As I look back on 2016, I can hardly believe how many great moments we had as a family. Since I just recently started blogging I decided that my 2016 year in review will be about our family instead of my favorite DIY posts. We tackled dozens of house projects this year, but all of the beautiful memories our family made are far more important. 2016 is truly a year I will never forget.
We’ve been empty-nesters for the last four years while our youngest boys were attending college. Both kids were college athletes and we’ve been to as many of their sporting events as possible, but haven’t been able to attend some of the distant events. This year, thanks to points and miles, we were able to travel to Boston and Las Vegas to see them compete in some of their final senior sporting events.
In Boston we saw Zach, a thrower on the track and field team, compete in weight and shotput.
It was great to be there and witness him breaking his school records and placing second in his conference championship.
In Las Vegas we saw our rugby player, Zane, compete with his team in an invitational rugby 7’s tournament.
Rugby is a really tough sport for a mom to watch, but I have to admit it can also be really fun. You just have to resist the urge to yell at guys trying to take your kid down.After watching many many rugby matches in the hot Vegas sun, we were able to cross one thing off my bucket list. Mike and I got to see Celine Dion in concert(I was more excited than he was, but he was a good sport).
In May, the boys graduated from college just two weeks apart. We are so incredibly proud that of their academic accomplishments. It’s hard to describe the happiness we felt at their graduation ceremonies. Zachary graduated first in Albany.
Zane graduated two weeks later in Ithaca. It was just Zane and I until he was five years old. Being a single mom at the time, this day seemed like a huge distant dream. So, despite the fact it was freezing cold and rainy for the entire four hours of graduation, it was an amazing and emotional day. Shortly after graduating, they both found jobs in their professional fields. We are thrilled to watch them begin life as adults, but we’re also a little sad that Zach is now living three hours away.
In June, Mike and I had the opportunity to take a trip a to a spectacular five-star resort. When we married in 2005 we each had kids and were on a tight budget so we never had an actual honeymoon. We were incredibly lucky to go on this free trip to the Ritz-Carlton Dorado in Puerto Rico, thanks to Mike’s employer. We’ve been on some great family trips, but they are always with discounts and points and keeping a close eye on the budget. This resort was truly a peek into how the other half lives. For six days we were in paradise and received the best service from the most incredible hotel staff.
Everything we could possible need or want was located right on site, so we didn’t venture far from the resort. It was hard to leave the amazing beaches and pools. But we did spend one afternoon jet skiing on the ocean. With 15 foot waves it was scary but fun! We toured the capital from the water and saw El Morro and the governor’s house. Our tour guide was insanely funny although his jokes about sharks were a bit unnerving!
After 22 years of raising kids (26 for my husband) this trip was the perfect way to spend time together reflecting on how far we’ve come as a family.
I can’t talk about the last year without mentioning our pups. We spent 2016 getting to know our rescued westie, Zoe. She and Zeus spent the year becoming best friends and now they are inseparable.
Our year was wonderful but don’t be fooled it was in no way perfect. We had all of the normal ups and downs of family life. Renovation hiccups, a broken furnace, emergency vet visits, far too many trips to urgent care by the men in my life, and just regular life challenges. But, it’s great to reflect on the positive and celebrate the achievements that are far more important than the mishaps.
After all of the excitement and travel in the beginning of the year, the second half of 2016 was much quieter. Too quiet at times.With no more sporting events or competitions and only one son at home, until he leaves for grad school, we have more free time than ever. So after realizing I need something new to do, I decided to start this blog.
I started this venture in October and it has been a fun experience. It’s also been more difficult than I expected. I’ve had to learn so much more about web design and technology than I anticipated. Despite that, it has been a great outlet for me. I know that there are many great life and blog adventures to come, just different milestones than we’re used to.
We have many house projects planned for 2017 and I hope you’ll follow along to see them. For updates please sign up for our newsletter below.
May 2017 bring your family joy and happiness.