I would love to say that 2013 was a great year, but if I am being honest, it really kind of sucked. I would call it the year of me finally growing up, or the year of the rug being pulled out from under me. There were some good moments, although, it's hard to bring them to mind most of the time. I'm not disappointed to have it behind me.

Here's a recap of our year:

It started last January with a trip back to Michigan to spend time with my mother-in-law who was very sick with cancer. We were uncertain about how much time we had left with her, so we packed up and headed north. We had a good time with family, but it was obvious that my MIL's (that's what I referred to her as) health was failing fast. While we were up north, my husband received a few work emails that were troubling and indicated that some changes were coming where he works. After spending two weeks in Michigan, we headed home and it was very hard to say goodbye to my MIL when it was obvious she was so sick.

My MIL's last family Christmas with us.

When we got home, Glen went back to work only to receive the news that three-quarters of the people in the plant where he works were getting laid off. It was a huge layoff and a very emotional time for him. We were scared that he would be losing his job too and we had just bought this farm. Needless to say, we had a HUGE wakeup call with how our finances were being handled and we knew that from that day forward we would rid ourselves of the slavery of debt. When you are sitting on a pile of debt and looking at losing your only income (did I mention my MIL was very sick too....), it's a very scary situation.

My husband ended up being one of the few they kept on at the plant. With this God given extra time, we went to work with selling and paying things off. We were still dealing with the job situation and the stress of all of that when we received a phone call from my sister-in-law in Michigan. She said she really needed help taking care of mom and that mom was not doing very well. My MIL was taken to the hospital on Easter Day, 2013. Once again, we packed our bags and we were on our way north. I packed enough to stay for a long period of time to help get her stronger if that's what was needed.

When we arrived our intentions were to get her stronger and healthier so that she could come home, but that didn't happen. We spent two straight weeks in the hospital sleeping in her room with her and then the news came that there was nothing else they could do for her. We brought her home and cared for her for eight days until she passed away peacefully on April 18th.

Taking care of my MIL is the hardest thing I have ever done. There were days I didn't think I could go on doing it. My sister-in-law and I were her nurses for twenty-four hours a day the last eight days of her life. We also stayed with her for two weeks prior to that at the hospital sleeping on very uncomfortable recliners and getting no sleep from the sounds that hospitals make all night long. I never thought I was a strong person since I tend to avoid hard situations at all costs, but I love my MIL and my sister-in-law, and I wasn't about to abandon them during this time. I have never been more sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted...EVER.

Her funeral took place on April 23rd and we proceeded to leave for home in Kentucky after that. Between our first trip to Michigan and our second we bought chickens and ducks to raise, and unfortunately, we had to give them away because we just didn't know how long we would be gone.

Delivering birds to a friend. He was pretty upset about it.
We were home in Kentucky for about six weeks and then back to Michigan for my step-sisters wedding. At least this was joyous occasion!
Evan and my step-sister dancing at her reception.

My step-dad whispering something inappropriate in my mother's ear, I'm sure, but I love the expression on her face.
 I decided to take up running to deal with all this stress after my MIL died. It was therapy for me.
After spending another two weeks in Michigan for the wedding, we headed home to Kentucky once again.
I ran my first 5K in July of this year. It.Was.Awesome. Running is the first exercise I have ever participated in that I really think I can do the rest of my life. I realized after taking care of my MIL that I can do hard things, so I started running, because running is hard, right?! Now, if I can just get this plantar fasciitis to go away. 
August and September were pretty uneventful, but then came October! Sweet glorious October because we went to DISNEY WORLD!! My mom paid for us to go to Disney and we had SO much fun!
I will forever be grateful to my mom for doing this for us. It was a time for my little guy to relax, have fun, and forget that he just lost his other grandma. We could have never done this financially without mom's help.
After we got home from Disney, we only had a few days before our deer camp started. Our friend Nick, and Tyler, our nephew, came down to hunt with us. We were excited to be spending time with our friend and family. My sister-in-law and father-in-law also came. 
This is Nick waiting, not so patiently (at least I wasn't feeling too patient then), to go retrieve the awesome buck he just shot.
The first mature whitetail harvested from the Little House on the 100 Farm!
This is Ty's buck, which is also an awesome deer!
What success we had at deer camp this year!
The family went home mid November and I began getting ready for Christmas. We thought we had almost made it through the year with no more crappy stuff happening, but then on December 18th we received a phone call that informed us that Glen's uncle, my MIL's brother, had died suddenly. Once again, we were on our way to Michigan. We were there until Christmas Eve morning and then we headed home so Evan could have Christmas at his own house. I am thankful I was done with my Christmas shopping before we left or that would have been a mess.
That's a summary of our year for you. We had really low-lows like losing a person we love very much and losing her brother who was just as kind and sweet as she was, and really high-highs like Disney and scoring awesome bucks on the farm!
We are hoping that 2014 will be a bit less eventful for us. We would love to get some chickens and ducks again this spring but we are still struggling with what to do with animals while we are out of town.  
 Random pictures from 2013

This is Glen's birthday cake. He said he wanted a tractor for his birthday, so we got him two. :)

Spending time at the hospital with Grandma before she passed away.

My little guy all dressed up to stay goodbye to a woman who loved him as much as me and his father do.

We had a raccoon problem last year. I fought them all spring trying to keep them out of the garage and from stealing cat food. There is nothing like walking out the door and having a big hairy coon staring you in face. We finally got the problem fixed from inside the garage. They would move the rocks out of the way on the outside and kept getting in.
There's so much more to write about and someday I will tell you all about how much this year has changed me for the better. I have grown tremendously through all of it.

We didn't catch a coon but we caught Charlie. Poor baby looks so embarrassed!






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