Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 - An Unforgettable Year!

I cannot believe today is January 1, 2014!! Of course 2013 seemed to fly by, especially the last six months in particular. Although that may have something to do with a certain little duck that we absolutely love and adore growing up too fast. ;-)

Here are some highlights from each month -


We rang in the new year in London watching fireworks across from the London Eye. It was wonderful! A couple weeks after that we got to have our 18 week ultrasound and find out that our little one was a baby girl!!


Our sea shipment arrived with all of our stuff and we finally got it unpacked and started to get settled in Norway. We each took a couple trips alone, Jason to see the World Rally Championship in Sweden with some guy friends and me to Aberdeen to visit girlfriends. We also got to feel Madi move for the first time that month.


I think March was one of the busiest months we had this year! At the beginning of the month we flew to Tromsø to try and see the Northern Lights. And wow, did we get blessed with some amazing shows and my awesome hubby got some incredible shots. It's definitely one of the most glorious things we've ever seen!

Towards the middle of the month we headed to the States. Then we jumped on a quick flight to Cozumel for a wonderful and relaxing babymoon. We also took maternity pictures there and back in Houston with two unbelievable photographers.

We got to see so much of our family that traveled down for my two fabulous baby showers (baby shower #1 and #2). Since it was a rare occasion to have so many family members together at one time, we decided to announce Madison's name to everyone. We ordered engraved frames for everyone and tried, keyword tried to get another ultrasound picture before we left Norway, but little missy wasn't having it.


After receiving our shipment of baby stuff from our trip to the States, we were able to get Madison's apartment unpacked and ready for her arrival. I also spent some time doing DIY projects for her nursery making burp cloths, basket liners, crib mobile, paci clips, and monthly onesies.


We also dove into reading more baby books as we watched the time slipping away before our eyes and June creeping upon us quickly. I was blessed with a surprise baby shower from the ladies in my Bible study that brought me to tears.

We had two full weekends this month - the first with a getaway at one of the ConocoPhillips hyttas in Ålo and the other spent taking a birth class. We got some great information at the course and met some wonderful couples that I've gotten together with for lunch and coffee dates since our little ones have arrived. After the class we put together our birth plan, and reality starting to hit that we were going to be parents soon!


June. The month that we would become parents to Miss Madison Rose!! She arrived on June 20th, 2013 at 7:52 pm. We had a not-so-fabulous delivery with a wonderful recovery in the hospital hotel. Jason's two weeks at home flew by way too quickly and we enjoyed the time together as a new family of three. We also took Madi for newborn pictures, where she impressed the photographer by being the third worst baby she'd ever done.


We celebrated the Fourth of July with some American and International expat friends. Not long after Jason returned to work, my mom came to visit and help. She was a gem and I don't know how we could have handled things with having her there! Her husband Jeff also came out a week or so later and they got to do a little sightseeing around Norway. We also had the first intentional Madi smile this month and everyone is right about how much better things are when they smile at you! :-)


I finally got Madi's birth announcements sent since I'd ordered them and had Jeff bring them with him to address and get them ready to mail. My dad and his wife Mary came out to meet their granddaughter and help after my Mom and Jeff left. I thought it was going to be stressful having so many visitors back-to-back, but instead it was wonderful to have more help!

Madi started talking a little bit this month and I started working out again and began running. We bought a jogging stroller so I could bring Madi with me sometimes on the runs and I also started using the daycare at our gym.

Last, but definitely not least, Jason and I celebrated 5 years of oneness! :-)


This month we took Madison on her first plane and train rides as we made our way to Oslo to apply for her citizenship and passport. We also got to take her swimming for the first time, but the pool was a little too cold for her taste. It was around this time that I finally started to feel more confident in my parenting and we got Madison into a pretty easy and predictable routine.


After admitting to my headband obsession (first step, right?), I decided to find a suitable method for storing and displaying said-headbands with this DIY headband holder. We also got a surprise when we went into Madi's crib one morning to find her sleeping on her tummy. Miss Madison started rolling!!

We took Madi to her first country outside Norway when we flew to Hungary to visit our friends Bret and Elizabeth. I stayed a couple extra days and had a slightly comical experience getting back to Stavanger. While we were in Budapest we had a fall photo shoot with Daddy, the photographer, and some beautiful flowers near our friends' apartment. We also celebrated our first Halloween with this adorable little duck, costume compliments of Papa and Grandma Robinson.


The first weekend in November, I ran the 3-lakes half marathon. My amazing hubby and beautiful daughter came out to watch me finish the run and I couldn't have been happier with how I did during the race.

There was an arrest in the Stingerie household from a certain little duck growing up way too fast! A crime I think she will perpetually be committing in the future. Jason continues to practice his photography sessions since we've found the perfect little ballerina.

We officially hit one year living abroad this month! We took a quick weekend trip to Scotland to see my friend Emily. We also had our Christmas family photos in order to send Christmas cards and I'm happy to say that Miss Madi was greatly improved in her manner and we got some fabulous shots of her!

Lastly, we celebrated Thanksgiving with some of our closest expat friends and had a quiet birthday celebration for me. Madi and I also jetted off to London to meet-up our friends Chelsea, Ryan, and Cole.


On December 1, Madi and I flew from London to Chicago to spend the remainder of the year in the States. We had a week in Chicago spending time with Papa and his family. Afterwards we headed to Houston and met up with Daddy. Then it was off to Colorado for a week with Jason's family. Afterwards we flew into Oklahoma City where we had a Merry Christmas and a lot of gambling and date nights! :-).

2013 was a special and memorable year, but we can't wait to see what 2014 brings with this little cutie!

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