Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016: Our Year in Review

As I am figuring out how to put videos together, I thought I would try my hand at putting together a video of our 2016. This was a lot of WORK. I thought it would be easier, but I'm telling you I had many hours of footage to sort through. I think my new year resolution this year should be to not record EVERYTHING. I wish I were kidding. I seriously don't know why I think I needed that much footage.

Anyways, we kicked off 2016 with a (almost) 6 month old baby and a 2 1/2 year old. We ended the year with an (almost) 18 month old toddler and a 3 1/2 year old preschooler. This was a great time for a video that goes through a year as you can see so many changes in both our children.

Here are some of the highlights (both the good and the bad) of our year:

1) We had a snowstorm at the first of the year. We were unable to leave our house (and thus work for the hubby was cancelled) for 2 days. We had the fireplace going, watched lots of tv, ate snow ice cream, made snow angels, danced 'til we dropped, and sled outside on repeat.

2) Our "farm" grew exploded. As our kitten that wandered into our lives grew up, she had her first litter of babies. Payton and I got to watch the birth of the kittens while Riley took his morning nap (and the hubby worked). This was a beautiful gift for our household, especially since she wandered out of our lives about 3 months afterwards. We have no idea what happened to her but at the end of the year, we are left with 3 of her 5 babies. Although we haven't asked for outdoor cats at our house, since moving to the country, we have had so many make their way into our little homestead. We are thankful for each one and the time we are given with them.

3) We added chickens (thus exploding #2 above). I was very hesitant but the kids have loved having chickens. There has been so much excitement between raising these sweet animals to collecting eggs. Payton loves sharing her eggs with friends as they leave from visiting our house. We had quite the learning curve with building our own coop and chicken runs. What's next for us? I don't know but I have a feeling this won't be the end of animals. Only time will tell.

4) Riley grew. Through this year he started crawling, walking, and talking. He communicates so well with us. The stage of watching your child transition from baby to full-blown toddler is bittersweet, mind-blowing, and overwhelming. The tears fall just thinking about it.

5) Payton Ruth explored and learned and then learned some more. This girl has hit many cognitive and verbal milestones it's unbelievable. My favorite moment from this year was when Payton told me she was playing "carnastics." This was a combination of her cars learning gymnastics. She could very well be a teacher some day as she loves to teach her toys and brother everything she knows. We watched her learn to catch a chicken, ride a bike, say her full name, swim, and count to 10 (for the most part).

6) We danced. Not a day has gone by that this house hasn't danced like nobody's watching. Since my camera seems to always be on record, you can about guarantee it's likely that someone will be watching. I do hope my children never lose the ability to let loose and dance.

7) We put 1,000 miles on our side road. As you can see in the video, we have a private side road as part of our property with a circle loop to our garage. This road will forever be my most favorite part of our country home. We are out there almost every day of the year walking, running, playing, singing, dancing, and living life. I could possibly live in this house forever because of my attachment to this road.

8. Garden fail. We normally have a big garden but this year it just didn't happen. We got busy. We didn't make it a priority. By the time we did go to start a garden it was too late in the year. We planted only tomatoes (normally those go over well) and didn't have a good harvest with those. Our apple trees and cherry tree also didn't produce as well as they have in the past. On the other hand, our pear tree did the best its done since we moved here.

9. Our acreage lost most of its shade/border trees. The trees we had were full grown and beautiful. They gave us so much privacy. Unfortunately, they got sick (I can't recall what exactly happened) and they had to be taken down. Our views changed greatly. We are now very exposed. We will be planting new tree lines in the spring but those will be baby trees. It will be many, many years before we have privacy again.

10. Our first and second trip to the ER. It took 7 years of marriage and one 3 year old before we went to the emergency room for the first time. This trip was for a severe cut our daughter got on her leg when outside helping her dad. It wasn't as bad as we thought as no stitches were needed, but it was better to be safe than sorry. The glue they used worked great and she was left with no scarring. Right before the end of the year, we made our 2nd trip to the ER with Monte. He ended up having to have his appendix removed and stayed overnight at the hospital.

2016 was a year full of so many ups and downs. I am a bit sad to see it go, but I am looking forward to what this next year will bring. I am still contemplating resolutions.

What was your favorite part of 2016? I would love to read your reviews of 2016. Will you be making resolutions for 2017?

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