Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Rollercoaster Year in Review: 2013



"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." Dickens' words rang true this year, friends. While he was talking about two groups of people in a Tale of Two Cities, this was true in our household in 2013.

Mere and I were so excited that we were about to have a baby. Baby Cece came a few weeks early, but was healthy. Best of times. Mere, on the other hand, had to be induced because of preeclampsia and then had an emergency c-section, followed by a an enlarged heart. The days following Cece's birth were the hardest I've had to endure in 33 years. Worst of times. For more on that, you can read here.
The accompanying picture to this paragraph still brings tears to my eyes as I write this nearly a year later sitting in Starbucks (people are looking at me!)...


And though Mere had to stay in the hospital while I was home with the baby while Mere was in the hospital for the first 10 days or so, we snuck her out of her room to have a quick little reunion...

Read more about her homecoming here.

The good news is that Mere, Ellie, and I were blessed with this little babe.

After the baby Mere had to have a hysterectomy, and so we knew that Cece was our one and only shot at having a baby we could dress up. So, we decided to take full advantage...























Cece has changed our world in little amazing ways. Ellie's too. Seeing Ellie as a big sister warms my heart, as does seeing Mere as a mom. While we're still able to travel for weddings, it makes coming home that much sweeter. Especially when you come home to a happy baby like her.

My motto has always been to work hard so we can play hard. The hard work has of course been happening long before Cece (and even Ellie) came along - did you know we started Benfield Photography 15 years ago? - but this year we really got to play hard... we took our family of four to California for some major memory making! Read about it here.




And since we showed Cece's Halloween costume... here's Ellie's. She was Lucille Ball for Halloween. So presh!


And here's her recital that literally made me weep...


Then she got the news that she was going to be tested for the gifted program, which she passed!



And for Spring break, we took a daddy/daughter trip to NYC. We ate some really yummy food and had an amazing time together (and spotted a couple celebs!)


One of the coolest things that happened to her this year was making the cover of her first magazine. :)  Ellie was on the cover of Citiscapes!




In other Citiscapes news, our home got featured by Citiscapes.  We don't have the fanciest house on the block, but it's ours and we love it and have made it our home (read more here)!

All in all, it was a beautiful year, full of ups and downs, but one where I was able to grow and become closer to the person God wants me to ultimately become. I'm thankful for so many things, and even for the hardships this year gave me. I'm thankful for my sweet family, and I'm thankful for the success of our family business, and I'm thankful for YOU!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

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