2016 in Review: The Final Five

I am back to share the final 5 months of my 2016 in review. I loved taking a look back at January through July and reflecting on how much changed in such a short time...new state, new jobs, new everything!  Let's dive right in where we left off...


This was a big month for us.  Dennis got a job working at Verizon and Duke officially started daycare.  We were really lucky we were able to get through most of the summer without starting him because our wonderful daycare provider admittedly had her hands full with all of the school-aged kids out of school for the summer.  Dennis had been enjoying his summer home with Duke but he {and our bank account} was anxious for him to get back to work!  Duke kicked his first of many sicknesses and we did all the summer things we could like enjoying the local county fair.  We started supplementing Duke with formula this month also, and he turned a whopping 10 months old!


We had all kinds of fun this month with the annual Ribs, Rods, Rock n' Roll festival and the start of football season.  We also announced that Duke was prepping to be a big brother because we were pregnant again!  At this point I was feeling pretty terrible and I was convinced that baby #2 was a girl!  Apparently pregnancies are completely different sometimes...noted.


We kicked off this month by taking a weekend trip down to Lawrence to visit two of my best friends from college.  I opened up about what it's like to breastfeed while being pregnant and we took Duke to his first pumpkin patch!  The most important and exciting thing we celebrated this month was our sweet baby boy turning 1!  Duke's birthday was a blast and we were thrilled to celebrate a wonderful year with our main man.


Blog land was pretty quiet this month which is pretty normal considering I typically start hibernating when winter starts.  I traveled to New Orleans with Dennis and some of our good friends and then headed up to Washington D. C. for a work conference over election day.   We kicked off the holiday season with Thanksgiving which is one of my very favorite holidays and I slowly started to feel like a human again after a rough few months of pregnancy.


We ended 2016 with all sorts of excitement and more travel.  Things started off slow and a little scary as we experienced Duke's first trip to the ER.  I updated the blogosphere on Baby #2 and Duke got the hang of walking.  We celebrated Christmas 2016 in Denver and had an amazing time cramming as many family visits as possible into 4 short days.  Last but not least, we ended 2016 with a super low key New Year {not gonna lie, I miss champagne...} and I must say, 2017 is already off to a great start!  Here's to hoping I can get my act together and blog a little more this year...it's priceless to be able to look back at everything that's happened!


2016 In Review: 7 for 12

One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to look back at old posts and see just how much we've done over the years.  It always provides needed perspective and keeps my ever-buzzing mind in check, reminding me to slow down and enjoy the now because it all goes by so quickly.  So today, almost a month in to 2017, I'm looking back at 2016 and picking out some key moments that defined each month of last year for our little family.


Looking back on where we were last year at this time to now, is the perfect reminder to me that time seriously flies! Everything is a phase, and time, patience, and a whole lot of faith can get you through just about everything.  Just as I was writing about how anxious I was to go back to work, and then adjusting to our new routine, I was right back at home with my sweet baby Duke, adjusting to an unexpected "Maternity Leave Part II".  I was stressed and thought I needed to rush back to work, until we crunched the numbers and realized it just didn't make sense to find something I could do for 4 months before our move to South Dakota.  So I did my very best to chill and embrace the change.  And allll of the snuggles.


At this point I was fully embracing life as a SAHM...my posts this month shared recipes, a book review, and lots of gushing about my sweet baby Duke.  Duke got his first two teeth right around his 4 month birthday and was baptized, which was absolutely horrific because he screamed bloody murder the entire time, and we were reminded once again that parenthood is all about rolling with the punches! 


March was jam packed! We had a fun visit from my sister and nieces, I got real honest on the blog about some of my new mom experiences here and here, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day and March Madness, and we attended an awesome craft/drinking birthday party at Upstairs Circus.  I also started a really fun side business that I am beyond grateful for. 


In April I celebrated turning 28 {birthdays are my favorite}, falling more and more in love with my sweet baby, and my 100th blog post.   I love April because the weather starts to get warmer, the sun sticks around a little longer, baseball starts, and from the looks of it, we eat a lot of good food!


This is a month I surely would not go back to if given the chance.  It was insane.  We were packing up to move to South Dakota, trying to see as many people as possible and have going-away parties in CO, attend a wedding in SD, jet off to Boston for a few days, and prep for me going back to work.  The worst part however, was when one of my best friend's mom passed away unexpectedly.  Naturally, everything else needed to pause while we made an extra trip back to SD to be there for the services and try to offer as much support as we could.  The circumstances were awful, but we certainly gained some perspective and realized we just needed to focus on the important things as we prepared for our family's next chapter.


I started back at work and seriously felt like I had won the lottery.  I was thrilled to be working in a completely different environment that I somehow seemed to fit right into.  I got used to my 90 second commute really quickly and loved that Duke was at home with Dennis during this time so I didn't have to adjust to him going to daycare quite yet.  I'm really thankful we were living with my parents initially because we were able to get settled in and adjust without having to worry about getting fully moved and settled into a new house.  That chaos would come at the end of the month. ;) 

We celebrated 2 crazy years of marriage, a ton of life changes, and we took a family trip to Vermont towards the end of the month for my friend Nancy's wedding.  Quality time with some of my favorite people is infinitely good for my soul! 


We had our first set of visitors over the 4th of July and were really excited for Dennis' best friend Tim and his girlfriend Erica to get to see our new house and new town. We made sure to include a lot of alcohol and outdoor activities in their weekend, just in case they hated small town life.  Don't worry, they didn't.  We celebrated Dennis' birthday and my 10-year class reunion, where I couldn't drink because we had just found out we were pregnant!
This is probably the longest post ever so I'll save the last 5 months for tomorrow!  If you made it this far, you're the best!  I gotta say, I'm having a lot of fun looking back at our year...I had forgotten just how crazy it was and how often I mentioned not sleeping. Ha! Happy Monday friends :)


1st Week in the Books!

2017 is off and running folks and I've gotta admit, this first week left a lot little to be desired.  It has been FREEZING here {I totally forgot how cold SD gets in the winter...Sorry hubs!}, Dennis has still been feeling under the weather, and I've been getting progressively more uncomfortable and emotional while riding this pregnancy train.  ANYWAY, I want to highlight some of the things I have been loving this week because there is always something to be thankful for {spoiler alert: most of these involve a wild 14 month old}

one- short work weeks

Short work weeks can sometimes seem crazier than a regular 5 day week but I have been so thankful for days at the office flying by the past couple weeks and am getting a little too used to extra weekend days.  Maybe a 4-day work week can be my resolution for 2017?! ;)

two- belly snuggles

I haven't been able to capture this in a picture yet, simply because the moments are too sweet and I don't want to ruin them by grabbing my phone, but Duke has been giving the belly some hugs this week and it's about to make me melt.  This morning he even moved his fuzzy blanket off of me so he could lay straight on the bump and just smiled and laughed at himself.  Last night I kept telling him to say hi to his baby brother and pointing to the bump and he would poke at it and then dive in for some snuggles.  To die for.

three- self-feeding

I've warned myself that Duke is going to need me to feed him when he's 14 if I don't let him start practicing more on his own.  The problem is, although his skills are pretty stellar, he inevitably gets 1000x messier on his own than he would be if I was controlling the spoon/fork. Obviously. Last night though I gave in to the need to clean the kitchen, set him up in his high chair next to me and watched him completely take apart each quarter of his PB&J and mash it all over his face, mouth, and tray.  At one point I heard the weirdest squishing sound and turned around to see him mashing pieces of banana in between his folded hands.  Needless to say, it made dishes far more entertaining and he was happily occupied for a good 20 minutes before I threw him into the clean sink for a quick bath.

four- puppy chow

One of my best friends snap-chatted some puppy chow a few weeks ago and I had it stuck in my head for weeks, waiting for the perfect opportunity to make a batch.  I hadn't made any in probably 10 years, so we picked up all of the ingredients and my sister and niece ended up putting it all together New Years Eve and I've been munching on the leftovers all week.  Duke begged for a piece the other night and quickly found his love of the chocolate/peanut butter crunchy treat and was not at all impressed with the rations I gave him. If you haven't made any in a long time, go do it! So delish.
Recipe from Chex box!

five- all things basketball

We get to watch my 6-year old niece play in her first basketball "game" tomorrow and then follow it up with 2 games at USD.  I'm pretty sure the 6-year old game will take the cake, but I am also in love with the University's new arena and Saturday afternoons spent watching one of my favorite sports!
Showing Duke how to work on his vertical?

Happy Friday!  Stay warm and somebody please take me to a beach!


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