I honestly can’t remember the last time I celebrated New Year’s Eve properly. For at least the past eight or so years, I’ve been miserably sick, working, or studying on New Year’s Eve and haven’t been able to ring in the new year with friends and family. As I mentioned in my New Year’s Resolutions 2014 and 101 in 1001 posts, I have lofty goals for 2014, so I knew that I wanted to start the new year out on the right foot- smiling and laughing with people I care about.
Stephanie and Michelle were gracious enough to drive the long distance through traffic to meet up with me and my husband, and we were lucky that our great friend Clay was in town from LA and was able to join in as well. Our plan was to have a fun and low-key night with good food, good friends, and lots of laughs. We started off the night with a quick dinner at Bonefish, and the boys kindly did an impromptu parking lot photo shoot for the bloggers in the group after dinner. Unfortunately our cute outfits didn’t last long in the frigid weather, so we traded our heels and dresses for jeans and sweatshirts and headed to the beach.
I’m blessed to live within twenty minutes of a gorgeous beach, so we found a deserted area where we could light our fireworks and sparklers. Shh, don’t tell! Apparently it’s illegal to use fireworks in the county where I live for any purpose other than scaring birds away from railroads or fish hatcheries, so obviously that’s what we were doing! After a few failed attempts, some due to photography errors and some due to my inability to draw numbers in reverse, we finally mastered the art of sparkler photography.
I may not be able to draw numbers in reverse, but at least I can draw hearts! 2013 was a difficult year for everyone in the group for various reasons, so it was nice to spend the last day of the year together and end the year on a positive note. The struggles of the past year somehow didn’t seem to matter as we toasted with champagne (and sparkling apple cider for me), binged on chocolate cake, and played with fireworks like we were little kids.
After shooting off what seemed like 1,000 bottle rockets and depleting our entire stock of fireworks and sparklers, we each lit our own and one group prayer/wish lantern. This part of the evening was totally influenced by my love for Tangled, but it was a fun and meaningful way to symbolize the hopes and dreams we have for 2014.
We ended the night back at my apartment with a game of Cards Against Humanity, lots of candy, and the official countdown on the TV. I may have had a glass or three of sparkling apple cider (I live on the wild side), and I thought everything was just perfect. Of course I wish I had a cute apartment with ample room/furniture for my friends to sleep on, and it would have been nice if we had been more organized…but honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the night any other way.
The new year has already given each of us difficult challenges to face, but I’m so excited to see where the year takes us. I’m so blessed to the best husband, the best parents, the best little brother, and the best extended family (including these amazing friends!). I have high hopes for you, 2014, so don’t let me down.
How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? How has 2014 treated you so far?