yet!
We are only 13 days into 2014, and I already know it’s going to be an awesome year! Owen grows and changes daily. We see him develop, respond, and discover new things – it’s amazing to watch. The Viper Pilot recently began his training to become a flight lead, since he now has Owen to be his wingman 😉 and we are still loving every moment of living in Germany. We have several trips in mind for the upcoming months already and can’t wait to show Owen around Europe.
…check out 10+2 things: Memories from 2012