Aside from my calendar telling me so, it certainly doesn't feel like it.
Here in China, the New Year doesn't start til the last week of January, so we Americans are jumping the gun a little in saying goodbye to 2013 on December 31st. I'm okay with that.
2014 holds promise for our family. A new baby. More traveling on this side of the world...and one year closer to returning to California. I'm seriously thinking of making a countdown chain when we get down to the "one year left mark".
If I had to chalk up 2013 for the Zentils, I'd have to say it was a good one. There were a few hiccups along the way, but overall, we have been really fortunate this past year. I'm thankful for so many opportunities that came our way and thought I'd do a little year in review post to recap our year.
We celebrated Salvatore's first birthday with friends who also had January birthdays. Nick and his friend Pere have birthdays within days of Sal's, and my friend Anna shares Sal's birthdate. It was a great little get together, finished off by what else, but fireworks.
Snow! Can't say I love it, but having a snow day was a memorable experience for us.
Along with the cold weather came Sal's first real sickness, which got us aquainted with the local Chinese hospital for breathing treatments. Pretty sure he was the only laowai there.
Slightly warmer weather sent us in search of outdoor playgrounds. Our family spent most weekends taking walks and exploring our neighborhood.
We Went to the Lingshan Buddha and also spent Easter weekend with our international club at the Hilton Doubletree resort in Lingshan.
Can we say busy? We enjoyed having NZ's mom visit for a week. We took her to Lake Taihu and Nanchansi and had plans to take her to see the Lingshan Buddha...
Until this happened....
Sal had his first stitches at the local hospital. By this time I think we should have a frequent visitors card. Two visits within two months is two too many.
After Nick's mom left, we took off for Osaka, Japan where we survived a 6.0 earth quake at 5:45 in the morning..
...and ate our weight in sushi. Real sushi.
Once back from Japan, my sister arrived for two weeks and Sal and I showed her around our 'hood.
We bought a family scooter...
..and found it hard to say goodbye to my sister, so Sal and I booked some last minute tickets and flew back to CA with her. While at home we visited family...
And had a delicious dinner with my former boss & his wife...
...a beach day with the cousins...
And found out that by some miracle, I was pregnant again!
After a week back from the USA, we boarded a flight bound for Bali, Indonesia. We spent the Dragon boat festival holiday week enjoying a beachside resort far from China. NZ found a swell, a board and a motorbike, and had a chance to surf a bit while there.
To be honest, I don't remember much of July. I'm going to blame the extreme heat and humidity on this one... It was that hot. We spent many afternoons with our friends the Ratliffs, playing in their basement and watching movies together.
We let the world know we were expecting again by way of this announcement.
...and found out that the next baby is a girl!
We took a holiday to the USA.
Nick and I celebrated our 7th anniversary.
NZ got to surf.
We ate real Mexican food (I took the term holy guacamole to a whole new level with the amounts of avocado I consumed during our 2.5 week stay) and had a good time visiting friends and family.
Sal took his first trip to underwood farms to pick a pumpkin...
We traveled back to China.
Sal spent most mornings stuffing pompoms into silicone trays. I think this is still one of his favorite activities.
...we rounded out October with a visit to the facility NZ has been so busy getting up and running..
Sal and I went to school. Well, sort of. We toured a prestigious 1,000 year old school here in Wuxi with our international club.
I celebrated my birthday in Chinese fashion with some of my girlfriends. We got "dressed up" to go out to Muslim noodles...yes, those are pajamas and rhinestones wedges I am wearing. It's all the rage here. I promise.
My friends hosted a baby shower for me, and spoiled us with gifts.
Nick had the grand opening for the factory he has started for his company....and we did our best to get into the a Christmas spirit with a cookie exchange, Christmas Eve dinner and opening presents Christmas Day.
Now it's New Year's Eve, 9:30 pm, and Sal is fast asleep. We celebrated with some chocolate chip cookies that we baked today, and have now settled in on the couch in comfy sweats to watch a Bull Riding documentary on Netflix.
As fun as it is was to go out and live it up in my younger years, I can't say I feel like I'm missing out on anything other than a cocktail or three with my ol man tonight.
I'm pretty sure he will take a rain check on that one for another week or two, til I can celebrate not only a New Year, but a new life with him.
2014... let's do this!