Truth be told, I wasn't sure anything could top 2012, which was a really, really incredible year. After the whirlwind of wedding festivities, I was ready for a calmer, quieter 2013, but I ended up facing far more changes than I'd ever expected. At the start of the year, things felt steady for the first time in months, and it seemed like 2013 would be a simple, steady year. (Spoiler alert: It wasn't.)
For starters, Josh Duhamel stopped by the POPSUGAR offices in January, and I managed to fangirl like the fourteen year old I am, sobbing and hyperventilating in front of the whole department. Luckily, my lovely co-worker Ryan has captured the moment in a GIF, and there's a full video up on the site. (This picture also hangs on my desk as a daily reminder of how humiliating and amazing it was.)
That same month, I also went back to acting, hitting the studio to return to my theater roots.
February brought an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime visit from two best friends, who let me lead them throughout the city for drinks and dancing and late-night cake in bed. Because obviously.
There was also an amazing Cloverdale retreat with our giant group of friends, where wild dance parties and crazy tournaments had us doubled over laughing late, late into the night.
And just in time for Valentine's Day, we received our official wedding videos. (PW: sharkpig)
In March, I cherished life in our cozy little apartment...
... Only to completely shock and surprise myself by actually buying a new house in Marin County at the start of April! (So much for that whole calm, quiet, no-change sort of year, right?)
By May, I was soaking up life in the suburbs, spending nearly all my free time reading and writing on our sunny deck. There were a lot of day trips and date nights, both of us celebrating the season.
I also enjoyed a quick trip home to Chicago, a short return to the familiar ahead of another new start: my promotion to assistant news editor! Cue lots of books and '90s coverage, plus another celebrity office visit — this time from Seth Rogen. And this time, for the record, I kept myself together.
June brought a surreal California moment, when Radley and I joined some of our friends at the top of Mount Tamalpais for the mountain play — this year's show being The Sound of Music.
And on the flip side of my very cultural theater moment, I also spent June recapping The Bachelorette at work, basking in the wonder that is your guilty pleasure somehow becoming your job.
best friends get married, and let ourselves take a little breather. (I also got a bit sappy, posting about how I knew he was "the one" and why it was a summer to remember.)
August marked our first wedding anniversary, which we celebrated with a long weekend in Santa Cruz. Bookstores, ice cream parlors, and long, lingering beach days? It was the best.
With the summer fading, I found myself cherishing my daily commute throughout September, snapping pictures of the sunrise and sunset each day as I came and went at dawn and dusk.
I found a "look of love" picture that Radley had taken on my camera back in October, the same month I threw him a mini surprise party, dressed like a goddess, and looked back on life at twenty.
In November, the two of us spent a stunning day on the water at China Camp, lying around and loving California and letting ourselves relax in the midst of a crazy season.
We headed back to Chicago, too, where friends gathered for an amazing reunion, snow fell just before Thanksgiving, and I remembered, once again, why it will always be home.
The year ended as quietly as it came, with a visit from my parents and a whole lot of routine. There's something to be said for that, I think — for a calm close, a step back. Time to breathe.
It's been (another) busy, special year filled with its fair share of surprises and fears, highlights and challenges. Here's to embracing what's to come in 2014 — happy New Year to you and yours!