Tag Archives: celebration

2012: A Life Changing Year

It’s hard to believe that almost exactly a year ago we found out that Sammy would be joining our world. Looking back, 2012 had some fun pre-Sammy highlights: ringing in the New Year with my family in Seattle, a tour of Dave Ramsey’s headquarters during an awesome trip to Nashville, a beautiful excursion in Ireland that included two nights in a Ritz Carlton suite, and months of preparation for the arrival of our little man. But my favorite part of 2012 were the final 17 weeks, starting with this moment:

Baby's First Photo

Baby’s First Photo

The day after Sam was born doctors told us there were some things wrong with him. As his mom, I cried quite a bit those first couple of weeks because I just wanted him to be healthy. I spent more time in doctors’ offices since Sam’s arrival than my entire 33 years. He had just about every part of his body scanned and poked, but thankfully he’s growing and developing perfectly. Every Friday at 10:07 am my iPhone beeps letting me know that my son is another week older. I spend a few minutes reflecting on this wonderful and perfect gift I’ve been given.

week 1

Every week we take a photo of Sammy in his crib with a clipboard declaring his age. It’s amazing to see how much he’s grown.

week 5For the first six weeks of his life he wore a Pavlik Harness, which you can see in his week 5 photo. He had to wear it 24 hours a day so correct his hip, which wasn’t securely in socket. This meant no baths, no pants and no kissing his sweet little toes. I remember how glorious it felt when they took his harness off for a few minutes at Shriner’s hospital and I was able to hold him without any straps or Velcro in the way.

week 10By week 10 doctors switched him to a Rhino Cruiser which he only wears at night. Doesn’t he look good in pants?

week 15It’s been amazing to watch him learn and change. He loves to smile and see other people smile. He’s figuring out how his hands work and seems to have a growing interest in his feet. He really only fusses when he’s sleepy or tired. Otherwise he’s a happy baby who has brought so much joy to our lives. I’m not really sure how I lived so many years without him but I’m incredibly thankful to start 2013 with little Sam in my life.



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A Look Back at 32

Tim and I in LiberiaTomorrow is my birthday and I plan to celebrate with some shopping, relaxing and a milkshake. Tim’s birthday was last month and we spent it at the Powerscourt Ritz Carleton outside of Dublin enjoying a five star meal at Gordan Ramsey but for my birthday Tim’s taking me to Cook-Out Burgers. Don’t worry– I’m not mad. It was my idea after I saw a sign on the side of their building that says they offer 40 milkshakes. I’m already a little nervous about having to choose just one flavor!

Anyway, when my birthday comes around I always like to take some time to reflect on the past 365 days. (Here’s last year’s for instance.) Here are some of the highlights of 32:

  • I enjoyed seeing my byline in more magazines than ever before including about half a dozen times in REDBOOK.
  • I opened the Wall Street Journal on June 15, 2011 to see huge color photos of my friends and I along with a write-up about our Traveling Journal.
  • In early July I spent several days in Atlanta promoting authors at the International Christian Retail Show. I also got to visit CNN and see fellow Iowa State alum Jacqui Jeras.
  • On July 18 I found myself sitting on the set of The Today Show with my best friends talking about the Traveling Journal.
  • I spent the first two weeks of August in Liberia, Africa helping to drill wells in remote villages and share Christ with Muslims.
  • I spent the last two weeks of August enjoying time with visiting relatives from Northern Ireland. We had a fun trip to Atlanta where we bumped into Whitney Eve Port from The City.
  • My sister came to visit and we had an amazing time which included a trip to the Old Edward’s Spa– amazing!
  • I helped plan and organize the Reality Check event, benefiting Water of Life. We raised a couple of thousand dollars to help drill wells in Third World countries.
  • We spent Thanksgiving in Florida with Tim’s parents and got to see some of my friends.
  • For Christmas we headed to Seattle for an extended visit. Tim and I went skiing, shopping and site seeing.
  • In January we found out we were expecting!
  • Tim and I did several weekend getaways for a magazine including a resort in the Georgia mountains, The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, and the Opryland in Nashville. All of them were so fun and full of special memories. We also got a behind-the-scenes tour of Dave Ramsey’s headquarters which was a highlight.
  • In April we went to Northern Ireland for a 10 day trip that included amazing sites and some of the best food we’ve ever had. Plus we got to spend time with our family.
  • We found out that our baby is a boy and we named him Sam!

When I see it all written out like that it’s hard to believe that I will ever have a year quite as unique and memorable,

group with KL and Hoda

With Kathie Lee and Hoda on The Today Show

but then again, I am about to have my first child so that will be full of its own adventures and memories.

The older I get the more I realize that every year is special in its own way. There really doesn’t have to be a time designated as “the best years of your life” because each year has the potential to hold something remarkable. You just have to be willing to welcome new opportunities and often that means spending a lot of time outside your comfort zone. So here’s to 33– I’ll be toasting it with a milkshake!

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2010: What a Year!

To bid farewell to 2010, the hubs and I created this list of our top ten moments of ’10. We stuck it in our Christmas card this year, but I thought I’d post it here as well. Tonight we’re having warm lobster salad and chocolate-pistachio cannoli, watching a movie and watching the ball drop. I’m ringing in the new year with my favorite person by my side and that’s all that matters. I hope you have a happy celebration!

10. BEING A FINALIST: We were in the running (twice) to have our home appear in a real estate segment on the Today Show and Ali almost got a national commercial for her Aha Moment.

9. BIRTHDAY BLADING: To celebrate Ali’s 31st b’day we rollerbladed from Greenville to Travelers Rest—that’s 24 miles! Special thanks to the golf cart driver who pulled us up that last hill.

8. MIDWESTERN ROAD TRIP: In late June we took a tour of the Midwest, stopping in St. Louis for a Christian trade show (and some Ted Drewes!) and ending up in Ali’s hometown of Sioux City, Iowa for the 4th.

7. SPRINGTIME IN THE CITY: In May we drove up to New York City for Book Expo America and we got to see Barbara Streisand, Rick Springfield and how could we forget, one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

6. THE TRAVELING JOURNAL: In February four of Ali’s friends visited for a magazine photo shoot about the traveling journal they’ve shared for a decade. The photos haven’t been published yet, but the girls did create a business plan, launching TheTravelingJournal.com mid-summer.

5. WEDDING BELLS: Ali’s sister Stephanie and her fiancé Jason tied the knot in the beautiful San Juan Islands. We toured the island on mopeds, poked alpacas, went whale watching and kayaked near seals. Oh yeah, and the wedding was lovely, too.

4. OUR HAIRY SON: We started the year off by adding another member to the Lowry household. Milo (aka. Special Eddie) is loveable, energetic and endless fun. Bruno usually likes his new brother.

3. UNDER CONSTRUCTION: After nine months of hammering, sawing and painting we finally completed the long task of turning our stinky attic into a luxurious master suite complete with a marble shower and a walk-in closet. Tim’s now available for odd jobs if you’re hiring.

2. A FAMILY ADDITION: We found out Ali’s sister is expecting a baby boy! It’s the first baby on both sides of the family so we’re excited to spoil our new nephew, due January 4, 2011.

1. CROSSING THE FINISH LINE: Three months of training, four pairs of running shoes and hundreds of miles later, we finally crossed the finish line of the Greenville marathon hand-in-hand. Tim’s parents were there to cheer us on and take photos. Training for the marathon was a lot like 2010—challenging and exhilarating. But on race day we were able to cross the finish line knowing it was both the ups and downs that prepared us to complete the race—an accomplishment we will always cherish.

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The 25/30 Celebration: Planning

On April 12, 2009 my husband turns 25, and just over a month later on May 15, 2009 I turn the big 3-0. To celebrate these momentous occasions we have created the 25/30 celebration. It is a month-long event filled with unique experiences, big parties and lots of fun! We are trying to plan out our month by coming up with some ideas for events and experiences. Here are a few that we have generated. PLEASE add some of your thoughts!

Announce a city-wide water balloon fight in Cleveland Park using Twitter

Bake cupcakes and hand them out at the homeless shelter

Throw out candy from the trolley that cruises down Main Street

Take a road trip to the Outerbanks and try hang gliding

Swim with dolphins

Throw pies in each others’ faces

Build a fort out of sheets in our living room and camp out

Prank call the mayor

Go to a restaurant that puts your name on a plaque if you eat the 5 pound burger/20 scoop ice cream cone/25000 calorie meal.

Compete in a mud run

See what happens when we take ten shots of espresso

Go on a hunt for Billy Mays in Greer

Learn the dance at the end of Slumdog Millionaire

Go to Iceland

What ideas do you have?


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New Year’s Eve

The hubby and I are ringing in our first New Year as a married couple tonight.  We are heading over to a friend’s for a quiet dinner and then probably coming back home before midnight.  Our flight left Seattle at 10:20 last night.  We got into Detroit at 6:30 am, Charlotte at 9:20 and finally Greenville just before noon.  Since I can’t sleep on airplanes I am pooped.  I’m hoping I can make it to see the first minutes of 2008.  It may take some espresso.

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