2014 was a busy year for us. There were graduations, marriages, and births in our families. A change in scenery and schools for Will and a new job for me. We are so thankful for our family and friends who surrounded and supported us throughout this year of change.
Here are a few of the year’s major events:
Throughout the 2013-2014 school year, I, along with the thirteen other students on the stage above, helped lead an organization that raises money for the state’s children’s hospital. UNC-Dance Marathon (now Carolina For The Kids Foundation) is the largest student-led fundraising organization in North Carolina and is an organization that changed my college experience and my career path. In March our year-long fundraising efforts culminated in a 24-hour Dance Marathon, where thousands of UNC students stood and danced in honor of the patients and families at the children’s hospital. After a year of planning, coordinating and fundraising, we were able to announce that we had raised $551,595.87, a record for the organization. It was stressful, exhilarating, exhausting and exciting, and by far the best thing I have ever been involved in. [Shameless plug: if you are interested in donating to Carolina For The Kids Foundation, visit their website here]. Oh, nostalgia. How I miss this.
We did it! In May, Will and I finished our undergraduate degrees and graduated from Duke and UNC, respectively. The light blue is obviously the better color. ;)
In early June, we had another family graduate! My little (but not so little) brother graduated from high school with a diploma and a college acceptance letter. Congrats, mom and dad, we’re off!
Another minor thing happened in June…we got married! We had a wonderful wedding, a reception with non-stop dancing and loving family and friends surrounding us. Eek, it is still so exciting to look back on that amazing day. We are so lucky and blessed to have each other and so many supportive people in our lives. Thank you for being amazing!
After our wedding, we headed off to a New England honeymoon, where the summer weather was balmy and the sights were beautiful. We spent the week in Portland, Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and Boston, Massachusetts. It was a wonderful combination of salty seaside, relaxing nature and bustling city. After the rush and stress leading up to the wedding, being out of reach with no responsibilities was blissful. I would go back in a split second…in the summer, that is.
In July, we headed down to visit Will’s family for a 4th of July celebration. Growing up, my family never had a strong 4th of July tradition. Sometimes we were out of town on vacation, sometimes we gathered in a local neighborhood to watch fireworks at night, but it was never anything that we planned our schedules around. In Will’s family, he, his siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all meet in Georgia each Independence Day for a family celebration. Since they can’t come together every Christmas, 4th of July has become their holiday gathering, which I think is so smart and great! It is a good reminder that anytime can be family time, not just Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.
Our time in Georgia was the perfect all-American holiday complete with family, swimming, pie, hours of grilling ribs, backyard baseball and, of course, fireworks! We had such a blast chasing cousins, aunts and uncles around the makeshift bases in our impromptu family baseball game and passing the flames from one sparkler to another.
Later in July, we joined my side of the family and traveled to California! We took a whirlwind tour of San Francisco before heading over to Davis for a family wedding. It was the first wedding we attended as newlyweds and it was fun to have the guest experience together and to reminence about our ceremony and celebration a month prior. Before the wedding, we explored the Davis Farmers Market, ranked one of the best in the US. The variety of fresh produce was amazing! If you are ever in the area, definitely check it out.
In August, Will started medical school and we figured out a new routine and a new phase of our newlywed lives.
September brought another trip to Georgia and another family wedding! There was so much love and excitement in our year of many weddings and we were glad to be able to attend them all. Congratulations to all of the newlyweds! :)
In October, we joined the rest of the town for Halloween on the street. One family of young trick-or-treaters came to our door before we left for the night and it was way more exciting than it probably should have been. You know you’re grown up when you have to buy Halloween candy to give out and not just to consume.
We don’t have any good pictures from November (why?) but we made the long Thanksgiving journey to spend the much needed break with Will’s side of the family. It was great to relax, eat, watch rivalry football and get ready for the Christmas season with excited little kids around.
December was a whirlwind with Christmas decorating, preparations, planning, visiting and giving. We made four stops on Christmas day and were able to spend time with all of our family. Christmas was extra special this year since it was our first Christmas together and the beginning of new traditions.
We had such a wonderful and busy year and I am so excited for the adventures 2015 has in store!