Sunday, January 8, 2017

Warmest Wishes in 2017

It feels like it's been a busy year, but I was reading our New Year's update from last year, and I could just copy and paste about half of it. So I hope you're not completely bored reading this. I guess not much has changed in the last year in our day-to-day lives. One day tends to blend into the next, but as monotonous and exhausting as life can feel sometimes with 2 small kids (feed kids, wipe bums, do laundry, repeat...), our life is beautifully simple. It's what we waited and worked for for so long. We do have some big news, though: we're expecting another baby at the end of May!...Most of us are excited about it.

Photo Credit: Busy Bee Photography

Photo Credit: Busy Bee Photography

Ben has been working for almost a year as the manager at an infusion home care pharmacy (i.e. he runs a pharmacy that makes IVs for people who need private nursing care). He's held quite a few different jobs over the last few years--long story short: he started out part-time, switched to a full-time job, got laid-off, found a new part-time job, then a new full-time job, and then his company was bought out in February. Whew! It's been a roller coaster. 

But fortunately, this is looking permanent, and we're extremely grateful, even when it keeps him busy on nights and weekends. He loves the work that he does, and apparently he's made himself indispensable (#jobsecurity). He also volunteers some of his extra time as an assistant clerk at our church, helping with paperwork and records. Not to mention, he's the most loving husband and dad anyone could ask for. I mean, I knew he was amazing when I married him, but he's really blown me away the last year or so. He's our rock and our best friend, and I could go on, but you'd probably stop reading. 

Jenny (that's me!) I feel pretty lucky to stay at home with our 2 kids, Caleb and Lydia. Honestly, it's been a long year--our first few months with Lydia were a dream, and then suddenly, about a year ago, having two kids got really hard. It's a pretty big job keeping up with two busy toddlers in diapers, but there's no other job I'd rather wake up for every single morning. I'm sure with 3 I'll get the hang of this, right?! (Riiiight.) 

As busy as they keep me, I tried my hand at gardening for the first time, I managed to update our kitchen with some fresh paint on the walls, cabinets, and countertops (more on that on the blog soon), and I finished my first triathlon in April. Another highlight was going to Girls Camp with the young women from my church this summer. Spending a week surrounded by God's beautiful creations and these beautiful girls that I love was so good for my soul.

Caleb, who turned 3 in November, seems to be getting smarter all the time. He loves to talk, and he tells the wittiest jokes. Like, way better jokes than I could ever come up with! (e.g. He came up to me holding a package and said in a menacing voice, "Hi there, I'm the one who rang the doorbell when your baby was sleeping.") The funny gene in my family must've skipped a generation. 

He's the sweetest big brother, the best helper, an eager learner and reader, and he constantly amazes me with his grasp of the gospel and life in general. I love that he's a good listener, but he's also an independent thinker, so he asks questions and tries to understand things for himself. Besides Ben, he's one of my favorite people to talk to. His enthusiasm for all things with engines--especially construction vehicles--is as strong as ever, and his heart's deepest desire is to drive a digger one day.

Photo Credit: Emily Walker

Lydia turned 1 in July, and she is our wild girl and ray of sunshine. She climbs everything, and I pick her up off the kitchen table, bathroom counter, the top of the toilet, clothes dryer--you name it--about 50 times a day, no exaggeration. Nothing deters her: falling on her head (happens all the time), time out (once an hour, at least), scolding (she just laughs). She is irrepressible, as my dad likes to say. Which is totally unlike me, so I'm equally in awe and full of admiration for that. But it's also terrifying. 

She makes up for it with plenty of sweet kisses and hugs, and her little giggle and soft kissable cheeks always give me a thrill of joy. Like her brother, she also loves to talk (and sing!), but most of the time we have no idea what she's saying. It's becoming more discernible every day, though.

Photo Credit: Emily Walker

A few other highlights for our family this year were: visiting my family and grandparents in Georgia in March. My kids loved the farm as much as I do, of course. It always feels so good to "go home," and it already feels like forever ago. I felt more than a little sentimental and dreamy looking back on these photos.

Ben's family reunion is something we look forward to every year, and it didn't disappoint. We've always loved the campground there with its aspen-lined hiking trails and swimming hole, and it's fun now to take our kids camping there with their cousins every summer.

We also had my best friend Jen, who I hadn't seen in over 3 years, come visit us for a few weeks in June. Having her here was just what I needed, and her daughter is Caleb's age, so they totally hit it off, too. Caleb still talks about his friend Paisley all the time.

At Thousand Springs

My parents came to visit in July for Lydia's 1st birthday and my *ahem* birthday, and my mom helped kick-start my kitchen update. (She also helped wrap it up 4 months later when she came to visit for!) We had a fun time partying, and I got all spontaneous and decided we should float the Boise River together, which was a blast except we started too late and almost froze to death. (Note to self: spontaneity is not your thing.)

Then we partied some more with Ben's parents for his birthday, and I finally got to see "my lake"--Jenny Lake in Wyoming. It was incredible. Seriously, there are no words to describe how beautiful and inspiring it is.

We got to see Ben's parents a few weeks later at our house--it was such a sweet surprise and my mother-in-law helped a lot with my kitchen update--and then again on our visit to Utah in September. My kids had a blast with their cousins too, and we got to see my brother Michael for the first time since he got back from his mission in France.

Hiking "The Grotto" Trail

At my cousin Cloe's reception

Later that month, we found out we were expecting Baby #3! And then the "morning" sickness hit, so I spent the next 2 months on the couch, and not much else happened for a while (including dinner, laundry, and dishes).

At 16 Weeks

By November, I was feeling a lot better. We celebrated Caleb's 3rd birthday with Ben's parents, and they kept the kids for a few days while we went to Chicago on a business trip. Ben worked most of the time, but it was a fun little vacation. We got to see some good friends from college: Kristen and Bobby downtown, and Karen and Roger in the suburbs. I immensely enjoyed sleeping in, showering, and eating a big, hot breakfast every morning.

For Thanksgiving my whole family--my mom, dad, 3 brothers, and sister-law--all came to visit. We had our own little "Christmas morning" together with the kids, and relaxed and ate a ton of food, of course.

Photo Credit: Busy Bee Photography

This Christmas, we were on our own, but it was one of the most peaceful and joyful Christmas seasons I've had in a while. I loved our church's Light the World 25 Days of Service, and it really made our season special to focus on Christ and lifting the people around us, as He did. Maybe it was because we weren't traveling or having visitors, but it just didn't feel as stressful as usual. It was just magical.

I'm hoping that will launch us into a joyful new year, one in which I plan to focus more on everything I'm grateful for, and obviously that's a lot. God bless all of you, and warmest wishes from our family to yours in 2017!

Photo Credit: Emily Walker

P.S. In case you're interested, you can always catch our day-to-day happenings on my Instagram and keep up with our blog on Facebook

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have a pretty amazing life. I'm so glad we get to share it together.