I keep seeing everyone hate on 2016 – but I had a pretty great year! Here’s a look back at my favorite moments of 2016.
The year started off with an impromptu trip out to Seattle + Portland to see my sister. I’ve never been on the west coast, and although we only had a few days to see what the pacific northwest had to offer, I’m so glad I went! Seattle was a great city, the center picture is Ben and I at the top of the Space Needle. We also got to see an old elementary school converted into a bar/restaurant out in Portland. Ben did great on the long flight – the only hiccup was a snowstorm that pushed our flight home back a day.
February was a quiet month (isn’t it always?). We had our annual ski trip up the Poconos. Since I was pregnant, I opted for a day at the waterpark instead (which was a blast).
This was the first Easter Ben could really participate in (egg hunts, egg dye, basket, etc.) – so that was fun. Later in the month, we checked out the Philadelphia Flower Show because the theme was National Parks and we’ve always enjoyed them. Lots of muddy playing outside in the yard due to a relatively mild end to the winter.
April was a really great month. We took a trip out to Longwood Gardens to celebrate Steve’s grandmom’s birthday. I was also honored to witness the formal adopting of my best friend’s 3-year-old foster son. It was really emotional (and not just from the pregnancy hormones)!
May was, of course, the biggest month of the year for us as we welcomed our 2nd son, Eli, into the world. I am so thankful I got beautiful shots of our stay in the hospital to remember those early moments (BH Photography). Little did I know what ups and downs we had in store for us as we adjusted to being a family of 4!
June was a crazy month. At only 3 weeks post-partum, Ben got HFMD and our house was turned upside down. Since he has such sensitive skin to begin with, the HFMD was really, really bad. He had horrible welts all over his body and mouth, couldn’t eat or drink, and cried for the better part of 2 weeks. I drove myself crazy trying to quarantine Eli to prevent him from getting it so young (which I guess worked?). I swear those two weeks were the hardest of my life, I don’t know if it was just the post-partum hormones or what. Adjusting to a new baby is hard enough, but this one put us through the ringer! Luckily, things cleared up in time for us to enjoy my best friend’s wedding – and my sister who was living in Seattle moved home!
Babe’s first beach day – we love visiting Wildwood, NJ where I grew up. Back at home, we started hanging out at a nearby community pool that has a great toddler wading area. We’d end up spending a lot more time there over the rest of the summer. July ended with the birth of my best friend’s second baby, officially boy #6 for my gang of friends.
Ben turned 2 which marked the official passing of the fastest two years of my life. Boy, when they say the days are long but the years are short, I really understand what it means. I don’t know how they go from a newborn to a toddler in the blink of an eye. We had a family party up around us at the local pool, which was really great despite it being the hottest day of the year. The following weekend, we celebrated with Ben’s best bud down in Wildwood. The month ended with the Salem County Fair – which has turned into one of my favorite summer traditions.
Eli’s baptism was Sunday, September 18th. I planned it so that we could celebrate it with my husband’s birthday. It was a great day with tons of family and friends. Otherwise, September was full of great fall activities (like pumpkin picking and hayrides). Most importantly, it was the end of September that I decided to give this whole blogging thing a try!
We kicked off October with our first family road trip to Williamsburg, VA. It took us about 7 hrs in the car to get there (with a good break in the middle of the drive). We stayed for a long weekend and really enjoyed it! I took a stab at my first trunk or treat (spider pic) – which was a lot crazier than I anticipated. Halloween was awesome this year because it was the first one Ben could trick or treat for. It took us an hour to get around the block, though, so hopefully he speeds up next year ;).
November, my favorite month of the year, started with the birth of my third niece. I was invited into the delivery room to capture the whole thing and it honestly is an overdue post that I’d love to share more of. What an honor to witness someone’s first breaths (of course I was there with my own kids but it’s somehow totally different from the sidelines). I also turned 30 – yay for surviving until now. My birthday was a 2 week celebration including a night in AC, a family dinner, and a (completely!) surprise party with family and friends.
This month has flown by and honestly, it’s been the best one yet. We kicked off December with my best friend’s wedding which was a blast! The rest of the month I basically spent prepping for Christmas of course, which we celebrated as a family for the 2nd year in our house.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Browsing back through a year’s worth of photos brought up so many great memories. There’s something about this time of the year that I think makes us all a little pensive. It’s a time to reflect on what we’ve done and where we’re going.
Of course it wasn’t a year without struggles. Adjusting to being a mom of 2 has been a challenge, it’s somehow easier than the first go-round and harder at the same time. Each hiccup in the road is exasperated when you’re tired, overworked, or stressed from the day. However, each and every day, I am extremely thankful and humbled to call these boys mine.
So that’s a wrap. I am so thankful for another year in the books surrounded by family and friends. I’m also incredibly excited to see what 2017 has in store for us. My goals for the upcoming year? More adventures and less screen time!