Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Well, 2014, you've outdone yourself! What a wonderful, crazy year it has been, filled with some of the highest highs, and of course, a few lows. I'm seeing so many recaps online today and thought it would be nice for myself to have a recap of some of the moments that stood out in 2014. And for anyone else out there, please bear with me on my trip down memory lane!


  • Celebrated my Grandpa's 84th birthday!
  • Celebrated Team Ross' accomplishments with our first annual Light the Night Fundraiser
  • Mourned the loss of my Grandpa only a few short weeks after his birthday (I like to think he got a chance to see all the people he loved most in the world at his birthday and decided he was satisfied and ready)


  • Traveled to Orlando for the best Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party ever! I have the best family and friends in the world and they made this weekend so special for me.
  • Spent a week in Chicago with the first bout of Hemolytic Anemia (little did we know what was ahead...)
  • Our Wedding!! Headed down to New Orleans March 12 - 18 for an absolutely unforgettable, incredible wedding weekend. I was (and still am!) so thankful to be able to marry my best friend, and on top of that, have the most beautiful, perfect celebration (thanks mom!) with all of the people I love most.
  • Back to Chicago for a very scary battle with Hemolytic Anemia. Hemolytic Anemia is a condition where the body has an immune reaction and begins to attack its own red cells, completely decimating the body's hemoglobin supply. We spent nearly an entire month in Chicago trying to right this wrong. It wasn't without many sleepless nights and scary blood tests, but finally the genius of Dr. Stock prevailed and she was able to stabilize the hemolysis. This is something we are still grappling with to this day, but I am so thankful that it is stable, under control, and hopefully dissipating underneath the medications.
  • May was a much-needed quiet month with as much rest as possible between work.
  • June threw us another curve-ball in the form on Pneumonia. As we were planning to host some friends for CMA fest (luckily, they cancelled), we ended up spending that Friday night in the ER, followed by several days of treatment and recovery from Pneumonia. Another very scary time, but in the end Vanderbilt was able to knock it out and send us home.
  • Ross' sister and husband came to visit us a few weeks later and while we tried to take it easy, we had a great time showing them around the city and just spending time together.
  • I led my first official Federal Grant and killed it! (if I do say so myself). I later learned that the proposal was funded for $5 million over 5 years - a huge win!
  • Spent 4th of July in North Carolina with my family which was a blast! We needed the beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air to recover from the past few months of stress and spent the weekend hiking, chasing waterfalls, and checking out the local breweries.
  • Took a weekend trip to Chicago for a happy occasion - a birthday! It was a great weekend with family and I especially loved seeing my niece and nephew (who at this point were obsessed with Frozen). 
  • Started the month out with great news - a promotion! 
  • Packed our bags and headed to France for a once-in-a-lifetime trip for our Honeymoon! We spent two weeks exploring Paris, Avignon, and other small cities in Provence and had an absolutely perfect experience. I've never felt so happy, excited, relaxed, and at peace in my life. I am so grateful for the time we had just the two of us to be a married couple in good health, happiness, and love!
  • We hosted our second annual Light the Night fundraiser and raised over $13,000!
  • Ross got a job in the legal field and it is the perfect transition - hooray!
  • We added a new family member - our lab, Mae! I introduced her officially a few weeks ago, and she is growing quickly, around 40 lbs at about 5 months. She is a sweet pup with more growing to do and much more training to go, too.
  • We celebrated Ross' 2 year anniversary with so much joy and love. I am so proud of that man and in awe of him every day.
  • I took a weekend trip down to Miami to spend a girls' weekend with my best friends! We drank wine, caught each other up on everything, supported our Miami Hurricanes, and just had the best weekend. It has been almost 10 years since I first met these girls and here we are still as close as ever across time and distance.
  • Happy Thanksgiving! We headed back down to Florida to spend time with my family in Orlando. We helped my mom host 15 people for a big turkey dinner and spent the weekend with the extended family at Universal Studios checking out Harry Potter. I also got to sneak in some coveted Black Friday shopping time with my mom - a tradition we've had for years now!
  • And here we are in December! Fortunately it was mostly a quiet month spending time with each other and Mae until...
  • Christmas in Chicago! We took the pup and drove up to Chicago for almost a week of festivities with family and friends. We had delicious home-cooked dinners for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, hit the Museum of Science and Industry, spent time with friends downtown, and checked out the Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I feel so fortunate to have two families that I love so much, so it is always a great time to be around everyone and step into my role as Auntie Rachel. 
And that leaves us with tonight, New Years' Eve. I hope I captured most of the highlights from this year, and after writing this, even with the few scary blips, I am kind of sad to say goodbye to 2014. We had so much to look forward to and celebrate and it pretty much all went off without a hitch! But, with that said, I have my eye out to the future and all of the good health, happiness, and fortune I hope 2015 will bring!

Happy New Year!!

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