Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

2013 in Review

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Oh my. 2013 certainly was a long year. As I was looking at pictures from the beginning of the year I couldn’t believe that they were taken less than a year ago. This was taken on January 1st 2013, and so many things – the place we live, the tree, the furniture – are different now.

1/1/13

This was a year of big changes both for me and for people close to me. A lot of really wonderful and fun things happened this year but, for whatever reason, this year seemed like a bit of a slog. I don’t know why it is (ummmmm, probably all of the changes,) I have just felt more overwhelmed that was probably necessary.

January started off with some cold bike commutes…
Today's commute brought to you by the letter B for Brrrrr! 1°F/-17°C

But I didn’t have to suffer through them for long because January also brought Disney trip #1, my birthday/anniversary trip from Gist.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
Dumbo!

The beginning of February continued my epic vacation, with the annual SPA trip up to Maine with Nancy.
Poutine: happy birthday to me!
Birthday poutine at Duckfat

February also brought our only real snowstorm of the winter: Nemo.
Snowy pines...

In March, we started house-hunting…
333 Princeton Boulevard

Pre-Closing

We put in an offer on the sixth house we saw, and the long wait began…

We spent Easter with Gist’s parents at Foxwoods. We visited the museum and spent the rest of the time either in the pool or in our room, doing some much-needed relaxing.
Pequot Museum

In April, I participated in 30 Days of Biking for the second time. I didn’t bike every day (packing and a big work event got in the way) but I biked every day that I could, and I participated in Lowell’s first Tweed Ride. It was great fun!
Day 14 of 30 Days of Biking

April 30th was a big day, I voted…
Voted! #Lowell #MASen #Usingthe19th #Vote

…and we closed on our house!
Guys! We went and bought ourselves a house! (Or: hello yard for the pups, goodbye money dollahs!)

May was hot, and we were busy getting used to being homeowners.
And now it's my turn...
I was finally able to get the reel mower of all my dreams 🙂

My new home away from home...
I had been to the Home Depot maybe nine times in my live prior to May, now we’re there at least once a week.

Chillin' and grillin' (and ignoring my living room chock full o' boxes) this evening.
Simon and Rudy LOVE having a yard!

We had a lot of houseguests in our box-filled and un-furnished home, and the end of May brought a visit from far-flung family members.
@juicedus & @ayeshamus are sleepin' in style tonight (yes, those are twin air mattresses placed in a room ringed with liquor boxes full of books. Obviously we're classy like that.)
Super-classy accommodations!

Of course they got to see #Lowell City Hall too.

And, to top it all off, May brought my darling Godson into the world!

June began with my sister Lauren’s lovely wedding.
Congrats Lauren and Jack! #laurenandjack

June continued with May’s heat and humidity, and with houseguests in our box-filled and un-furnished home.
Untitled

The end of June brought a much-needed week away at the Cape with some of my favorite people!
Baby's first trip to the National Seashore!
Adorable Godson’s first week at the beach!

Untitled

July was… also hot and humid. We came up with a couple of creative cooling solutions…
We've reached the sitting-with-our-legs-in-the-sprinkler-while-drinking-frosty-beverages portion of our holiday.

I have literally spent the entire day in my kiddie pool (which basically makes it the best twenty bucks I've ever spent.)

We also managed to unpack and paint our living room!
Painting Day! We're going from a color that makes me go crazy and die (because I'm not dramatic or prone to hyperbole at all) to Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue. Also, this puts us one step closer to furniture (but we won't be holding our breath...)

Untitled

In August, we had our last set of houseguests to visit our un-furnished home…
Rudy loves his Aunt Julie!

Yay! Furniture!
Rudy loves his new sofa!

Gist and I also saw Josh Ritter at the Lowell Summer Music Series. It was a great show!
Untitled

In September, we painted the master bedroom and the smallest bedroom, and we turned the master bedroom into a family room, and the smallest bedroom into our bedroom. (Our third bedroom remains a guestroom that needs to be painted in 2014.)
Untitled

We also took trip #2 to Disney World, and our first stay in the amazing Kidani Village.
Kidani Village

Giraffes!

Following our September trip, October continued in a relaxing and fun way. We went apple picking…
Apple picking and raking: falling for fall!

We saw the amazing show of John Singer Sargent watercolors at the MFA…
Obviously this happened...

I knit for the first time since February…
Nola Cloche #knitting #yarn #handknit

And there was a spectacular Rhinebeck weekend!
The view...

SHEEPS!!!!!

I got to attend my first homecoming.
#GoUMass
Doing my alma mater proud right there!

Our first Halloween in our house was a super-fun, we had a lot of trick-or-treaters!
Seriously, kids, we're ready!

This guy obviously got a treat!

In November, we painted the kitchen!
Last day with the horrible orange in the kitchen!
I cannot adequately express how much I disliked this color.

The kitchen is painted, YAY! No more orange!
MUCH better!

Our plan was to head to Connecticut for Thanksgiving but after we woke up to this…
This was not how the morning was supposed to go... We woke up to two flat tires which obviously flubbed our Thanksgiving travel plans. We're going to make the best of it by cooking what was going to be tomorrow's Friendsgiving feast today, getting some sw

We made the best of the situation and cooked a turkey dinner at home.
So! Much! Food! And for that, I'm grateful.

December has been nice and snowy. I got a new pair of studded tires for Henrietta.
Snow Tires

We decorated a new, smaller tree…
2013 Tree! Our new ornaments this year are all from Western Avenue Studios in #Lowell.

…complete with custom-made Simon and Rudy ornaments thanks to Mill City Glassworks!
@peterazimmerman is making @kshaver228 & I custom Simon & Rudy ornaments. #SQUEE #Lowell #WesternAveStudios

@2013 Ornaments #4 & #5: Rudy & Simon by @peterazimmerman. #Lowell

A snowy December meant that I got a lot of snowshoeing and shoveling time in…
Happy snowshoeing time! #Lowell #Snow #Winter

Thanks to my favorite float in the City of Lights Parade, I knew not to take this personally. #Lowell #Snow

…And I got to hold the lesson of my favorite float close to my heart!
Best float in the entire #Lowell Christmas Parade!!!!!!

One day in December, I was shoveling a six-inch snowfall in the morning, but in the afternoon I was in sunny Florida for Disney trip #3, Christmas Edition!
WDW Christmas 2013

WDW Christmas 2013

WDW Christmas 2013

WDW Christmas 2013

The fun and bright lights didn’t end with our return to chilly Massachusetts, we also got to visit Zoo Lights for the first time this year – it’s something we’ve wanted to do since we moved to Lowell!
Zoolights Selfie!!!

2013 was definitely a busy year! I am looking forward to spending New Year’s Eve in the way that I hope to spend 2014 – relaxed and at home with Gist and the pups 😉 I have one resolution for 2014, which fits into the calm theme, I want to learn more about and drink more tea.

Thank you for reading, I hope that 2014 brings you everything you wish for!

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Author: Marianne

Hi my name is Marianne Gries, welcome to Art is the Handmaid of Human Good. I use this space to write about and share pictures of things that interest me. That includes my life in Lowell, my adventures in car-lite living, the food I cook and eat, my dogs, home improvement projects, vacations, knitting, and interesting things and places I see and visit. Thanks for stopping by!

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