2013 in Review

Now that we’re starting our first normal week since before the holidays, I’m thinking about the last year.  It was…full.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it was a little rough in patches, but we’ve made it this far.  Here’s a quick recap of 2013 in the GB realm:


Remember this chunker?  We started the new year with a one month old who had already doubled his birth weight.  Go, Silvano, go!  Went from a sleeping newborn to a colicky mess for the entire month of January and then some. Started back up with home improvements.  Got into the groove of full time cloth diapering and finished the nursery at long last.



We had a 14 pound baby (!) and got our first warm day to have a walk in the woods.  Si had his first Valentine’s Day.  More snow in the woods, which was always cathartic if a little daunting since our driveway was so long and full of switchback turns.  He started babbling in the mornings–adorable.  Mommy and Daddy were in a sleepy fog for most of the month from being up at very least every 2 hours at night.  Little did we know this wouldn’t end for months.



Four months old and teething.  Oh, boy!  Moved to the crib at the end of the month and then became the most refluxy baby on the planet every time he would lie flat.  Enter round two of not sleeping for anyone involved.  Finished remodeling the kitchen (this isn’t the final picture, but it’s close) and started remodeling the bathroom.  Rob and Chrislin came to visit, so all the Schleeters got together.  Love seeing all the sweet cousins!  We need to see Em and the gang more often.  Oliver turned four and is such a patient, loving cousin.



Dan came to visit and help Tim build a deck off the porch.  Tim also started graduate school as a full time student on top of working full time.  We had our first warm days and spent them lakeside.  The magnolia tree bloomed!  I want to plant another one at our new house.  It’s such a welcomed breath of Spring after the chill subsides.  The farmers market started back up–lovely!  Silas got two teeth within 3 days.



Six month old!  Time flies.  Took a month off from teething and started sleeping longer stretches at night (and by longer I mean 3-4 hours).  Went to Lafayette for a surprise party for Logan.  Memorial Day was spent with my family to celebrate the handful of May birthdays.  Went to Onarga for Sara’s bridal shower.  Did a huge landscaping makeover for the little house in the big woods.  Si had his first food and loved it, but was allergic.  First of many!  Felt like we drove the entire month, but it was nice to be outside the landscaping weekend.



Finished remodeling the basement finally.  Rearranged our whole living space (which is a must when you live in one huge room).  Made the decision to move closer to families rather than see them less and put our house on the market.  Showed it 17 times in under three weeks, had two offers, and accepted one of them.  YIKES.  Started to panic about buying a house in Lafayette and started the initial hunt.  More visits from Rog and Mary Kay to see the babe.  Arts Fest is one of my fave Bloomington events but the weather was HOT.  Silas was sweating–we had to strip him down to a diaper and douse him with his sippy cup of water.  Sara and Derek got married and the whole family was in the wedding!  Despite a rained out venue, it was a beautiful weekend and Si did marvelously running on no naps and being passed around to perfect strangers.  Yay!  Silas met his namesake, Peter Gardner, in town (well, in Columbus OH) from Roma, Italia.




Silas got SIX teeth in July.  Yes, six.  That’s a total of eight at before he hit 8 months old.  He finally started taking naps longer than 45 minutes and started sleeping 4-6 hours at night.  Progress.  By then, we had adjusted and weren’t really tired anymore despite not sleeping for nearly a year.  Saw four houses in Lafayette.  Did paperwork for the mortgage, submitted offers, withdrew offers, awaited 2 inspections, ended my job after more than 2 years with Francesca, and started packing up the house. Offer accepted on the Victorian wallpapered mess a block from the best park. I love this house!  Tim doesn’t love it yet.  We went on family vacation with my whole family to Chapman Lake and it was gloriously relaxing.  My family tends to eat, boat and and be merry on vacation.  So we did, too.  It was exactly what we needed.



Packed up the house a little wistfully and frantically.  Spent our last week at the park, spending time with Karma and Lizzie, bidding farewell to Seamus-the-best-dog-ever, and went to Alex to see papaw after his 5 break fall.  Set for closing August 19th in Bloomington and August 20th in Lafayette.  My nanny family got us loaders and unloaders as a parting gift–THANK goodness.  It made an enormous difference.  We will never move ourselves again.  We rented the truck, ran out of room, got a second truck, drove North to spend our first night in town at the La Quinta with a cat, a baby, and my father in law.  Party!  9am closing the next morning and tada!  Lafayette residents.  She was a beauty…  Spent days unpacking and rearranging.  Celebrated my 30th birthday with a back yard dinner party with my family three days later.  Loved it!



Out of town again for Labor Day to see Tim’s extended family.  First trip to downtown farmers market!  Deck and fence building party at Kait’s new house.  I felt a little sick… Sprucing up the homestead started quickly while Tim worked away from home all week!  Dining room makeover, kitchen makeover started, nursery makeover complete.  Tim started his new job as curriculum specialist and HR for the Migrant Resource Center based in Alexandria.  He’s also still doing full time grad school.



Tim went to Pennsylvania for a conference.  I painted the kitchen, swapped our dining tables (after ours collapsed mid-dinner party with Matt and Alyssa–mortifying), pulled up the carpet in the office to find wood floors, and then went one step past sensible and started in on the living room uncarpeting process.  Painted the unsalvageable living room floors and got my dream rugs from craigslist (persian and jute to layer).  My parents came to help swap out the bathroom vanity and make over the garage so we can actually park in there.  Frank started working on upgrading kitchen things like sink and faucet.  Silas and I played outside a lot mid month, but then it got chilly.  Planned on a weekend in southern Indiana for Tim’s birthday but ended up going to Onarga for Ballard family pictures instead and celebrated Tim and Roger since their birthdays are four days apart.



Silas turned one!  Huzzah!  But first we weekended in Chicago after having Ang and Rich followed by Karma and Lizzie come stay at the new abode.  So nice to have company from Italy and Bloomington in the same week!   Found out we were expecting baby Ballard two at the end of May.  Holy cow.



Spent the first part of the month wondering if we would survive until Tim’s Christmas break.  We wrapped up the marathon of not sleeping, fixing up and selling a house, moving in and fixing up another house, a husband who works away from home for most of the week, full time graduate school, and another pregnancy.  We made it (barely) with at least a little of our dignity and marriage left and we have just finished the holiday break.  Christmas was so darling–we did the Ballard extended and immediate gatherings the weekend before and for Christmas Eve, Rob and Chrislin came back, which was fun.  Si and Oliver had so much fun together with their gifts.  We had a week at home with Tim off of work and then got snowed in for this last week with my parents, which was an adventure.  It’s nice to be home and back in the swing, even if it means Tim is gone again.


Our year seems kind of lame in words. It felt really hectic and massively crazy.  Like we about lost our minds and could barely keep it together.  I guess the main thing is we made it…  Here’s to a simpler and more settled 2014.

Coming up:  things we resolve to do in the next year.


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