We began the year with a minor surgery for Josie. She was a trooper and back home running around by the end of the day.
We did what we always do in winter: lots of time in the kitchen, books, piano, homeschool, soup.
A new baby cousin in February!
Florida in March.
In April Sam and Annie were baptized as a profession of their faith in Jesus Christ.
We figured out that Sam is quite the babysitter. Along with cook, home manager, all-around great kid.
Josie got to go to her first birthday party.
The Cavs won the NBA finals.
And then after years and years of endless begging, reasoning, prayers and supplication by Sami-- we got a puppy. The rest of 2016 belonged to Lucy.
In June our closest friends moved away, leaving a big space in our home and our hearts.
Another June highlight was a few days with our cousins here for Cousin Camp.
We did a ton of work to the outside of the house this year- new landscaping, a fence for Lucy.
We put the children to work.
Annie got to travel to Oklahoma with my parents all by herself- for a week!
Another baby cousin! Sam the baby whisperer.
A highlight of the summer was a reunion with my Haiti friends in Indiana. It was such fun to reconnect with so many, and for our families to get to know each other. Thanks, Shannon, for planning an amazing weekend at Camp Moneto.
We traveled to Pennsylvania to visit the Kanagys in August. A beautiful, sweet time with our friends!
Jim surprised me with a fun day at Kelly's Island for my birthday.
My whole family came to Cleveland to go to an Indians game. So much fun.
We began our fifth year of homeschool and our fourth year of Classical Conversations.
Sam and I traveled to Grand Rapids to visit dear friends in September. A fun girls getaway!
We went to Indiana to visit our dear friends the Dunns in October.
The Indians nearly won the World Series. We loved watching the games.
Fall is always a blur- a hectic, busy, sometimes frantic season of adjusting and re-adjusting and trying to find some kind of a groove. There are too many activities and never enough time. I need to remember this and adjust my expectations. Every year I want to quit homeschool in the fall.
I have to tell the truth- this dog sent me into therapy- literally. I was living in a constant state of panic, she brought out all of my neurosis. We were this close to re-homing her. And then I fell in love with her. My Lucy experience was nothing short of a spiritual awakening; a step of liberation and of understanding the love of God in a new way.
2016 was the most peaceful, joyful year I can ever remember (aside from Lucy).
Don't get me wrong- I did my share of complaining. I muddled in the usual self-doubt and questioning. The kids have their own struggles that did not go away. There are broken relationships that make us ache. Jim and I had our share of fights big and small.
We did two really positive things this year: we began going to counseling as a couple, and I began going to a Natural Health doctor and completely changed my diet. As a result, our marriage is the best that it has ever been, and I feel healthier- emotionally, physically, mentally- than I ever have. Hopefully I will have a chance to write more about both of those, and more.
For now, this is the story of us in 2016.