So I am making a “goal” for 2014 to start blogging but I figured I would go through 2013 quickly to give you a “recap” since it was such a big year for us . Plus this way you can meet some of our friends too!
Let’s Review 2013
We started the year off with a BANG!! Hello Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Birk. It was the best day ever and you can read/see some favorite photos in the photo gallery.
19th: Matt and I got married!!!
20th: My best bud Aaron turned 25 and Miss Ella Cowell turned 2
Aaron and Chris getting ready to celebrate!!
Miss Ella enjoying a cake pop at our wedding reception
29th: My girls Beth and Brooke had a birthday – yep that’s right two of my Best Girlfriends share a birthday just one year apart! Best Birthday buddies EVER! This is an old photo since we have gotten older it’s harder to get together to celebrate!
When planning things for the wedding Matt and I decided rather than spend so much money to take a Honeymoon in January we would take time off work all year and spend the whole year going places and doing things together. First stop, San Antonia Texas. We tasted chips, salsa and of course Margaritas from almost every place down there. We had the best fried pickles EVER at a bar called Esquire. It was such a fun get-a-way and while we enjoyed the warm weather back home was a horrendous snow storm. We could not have picked a better time to be gone
2nd: My dad turned another year younger – way to go DAD!
6th: Rebecca (Becca) was inducted into the NHS at her High School.
8th: Hannah left for NYC and started the second half of her degree program at school. She goes to the Culinary Institute of America in Hype Park, New York. She wants to be a famous pastry chef someday! I am so proud of my little sister and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her. She will be done with school in May of 2014. Check out her cute new “home this year”
17th: My girl, Erica, (who I have known since birth) also celebrated another year. Check out that sweet 80’s hair!
24th: My sister (Hannah) celebrated a monumental birthday this year – she turned 21!!
1st: My mom gets to share her birthday with her new son-in-law. That’s right, Matt and my mom were born on the same day…just 24 years apart! I got Matt a BLUES jersey!
9th – 11th: Matt and I took a weekend trip to Chicago where we celebrated Renee (R-LO on of my best friends and college roommate lives) turning another year older too. Renee is also a twin so we celebrate with Ryan too! It was so awesome to see them all again since they were all just down to Red Bud in January for our wedding. It was a wonderful weekend with so many great friends.
Renee & Sean
YUP … I’m 26!!
Matt with my girls!
19th: Matt’s dad, Gib, (my new father-in-law) celebrated another year!
26th: Brad & Kim Liefer had an anniversary and our friends George and Tonya (that we met on a vacation in Punta Cana in 2011) welcomed their new baby girl (Jaelyn Marie Huber) into the world on the same day!
One of my favorite pictures from Brad & Kims wedding (2011)
Meet the Huber Family! George, Tonya and Jaelyn
29th: Hannah comes over for a quick visit and we get to celebrate her 21 this weekend! I went SLU for college and its tradition in a SLU bar (aka Humphrey’s) that on your 21st birthday you take a birthday shot out of a plunger ….. Even though my sister is not a SLU student we will keep the tradition in the family. I even did a plunger shot on the day of our wedding 😉
Doing my plunger shot on our wedding ….. classy I know 🙂
8th: Opening Day!! It is considered a holiday in the Stamm (now Stamm-Birk) household. My family has season tickets to we go to A LOT of Cardinals games. This was actually Matt and I first date except he actually bought those tickets 😉 Last year it was dad and his 3 girls (Jen, Hannah, Bec) but since Hannah was already away at school this year dad brought his new son along. It was so much fun and we love when baseball season begins.
11th: Matts mom, Pat, celebrated a birthday!
20th: My parents, Matt and I left for Memphis Tennessee. This was my parents “wedding gift” from Matt and I; we planned/paid for a weekend away. We saw the Cardinals Triple A team (Memphis Redbirds) play. Matt even got Michael Wacha’s autograph. At that time he was just a minor league pitcher but that ball might be worth something now? We had some delicious BBQ all weekend and ended the weekend making a stop in Graceland. My mom LOVES Elvis!! She and my dad had been there before but it was our first time. Matt didn’t love it as much as I did but it was still really cool to see where “the King” lived. It was such a fun weekend and memories that we will always have with my parents.
My Dad listening to some interesting things on the Graceland Radio
I won a special award this year too …. Best WIFE EVER!!! I finally gave in and Matt and I are now the owners of a John Deere Tractor …. This is one of TOO many of Matts toys but he loves it.
5th: I saw Million Dollar Quartet with my parents at the Fabulous Fox. The Million Dollar Quartet is a smash-hit musical inspired by a recording session on December 4, 1956, that brought together rock’n roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. This was considered to be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. It was an unbelievable show and if you get the chance to go see it you should. I loved it even more because we had just went to Memphis a few weeks prior and learned all about Elvis. It was such a fun afternoon with my mom & dad.
11th: Rebecca’s Junior Prom: She went with a family friend, Weston. They had such a great time and it is so hard to believe that she is going to prom already!
Also, our friend Lindsay Rippelmeyer graduated from pharmacy school! Go Lindsay. She is now my go to girl for all things drug related. What a lifesaver she has been already!
12th: Happy Mother’s Day! Floppy hat day at the ball game!
17th: Beth Graduates with her MBA! You Go GIRL! Below is our high school gradation and Beth when she graduated from Eastern in 2010! I’m still sorry that I could not make it to your Masters ceremony!
Megan and Jason Neff’s 5 year wedding anniversary. We took them to a cardinals game and a night out on the town to celebrate
25th: Rock Of Ages date night at the Fox with my love! Such a great show and Matt’s first time going to the Fabulous Fox Theater!
26th & 27th: LO Reunion in Indy…. A weekend trip to see my girls Angela and Renee. Distance keeps us apart but we are still close friends. Our drink of choice that night was Skinny Girl Vodka. It got the best of us but we had so much fun catching up.
2nd: Matt and I took our marriage to new heights and learned how to rock climb at Upper Limits rock climbing gym in St. Louis. It was so fun and something that we would defiantly do again. Also, on our way home from STL we stopped by Brad and Kim Liefer’s house, today was their gender reveal party …. and we found out Baby Liefer is a …..
Team Girl!! We are all so excited and can’t wait to meet her in November.
6th: My friend and coworker, Kate Stehl, had her second baby… I planned a littler shower for her at work. They did not find out what they were having and she surprised everyone (we were all predicting a boy)…it ended up being A GIRL! So they have Avery (5) and now Ellie Joy! She is adorable!
10th: Matt’s Grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary – what a milestone. We have some big shoes to attempt to fill. At our wedding we did the anniversary dance and they were the longest married couple at our wedding. I hope that Matt and I can be just has happy and healthy as they have been all these years.
14th: Food Truck Friday with Kyle and Carrie Donjon! We picked an earlier date because we didn’t want it to go when it gets so hot here. St. Louis summers are not fun. Sauce magazine puts it on every year, the 2nd Friday of every month from May – October all the area food trucks come to Tower Grove Park. You just pack a cooler and blanket and come hang out with friends and enjoy a night snacking around on different food trucks. Matt and I love food trucks and we love the show The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network. What a great night out with friends.
15th: My mom and I try to walk in the Race for the Cure walk every year. It is always so unbelievable to see the magnitude of people that show up to support events like this. Breast Cancer has not directly impacted me but I have friends who have family that have dealt with it. Plus who doesn’t love getting to wear PINK with thousands of other people! It was a great morning walk with my mom!
Then that afternoon/evening we had Nic & Mallory’s Wedding. So Nic and I went to high school together but Nic’s older brother, Brad, is best friends with Matt. Just another example of what a small world it is sometimes that Matt and I never met until 2010 when we knew so many of the same people. It was such a fun wedding.
Chris, Jen, Aaron and Erica
Jason and Jamie Hess
Mike and Kayla Ratz
Adam Cowell (Liz is at home waiting to give birth to Baby Cowell next week!!)
Say Cheese Brad (aka Poopsie)
Just a little chevron!!!!
Erica and the beautiful bride, Mallory!!
16th: Celebrated Father’s Day:
I came across this poem online and made an Instagram college for my dad on Father’s day. I am sure that there are millions of people (especially girls) that say they have the World’s Best Dad but I still think mine is the best. He has so many traits similar to my grandpa and I can’t wait for the day when he gets to have that as a title too – Worlds Best Dad & Grandpa!
A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall but instead picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again. A dad is someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes but instead lets you find your own way, even though his heart breaks in silence when you get hurt. A dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed, and has faith in you even when you fail. Love you dad! xoxo
19th: We had our first Dinner Club. My friend Megan, Katie, Deanna, and Josie decided that it would be fun to try to get together once a month and always try out a new restaurant….and so dinner club was started. First stop …. Robust Wine Bar. It was delicious! We also found out that Katie & Byron are expecting!!!!! Baby Walsh will be here in January 2014! Also, Deanna had big news too! Steve proposed!!! So we celebrated an engagement and a new baby! What a night!
20th: Becca’s turned 17! Holy Cow! And now has a birthday buddy. Maverick Dean Cowell was born!
Adam, Liz & Proud Big Sister, Ella
21st: Cardinals game with George and Tonya
22nd: Ryan & Courtney Birk’s Wedding
Getting a little crazy in the photo booth – Nathan (Matt’s cousin), Julie, Matt and I
23rd: Angela & Zach came in town so we spent the afternoon up in Alton at the wineries! Such a great visit but always too short.
28th: Jen is 25!! Not only a big number but my first birthday as a BIRK. Dinner with parents and new in-laws @ The Tavern. My BFF Kaitlin kept talking about how great this place is and we finally had a reason to celebrate and check it out. It was AMAZING and SO GOOD. What a fun night with my new hubby, parents and in-laws.
4th: The Birks hosted a 4th of July and it was such a fun day with family and friends. We used to have a pool so that meant that all the summer parties would be at our house but last summer we (mostly Matt) decided that we didn’t need it anymore. So this year I had to improvise on the pool situation but Ella and Makenna had just as much fun! I even had time to great creative and paint a patriotic flag to keep on our shed in the backyard!
Ella and her sweet shades
5th: Bathroom DEMO DAY!!!! Matt and I met with a Bathroom designer who helped us redo our main hall bathroom. This was a HUGE project especially since we (by we I mean mostly Matt) will be doing all the work ourselves to try to save money. We started on July 5th and wanted to have it finished before we left for our vacation in August. It was a rough few weeks but we managed to survive. Matt did such a great job. I picked everything out and he did the work. Sounds like a great team effort to me 😉
I took a short break from all the bathroom stuff to enjoy Mother/Daughter day at the Busch Stadium.
My first beer with Hannah at a Cards Game!
13th & 14th: Quick weekend trip to Lake Egypt with some family. Matt and my uncle Brian love to go fishing…they had a great morning on the water and it was nice to get away and just “BE” for a while.
17th: Dinner Club at Bricktops. It was wonderful!! This time we got to celebrate Megan and Jason are expecting Baby #2 in February of 2014. We are all so excited!! Don’t worry Deanna and I drank extra wine for the two expecting mothers of the group.
25th: Becca had her Senior Pictures session with Keith Lee of Keith Lee Photography! WOW! He is amazing. So great to work with and we had so much fun. Her pictures turned out great and it is so hard to believe that she is a Senior in high school already! Yikes!
10th: Owen Krantz (the ring bearer) in our wedding turned 3!!!!! It is so crazy how fast time goes by and these are not even my own children. They don’t live around here so we will celebrate with them in September when they are making a trip back to the area.
16th: One of my many BFFs (Kaitlin) who I went to SLU with and worked with for the past 2 years left our work to start a new adventure. She is starting the accelerated nursing program and is going to be the best darn nurse yet! I am so excited and happy for her as she starts this new phase in her life but I will miss her SO MUCH. You GO GIRL!
19th: Mexico: A week in paradise! Matt and I left to spend 1 week away for our cellphones, emails, family and friends and just relax. It was a wonderful trip and so nice to get away. We stayed at the Valetin Imperial Maya Resort in Riveria Maya. It was a huge resort but we enjoyed the beach, pools, swim up bars, and all the restaurants. We even went on 2 excursions: swimming with the dolphins which was THE BEST excursion EVER & went the ancient Mayan city of Tulum. It was a great time away with my new hubs!!!
6th: My parents celebrated 33 wonderful years together. They are truly an inspiration to look up to and their love to each other always sees them through the not so good days.
10th: Beth & Nathan Anniversary – 2 years already!!! Beth and Nathan tied the knot on 09-10-11. The wedding was beautiful and I had the honor of being her Maid of Honour. They were high school sweethearts and I could not be happier for her and Nathan. We have still stayed close over our 10+ years of friendship and I look forward to the day when we have kids and can they can become friends too!
20th: The Krantz Family is in town – we had a fun night playing with the boys and catching up with everyone!
~ Colten ~
Owen playing cootie!
Owen and Birk
23rd: Today is the day!! Today is the day ….. Megan and Jason had a doctor’s appointment and found out that Baby Neff is a GIRL! Due date is February 6, 2014!
28th: Becca Senior homecoming, Hannah left for ITALY (for 3 weeks w/ school) and Todd & Stephanie’s Wedding!
Done getting Rebecca ready to go … now time for the wedding!
Todd & Stephanie Rick
The Rick family hanging out at our house in between the wedding and the reception.
Matt and Uncle Dave
Michael, Grandma Rick, Matt and Gib (Matt’s Dad)
Andrew (Matt’s Older Brother), Aunt Wendy, and Matt
Matt and I also welcomed a new member to our family. We got a 2013 KIA Optima and we love it! So excited to take it on my many girls weekend trips and other trips to visit family and friends!
Cards POST SEASON!!! Need I say anymore??
12th-14th: Girls weekend & Sunday funday!!!!!
What a fun day of drinking wine all day and ending the night wish sushi!!! One of the best Sunday Fundays EVER!
27th: Mike and Kayla Anniversary – Celebrate their first year of marriage and are expecting a baby in February 2014
29th: Adam and Liz Cowell Anniversary
Brinley Alyce Liefer BORN
All our little ones on Halloween … I did a picstic of them for our wedding and to Halloween and WOW have they changed. Owen was Spiderman, and Ella/Makenna were Cinderella! They are adorable!
9th: Alabama Concert: We went to see Alabama at the FOX with Matt’s parents, Brother (Andrew) and wife (Renee). It was a fun night out on the town!
17th: Makenna turns 3!!!!!!! We celebrated Cinderella Style!!! What a great party!
24th: Trent Joseph Donjon – One of Matt’s Best Friends – Kyle & Carrie welcomed their first baby. He is adorable and I can’t wait to watch him grow up! We love him already!
26th: Megan’s Birthday. We have had so many wonderful times together and I look forward to all the ones that are yet to come! Love ya girl!
17th: My dad had total knee replacement ….. he kept saying it was his early Christmas present from my mom. haha. Things went great with the knee but he suffered from many complications after. Every side effect he could have had … he had it. We were very worried about him and not even sure if he would be able to spend Christmas at home with us. But he is a fighter and he made great progress and we finally brought him home on Christmas Eve night just in time to wake up with all his girls on Christmas morning. My sister flew in from NYC and it was not our usual Christmas holidays, jokes, games, and playing around but we were so grateful that we were all together as a family. It felt a lot like Thanksgiving with everything we were thankful for and having dad home was the BEST GIFT any of us could have ever asked for.
21st: Illini/Mizzou Game is an annual tradition that Matt and I go to and it was the first year that we saw Illinois WIN. So we have the bragging rights this year!!! It was such a good and fun game despite everything Matt and I had on our plate that week.
25th: First Christmas – Our First Christmas as MR & MRS and it was a great one. From our fancy new camera from Matt’s parents, to my dad coming home, having both my sisters home for the holiday, a surprise guest (John – my sisters BF flew in from NYC to surprise her for a few days), and just the overall love from getting to spend the holidays with my family. I could not have asked for a better day.
Hannah, Jen, Becca
Hannah & John
The family is growing …. From 5 to now 7!!
My mom’s Christmas tree collection
Matt and his new “art”
Dad is HOME for Christmas! We love you!
Matt & Jenny Birk
Our growing family
I could not live without you guys!!!
Dad and his girls!!!!!
31st: NYE is nothing fancy for us this year. We both are working today and going to spend the evening at home just being lazy and doing nothing…. sounds perfect to us!
WOW … what a year it has been. We can’t wait to see what blessings are ahead of us in 2014.