As with every year that comes to a close, I find myself reflecting…and as usual, feeling a melancholy.

So instead of going over these moments in my head, I thought I might share them with our readers, in the hopes that it will make all of you take a few moments to go over your moments of 2013 as well.

I was sick in January of 2013. According to my doctor, I had the worst double ear infection she had ever seen. I remember I couldn’t talk, and when I did, I sounded like Big Ang from Mob Wives. I spent New Years at home, in my pajamas, with my kids, while my husband worked. On the plus side, the antibiotics I took made my skin so flawless that everyone complimented me on my skin. Once again, Dr. Judy at Vitality Natural Health came to my rescue. She gave me my quality of life back in 2011, and I will be forever grateful for the things she still does for me.

Bringing Back Awesome’s Twitter account (@bringingawesome) got a follow from Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey. We were so inspired by his positivity during hardships that faced the people of New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy, we just had to start following him. And when we asked him for a follow back, he obliged. Thanks Mr. Booker! In 2014, we’d love to get that interview with

I got a pool in my backyard. It took months (and a shitload of money), but it was completed just a few days before my 40th birthday party. The party my husband and children insisted I have, and I’m so glad they did. It was great to be with people who mean a lot to me. I love my family – my biggest support system.

Our family got to spend quite a bit of time with my cousin Gabriel. He would visit us here in AZ while attending conferences. He’s a bright spot in our lives. For my husband, he’s the other guy needed in this house full of women. My children adore him, and I find him to be an inspiration and a good source of energy not just for me, but for all of us. He’s also a wealth of knowledge, and a great conversationalist. We may not see as much of him in 2014, but we’ll certainly enjoy all the memories of his visits of 2013.

My mammogram, ultrasound and MRI all came back clear in early 2013. A huge relief.

My husband and children are all healthy. Not much else to ask for there.

I saw New Kids on the Block for the first time in 25 years. It was incredible and took me back to my high school days! I loved it! Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees, and NKOTB! A great concert, and a great time! In addition to the concert, Donnie Wahlberg is following me on Twitter (my personal account). A total highlight of 2013!!!

We did not win the Mega Millions.

Andrea wrote a blog post about her weight loss and road to better health. She followed the Whole30 program. Her blog post received the attention of Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, authors of It Starts with Food, and they featured the blog link on their Facebook page…TWICE! Andrea’s single blog post garnered Bringing Back Awesome our most readers and most blog activity to date. Congratulations to Andrea on such a great accomplishment in so many ways.

I went to the Justin Timberlake concert with my husband and our children earlier this month. It was their first concert, and it was the greatest concert I have ever seen. The opportunity to see the greatest performer of all time. WOW! I’m still reeling in from that one.

My neighbor and friend, Kate Mathias, who is also an author, helped me immensely this year. She probably doesn’t realize what she has done for me. I was running on a treadmill for a long time, and outside, to try and get into shape, and it just wasn’t working. In August, Kate took me to Orange Theory Fitness – circuit training. I’m still doing it today, and it has changed my life. I’ve made and built some great friendships, gotten in shape, had a lot of laughs, and I have Kate to thank for all of it.

And finally, the greatest highlight of 2013, for me, has everything to do with Ben Aaron. He’s a gem I came across in 2012. His YouTube videos are always funny and make me laugh. In addition to his great videos, Ben was kind enough to send me birthday greetings in May via Twitter.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get better, I got to meet Ben at Dance Walk Tucson. Before I met him, I thought he was just a funny guy, but it turns out he is a genuine person, kindhearted, and just loves life. He’s great! This encounter was the best part of 2013 for me.

Along the way, I have lost some people who were near and dear to me. I have encountered some threatening health issues. But all in all, it has been a good year.

To each and every one of you, I hope all of your wishes come true. Be safe this New Years Eve, and I wish you nothing but happiness and awesomeness in 2014.

Happy New Year!


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