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Looking Back at 2013

This year has been incredible. There were many challenges, but the blessings completely outweighed all of them. There are so many people that I have to thank for the year being awesome. Ayva for being the most perfect child ever, my fantastic husband, friends and colleagues that support and encourage me, my family that loves me and made so many sacrifices to be there for me this year. As I look back at all of the ways that life was beautiful for me this year, I vow to transcend these experiences and pass my good fortune along to others. Happy New Year, Y’all!


The year started off with a bang! I was offered a fantastic new job, and invited to be a Shot at Life Champion.

Collective Bias


In February, I stopped settling and got engaged! I also traveled to Washington, DC. for the Shot at Life Champion Summit. Oh, and I was interviewed by the folks over at The Gap.


Our family took advantage of the lovely Northern California spring (and one of Terrence’s vacation days!) and headed to the Jelly Belly Factory. Ayva and I also visited Philadelphia where I attended Type-A Advanced conference, and picked out bridesmaid dresses.

Jelly Belly


I traveled to Miami for Hispanicize, and had the time of my life.



Ayva turned 4 in May, and we celebrated 3 different times! She had a ball at her Michael’s birthday party! Oh, and it was exactly 100 days until our wedding. I also spoke at SoFabCon in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Ayva turns 4


Terrence celebrated his first official Father’s Day, and it was awesome!

Mama Knows It All


Is there anything better than summer in California? We flew kites, played in the park, and savored our family time. I also went to BlogHer in Chicago and met up with some of my favorite blogger/friends.

Mama Knows It All - Girl Kicking Ball


We took our first family vacation in August. We headed to the desert of Indio, California (near Palm Springs) and it was AWESOME! My colleagues MADE me unplug, and it was great.

Swimming at Indio


I GOT MARRIED!!!!!! Totally awesome. My friends and family all came to California, and I experienced one of the best weeks of my entire life.

Mama Knows It All

Mama Knows It All - Wedding


My birthday is in October, and I celebrated by going to a festival at Ayva’s school, looking at houses, drinking champagne and eating pizza. Good stuff! I also went to Atlanta for Blogalicious and spoke on 2 panels. Also, Ayva was adorable on Halloween.

Mama Knows It All - Halloween


We took a mini family vacation to Disneyland. Most magical place on Earth during the holidays? Pretty amazing.

Mama Knows It All


Our first Christmas together. It was just as sweet and fun as I would have hoped.

Mama Knows It All - Christmas Card

How was 2013 for you? What was the best thing that happened for you? 

This post is linked up to the 2013 in Pictures Linky Party with my amazing friend, and one of my favorite bloggers Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife. 

Sarah Donza-Hughes

Wednesday 1st of January 2014

What a FABULOUS year for you, Avya and Terence!!! I love your recap!! I never saw the Gap video, great job, you're a natural. Happy New Year!


Wednesday 1st of January 2014

Thank you so much, @sarahdonzahughes:disqus! 2013 was full of blessings!

Sharelle D. Lowery

Tuesday 31st of December 2013

I love!!!! OMG!!! I want to make a blog post like this!!! I love living Vicariously Through you and your beautiful Family!!!!


Wednesday 1st of January 2014

Do it, @sharelledlowery:disqus! It's not too late! I'd love to read it!

Jo-Lynne Shane

Tuesday 31st of December 2013

This has definitely been an amazing year for you and you deserve every bit of it. SO SO SO happy for you. xo


Wednesday 1st of January 2014

Thank you so much, @musingsofahousewife:disqus! I've been really overwhelmed by the pure awesomeness of 2013. Like...whoa!

Amy Bennett

Tuesday 31st of December 2013

Wow, congratulations! What a year!


Wednesday 1st of January 2014

Thanks so much, @bennettaj:disqus! Totally unexpected blessings!


Tuesday 31st of December 2013

I have a HUGE smile on my face seeing that year in review. You are an incredibly special person and an amazing mom and wife. Look out 2014…Brandi is taking down the O-lady!


Wednesday 1st of January 2014

Thank you, @disqus_LgaHQlukXS:disqus! Having friends like you gives me confidence to take it up a notch (or several) in 2014. Thank you, girlfriend!