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A Look Back at 2016

January 8, 2017

I have never written a “family newsletter” but they say there’s a first time for everything! I did not send out Christmas cards this year and I really didn’t even have a sentimental facebook moment about all that the past year has been for our family. A year in our life always seems so filled that it is hard to fit it into one sentence, this past year especially.

2016 was a year filled with ups and downs, waiting and a lot of adjustments for all of us. The biggest news for me personally was a new job! In January I was hired at Spartanburg Regional on the Labor and Delivery floor. I began my orientation in February and by March I realized that the job wasn’t really fitting well for me. I went to my manager with my concerns and she was kind enough to offer me a position on the postpartum floor which I was relieved to accept. I finished up my orientation there in June and have been working as an RN independently since then. I work mostly with moms and babies after delivery. Occasionally I will have an antepartum patient (still pregnant) or a post hysterectomy patient. We are a very busy floor and I have been getting a lot of good experience. I work with a wonderful team of ladies who have been very helpful during this transitional time and I have amazing management! There are good days and bad days just like anywhere but for the most part it is a very rewarding job. I especially love that our hospital is going baby friendly which means we are promoting breastfeeding and I get to do a lot of education with mom’s in the area of breastfeeding, which can be more intensive than you might realize! This part of my job is especially satisfying to me. We have an incredible team of lactation consultants and I feel like I learn something new from them everyday, they are kind of my hero!

Of course part of mom getting a new job has also been an adjustment for the rest of the family. Giles has really stepped in and taken over my role when I am away. He makes dinner and puts Scarlett to bed (Audrey usually waits up for me). He usually has the house cleaned up too. He’s pretty amazing and the girls have really bonded with him. I know it is not always easy for him to do all of this, especially on the days he works and comes home to do it, but he rarely complains, he just does it and loves his girls. We usually try to work it out to where we have a babysitter one day a week and he and I switch off the rest of the week so that the girls have at least one parent with them the majority of the time. Childcare was an issue at first but things have settled down as we found a great in home babysitter and are in somewhat of a routine now. I’m really thankful that the park Giles is at is more laid back and he gets the major holiday’s off which counterbalances the randomness of my job.

Audrey turned 4 in March. She got a scooter and Anna dress! We had a pink princess themed birthday at a nearby playground. She had sparkly pink cupcakes in honor of her favorite book (at the time) “Pink Cupcake Magic.” Several of her friends came and Grandma and Grandpa Kay drove up and joined in the fun. They are only about and hour in a half away now and we try to see them at least once a month. My mom was very helpful in filling in the gaps with childcare for us when we needed it until we got everything figured out.

In April we went on a random 4 day trip to Boone and Blowing Rock, NC. We explored the quaint towns, did some shopping and eating and hiked several waterfall’s along the Blue Ridge Parkway (some were easier than others). Scarlett was about 10 months old and rode in the hiking backpack  most of the time and Audrey led the way with her “leaf map” for one of the hikes! She did great.

May was our anniversary and Giles and I had a city date for the day in Charlotte. We had oysters and got a couples massage, it was a nice to time to reconnect and relax. It was probably one of the most low key months of May we have had in the history of our marriage with no school to compete with our anniversary.

June was Scarlett’s 1st Birthday! We did a much smaller party than we did for Audrey’s first ( I learned my lesson). It was a strawberry theme and Scarlett loved her cake. We got her a water table, since she loves the water so much. However, her favorite present was probably her stuffed frog from Grandma and Grandpa, she sleeps with it almost every night now. She has developed so much this year. She is a beautiful, spunky little thing with the will of a lion. She never stops moving and she knows what she wants. She is fairly outgoing, although her sister is hard to beat in that arena, but she does love people and does her best to keep up with her big sister on all levels. She started walking around 11 months and is always on the go! She has a sweet but serious disposition and can be very temperamental if she doesn’t get her way. It is so true that every child is different and she has been so much fun to get to know and a wonderful addition to our family.

As I mentioned this year continued to be a a year of waiting. We did not make a lot of big plans because we were waiting for the building to be finished on our house and to make the big move. We lived in a rental most of the year which was a house we arranged to live in through our builder. It was not an ideal setup for our family and most of our belongings were in storage. It was difficult to live in for nearly a year when we had planned to be there only 4-6 months. Our house took 16 months to be built and it isn’t anything out of the ordinary or extremely large which is what most people ask, just some difficulties with the builder keeping his word unfortunately. So, we did not move until the end of August, but boy were we grateful when we did!! Despite the frustrations we love our house and the location. As we knew it would be, it was worth the wait. We are in a more rural area, although we do have neighbors, but we are not in a subdivision and have a little over an acre to play with. We hope to bring out goats to our property (they are living with my parents right now ha ha! ) and hope to get some chickens in the spring.

Audrey started school (pre-k) only a few days after we moved. She absolutely loves it as we knew she would . It is a full day (7:30 -2:10) which is a lot for her age. We have had some adjustments and have had to work on making sure she gets enough sleep and eats enough, otherwise melt downs are imminent. She has learned a lot this year and is working on sounding out words and trying to write them. I got a note one day that said “I Luf u.” She loves to play restaurant with me and try to take my order. She has always been a wordy girl and seems to really love language and letters. I expect that she will be reading or at least starting to by the end of the year. It is really amazing to watch her mind grow and expand. Her favorite part of the day is still recess of course. She has made a lot of new friends and even informed us the first week of school that she had a husband, but by the next week she had given him away to her “sister” at school. (apparently they had created a pseudo family ha ha ha. ) Her teacher tells us she is a leader and the “mother hen” in her group of friends. We are proud of her and only pray that we can lead her into what God means for her to be.

I think it was a week after we moved (it’s all a little blurry now) that Giles got called out to a fire in California. He was out there for about 2 weeks doing security. We missed him and Audrey had a hard time adjusting to a new school with her daddy gone, but thankfully it wasn’t too long and we had help from Giles’ sister who came down and helped us for a while. In September when Giles got back, we were all ready for a vacation. Instead of continuing to unpack like we probably should have, we went to the beach in Oak Island, NC for a week. It was wonderful and the girls really had a blast playing in the sand and water. The weather was perfect and Oak Island was just the right pace for us!

The rest of the year continued to fly by. For Halloween the girls were a pumpkin (Scarlett) and a Unicorn Princess (guess who!?). November was Giles birthday. He turned 32 and I made him a pumpkins spice pound cake. It was yummy. He got a deer stand for his birthday (requested by him) and shot his first buck of the season shortly afterward.

My parents came over a day early for Thanksgiving as I had to work my first holiday for the  real thing. It didn’t really matter what day it was celebrated on though, we enjoyed spending it with family. Giles and I did something crazy and took on the Whole30 challenge on the day of Thanksgiving (ending update on the blog pending). You can read more about that on my last post.

December was an incredibly busy and somewhat stressful month as we were busy making Christmas preparations and trying to finish our bonus room (which we left unfinished intentionally so that we could make it what we wanted for less money). We were hoping to have the room finished in time for my in-laws stay, but with two children and two jobs that was a pretty unattainable goal. We (well mostly Giles) are still working on it though and getting close. It is going to be awesome! Giles sister came in early December and his parents came in mid December. We got a surprise visit from his Grandmother shortly after his parents arrived. After about a week visiting with her, Giles and I made a quick trip to help her back up to WV with out the kiddos. We made a detour to drive through Shenandoah on the way back. It was beautiful but we didn’t do much sightseeing/hiking as it was a very blustery and cold day with a snowstorm headed in. Just after we got back Giles Aunt, who is also a midwife, came to celebrate the New Year with us. I really enjoyed getting to talk to her and hear some of her birth stories. Whew even writing all of that makes me tired. It was a crazy way to end the year!

Last year was very full and we made some wonderful memories and our family grew stronger together. We all had a lot of changes to adjust to and challenges to work through. I am so thankful for the growth we have had, but I am really looking forward to the new year and hopefully being a little more settled in and able to just experience a bit more peace.

May your year be filled with blessings and peace as well! We welcome 2017 with open arms!

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 21, 2017 7:32 PM

    axually, i’m somewhat jealous! so much goin’ on in yore life whereas nuthin’ much here — we seem to be in a continual downward spiral (both “retired” but i’m seeing the FUNNY in the problems we face in the current autobiographical chapter: Retired Senior Citizens on a Limited Income. To wit; purchased our 1st NEW CAR since the 1990’s (drove “her” car about 600 miles with no oil in the crankcase, wondered what that clattering noise was), unexpected (I should say “expect on a regular basis”) house/property expenses (e.g., leaky windows, fix refrigerator, replace part of both bathrooms, etc., and etc.) so it’s a financial (mis)adventure, continually.

    Seems like you’re both closer to family as well ! (?) and your entire life is “growing”. Cheers!

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