Friday, January 3, 2014


In the middle of trying to recap 2013 in my mind, I realized that it was a HUGE year for our family. I've looked at posts and blurbs online of people welcoming the new year, either very hopeful for continued great things or extremely desperate for a fresh start. It's funny how we can wrap up an entire year as being "good" or "bad." Most people my age are hitting some big milestones in life: new jobs, marriage, kids, moves, etc. While all of those things can be wonderful, it also sets up the possibility of loss and heartache. The job fell through. The relationship ended. We lost the baby. 

My mindset last year (and hopefully continued on for years to come) is to be more intentional with my time, mainly with family and friends. While 2013 was a great year for our family, it wasn't because everything was wonderful and that tragedy escaped us. I believe last year was good because I kept faith in God that things that happened (or didn't happen) were of His doing, and I had a truly incredible group of family and friends alongside me for whatever came. 

So here is our 2013 in review:


My journey with EFT truly began. Ryan blessed me so much by supporting this career move and head-first dive into a therapy I love SO much. We ventured out to San Diego for my first intensive training and got to see the beautiful city during my time away. I also got to meet and learn straight from the founder of EFT.... and I saw my first elephant in person at the San Diego. 

My beautiful sister also turned 33, and we celebrated together.


My sweet niece Bella turned 3 years old (I can't believe she's already almost 4 now!), and I turned a solid 26. We spent time celebrating our birthdays with family. Ryan and I spent our 4th Valentine's Day together. We spent the weekend in NWA and loved our meal at Ruth's Chris. 


I got to spend time with Casey (watching the Hogs take down Kentucky in Bud Walton), and we enjoyed many concerts with Casey singing at various venues. We also found out that my sweet friend Aletha was having a BOY! Ryan continued his birthday gift extravaganza and took me to our first NBA game to watch the OKC Thunder play the Celtics. 

March has to be the hardest month of 2013. Our family unexpectedly lost my Aunt Elaine. Read about her here. The short story is that during a mom-daughter weekend trip to NWA, we found out that my aunt was going to the hospital. In our desperate attempts to get back to Fort Smith in time, we found out on the way that my Aunt had suddenly passed away. The news rocked our family and continues to ripple into 2014... and probably the rest of our lives. She is terribly missed. 

((We also spent Easter together as a family... and oh yeah, Ryan wrecked my car on our way to Oaklawn: read that story here). 


Slightly calmer. We spent weekends at Oaklawn with friends watching the horses run. I found a brand new little friend in Cass. Ryan, Casey, Jonathan, and I spent a weekend up in NWA watching the Naturals play and the Arkansas spring game. Ryan began his full-on love affair for Bret Bielema, and we got to enjoy a night with the Fort Smith Razorback Club where he spoke. 


We welcomed Wesley Reed Lensing into the world. Ryan and I spent a special Mother's Day eating and going to the movies with our moms. Ryan and I also flew to Dallas with our friends, Kathryn and Darren, to visit Six Flags and explore the city. 


Biggest news: Ryan and I moved into a NEW HOUSE! I guess a piece missing from April is that we made an offer on a house and took the next few months to plan and prep for the move. We enjoyed our final cookouts on our old front porch with a fake strip of grass I got for Ryan last year. We also took a big family trip to the lake to spread my Aunt's ashes and spend time together honoring her. 
Mom, Dad, Casey, Ryan, and I went to see The Lion King (broadway edition) in Tulsa (Ryan's birthday gifts for me continue). And the boys took the "Man Trip" out to fish and camp together. I took my niece on the ferris wheel and spent time with the women in my family.


Big month. Ryan's birthday gifts reach their climax and completion with a weekend in OKC for fireworks, food, and BEYONCE. Ryan got a pool for the back deck, and it becomes our new hangout spot with lights and of course, the grill. 
My EFT journey continues to Seattle where I got the honor of hearing Sue Johnson and the Gottmans speak on marriage (among many other things). While in Seattle, I had one of the BEST moments of my life -- getting to see my brother for the first time in almost 13 years. Incredible moment. 
We had our first "shrimp broil" on the back deck (many more to come). Ryan finished his degree, and we finally had a house where both sides of our family could come to celebrate together with us.


August is always a full month, with so many family birthdays. Zachary turned 4 - Stephen turned 21 - Jonathan turned 23. Mom turned 61. Ryan continued to perfect his grilling, and I was officially DONE with meat after the summer. Ribs, steaks, chicken, brisket, pork butt... GALORE. Oh yes, Razorback season started. Be still, my heart (But really, it stayed still and died... just like the season).


Razorback football continues to move forward. Ryan, Casey, and I ventured out to the A&M gain in the rain and cold. My hair made a shift from a side part to a middle (perhaps only girls will understand the magnitude of that). My EFT adventure keeps moving on with a week trip to New Orleans for super intensive training with some amazing trainers from around the country. We also found out that Ryan's sister is having a GIRL in February. We can't wait for Payton to get here :)


The weather began to turn BEAUTIFUL. I tried my hand at some gardening since we had a yard and space to experiment. My mums were gorgeous. Mammaw turned 85 this year, and we celebrated and ate cake together. Ryan and I keep spending time out back on our deck, utilizing the fire pit Casey got Ryan greatly with a movie fireside. Pumpkin carving with the Feero family as usual - I carved up Heisenberg. Bella was just about everything for Halloween (Pirate, Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First)... and Casey and Ryan helped me transform our front yard and build a new, HUGE flowerbed from nothing... We also made endless trips to Home Depot and Walmart and nearly blew out the tires on Ryan's little car transporting the loads.



OUR BIG VACATION. We waited for over a year to travel to the Southern Caribbean - St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, Antigua, and Grand Turk (with ports in Puerto Rico and Miami). We had the time of our lives and have memories to share together for the rest of our lives. We also came home to sleet and freezing rain. Welcome to Arkansas.
November is also a big birthday month. Daddy turned 68, and we celebrated by tailgating at the Razorback game (vs Auburn). Ryan turned 27 on our cruise, and Casey turned 28 to close out the month. I love my November boy birthdays.

The holidays hit FULL swing right after Thanksgiving this year. Our first snow storm kept up cooped up for a few days... perfect timing to celebrate our 3rd anniversary together. We got to welcome Grandpa Rick and visit with him in Arkansas for a few days... and of course, decorate the Feero tree. Ryan "officially" graduated college, and I made him participate in the graduation ceremony and walk. He received the highest Latin honors. So proud! We had a special night celebrating with the Craigs, and Casey and I planned for Don Bailey to play "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" as well as "What a Wonderful World" for our parents and Mammaw. So special since it was Aunt Elaine's favorite song. We also attended the Christmas Jam to celebrate the life of our dear friends, Brandon and Keely Trusell, who passed away on December 22nd, 2009. Can't believe it's already been 4 years. Christmas was hard this year - our first one without Aunt Elaine. We cried and shared memories together. It's true that the firsts are always the hardest.  
Ryan completely surprised me on Christmas with a new ornament on the tree of a PUPPY. Benson Bay Feero will join our family on January 25th, 2014. I couldn't be any happier. Ryan also became the happiest man alive when I gave him tickets to see Zac Brown Band in Tulsa to close out the year.

So there's our year. Ups... downs... big moments and everyday moments. There are certainly things I missed, but going through these memories has been very meaningful. It's crazy to think all that was packed into just one year. We consider ourselves truly blessed to have the lives we do and to believe and trust in a God who has given us all these things. We continue to trust in him in 2014... that ALL things are through Him and that He will be with us no matter what our lives may look like ahead.

im thankful.
carrie anne



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