I know it sounds so cliche to say that this year flew by .. but it literally FLEW by! I know my year was jam packed but part of me also wonders - what did I do all year?
2019 started on a very somber note. At the end of 2018, my family lost my sweet grandfather. It was very unexpected and with the holidays right around the corner, I really put off grieving in efforts to "get through" the holidays. Turns out this was not the way to handle things as I found myself in very dark places several times throughout the year. I would find myself in deep tears listening to this song - or that song - and no matter WHERE I went, there was something that reminded me of him. BTW, that part hasn't gone away.
February is Adler's birthday month so of course, we had to travel to my sisters house and celebrate. My parents just moved into their gorgeous new home and my sister thought it would be a great idea to host A's birthday in the new house. (Mom and Dad - if you're reading this, how did you let this happen??) Luckily, nothing was damaged or broken. :) The theme was ladybugs and we had so much fun!
Before I knew it, March was here and that meant my sister was going to be bringing the newest baby into our family. Sully Russell Ratz was born and our family was absolutely in love. His sister and brother think he's pretty great, too! We also celebrated the Fox Trot for Parkinsons Research in Charleston, WV and raised over $70,000 that goes directly to high impact research for a cure!
In April, JW and I went to New York City on behalf of the Michael J Fox Foundation. We attended their annual celebration of top fundraisers. Its an event that is high on inspiration. We had a great time exploring the city together. We shopped, ate some great food, and did some sightseeing.
May was rather uneventful but given the plans for the month of June. This was just fine by me.
June - ah my birthday month - the best month of the year! We kicked off June by attending Symphony Sunday. This is one of my absolute favorite events in Charleston. Beautiful music, gorgeous venue and some good wine and even better company. There is nothing that can beat it.
I took JW to Nashville for the first time. We went to CMA Fest and had an absolute blast. This country girl loves nothing more than live music and scorching hot weather! We went to Nissan Stadium on both Saturday and Sunday night - and made sure to squeeze in a visit with Ryan Hurd while we were in town. We also ate our way through Midtown. We got back from Nashville and quickly celebrated my 32nd birthday. How am I 32?? Someone explain.
We also celebrated Lennon's 3rd birthday in June. He is becoming a little man and is as sweet as can be. We also celebrated my dads birthday and my parents wedding anniversary.
We wrapped June up with the Wine & Jazz Festival. This is another classic Charleston event. It is usually HOT and HUMID and this year was no different.
July - oh July - we went to a Ryan Hurd show in Beckley WV and got *front row* seats. To be fair, it was a free for all and I made JW sit in the very front. Then .. we went to our favorite place - Table Rock Lake. JW and I drove Adler down and stopped at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield MO. Adler absolutely loved running around with Cici and Jojo and knew her little brother, Lennon, would have loved it too!
We spent the next week at the lake. It was picture perfect weather. JW went fishing just about every morning with my dad and brother in law. We spent one of our vacation days at Silver Dollar City. We have been coming to the lake since I was a baby so its tradition to visit SDC at least once.
In August, I attended Girls Night Out with my fave girls! We had a great time and enjoyed dressing for the theme. The Alabama Band was scheduled to play at the WV State Fair - and we had third row tickets - but unfortunately, the show was cancelled. No worries though - I had us scheduled to go see Ryan Hurd (now for the 3rd time this year) in Doddridge County. We had an absolute blast - and again, were front row.
September came and our Charleston Parkinson's Support Group hosted Pancakes for Parkinsons. My parents came to town this weekend and we decided to take a trip to The Greenbrier afterwards. We did the bunker tour and enjoyed lunch at Drapers. We also came back to Drapers for dessert!
September was clearly our month for live music. Miranda Lambert came to town and you know I was going to go. Me and my friend Lizzy got together before the concert and had an absolute blast at the concert. The next day, JW and I drove to Lewisburg and went to the Healing Appalachia concert - Tyler Childers was the headliner.
Moving on to October - JW and I spent a long weekend with my family. My family was in the process of selling my grandparents house and I really wanted to spend some time in the house one last time. We also went to Eckerts pumpkin farm. Fun fact - this picture is taken about 13 miles from the St. Louis Arch. Yes, its flat.
The next weekend, we took JWs mom to Fayetteville WV for Bridge Day. If you aren't familiar with Bridge Day - its a day full of base jumping. No, we didn't jump. :) We also went to MY very first pumpkin festival. Okay, it was so much fun and pumpkin EVERYTHING! Halloween was also full of tradition - JW's sister and brother in law host an annual halloween party.
Wow, looking at all that I have typed - it appears 2019 was quite a full year!
In November, I took a girls trip to Branson! Silver Dollar City has a very festive Hometown Christmas and we had to go! We got an AirBNB at Indian Point and made a weekend of it. Two weeks later, we went back to my parents to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was a very fun weekend. At the end of November, we threw JW's sister a surprise baby sprinkle!
Now its December - Charleston hosted its first ever evening Christmas parade. We had so much fun and the streets were lined with people. The parade was VERY long - but what an exciting time for Charleston. We traveled to Portsmouth, Ohio for a day at their Christmas festival. It was so much fun and we will definitely be adding this to our calendar.
With the holidays falling in the middle of the week, we decided to stay in WV. On the morning of the 24th, we FaceTimed with my family. Gotta love that technology. Then we went to Christmas Eve service with JW's mom and family and had a fun dinner afterwards. It may have involved a magnum bottle of Veuve and caroling around the neighborhood.
Looking forward to 2020, I am excited and ready for a new decade. We have our health - and that is so important and we also have a whole lot of love. I wish nothing but happiness for each and every one of you. Thank you for being here and thank you for letting me share my life with you.
Cheers to the next ten.