Last year’s review was a bit somber, and by comparison, 2013 was relatively good. This year has been eventful for me personally and professionally. It has also been a good year for our family as well. I reached a milestone this year with a milestone birthday, all the while the kids were attaining their own milestones too! The two themes for Get Clued In in 2013 were: change and travel. My travel increased significantly due to a new job in California. I started two new jobs, had new adventures in a new decade of my life, and experienced tremendous personal and professional growth. Our travel as a family increased too, with the main travel theme, “escape to the Ocean!” My writing at Get Clued In reflected both themes for the year, but I did find less time to write and it showed! Compared to 2012, the posts were far and few between.
Here are my top posts for 2013, not necessarily because of traffic to the site, but because I enjoyed writing them and sharing with you:
10. Are you “Fred”? Other than Lincoln on Leadership, and Whale Done, The Fred Factor was one of my favorite management/leadership books to read early on this year. More than leadership, The Fred Factor addresses how to be a better person in all your relationships in life. The book encourages everyone to take time to notice and recognize the good around you, and to take time to express it. We are all surrounded by Fred, and influenced by a Fred daily. Also, how we view ourselves impacts how we view others, and acknowledging that you are not perfect really makes you a better person. It was a good read. Some other posts I wrote on books I read to help me in my new career journey are: Whale Done! This book is fabulous because it teaches you how to recognize and be recognized. I liked the concept of feedback, even in our personal relationships, especially marriage. It is a great book about affirmations. While the employed analogy in the book is training whales, it is not much different from relationships with teens, children, spouses, and colleagues. As I said before, professional and personal growth was definitely a theme for the year, and reading some amazing books played a part in that endeavor.
9. A New Decade & New Look for Get Clued In! Part of attaining a milestone in life involves changing the look and feel of something representative of you. I decided to change the theme, look and feel of Get Clued In, and since I really enjoy this blog, I wanted it to reflect my style and mood. Voila!
8. Another post which coincided with the new look and feel of my blog is Fabulous 40- here I come! I give away my age here, but it is a milestone birthday, and one I will soon not forget. I was so fortunate to spend the entire month with family and friends, and celebrated with my parents, husband, children, and my closest friends. Thanks to my husband, we danced the night away, and had a blast! Funny, I don’t feel older. As if milestones were part of 2013, hubby and I celebrated a decade of being together, meeting, and getting engaged. A Decade Ago Today is another milestone post – generally for our family odd years are milestone years.
7. Milestones & Memories- Memorial Day Weekend 2013– The children had their own milestones and our daughter graduated Kindergarten, and started first grade. It’s been a fun year with them, their activities, and seeing our daughter ride a bike without training wheels for the first time. What a ride indeed! Oh, and on December 30, my daughter lost her first tooth! I did not have time to post about it yet, but so begins another beginning.
6. Our trips this year started Mother’s Day weekend to my hometown of New Orleans. My post Do you know what it means to Miss New Orleans highlights our trip. We had a great time and were very lucky to get a nice room overlooking the mighty Mississippi River in downtown. The post captures some of our fondest moments with pictures! The food was great, the weather couldn’t have better. We were also lucky that my in-laws were on the trip with us and had a rare opportunity for a date night too. Best Mother’s Day ever! And, we got to spend it with my mom in law this year. Last year, I got to spend it with my mom – ah, milestones and memories.
5. Modern-Day Dad – another one of my favorite posts is for father’s day. It was fun to write, and I was able to recapture all the awesome moments between father and daughters. This post was a tribute to my husband, and I am truly blessed to have an amazing husband who is an amazing modern-day dad to boot!
4. Traveling was definitely our thing this year, and I go to California once a month at least for one of my new jobs. I wrote a funny post about Top 12 Clues You’re in California in June after 6 months of experiencing California life, people, crazy laws, and driving there. Our family trip there this year was also fabulous! I wrote the post, Disneyland on a Dime? as a follow-up to my post from 2012 DisneyWorld on a Dime. Disneyland was a lot more manageable for us than world and we really enjoyed it- I think the kids were older and enjoyed it more too. But, overall the theme of this family trip was, BEACH, BEACH, BEACH! We had a blast staying right on Corona del Mar Beach, and sharing a home with our family. Seeing the Pacific Ocean daily was a treat, and feeling the warmth of the sun, sand between my feet, whilst standing knee deep in the water daily can not be beat. Our July 4th was filled by not one, but five fireworks’ shows all around our rented beach home.
3. Government Shutdown Catastrophe, or is it? History was made this past year with an unexpected Government Shutdown, as it is called “the tea-party shutdown.” But let’s face it, all sides are to blame. Congress has a job to pass a budget each year and this year was no exception. The stalemate between the House and Senate resulted in a Government shutdown. I was affected on both fronts with both jobs. The lapse in appropriations shut down my full-time office and my part-time gig too. So, in October, I had more time to write, more time to cook, clean, and get caught up on life in general. It was the break I needed even though it was a horrible result for our nation. Turning lemons into lemonade, and enjoying every moment of the shutdown, I volunteered at my daughter’s school, wrote more, and tried out some recipes. The girls had a chance to enroll in martial arts because I had more time to be present. For me, the government shutdown was the opportunity I needed to see what life would be like without a job, without either job, and fully committed to home, and the kids.
2. Fall in Colorado- there’s nothing quite like it! I enjoyed writing this post and taking photographs of the amazing colors that present themselves here in Colorado from September through early November when the first snow falls. With the first snow, all the beautiful colors are gone, and it turns white and gray. I absolutely love fall in Colorado, and my post reflects how much. With all the change I experienced this past year, and all the milestones, this post reflects the themes of the year.
1. Aloha and Mahalo to our 50th State — Hawaii. Some vacations never leave you – some destinations change your life path. My Hawaii work trip turned into a family trip was such a trip. It was the best vacation ever! The warmth of Hawaii, its people, the beauty, and the memories will stay with us always. I posted about all the places we visited on the island of Oahu, and some travel tips. But, this post is my #1 post for 2013 because frankly, it was not just the best destination ever, it rounds out my theme for 2013- traveling to a beach destination. Also, on December 30, we had the opportunity to visit Kennedy Space Center, and Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral. The Atlantic is a bit colder this time of year, and certainly it was no Hawaii, but hey, it’s beach!
“Change and travel,” two themes for 2013 really made this year challenging, full of growth and personal change, and traveling this year to some amazing destinations really made our year complete, and adventurous. I did not have a post on Florida because it will part of 2014, but even as I write this, we are still traveling! Yes, same theme to round out the Get Clued In’s Year in Review: New Year’s in Orlando!
Happy 2014 to you all, and thanks for taking this amazing journey with me, with us.