Joining Dwija at House Unseen, just like I did last year, for a 12 photo recap of the past year! That post really was what motivated me to try harder to post more often this year, so I’m looking forward to looking back at how this year has unfolded!
(I didn’t pick the most perfect or even necessarily my favourite picture from each month, but I tried to find a picture that really summed up what that time in our life was like for the family. )
This photo sum’s up January, and the wonderful arrival of these two little guys.
On Wednesday, Jan 22, my nephew Gabe (in the forefront) was born, after my sister was in labour for three days. I caught a nasty flu from her (poor girl, 3 days of labour and the flue at the same time!) but luckily it didn’t put me into labour, nursing Clara a week later on Wednesday Jan 29th did. I had a super fast labour and Hugh was born nearly 2 weeks early! The little guys were adorable to watch growing up, but we quickly learned not to compare because there couldn’t be more different little boys! Oh right, did I mention our two families lived together at the time, so all this was taking place in the same house! Lots of fun and good memories for years to come!
February was full of learning how to be a mom to two. Nursing day and night to both of the above children, along side my sister and her little son. Lots of support from family including a very appreciated visit from my mother in law who was a huge help. I don’t think I got out much, or realized it was the worst winter ever, because of all the things going on inside and I wouldn’t have it any other way! The stir craziness is already bubbling up this winter.
Looking through the march pictures there were even some of sunshine and coat-less trips to the park! But all in all I think it was safe to say we mostly just stayed in doors, playing make believe swimming pool and other such creative games with this little nut who was getting more creative and talkative every day, she was (and still is) such a big fan of her little brother, who’s not that much littler than her any more. She calls herself the “big girl” but when she says it, it sounds like “Big Deal” which is so cute.
April was a muddy and cold Easter (notice the sparkly sweatshirt?) along with visits from my cousin and her children, lots of cooking and eating experiments, trips to the zoo, and family gatherings.
May was full of trips. Little ones to the to the zoo and park and “new park” as well as a weekend away for a women’s conference that I went to with my mom, sister, and good friend Bryana. We celebrated my grandmothers 80th birthday party (slash family bowling tournament), ran my first 5K on mothers day, took the kids on our first solo camping trip without the help of my parents, and could make the first trips of the warm season to the lake and spend days in the pool out back! Gotta enjoy every ounce of good weather we get around here. May 31 we left for our big trip
Which was mostly in June. We made a family trip to visit both of Brian’s grandmothers in the twin cities MN, both had been having health difficulties, and we wanted to make an extra effort to see them and introduce the children to them. I am so glad we made that effort because it turned out to be the last time Brian got to see his maternam grandmother before she passed away in November. We had a great weekend visiting with cousins and family and of course making important stops at places like Chipotle and Trader Joes that we don’t have in Canada. Then we drove north to be at his sisters beautiful wedding in Marquette MI. I always do lots of online shopping before trips to the states, and this time I was able to order a happy mommy box which was waiting for me when we got there. In addition to the wedding we celebrated my mother and father in laws 30 anniversary. After a very full and fun trip we got home and had visits with friends, the zoo, cousins, and my best friend had a second baby on her first baby’s 1st birthday. Exciting month!
In July we went to a 4th of July BBQ with friends, tackled the redecorating of our living room, went camping, and I tried very hard to keep to my goal of making at least two weekly trips to the lake. We went to the wading pool with friends a number of times, my sister Katelyn came for a visit from Rhode Island, and of course Clara’s birthday. Which we celebrated on the actual day of, and on a saturday with some close friends and family, and lots of presents. Some evenings ended with bonfires at my parents, which I love love! Wish we had a firepit of our own.
In August I really tried to keep making it to the lake atleast twice each week (you honestly never know when the summer will come crashing to a halt here). My parents lent us that blow up dingy so we did a little boating which Clara was not a fan of. Another long-weekend camping trip with all my brothers and sisters and their families and boy friends fiances etc, that trip included finding dinosaur fossils which was very cool. I took Hugh for his first trip to the ER due to a suspected concussion (he was alright) We did some hiking in Banff, I got the crazy idea to do a Whole30. I was taken for a belated birthday dinner (my birthday was back in January) at our favourfavourite steak house by my sister and brother in law before they moved away, and putting the toques came back.
September was called “Snowtember” here because of a giant snowfall we had at the beginning of the month, breaking every tree in the city’s branches and causing nearly 10 million dollars in foliage damage for the city. We (Clara only) were struck with a mild case of hand foot mouth desiese. When we were recovered we had a visit from an awesome friend and her family, it warmed up again so there were more days at the beach and BBQs in the long evenings, and I started sewing again.
October had some hikes with friends, lots of days at the park, trips to the “candy store” more commonly known as the frozen yogurt shop. My family makes an anual family getaway in the mountain for thanksgiving, which consissted of lots of cooking, eating, and mini golf. We felt like highschoolers again going to Clara’s godfathers birthday party at lasertag, I scored a sweet deal on a double jogger, and me and the kids went to visit my sister and and brother in law and our only cousin at their new house, and we visited my brother at Seminary which in in the same town. I really noticed Clara and Hugh were starting to truly play together, and we dressed up as duck dynasty with my friend and her family for Halloween.
the same friend had the awesome idea of making Jesse Trees, so that pretty much took over November. We cut and sewed 1,200 beautiful felt ornaments for families all across Canada and the USA (and one to Austrailia) and I truly think it did make a difference to many families Advent. On my breaks from “felting” I did some potty training. Brian’s gramma passed away, and I managed a week without him while he went to the funeral and to spend American Thanksgiving with his family. My parents took us for some sushi friday nights, and we got ready for Advent.
December, (is over already?… whew!) The Jesse Trees overflowed from November to December because it turned out to be a much bigger project than we initially thought. For the first time we celebrated St Nicholas Day with presents in the shoes for the kids. I really wanted to do family things, so we found some Christmas festivals and went on sleigh(or wagon) rides, to two different Nativity pagents (3 times!), and did advent and Christmas projects and baking and crafting. We still made it to the zoo and library very often, and many evening drives looking at christmas lights. Christmas eve and day were simple, and then quickly switched into wedding mode for my friends wedding I was in on the 27th. After all that we were sick, (everyone but me) and sick we remain… now, 9 days later. Heres hoping it ends soon and we can get back to some activities!
This post has taken me so long!! I think shorter and sweeter posts are all that’s in the book for the near future! But I love having these annual summaries to look back on!