Lily got glasses. Realizing how much better she saw when she wore them made it incredibly easy for her to want to put them on every morning.
There was the family trip to the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. This trip never seems to disappoint, although it always goes way too fast. This year marked the first time that all of us could ride on some of the big rides together. Hattie proved to be up for adventure and a very brave 3 year old.
Jason's company (Verisae) was acquired by Accruent in November. Although it was sad to say good-bye to some of his working relationships, we are thankful to still have him employed. He is currently trying to navigate and find his way with the new company.
We officially found freedom as we became a biking family. With Hattie on the Wee-Hoo behind my bike and Cora on the pull-behind on Jason's bike, we found ourselves pedaling all over the neighborhood. We may have even made a trip or two to Two Scoops in Anoka.
Ben officially became a Pact Panther as he was offered a spot in Mrs. McLaughlin's 5th grade class. He is enjoying it with the exception of not feeling very challenged in math class.
There was the family trip to Kansas City in October. It will go down in the record books of one of the best. family. vacations. ever.
2016 brought some much needed answers to Hattie's health. We now have a diagnosis of cyclic vomiting syndrome as well as abdominal migraines. With a diagnosis came medications that seem to be putting us in a position to manage this more effectively. She hasn't been hospitalized or even to the ER since our worst episode to date which was in January. Those are some answered prayers right there!!
I was able to travel out to San Diego with Mom, Dad, and Jamie to see Jordan on the parade deck as he was deployed to Iraq. Tough to see the sacrifices these men make up close as their children and families are saying good-bye. That part of the trip was tough. There was plenty to be grateful for and enjoy however...highlights included hiking in Indian Canyon outside of Palm Springs, San Juan Capistrano, walking along the beach in San Clemente, spending time walking the beaches in Oceanside, as well as Torrey Pines State Park. I may have found a new love in hiking.
Thanksgiving was on our own this year. It seemed a little lonely at first, but ended up being a really good day. I guess when your sister goes into labor, you have to give up your parents so they can go help. :)
Ella became a Westie this year. She takes Spanish and Lang. Arts on Wednesdays there. She loves her Spanish class and seems to be picking it up rather quickly. And although the Writing class has been challenging, I have seen her creative writing completely blossom. It has also afforded her lots of valuable one-on-one time with Grammie as she has done a lot of the drop-offs and pick-ups.
We enjoyed a late fall hike at Afton State Park in November. We had record temps nearing 70 degrees and we got out on an incredibly gorgeous day. If hiking could always be in warm temps without bugs...I'd be hooked.
The 4 big kids all performed in the church Christmas musical. Jason and I beamed with pride from the audience.
Christmas Eve was spent as a family of 7. It was really, really nice to have that evening alone with the kids to pour into them, make memories, and start a tradition.
December 1st marked our 15 year wedding anniversary. Hard to believe that it's been so long, but having 5 kids to show for it is awesome. I'm blessed to parent and live life with my best friend. Hopefully an anniversary trip will be in the plans for 2017.
I made a summer bucket list with great expectations, but lost it shortly after. Clearly that needs some work in 2017.
In the Fall of 2016, Jason and I implemented a short lunch date every Saturday. It lasted approximately 5 weeks, but we're starting off 2017 by beginning again. Definitely an area worth the investment.
Ben blossomed this summer as he branched out and started playing with the neighborhood boys. Soccer games were the norm and sparked a love of sports.
Memorial Day and Zac Brown Band. Need I say more?
We ended the year with a New Year's Eve party at Grammie and Papa's. I planned hourly activities (that we only finished 50% of), made a charcuterie board (which I completely overbought items for), and baked desserts (that we didn't even get around to eating). Clearly I need some more work on my planning. But on the upside, the kids had a blast. Everyone but Hattie made it to midnight. The night's festivities included Minute to Win It games, noise makers, pipe cleaner glasses, and a dance party complete with laser lights and glow sticks. It will take us a day or two to recover, but it won't soon be forgotten.
I was truly horrible at getting things up on the blog, but I'm starting 2017 off with a bang.
Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017.