The past few weeks have been incredibly hectic for us. We searched seriously for a standalone home from mid-November on (the second house I looked at is the one that’s now ours), after convincing our gracious landlord to let us end our lease seven months early so we could no longer share walls or live in the epicenter of college parties and on top of an enormous, massive hill in the wintertime. We were ready for a place of our own.

December 15, we took possession of our house, moved the big furniture in with the help of a friend from work, and drove to a shelter in Grandview, Missouri, to pick up the dog I had been swooning over online since late November. Still with completely opposite schedules and over just one week, with a couple of snowy days in there, we cleaned our house, moved all our things in, cleaned our old apartment, and packed our car (dog included) for Colorado. We tried desperately to split fairly our time between his family and mine, and our friends, and we succeeded, I think, if it was even possible. It was so good to see family. Nathaniel bought a car, and we had to tow it home with our truck. I walked into my tattoo artist’s shop intending to ask him a question, and I came out three hours later with a half-sleeve. Exhausted, we came home to my best friend, Ian, who was passing through Lawrence on his way home to Fort Collins. We spent the past two days with him, and today we are at last slipping into a new routine in our new home, just the two of us, again.

It’s been nonstop. I had entirely forgotten the feeling of the surface of a down comforter sans-duvet-cover against my skin and just laying in bed during the daylight hours I treasure so much in the winter months, and it’s glorious.

2012 has been a big year for us, maybe our biggest since we started this journey together in ’06. Nathaniel moved in with me in my Denver apartment late December 2011 (N’s moved three times in the past year!), and in May we visited Kansas and decided to move here in August. I left the country for the first time. I had my first full-time job. We moved in to our first house. I got my first dog. I love to take trips, but I’m a homebody, and the change I love is gradual and subtle. Being overwhelmed can turn me into someone else completely, and I’m embarrassed thinking about those who have had to bear the brunt of that (I’m looking at you, Nat).

My New Year’s resolutions are to live intentionally, to try to live peacefully, to be patient and compassionate and good to the people (person) around me, and to buy a lottery ticket once in a while. I have to remember that this year is still “time off” for me, and I have to remember not to rush things. That being said, there are still a lot of things I am working on, big and little, that will be released in 2013, and I have pretty high hopes that it’s going to be a good, solid, quiet year (quiet is a really good thing).

Here are some pictures of our dog, Cody, in our backyard and on a walk in the Baker Wetlands during the first snow. I promise, as best I can, to not falter in documenting the happenings in our life in 2013.