Alas! The highlights from 2016 (in no particular order):
1. James graduated from GW with his MBA! He finished in January and we flew out to DC for commencement in May. We are glad that chapter of our lives is over. :-D Every time I contemplate getting a Masters, I remember how much homework he had alll thheee tiiimmeee and how much Netflix I watched while he did it...and then I think about how okay I am with not having a Masters. ;-) But I'm so proud of how hard he worked to get it and in hindsight it was all worth it!
2. My family reunion trip to Florida in July! Any trip back home is a good one, but this one was especially great because all of my cousins that I grew up with were there at the same time. The memories I have with them were the best parts of my childhood. The girls and I stayed out an extra week, which made it even more perfect because I was able to catch up with so many old friends!
3. James landed a new job. This was probably one of those most stressful parts of the year...was that it took 9 months of hardcore looking and to find it and plenty of disappointment along the way, but what matters is he DID! We were so happy to be done with his previous job, and so far he's really enjoying what he's doing now! Which means he's happier, I'm happier, we're all much happier. :-D
4. We went to Portland for our 8th anniversary! This one actually brings up mixed feelings for me, because I was super excited to go to a place I hadn't been before, but I also was only 7-8 weeks pregnant at the time and so beyond, incredibly sick. Most nights I crashed on the hotel bed by 7:30pm and tried to move as little as possible. But overall it was still a fun weekend away!
5. Which leads right into the next thing- baby girl #3! Jillian is so beyond excited to be adding another baby to the family- she asks about her and talks about her all of the time. I think she's going to be a great help to me when she's born as well, so that's exciting!
6. Getting certified as a PiYo instructor! And really taking charge of my health overall, losing 30 lbs. I'd been going to PiYo classes for almost 2 years and completely fell in love with the format, so when an instructor training came to Utah (which doesn't happen often), I jumped at the chance! Little did I know I was actually a few weeks pregnant at the time and just didn't know it yet! I'm still going to classes regularly and teaching it at our church weekly, but won't look to work at any gyms regularly until after I bounce back from this baby! I'm currently 18 weeks and some moves are already getting tricky! But I am so, so, so excited about this new chapter to pursue in my life- never in a million and twelve years did I ever think I would be a fitness instructor. I think my 30s may just be the best decade yet!
7. Jillian starting kindergarten! Knowing her, I knew the transition would be a little rough, but I'm so proud of how far she has come and how much she has been able to accomplish in the last few months. She's just in half-day kindergarten (3 hours), and I'm actually really glad about that! I think that's all both of us could have handled this year. When I think about how quickly time is going by sometimes, I want to turn into a big, blubbery mess. But each time she learns a new skill, finds a new hobby or gains a little more independence- it makes my Mama heart sore with pride. Raising kids certainly is bitter sweet.
8. Olivia is just about potty trained! (anyone who has ever potty trained a toddler knows how big of an accomplishment this is). I think we can count this one still since we started a few days ago when it was still 2016! She caught on super fast (thank GOODNESS). I haven't been confident enough to go anywhere with her yet though (James and I have just been tag teaming being home..), but we'll be forced to in the next couple of days now that Christmas break is over... so that could be interesting, but I'm hoping it sticks! You never really knew just how excited you could be about poop in the potty until you've potty trained a little person (and realize just how many other places except the toilet it could end up!).
Looking back, 2016 was a really good one for our family and I'm so grateful! We are thrilled for 2017 as well- with baby sister arriving in May, as well as upgrading houses and moving a little closer to James' job in the next few months! I already spend way too much time dreaming about counter tops and paint colors (I have a problem you guys...). :-D