As we look ahead to another new year on the horizon, it's only fitting to spend some time putting this blog to use, looking back at the moments, pictures, and memories we captured in 2016. We were blessed with a quiet year, full of continued settling in our house, big adventures that took us in every direction of this country, and new transitions that included a new school, new friends, and a morning bus ride. As I looked at pictures this morning, I realized just how much growing the kids did, especially our kindergarten boy. Some of that growing, evidenced in his independence with things and his ability to put together words on a page, is downright fascinating to watch, while other things, like the way he no longer welcomes his sister's smooches, or mine for that fact, are a bit harder for me to embrace. I have a feeling 2017 will include more grace and new lessons when it comes to raising a boy.
As for Mila, well, we just want her officially potty trained in 2017. I laughed when I read a post in MARCH celebrating the fact that she was dang near diaper free. And then we learned of a little thing called potty training regression...
2016 included a Tea for Two birthday for the Mila girl, and a camping adventure party for a six year old Cruz Man. It included a goodbye to our wonderful Mrs. W., an adorable preschool graduate, and a hello to Mrs. Ferguson and Southdale Elementary. Our year included a weekend with the Gabels and Mumford and Sons, a ninth anniversary spent on the beaches of the Riviera Maya, a new car, and over 3,000 miles put on the odometer it's very first summer, as we trekked across the country on a dreamy vacation to Vermont and Maine. Our year included a lawn of green grass, afternoons at the pool, and nights at the t-ball field. It included a cabin camping adventure, an afternoon at Wrigley Field, and an unforgettable month of October baseball, followed by a World Series win for the Chicago Cubs. It included a year of IF, great friends around our table, happy hours with Kate and Jamie Ivey, and a deeply rooted desire to live for Jesus and what that looks like in my current season. It included a month of Whole30, a long anticipated proposal and plans for my little brother's May wedding, a girls' weekend to see Jen Hatmaker and Shauna Niequist, neighbor boys, and twirly dresses. It included the sweetest Little Red Riding Hood and her stoic sidekick, Storm Trooper, a 70-degree Halloween, and Thanksgiving at our house. And it included a slow and snowy December, filled with good things of Advent cards, hot cocoa bars, and Christmas movies.
What a year of blessings! Feeling very grateful for a year of good health, happy kids, and a continued spark to head into 2017 with intention and direction. But first, a look back...
A quiet NYE with these two party animals...
A fun family sledding day and a relaxing winter break.
A Tea for Two birthday party for our piggy tailed princess.
A February that included more snow, handmade Valentine's, and the first of many If:Tables.
A quiet March and April. Easter, eggs to dye, vintage markets to shop, and a weekend to Madison with the Gabels for a little Mumford and Sons.
A successful Whole30 adventure.
Warm weather. Spring cleaning and projects - garden planting, swing set building, grass growing...
A handsome preschool graduate and an adorable graduation program. Kindergarten, here we come!
Tulip Time with the Guess fam, bluebells for Mother's Day, summer vacation for Mommy...
Holiday to Mexico for nine years of marriage. A romantic getaway to the same place we went for our honeymoon. Oh to feel that warm sun on my face and sand on my toes!
Summertime. Enough said!
An epic family road trip that took us to Niagara Falls, Vermont to Les and Ronnie, and Kennebunkport, Maine. The kids were amazing in the car and we made so many memories in these storybook New England towns.
And end-of-summer camping adventure that included a cozy cabin and a blanket of stars.
August. A Kindergartener. And the sweetest "guess whats?" every day after school.
A trip to Chicago over Labor Day, and a fall of baseball watching the Cubs go all the way. We will be talking about that 7-game series for decades to come.
Fall. Apples, leaf piles, and the start of all things comfort and cozy.
A camping party for our six year old. One that included a tent, gunny sack races, and a cider donut eating contest!
A busy fall season. Historic flooding in Cedar Falls, Chris and Julie's wedding in September, and Brooke's outdoor wedding in October.
The warmest Halloween and the cutest costumes.
BELONG. This cozy getaway for just us girls.
And a sweet holiday season with Santa, snowy weekends, and lots of twirly dresses.
Gosh, it was hard to narrow all these. Looking forward to seeing what pictures fill these pages in '17. Happy New Year, everyone!