Twenty-Thirteen, you sweet sweet thing,
You were good to us. No no, you were great to us. Our little family of three thrived this year and will fondly remember you as the year of magic. Now, we couldn't have done it without the pitfall of the prior year (twenty-twelve... we haven't forgotten how rough you were.) And isn't it funny how sometimes you don't truly understand how the year went (good or bad) until it's over? I don't think we could have grasped how wonderful 2013 was to us without 2012 to compare, but we are so very grateful for both. And as for 2014! Well we have big things coming and I can't imagine all the great things that will happen, too.
Matt started the year with a new job working for Disney Interactive (as a contract employee.) He worked on the Disney Infinity game and came home happy all year. He worked his cute tail every day (with a lot of long nights and weekends) and impressed the right people with his insane talents, and they offered him a full time position as a 3D Character Artist on September 1st. Oh, the tears! He's worked so hard the past 4 years pursuing the dream of a 3D artist and our family (and extended family) have sacrificed hoping it would pay off, and the last 4 months of 2013 were full of dividend moments. You can't wipe the smile off our faces and he is completely fulfilled and passionate about what he's doing. This is for sure the biggest blessing we've received this year and if that were all, we would be completely thrilled. But! There were so many more that we often find ourselves overwhelmed with gratitude as we continue to review our year.
EZ Red went from toddler to boy this year and just became more awesome every day. His vocabulary is off the charts, he speaks in full sentences, has a hyper-active imagination, and can remember tiny details from events or movies that took place months ago. Ask him what kind of birthday cake he had in July (when he turned 2), and he'll not only tell you that it was a Mickey Mouse cake, but that he ate Mickey's ear and he got a red bike as a present. We have a detail loving boy on our hands, and it's thrilling to see what he's going to say next. We took him to Disneyland for the first time in October (with the entire 20 person Glade family) and it was incredibly magical. He loved meeting the characters and watching the parades, hated most of the rides (too dark, mama!), and cut 4 molars the last 2 days of the trip which almost caused his parents to leave him in California. Thankfully, time heals all wounds (even the intense emotionally charged ones) and we mostly just have happy memories of the trip. He started attending a Spanish Immersion daycare in August (when I went back to work) and we're seeing huge results from it. He's fairly fluent in 2 year old Spanglish and impresses us (and his teachers) on the daily. He's also a huge punk sometimes, and participates in and causes melt-downs on a regular basis. Good thing heaven intervenes a lot with 2 year olds, because his parents have oftentimes been ill-equipped for the roller coaster of emotions and discipline that is needed to care for such a small person. EZ knows how to tell a few jokes, but will work on his comedic timing in 2014.
Some very welcome news came to us in July when we found out we were expecting baby #2! He'll be joining our family in late February 2014 and might be named "smurphy" or "computer" if EZ gets to decide (thankfully I have veto power, and we're thinking it'll actually be Sullivan.) This pregnancy has been mostly amazing, and it's nice to be large with child in the winter months instead of the summer months this go around.
I (Carla) was very busy helping with Stake Girl's camp the first half of the year, and then spent the 2nd half of 2013 working more hours at the law office (my job of 7 years) in an attempt to save up for another baby and reach some financial goals that we've set for ourselves. I am an Instagram addict (@carlathorup) and still find some time to blog when I'm in the mood. I have hilarious girlfriends from all sorts of groups and have been blessed to spend a lot of time with them this year, making girl's nights and chat sessions a priority for my continued sanity. I find joy in writing lyrical poems, listening to podcasts, watching my boys together, and thinking deeply about Mormon topics. I continue to serve in the YW (4+ years strong) and still love hanging out with teenagers most of the time. I also really enjoyed going to the Justin Bieber concert in January, and will never be ashamed of how much I love bad pop music, #selfies, and the insane world of social media. I still get really emotional when people ask how Matt's job is going, because I find myself happily emotional to say he actually works for the Mouse! I think mom-life is amazing (and frustrating) and cannot wait to snug a newborn in a few month's time.
Matt has worked hard this year, continued to sketch and draw (outside of his job) and has even taken on a bit of the Instagram-fever himself (@the_redbeard.) He has not participated in any type of Bieber-fever, and would like that noted. He has had long hair, short hair, beard, no beard, and all of the in-betweens this year, and still looks hot in skinny jeans. His love for the UFC has only grown and he's attended many fight nights with his brothers. He's even gotten his wife sort of into it and EZ knows all about "the fight show" that daddy likes. Matt also did more golfing this year than ever before (most of it over one weekend on a golf trip), is trying to do some road-biking (when it's not cold), and will never turn down a burger. He read over 10 books this year since he's been taking Trax to and from work, he continues to serve as the Ward Mission leader, and often makes up hilarious songs & stories to entertain me and EZ. He's stoked to have another son on the way and for EZ to have a brother (because he likes his so much.)
And although this year has been amazing, it was not without it's down moments. We lost our beloved grandfather, Grum, this year and the entire family has felt his loss. Matt looked up to him in so many ways, and carries one of Grum's pencils with him frequently as a token of remembrance. My own grandfather has fallen ill some of the year, as well as other family members or close friends that have struggled with sickness or physical ailments. We are continuously grateful for bodies and their capability to recover or adapt from devastating situations or illnesses. And although Matt's new job is amazing, it didn't become official until September and we struggled with some of the "unknowns" that were put in our path.
One thing we are definitely sure of as we end this year, is God loves us. We have heavenly parents watching over us constantly who send peace and blessings and comfort in times of happy and need, and we believe in a loving Savior, Jesus Christ, as our redeemer. We feel their spirits as we try our best each day to live life fully, to forgive, to keep moving forward, and to most importantly show our gratitude and love to our beloved family and friends.
Thank you to every one of you who have helped shape us this year. We love you.
So thanks 2013, you done us good.
Carla (and Matt, EZ, el Bebe, and Guido dog too!)
And happy new year!!! Hip hip for 2014!