Chris and Erin welcome 2014 by announcing the new job at WSU. The Polar Vortex sends Michigan into deep deep deep deep snow. The Frozen soundtrack plays over and over, making long days that much longer. Erin and the kids play outside on a "warm" day, only to notice it is 11 degrees. Chris dissertates.
Chris takes the kids to his parents for a weekend to collect dissertation subjects. Erin spends her alone time throwing things away, watching the Olympics, and enjoying a Netflix marathon of Bomb Girls. Quinn and John turn 2 and everyone wonders how its only been two years. Chris dissertates.
Everyone loses their minds over the Polar Vortex that WONT. END. The family makes a trip to Chicago with grandma. They ride the train, go to the Aquarium, and see the sights. It is all sorts of fun and all sorts of crazy and Chris and Erin vow to never go to a big city with small children again. Chris dissertates.
Chris and Erin take Carly to Wrigley Field to watch the Chicago Cubs. She gets a batting practice ball and a $9 hot dog. Then the game starts. Erin takes her for a walk by the second inning. Erin makes her grandpa's divine carrot cake on Easter. Chris dissertates.
Erin forces Chris to pretend to graduate so she can take pictures of him in his doctorate hood. Chris turns 31. Quinn loves her "butt", also known as a "bike". John cries a lot, as he does not have a "butt" of his own. Carly is traumatized by t-ball. Chris and Erin fly to Washington and have two days to find a house to buy. They find it on day one. Chris dissertates.
PACKING BOXES ALL THE DAYS. The family makes their final visit to Lake Michigan. Chris and Erin reach 8 years of marriage but no one remembers because . . . . Chris dissertates.
Chris defends his dissertation. The heavens open. Angels sing. Erin and the kids take off, crying as they leave Lansing. They enjoy an extended Idaho vacation while Chris is left to do dissertation revisions, pack the truck, and clean the apartment (with lots of wonderful helpers). Chris makes the cross-country trek solo while listening to Harry Potter audio books.
The family arrives in their new home of Pullman, Washington. Carly turns 5 in the midst of piles of boxes. Erin experiences culture shock and intense Target withdrawal. Chris starts a new job. Carly starts a new school. Mike the painter is practically a 6th family member.
Erin eats her feelings and begins the journey to gaining 10 lbs (you think I'm joking). Carly is traumatized by Montessori school. The family picks apples from their apple tree. John and Quinn are two and a half and finally start speaking in full sentences.
The dust begins to settle as everyone finds a groove. Carly likes school. Chris likes his job. Erin turns 28. Both sets of grandparents visit. The house is coming together and feeling like home. The kids make the cutest trio of Trick-or-Treaters. The only thing wrong in the world is Erin's lack of access to a cider slushy from the Cider Mill in Charlotte, MI.
Quinn potty trains like a boss. John doesn't. The family heads over the river and through the Montana mountains to Mimi's house for Thanksgiving. Erin spends the Thanksgiving feast doubled over with food poisoning. Chris experiences norovirus flashbacks and brings Erin constant glasses of water to avoid another ambulance ride.
The family celebrates their first Christmas in their new home. Santa finds them and even manages to squeeze down the very skinny chimney. Chris and Erin end the year in a new home, with a new job, settling into a whole new phase of life. But they are overwhelmed with gratitude for all that happened in 2014, and love the three little people they shared it with.