Saturday, December 31, 2016

Our Year in Review

Darin finished his first year and started his second year as a PhD student at Cornell. He was awarded a Latin American Studies Program Graduate Fellowship, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, some small research grants (one of which he will be using in two weeks to go to Indonesia!), and presented research papers at conferences in Chicago and Philadelphia. He worked as Sunday School President in our branch at church. He also played "monster", tag "superheroes" "ninjas", "aliens", hide-and-seek, and wrestled with the kids a few hundred times. 

Some of his favorite moments of 2016: Visiting Lake Michigan, driving across the country, building a snow fort with Shae, his surprise 30th birthday trip to a BYU football game (and a surprise visit from his sister!), teaching the kids "Jingle Bells Batman Smells...", and being with his mom for Christmas.

Brillante...let's just talk in first person here since we all know who is writing this... I continued my busy full time job at home, teaching Shae and Belén how to navigate life (trying to teaching them anyway :). I organized and taught Joy School every few weeks for our co-op preschool. I continued my part-time job editing for Bare International. I was also released as the RS Activities Coordinator and called as the RS President. I read more books than I have ever read in a years time (25 books! Plus thousands of picture books--I know this may not seem like many to a lot of people, but that is monumental for me). I also loved the opportunity to add a few new temples to my list of temples visited (Palmyra, Detroit, and Provo City--and sort of Rexburg, didn't do an ordinance, but went inside :). 

Some of my favorite moments of 2016: Our little trip through Leland, MI, being in Baltimore and going to an O's game, watching Shae take a "victory lap" around the chapel slapping everyone's hands on his way back to his seat after he sang in the Primary Program, weekend away in Philly, and a stormy night cuddling the kids on the couch while Darin was gone at General Conference (they couldn't sleep because there was so much thunder and they both fell asleep on me on the couch. It was one of those tender moments that you want to cherish forever).

Shae continues to be as energetic, friendly, and outgoing as ever. Although he can still throw a monster tantrum when he wants, he is generally very sweet these days and always making us laugh. He started to learn sight words and can sound out simple words. His passion for Paw Patrol, while still alive and well, is quickly being replaced by a love for all things super hero. He has loved another year of Joy School and asks just about every day, "Is TODAY Joy School?" He also did his first round of swim lessons this fall. His biggest fear is getting his hands sticky--he washes his hands at least 50 times a day.

Me: Shae, what was your favorite memory of 2016?
Shae: Watching a show with my sister.
Me: What was your least favorite part?
Shae: The scary parts. 

Belén has easily been the busiest of us all this year. She learned to sleep through the night, use a sippy cup in place of nursing, walk, run, feed herself, give kisses and hugs, hit her brother, say prayers, and is now stepping up her game by TALKING. She mostly just says words, but we can't get enough! She is also a lover of all things Paw Patrol (thanks to her big brother), cries every single time we leave Shae at preschool, loves greeting any and every dog we see outside, and has the biggest sweetest puffy lip to stick out when she doesn't like something. She also lights up if you play peek-a-boo or sing Old McDonald or Wheels on the Bus with her. She went out west for the first time this year (both by car and airplane) and met lots of family and saw lots of places she had never met/seen before.

Me: Belén, what was your favorite part of 2016?
Belén: Uhn-uhn, bye! 
Me: What was your least favorite part?
Belén: *shuts door on me and runs away*

For our family, it was a busy year of travel. We ended up visiting 6 big cities (Washington D.C.Chicago, Toronto, Niagra Falls, Philadelphia, and Baltimore) and added two new baseball stadiums to the bunch (Toronto and Philly). We lived in Ann Arbor, MI for a summer while Darin took a few classes, where we also got to go on a little weekend trip up to Traverse City). We then drove out to Idaho to visit family (and took a day trip to Yellowstone). We also got to see every single one of our family members (Mine and Darin's siblings and parents) which is not an easy feat (but something we are so happy we got to do!)

We feel extremely blessed for all the fun adventures we were able to enjoy during 2016 and are excited to continue those adventures in the coming year.

1 comment:

  1. Love hearing about your year. Can't believe it went so fast. Your pictures are adorable! Love you guys. Maybe 2017 we will see you for more than an hour ;)