I can't believe we are already through 2016 and onto 2017. I remember when I turned 8 years old my great grandma told me: "life is going to speed up for here on out." The following year when I turned 9 I remember thinking wow, grandma was right because that year went faster then any before. Looking back I really had no idea how quickly time could pass, it continues to pass more and more quickly each year.
As I think back on the past year so many moments come to mind both good and bad. We have experienced a lot of change as a family. Change is something that is generally really hard for me but through all the change I have seen a lot of growth in our family and we have really learned to rely on each other and on the Lord. Even though it has not always been easy I am so grateful for all of the experiences we have had.
The highlight of our year was welcoming sweet baby Kate into our family. She joined our family only 5 days after James 7th birthday and has brought a lot of joy to our family. A few months after Kate's birth Joe got a promotion with his work that took us from Michigan to Kentucky. We bought our first home in Kentucky and made the move from Michigan when Kate was 3 months old.
The adjustment to being a family of 6, moving to a new state and being a homeowner was a little overwhelming at first. I had to prioritize the things that were important to me and let the things that weren't as important go for awhile. The past few months we have began to fall into a routine and life doesn't seem so crazy. Through all of the craziness we have felt overwhelmed with love and support from friends both old and new as well as our family. We have truly been blessed and have much to be grateful for. We absolutely love our new home in Kentucky and for the first time in our married life feel peace with where we are at and where we live, it is so nice to feel settled.
We were able to travel a bit this past year. We took a trip to Canada, New York & Kirkland Ohio. We met up with my brother Brian and his family and enjoyed seeing Niagara Falls and some church history sites.. We also made it back to Utah for the first time since we moved away. We enjoyed spending Christmas with family in the Mountains with lots of white snow.
I spend most days trying to take in the kids smallness and calling my sister when I get frustrated. I enjoy taking pictures while making the most of long days and short years. I am serving in the primary as a CTR 4 teacher and love it.
James is an amazing big brother to his sisters. He still hugs me goodbye every morning at the bus stop and walks home holding his sisters hand which just melts my heart as I know its coming to an end. James loves his new school and made friends quickly. He is playing the piano and soccer and is excited to start basketball, his biggest request for our new home is that we put in a basketball hoop.
Ali is doing really well with reading and loves to read with her siblings. She enjoys spending mornings at home with "the girls" and afternoons with her kindergarten class. She asked for make-up and nail polish for Christmas and loves feeling grown up. She loves dance and is excited to start tumbling.
Hannah is constantly imagining and playing pretend, she loves to play with her dollhouse and kitchen. She is a great sister and loves to help me when it's her idea.
Kate is 9 months old. She is so little compared to our other kids but growing well. She keeps up with the rest of us by crawling, she can already do stairs and is close to walking.