Monday, December 31, 2012

So long 2012

Last night, much to my dismay, my sore throat and swollen glands returned, so I went to bed shortly after putting Tinley to sleep. Thank goodness, I'm feeling much better this morning. Anyway, when I went to bed, Justin was still up downstairs, working away, preparing for the busy January shows and traveling. (Not looking forward to that. We got so spoiled when he didn't have to travel last January, but hopefully he'll only be gone a week or so!) Apparently, he's not the only one that has a way with words, because when I woke up this morning, and checked my E-mail, he had sent THE SWEETEST letter to our friends and family, reminiscing over the past year. I asked him this morning if I could use it for my Blog today, and he agreed. It needs no introduction or no explanation. So, here's a look back at 2012 from my husband's point of view:

Dearest Family and Friends,

Tonight I’ve found myself in a situation that I’ve nearly forgotten what it’s like.  You see, Kelly is in bed sick and Tinley is of course asleep at this hour.  I’ve been working since earlier in the evening and just finished up.  I now find myself sitting on the couch, alone, in a quiet house.  What is this? With a new year upon us in a little less than 24 hours,  I’ve spent this quiet time reflecting upon the past year (and of course watching football)

2012 was truly an amazing year, probably the best year yet for me.  I can remember something special from just about every month.  Below are a few highlights from 2012.

2012 was the first full year for us living in our first home.  I have enjoyed it FAR more than I could have ever imagined.  I have enjoyed the yard work.  I have enjoyed the home improvements.  I have enjoyed it all, even the house payments (after all it’s better than paying RENT!!!).   I couldn’t be happier with our home.  It’s just perfect for us.

January – 2012 started off with the birth of our daughter, Tinley Nicole Slater, on January 24th.  This was something I never “dreamed of.”  I’ve always dreamed of killing a big deer, catching the next big fish, traveling to tropical destinations, etc.  But I never dreamed of the birth of my child.  Maybe it’s because I’m a man.  Maybe it’s because I’m crazy.  Or maybe it’s because I didn’t think I was ready to be a parent.  In retrospect, I don’t understand WHY this was something I did not dream of.  It was truly the most AMAZING, EMOTIONAL, UNFORGETABLE (dare I go on?) experience of my life.  I’m going to mention both fishing and hunting in this E-Mail but THIS, my friends, FAR exceeds those events.  I have since learned that being a parent is the BEST. THING. EVER.  Don’t get me wrong, I still dream of big deer and big fish, but those things don’t matter as much as they used to.  I don’t have as much time to hunt and fish as a used to, and honestly, I don’t have the desire to do it as much anymore.  So if I even kill a deer or catch a fish, I’m happy, if it’s a big deer or big fish that’s just that much more added bonus.  Tinley Nicole is everything.

May – We took Tinley to WV and NC to meet all of her family and friends.  She also put her toes in the ocean for the first time.  My dad introduced me to Kure Beach and his grandparents introduced him to Kure Beach.  This year I got to introduce my daughter to Kure Beach.  Kure Beach is a very special place to Kelly and I because that’s where we met.  It was very special to return there and introduce our daughter to that town, beach, ocean, and some of the people who helped introduce Kelly and I.   Hopefully someday Kure Beach will be as special to Tinley as it is to Kelly and I.

September – I had the privilege and honor or standing beside my best friend Anthony as he was married.  Both Anthony and myself are both only children and we’ve always been like brothers to each other.  He was my best man at our wedding in 2010 and I had the honor of being his best man this year.  I felt like a big brother standing beside him that day and I was just so proud of him.  It was also our first time being away from Tinley overnight!  My mom watched her for two nights while we traveled to southern WV for the wedding.  It was a perfect weekend for a perfect couple and we couldn’t wait to get  back to our baby.

November – I had the opportunity to deer hunt with both my dad and my Grandpa Slater, together.  With my dad living in Texas it’s not every day we get to spend time together and in our family, hunting is some of the best time we could spend together.  These guys both killed bucks on the Slater farm on opening morning.  My grandpa killed a second buck on Tuesday morning.  I wasn’t as fortunate early in the week but I too killed a buck on that farm while hunting with them both Thanksgiving morning.  We then spent Friday at my grandpa’s house cutting deer meat, another Slater tradition that provided us with quality time together.  It was quite a successful year for the Slater’s in the deer woods.

December – this month comes with highs and lows.  We spent our first Christmas with Tinley and our second Christmas in our home.  Even though we did not have the opportunity to see all of our family this year for Christmas (LOW), it was nice being with our daughter in our own home.  Tinley started to take her first steps and is on her way to being a full blown walker.  The final low of the year, that I’m just now realizing, is that 2012 has come to an end……

In addition to all the good things that happened in 2012 I also have learned a lot and the important things in life have become a lot more clear.

I hope each and every one of you have the most amazing 2013 possible.  I hope it’s perfect in every way but make time for what truly is important in life, your friends and family.  Kelly and I are blessed in a lot of ways, but mostly by the friends and family that surround us.  Life is really about the people that surround us and we are fortunate enough to have THE BEST friends and family. EVER.

Lastly, take time to enjoy TODAY.  EVERYONE tells you about how fast your children grow up.  You never realize it until it happens to you.  This not only goes for your children growing up but life in general, it goes by SO FAST.  I often find myself looking forward to the weekend, or next week for a special event, or next month for something.  Don’t.  ENJOY TODAY.  I now have an 11 month old (I first typed one year old which is a prime example of my point, she just turned 11 months last week).  As I sit here thinking about how great 2012 was, WHERE DID IT GO?

Thank each of you for helping to make 2012 my best year yet.  I don’t know that it’s possible, but I hope we can all make 2013 even better (despite me turning 30, eeek)!!!

Love and see you all soon,

Isn't he amazing?! You can see why I wanted to share it with you all. I hope today, on this New Year's Eve, you stop, take a look back at the past year, remember what you are thankful for, and what's truly important. And, of course, have a safe and Happy New Year! Bring on 2013... xoxo

NYE 2012... I was due 24 short days later!

 Tinley Nicole has finally arrived! January 24, 2012

Tinley's first picture with the Easter Bunny!

First dip in the ocean at Kure Beach!

First boat ride in Lake Erie!

First trip to Kelley's Island!

6 months old!

At Ashley & Justin's wedding, August 2012


Celebrating our 2 Year Anniversary!

 At the Willard Wedding

Fall 2012 at the Pumpkin Patch

Tinley's First Halloween! She was a cupcake.

First trip to Chuck E. Cheese in WV with mommy & Mamaw, November 2012

Tinley's First Thanksgiving

Slater men with their trophies! November 2012

First visit with Santa!

First Christmas Party!

Christmas Eve!

Christmas morning!


  1. Sooooooo sweet! Your hubby is precious! So thankful for y'all's amazing 2012 and here's to 2013!

    1. Thanks Denise, I thought it was super sweet! He never ceases to amaze me. Happy New Year to you and Matt, hope 2013 is as great as your 2012! :o)


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