I'm not sure how that happened!!!
But here we are!!!!!
I'm excited for a new year, and thankful to be starting off where we are.
We spent the first six months of 2017 in the Middle East and the second half in the U.S....directly divided via mid-June.
It was a really, really great year.
It's been fun reading past blog posts and reminiscing about all the highlights.
I realized I wanna blog a bit about the last few months, so we can later look back at our early days living in America again =)
I don't really know where to begin so I'm just gonna jump right in randomly and then continue with more randomness because blogger etiquette is not the boss of me.
Look what we did for Christmas you guys...
His name is Guster, or Gus.
(Dave and I pre-named him (a story for another time) after a character on the show Psych)
He is absolutely precious.
We surprised the kids on Christmas Eve day with a puppy!
Because nothing says All-American Christmas like a golden retriever puppy popping out of a box with a big bow on top, am I right?? ;)
If you've read past posts, you know that Sister is
Homegirl is crazy for dogs!
Our son can be a little more reserved around them, and he was kinda nervous around Gus for the first few days, but they've quickly become good buddies...
He is one loved pup...
The cat is still a fan favorite around here as well...
And the biggest bonus?
Astrid and Gus totally dig each other.
We are SO THANKFUL that our pets get along! It felt a little risky bringing a puppy into the mix while Astrid was so young and so new to us, but it's been the biggest blessing. They have so much fun together and have brought just a ton of JOY into our home!
I was feeling like we'd thrown kind of a lot at the both of them as far as education goes...
We learned that if you wait until your kids are seven and a half to get them on bikes, they learn in like a day.
Procrastination pays off again.
They love zooming around on their bikes, and we're feeling pretty lucky our house is on a dead end and they can be out there all the time and roam.
Oh! One sunny day in July, I was able to meet up with ALL my sisters, their spouses, and their kids!
It was so special, and we had the BEST time.
I know this post has been a love fest so far, so let me also drop some of the ugly, lest you think I'm going all #soblessed on you here.
I'll offer up that it has definitely not been solely homeruns for us.
A loved one received a really hard diagnosis. One of the best people I know was hit with a case of slander so malicious it was shocking. I got a random phone call from the pound that our family dog that we had rehomed right before we moved to Kuwait had been abandoned by the people we'd rehomed her to. Dave started back to work. I started back to work. The kids started a brand new school. I watched my baby become absolutely hysterical over the threat of a shooter at school...it shattered my heart in a million pieces, and I felt lost as to how to parent well through it all.
But things have slowly settled in more and more, and I'm realizing, again, that I seriously suck at just being patient and giving things time.
I feel like we've extra enjoyed the holiday season, being back with family and being in cold weather!
Thanksgiving at my Mom's was SO fun...
...our little family of four was happy to be able to participate in the annual gingerbread house building contest that we'd missed out on the previous two years.
We were fortunate to be able to spend an evening with grandparents, having a lovely dinner and seeing a fun Christmas play...
We got to go to Zoo Lights!
This is probably my very favorite Christmas tradition, and I was super happy to get to go this year.
The boy was pretty happy as well...