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Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 Year in Review

I missed my opportunity to do a review for 2012 so I need to interrupt the Brazil posts to give a little recap to 2013.

In short, I cannot believe that a whole year has gone by. It started with a very fast beginning to an incredibly slow middle and ended in a flash. Thus is a year with a pregnancy/new baby.

We have now lived in Argentina for over four years. We have been married five and a half years. Our family has doubled in size. Our belongings have doubled in size (or somewhere close, we'll find out whenever we pack up to move next). We are now, officially, the longest duration expats in Argentina with Jon's company.

The most important point in our year was when this little man joined our family:
He was calm, even in the moments after birth
The most tranquilo two guys I know
It took a little while, but she has gotten used to her "baby"

Alex has brought us joy and light, and every day I marvel at what an amazing little baby he is. It took a few (long) weeks, but Gretchen now seems to have fully embraced having a baby brother. Jon and I now share the joyful anticipation for our children to grow up as siblings. Playing together, entertaining each other, fighting for the same toys and lobbying for attention - all of the good and bad about having brothers and sisters that makes for fun family stories and helps you bond as a family unit. This was a very important part of both of our lives growing up moving, now we can offer to our kids as well.

Though we had some wonderful highs, 2013 was also a year of farewells. We said hasta la proxima to a number of our closest friends, an inevitability when living abroad, but difficult nonetheless.

We cannot wait to live close to these friends again.

Gretchen and Talia were separated for a few months, then caught up again on a trip to the US where we all reunited in Houston and they bonded over their shared love for Dora, drinking juice and Sapo Pepe.
Watching Dora the Explorer, a favorite pasttime

These two were (and will be again) inseparable!
Through the goodbyes, we also welcomed a number of visits from friends and family.

In March, Gretchen was doused in a week of complete lovin' by her pseudo-big-sister Genna and the rest of the Marvin clan. She followed little Teddy around like a pull toy. We joked about how they could all be siblings with their super-blue eyes and mega-blond hair. We had an absolute blast with this wonderful family.

Grammy made her 6th appearance in Argentina and Papa Mas his 4th, Gran and Poppa came back for the 6th time, and their visits this year were especially helpful since I was either pregnant or we had just had a new baby and loved the extra help.

Bathtime fun with Grammy

Taking a ride with Papa Mas
Three generations of Hokie fans
6th time's the charm - we finally visit the Rosedal with Gran and Poppa
Poppa's newest admirer
Resting on the Tigre boat with Gran
The end of 2013 also brings with it the relative certainty that we will be leaving Argentina in 2014. Without an exact date or location, we have some flexibility to do all of the "last minute" things we want to do in the country - while not being stressed by the actual work of moving. On the other hand, we are in a holding pattern until we receive news. No, we haven't heard anything. No, we don't know when we're leaving. We don't know around when. We just have to wait and see - and patience is not a virtue that either Jon or I claim to have.

It's nice to have some time to get to know our family of four before another big change is upon us. Watching each member of our family adjust to a new role is a great way to bid farewell to 2013. So for now we just sit still...

 Though before we know it, we'll be on the move again!

Happy New Year to all! Sending love from Argentina as we enjoy our last 100+ degree January for the foreseeable future!

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