2016: A Year in Review

2016 was full of surprises! Most of our biggest events and decisions we had no idea would happen this time last year.


Of course, the biggest surprise of all was Betsy's arrival by way of a successful VBAC in early February. Adam took eleven weeks of paternity leave after her birth, so he didn't go back to work full-time until the last week of April. It was amazing!




He used his three remaining weeks of paternity leave in August, which coincided with my sister's visit back from her orphanage in Honduras. While they were both off, we went to three Canadian provinces in nine days. We visited my grandma in Ottawa, spent a few days sightseeing in Quebec City, and attended my cousin's wedding on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.



We had planned to visit Adam's family in Houston for Thanksgiving, because we haven't been back to Texas in more than three years, but when Adam's grandma passed away we changed our tickets to attend her memorial.



 We spent a week in Florida in December, celebrating her life and going to Disney World. It was my first time ever going to a Disney Park and it absolutely lived up to my very high expectations.





We had many visits from my parents (and my little brother, Scott, when he wasn't away at college in Pittsburgh). My mom graciously stayed with us for three weeks surrounding Betsy's arrival. She was seriously awesome and it was such a huge relief not to have to worry about the older girls while I was in labor. We visited them in Eastern Washington twice, over Memorial and Independence day weekends. I know how much they miss their glamorous life in Shanghai but I absolutely love having my family in state rather than across the Pacific Ocean.



Adam's parents came to visit twice, in March and in July. Katie, Adam's little sister and Betsy's godmother, joined them in March for her baptism. Two of Adam's older brothers and their families joined them in July.




Adam took that whole week off, so it was like a Seattle staycation for us. We went to Pike Place Market, Gas Works Park, Snoqualmie Falls, Bainbridge Island, and Mt. Rainier.





Outside of that week, we didn't go on a lot of Seattle area day trips. Highlights were seeing the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington, taking my parents to the tulip festival, and hiking Franklin Falls with my sister.



Despite welcoming a new baby in February, it was a surprisingly great year for dates! We began and ended the year with dates to the symphony and our favorite French restaurant, Le Pichet - in January right before Betsy's arrival and in December to see Handel's Messiah. We saw four movies together - The Big Short, The Jungle Book, Love & Friendship, Sully - and paired each with a new restaurant. For our sixth anniversary, we went to the Olympic Sculpture Park and enjoyed our fanciest meal of the year at Matt's in the Market. We even managed to sneak away for two afternoon dates to the Underground Tour and Theo's Chocolate Factory.


We threw a party over Labor Day weekend to celebrate St. Theresa of Calcutta's canonization and we became godparents to Eloise, daughter of dear friends the Clarks.



Claire turned four in March. We celebrated with a Rapunzel themed party at the jumping place and tickets to "Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet." In addition to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, she started at our town's coop preschool this fall and absolutely loves it. She takes a ballet and gymnastics class in the school year. During the summer, she did vacation bible school, tennis and soccer day camps through the parks department, and swimming lessons. She made big progress on learning to swim! She writes her name and several other letters, cuts with left-handed scissors, and no longer wears pull-ups at night.



Maggie turned three in October. We celebrated with a Sleeping Beauty themed party at the jumping place and tickets to the circus. She takes a ballet and gymnastics class with Claire and a music class with Betsy while Claire's at preschool. She also did swim lessons during the summer, but is still working on the confidence to put her head underwater. She potty trained, transitioned to a toddler bed, and learned to draw the cutest little people you've ever seen.





Betsy changed the most over the course of the year! She learned to smile, laugh, roll over, sit up, crawl, eat solid food, drink out of a sippy cup, wave, clap, give kisses, stand, and take a few steps. Her Christmas gift to us was finally reliably sleeping through the night at almost eleven months and it was a very appreciated gift indeed.



Adam and I pretty much accomplished zero house or yard projects. We actually bought the supplies to make some pelmet box window treatments last December and we're still not quite done with them a year later. I did read twenty-five books, make our yearly photo album, and sew matching sundresses for our three daughters. Adam read five books, which was definitely on the low end for him, because he spent almost all of his free time playing the piano. Claire's preschool schedule meant I stepped down from leading our parish playgroup, but we found new volunteer opportunities at church that we're really enjoying - American Heritage Girls for me and the children's choir for Adam. Together, we read ten chapter books aloud to Claire and Maggie.




Just like always, we rejoiced with the church at Easter and Christmas and celebrated Halloween with a themed family costume. 2016 was the year we officially became out-numbered by our children. 2017 will be the year we adjust to having to live by a school schedule again!

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