Folks, I hate to be the New Year Negative Nancy, but I think 2014 might be gunning for us. I know we’re only a week in, but it seems to me that this New Year’s, a time when we usually celebrate new beginnings and wax poetic about our hopes and intentions for the future, has been kind of a bummer. My Facebook feed, which I expected to be chock full of resolutions and excitement for the coming year, was, instead, a gloomy dirge of almost cartoonish bad luck. A friend from Pittsburgh spun out on a highway in the snow. A friend and his family visiting for the holidays all contracted the flu, while another friend’s water pipes burst due to the cold. More and more accounts of misfortune rolled in and, unfortunately, I had my own story to add to the list.

My husband and I decided that we would drive up to spend New Year’s Eve with my mother-in-law this year even though the forecast called for a 100 percent chance of heavy snow. (We might not be terribly bright.) We had a great spread of snacks and passed the time until midnight chatting and watching Hair, which was just bizarre enough to smack of becoming tradition.

We turned on the Times Square special just in time to catch Miley Cyrus parading around in what looked like Cruella Deville’s coat, but it wasn’t until the countdown began that things took a turn. I missed the ball drop because I was too busy searching for fresh pants for our three year-old who was having too much fun to make it to the bathroom in time while our newborn screamed his head off for undisclosed reasons.

Then, after driving home in a snowstorm at 40 mph, I realized that I had left behind the breast milk I had packed, but hadn’t used, so it would have to be thrown away – a gut wrenching loss for any nursing mother. When we got home, we found that our parking lot had been completely overtaken by various neighbors’ party guests, so I dropped my family off at the front door and parked on the street. However, in my bleary-eyed stupor at 1:30 a.m. I didn’t notice that I was parking on a snow street. A snow emergency was declared overnight, so when I tried to run to the store the next day, I discovered that our van had been towed. Happy New Year, jerks.

I spent New Year’s Day throwing myself a lavish pity party, but ultimately decided to reframe things a bit, for my own sanity. Our friend was in a car accident, but wasn’t hurt. The family with the flu was able to come home for the holidays and spend time with their loved ones. My friend’s husband is super handy and was able to fix their pipes himself for under $100. My family and I arrived home safely that night despite the terrible weather. Things could’ve been worse and for a year with such inauspicious beginnings as these, that seems like a pretty decent tagline.