Thursday, December 29, 2016


My initial thought before really looking back at this year...what the heck did we do this year?  Besides our two trips I am drawing a pretty major blank.  Mom brain?  Can I blame that?  I just went back to look at my photobooks in process (and got sucked into working on the cover and title pages) and remembered...not a lot happened in first few months of the year and our biggest things were our trips and celebrating some big milestones - 10 years of marriage and being all the 3s (33, 33, 3) which is something I didn't even realize would be a thing until the husband's birthday.  It's a pretty handy way to temporarily remember how old I am (rest of the time: I'm trying to remember what year it is and then doing math...and then disappointed when I realize I am not 28 anymore.)  Brief(ish) recap of this year:

January was pretty slow (on purpose...I try to leave the house as little as possible in the winter!) but in February we hit 10 years of being homeowners.  I'm still amazed we've been in this house that long.  I only lived at my parents' (current) house for 15 years full-time before college and it's crazy to think we've been here almost that long!

We packed away cloth diapers in early February - a bittersweet milestone since we would have liked to have another kid in them before Luke was done done.  But also, as much as I enjoyed cloth diapering (relative to other forms of diapering), it was really nice to be out of the diaper stage!   Where did our baby go?

We had very little snow last winter, to the dismay of the 2 year old and to the joy of the adults.  It was such a nice break from two really cold, long, snowy winters!  Spring started early with some really warm days in February (family bike ride and spray painting!) and March (running outside and going to the playground!).

And that was pretty much the first quarter for us...Easter was March 27th and starts on page 10 of my photobook (which includes the title page, 2 Luke summary pages, and 2 month summary pages...) so really, not a lot happened.  But running comfortably in March.  I'd consider that majorly noteworthy.

Then Luke's big 3.  We gave him a bike (with training wheels).  Ever try to teach a kid to ride a bike?  It's not super easy.  He had been pedaling his little trike but changing the position of the pedals and also having to steer was a big learning curve and Matt and I spent a lot of time with him at the park, hand-pedaling for him while he steered (that's real good on your back).  Also, on Luke's birthday, as part of our day out, I redeemed a free Pizza Hut personal pan pizza coupon I got for high school graduation.  Both impressed and appalled that I held onto that for 15 years. 

On the Saturday after Luke's birthday we were in the final preps of getting ready for his little birthday celebration with his Grand & God parents when we found out, shortly before guests were due, that my Grandpa had died.  We knew it was imminent and we still had his little party but it wasn't quite the festive occasion (goes well with his party the year before where Luke & I were recovering from a stomach bug and Luke puked in the middle, all over his plate of food, not that a stomach bug is the same as a family member dying.).  Coincidentally, my sister and I had had plans to be together on the days that both Grandma and Grandpa died and it was nice to be around family.

That started off our week of mourning but also celebrating his long (90!) and well-lived life.  It was very sad and I certainly shed my fair share of tears (and maybe enough for a few other people as well) but also so wonderful to spend those days with all the family and enjoy the bond that Grandma & Grandpa gave us.  Gosh, I still miss them both, so much. 

After April things really started to pick up.  In May we went to New York which was wonderful and Luke did phenomenal with all the walking around the city.  That trip also had my favorite moment of the year - taking Luke back to the place in Central Park where we found out we were picked to be his parents 3 years earlier.  I can get myself pretty teary just thinking about being there for that phone call and then taking Luke back to the spot where it felt like we became a family.  And also, just taking him around New York was super fun since the city holds a special place after everything that happened on trip #2.  Already planning trip #4!

May also had our 10 year wedding anniversary (in New York) and our anniversary trip to Holland the weekend after we got home.  It was the first day since we met Luke that we didn't see him (I cried leaving him and he STILL brings up how we left him...with Grandma & Grandpa.  And he got to spend time with 7 cousins.  As if ANY of that was torture for him.).  One of my personal favorite posts from this last year: If I Could Write a Letter to Me (from my married 10 year self to my newlywed self).

New York and Holland were quickly followed by lake season and summer and all that that glorious season brings.  I drank a lot and made a lot of ice cream, all of it documented to varying degrees here on the blog.

We spent many happy weekends at the lake, swimming, jet skiing, eating too much, not sleeping enough, kayaking, laughing, and enjoying summer.  We love sharing all of that him.

Summer also brought plenty of time at home, some projects, but lots of relaxing too.  We rode our bikes downtown a lot, went to the drive-in a few times, and generally enjoyed it all.  My baby sister got engaged (something that could warrant a whole post - My last sister to get married!  The one I most remember as a baby! - but...for her sake I will not.  You are welcome, Ang!)  Luke's first cousin was married in August (another time he is STILL mentioning that Grandma & Grandpa picked him up when he just wanted to stay and dance).

Fall was lovely and long and mostly well tempered (both the weather outside AND the 3 year old in/outside).  We did a lot of bike/scootering rides around the neighborhood.  As in Luke did the biking/scootering while I walked/chased him/made him slow down so I could take pictures of the fall foliage.  It really was fun times for both of us. We went to Boston in the Fall and Luke got to fly for the first time.  Luke had another cousin get married (his godfather) and he was VERY HAPPY he got to stay at this reception until the end.  (Again, something he keeps mentioning to us.)  He was less happy when he woke up at midnight, after an hour of SUPER restful sleep, to find a sitter cousin here instead of Mom & Dad (we were out drinking beers, at our neighborhood bar, with various family members, naturally).
Halloween (the lesser of the fall holidays) and then Thanksgiving and now the lovely, wonderful Christmas season.  Which has been busy but mostly wonderful and really not busy, in term of how busy some people are but busy in a "getting things ready around the home but we still had plenty of days we didn't leave the house" way.  And I love almost all the Christmas prep and Luke is at an age where is can actually be helpful and (mostly) a joy to share this time with so it has been so lovely watching him experience the magic of Christmas while also explaining that we're waiting for baby Jesus to be born even though 9 months ago we were talking about him dying...I didn't realize how confusing some basic elements of our faith could be until I started trying to explain them to a very curious 3 year old.  (

It has been a lovely year and Luke is at a relatively easy stage.  We'd sure like things to be a little busier with those long awaited twins (I did decide I could "settle" for Irish twins.  That would also work for me.) but for now, enjoying all this time I get with my little buddy, knowing if we do get those twins, or even just one baby soon, that just Mom & Luke time will be greatly reduced and that makes me appreciate the time I do get with just him now.


While it may have initially felt like not much got done this year, looking back at my blog archives and realizing plenty still did.  Here are some of the things I posted about.

I sewed a lot more this year, a lot.  Probably more than in the first 32 years of my life combined.  This is largely due to the fact that I finally had my own sewing machine, even if I did end up having to replace my Grandma's after a few months of heavy (by me) use.

Our biggest (expense, time spent, stress involved) house project left little cosmetic improvement (repairing the porch foundation) and I use that "our" very generously seeing as I did so little of the work but maybe still shouldered some of the stress.  We did get a few other things done around the house although maybe not quite as many as we could have hoped:

And a few smaller projects too:

I blogged about days in our lives in January and in June.   I LOVE going back and rereading these and highly recommend that you keep track of your own day occasionally, even if just for you (although I would probably read it if you posted it online!) because it is really interesting to see how life changes even when it feels like it's not.  

I also posted a lot more about books this year: adults and kids.  Which makes sense because it's definitely my biggest hobby

And that was our 2016, in a very abbreviated form.  Thanks for sticking along with me through the year, reading, commenting, and being interested in whatever I post about!  It really means a lot that people read my somewhat random writings and I hope there is at least something useful in it for you!  Many wishes for a wonderful and happy 2017!

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