Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 Recap

As the final days of 2013 approach I wanted to take a moment to recap just HOW much we did this year, it was packed with laughter tears and lots of love.

January- a month filled with lots of birthdays! This year Ali was old enough to enjoy them all!
Enjoying his friend Umer's first birthday party

Ayaan's adorable Choo Choo turning 2 party!

many faces of Ali in January
February: Lots went on this month
failed attempt at toilet training, at least he looks cute

Ali's first time playing in snow

My Stud of a date

I got super cheesy with Valentine plans this year, read about it here
 it up with his buddies, we call them Rugrats!

Wajih and Ali's first trip to Philly! Saw Constitution hall and the Liberty Bell. Finished off with authentic cheesesteaks

We took a trip of a lifetime to Istanbul, Turkey read about it
March: Enjoying the drastic weather changes of living in the northeast, snow one day, sunshine and 65F another

Still March but weather finally warms up
Celebrated my parent's 35th anniversary, details here

April: Ali and I did an impromptu photo shoot with matching attire, he will grow up and think I'm SO weird for this

May: Got this amazing 21st birthday cake for my baby sister, she'll always be the chubby wubby cutie in the family

June: Family time while Wajih headed out to Tampa

 Celebrated father's day with my dad and dada

Ali's toddler class graduation

visited Sesame Place with Ali's cousins, he loved it so much he still asks to go back

Wajih came back to NJ to visit and we went to our favorite brunch spot, Rat's

July: Wrapping up summer and time with family
watched local fireworks, Ali's first time so up close

my baby sister making my birthday super special
Surprise birthday party just for me!

Forced my family in the heat of July to Central park
being silly with my kiddies
Ali making summer memories

wrapped up our life

Ali did not want to say goodbye to his first home
the very first place Wajih and I called home

one last look at my office, where I started my career as an intern in college

my amazing friends threw me a farewell party
Ali spent some time with his great grandfather, who knows how many more chances we have to capture those moments.

my final goodbye to Nani

At a memorial for Nani my entire family got together, another goodbye

Last shot of all us cousins before I headed out of town

August - I adjusted to life in a new place 
September - Set up a new home, had adventures with Ali and made a mini trip to Miami and Key Largo 

October: Tried to find Autumn in Florida's heat, read more about it here

 November: A very busy month jam packed with activities
Ali's Nana Abu came to visit us in Tampa

Made a 16 hr road trip for Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' place

All of Ali's cousins
Couldn't stay away from the food table

reunited with all his old daycare buddies, it was adorable seeing them all squeal with excitement!

 December - We spent most of the start of the month being sick with upper respiratory infections brought back from NJ's cold weather, finally when all the illness went away we got into the holiday festivities and took Ali to a Christmas light show at the mall, he loved it and we loved seeing fake snow in 70 degrees.

Now I'm headed back to the tundra again, I'll be visiting home for the next month so my blogging will be even more slacking than it has been lately. 2013 was an emotional year to say the least. I said many goodbyes, but I also made some new discoveries about friendships, family, me, about my strength and about my capacity to love. Right now, in this very moment I would not change a single aspect of my life, I love every part of it to bits. I couldn't be more thankful for what I have and the memories I've been given over the past year.

I didn't speak much of it earlier as my grandmother had passed away literally the day before our anniversary, but this year was my husband and my 5th wedding anniversary. That's a big one. We spent a good chunk of the year apart, more than we ever had before. We also embarked on a big change together. All around me I've seen many people face tough moments regarding marriage or lack thereof this year and sometimes after you've been married so long you begin to get comfortable and stop appreciating what you've got. I got married fairly young, lots of other girls at the time even dubbed my type of girls 'the ones who settled' because we gave into the typical Pakistani mentality of marrying young and to whom our parents wanted. I honestly didn't love my husband when I married him, I hardly knew him. So I can't truly say if I "settled". The only thing I knew about him was that no one else I would meet would ever love my parents and family so sincerely. No one else could be a better fit for my own self. And five years later I can now wholeheartedly say I was absolutely right. Every day he pushes me to be a better but at the same time he loves me deeply for who I am so spending my life with someone like that, if it was settling, is the best decision I ever made.

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