Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: A Year in Review

By far 2013 has been the best year of my entire life.  As I wake and ponder the last day of the year and the upcoming next year I am flooded with thousands of emotions and memories.    So here in no particular order is the best of my 2013.

13.  Taking my very first camel ride, and seeing the sun set over the great pyramids of Egypt, a vision I have dreamt of, yet words cannot describe how much better it was then I could have ever imagined.  It fell upon the commencement of Ramadan fasting so Jay and I were the only two people in the world during that moment (atop a KFC balcony of all things! ;))

12.  Laying pool side at sunset while the love of my life took a nap- listening to music in the gentle breeze overlooking the Nile river... ancient civilizations and pharohs have swam, sailed, and viewed in the same awe since the beginning of time. In that moment the world was so surreal and awe inspiring.

In a less relaxed Cairo we were able to sneak out amongst the chaos and sail the Nile and witness the beautiful evening lights of the city.

11.  Walking through the gate and feasting my eyes upon the world wonder the Taj Mahal, dressed in traditional beautiful Indian Langa (wedding sari) and all it's beauty and grandeur.  A gentleman made my day when he said I looked more beautiful than Taj, (not so sure about that, but he did make me blush) and asked to take a picture with me - one of several that day which Jay and I joined in.  It began raining and Jay and I sat under the Taj porcelain beauty and let our feet dangle in the rain as we melted into the monument of eternal love.  

10.  Seeing Hieroglyphics- real, live,  in person, ancient hieroglyphics!  I swear I could have pinched myself.  Like Indiana Jones, we explored the Valley of the Kings and saw King Tut's tomb and body (he was much smaller then expected, but hey, good things come in small packages eh? ;)).  We heard the story of Ancient Egypt's history as told by an evening light show in Karnek, which was truly amazing!

9.  I am a HUGE animal lover, and was very excited to have many exciting exotic animal experiences this year... I got to hold a baby Koala  Bear in Australia... super snuggly, and extra stinky.  Be glad pictures do not have smell-a-vision!

I was also able to see my first real live Aussie Kangaroo doing what Jay and I affectionately call "Sexy Time" a pose where he looks extra adorable.  Who knew they didn't hop?

8.  Bucket list- swim in the Great Barrier Reef! Check! Jay and I took a tumultuous boat ride through rocky waves in a very "Captain Dan Esque" storm where waves and rain sky rocketed over us and the boat... when we made it to the other side after a two hour journey we witnessed the clear blue green waters, rainbow skies, beautiful corals, and fishy friends in an oceanic paradise which made the voyage well worth it.

7.  I was able to see the sun set over the beautiful Sydney Opera House in the arms of the love of my life!  Treat of all treats we were able to go inside and watch my dear friend Daniel, Our Wedding Officiant, perform a song in a private viewing of the Choir - the only eyes in the room were Jay, myself, and his girl friend Claire- no words to express how magical an evening that was!

7.  Namaste!  The sound of peace, and tranquility which ensued us in the Oasis which is Nepal.  After exiting India... in the summer was a fanastic difference to explore the crisp, cool, clean country filled with ancient cities which seem almost stuck in time (unchanged by modern society, for the better), friendly beautiful diverse people, the breathtaking Himilayan Mountains and delicious Momos (divine dumplings).

6. Exploring world's diversity and religions- from Hindu Temples, Buddhist Stupas, Muslim Mosques, Christian Churches, to Jewish Synagogues and more.  The world is diverse, and it's people are beautiful.  Embrace the the things that make us different, strive to learn from each other,  and adore the uniqueness and similarities we share at the very core.

5.  Exploring beautiful natural New Zealand.  Swimming in a natural hot springs which arises when the tide rolls into the ocean and we have to dig out quickly before it returns with new friends and a  borrowed shovel; Venturing around the big city of Auckland and watching the beauty of sailboats and heart of exploration;  experiencing a traditional dinner and show, and of course don't forget Middle Earth ... and confirming, yes I am indeed Hobbit Sized :)

4.  The surprising beauty of Sri Lanka, a land I knew little about and quickly discovered I did not want to leave.  Safe, friendly, beautiful!  Jay and I fed an elephant, spent time in the city, and then took a ferry to a hidden gem where we stayed on a tropical island.  We went on a walk at night and saw a thousand jubilee of lights and pungent fruit towers which honor in celebration 150 years of the local catholic church.  Along the way we made friends with the friendly locals and sweet dogs (I wanted to take them all home with me).

3.  Changing things up, after nine years with Cisco- I decided to take on a new challenging role as Global Lead for Ingram Micro and direct liason for Cisco.  I love the people I get to work with and the new experiences I have had.  Change is good....embrace it, love it!

2.  Growing family, I have long now been a fur mom (to my beloved Luka- pointy eared black shepherd and Mirage- my lovely Elvis lipped Katrina Rescue)

My anti was upped when I became the official Step Mom to my two beautiful Step Daughters Danica, and Mila:

And of course the ever so cute Austin Danger Powers- my new found snuggle bug! Meow :)

I have also gained the best in laws in the whole wide world!

Then of course there is the newest member of my growing family.  The very creation of love between my husband and I, our new BABY Girl! :D Due April 3, 2014!

Very exciting and I am sure this will make the very best of things to come in the New Year!

1.  All of the above would not have been possible without one man, Jay McBain.  My husband, my partner in crime, the love of my life and the reason I feel like I am dreaming and have not woken up in three years.  On July 4, 2013 I married my best friend and our fairy tale began.  I cannot express how greatful I am that our paths crossed, and that destiny/God/my great fortune allowed us to meet and for some strange and wonderful reason this handsome, funny and wonderful man fell in love with me as much as I fell in love with him.  He has changed my life for the better and the best truly is yet to come.  Every day with you is better then the last.  I thank you for loving me, for choosing me, for putting up with me <grin>, and for knowing that our world is better because we have each other.  I will love you forever and a day!

There have been some bad things that happened along the way (our house getting robbed on Christmas Eve, loss, lightening striking our house, a bad day here and there) but how can ANY of that remain in my mind with all of the beauty, love, and happiness which has made up my year.  I am blessed, and happy beyond words.  I choose to remember only the sheer beauty and love and cannot wait to meet our little girl and make each year better then the last.  I am thankful, and will do my best to put this love, energy and thankfulness back into the world.  Wishing you and yours the most spectacular of New Years!

Oh, and in terms of Resolutions- I have only this:  To treat each person I encounter and new day with the wonder and curiosity of my first day on earth, and the power and meaning of it potentially being my last.  That is how I choose to live- today, this year, and every year thereafter.  Happy 2014!