Here’s the July-December photo recap for 2016.
In July we took a trip to New York to visit my parents. This is where I grew up, but we decided to do some touristy stuff with the kids. We visited the state capital, including the free NYS Museum. It had some great kid exhibits and a historic carousel. We also went to Lake Placid, because Bobby loves Olympic stuff! We also spent time in the pool and at the lake house of a friend, where we took the big girls canoeing. At the end of the month, we visited Cecilia’s godfather, Fr. Mike Paris, so he could meet her before traveling to Minnesota to join the Carmelites.
August was an all-around busy month! Bobby and I were in DC a bunch for my job, and our anniversary and Bobby’s birthday are also the start of Bobby’s school year. But we found time to visit Luray Caverns (the girls really enjoyed it), go mini golfing (luckily no one else was there) and cool off at the community pool a few times. We also bought a new van, which was a huge excitement for me! Our old one died in the spring so I’d been without a vehicle, and this new Chrysler Town and Country is just awesome!
Lots of ups and downs in September. Started preschool with Grace, visited local farms for the fourth year in a row during the Rappahannock Farm Tour and spent lots of time outside in the still warm weather. I also attended a local Catholic women’s blogging conference, which was so amazing. Cecilia came too, but wasn’t so sure about it 😉 And like every year, September 19 found us in Philadelphia, visiting and remembering our first daughter. Mary Catherine would have been six.
October was more low-key, with a pleasant rhythm and fall fun. We love fall hiking, and the girls had fun going on their first neighborhood trick-or-treat for Halloween.
November started off with an All Saints Day party at church, then the anxiety and excitement of the presidential election! I taught Grace to say “the wicked witch is dead” and Bobby taught her “Donald Trump wins!” The leaves take awhile to change here, but they finally burst into brilliant colors. It was a very windy month, though, so not much raking because they all get blown along the fence! In honor of Grace’s fifth birthday, we went to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, and had a great, albeit cold, day at the park. There were dozens of little kid rides, which the girls loved, a small zoo, and of course the factory tour and chocolate!
Merry Christmas! We actually had a very nice December. It started with a birthday party for Gracie, with about 25 kids here. Then a quiet, peaceful Advent and Christmas spent at home. The girls love decorating and “redecorating” the tree. We finished off the year at the home of our friends who have four kids, where we played Mario Cart, had a lovely dinner, and left by 7pm. It was the perfect New Years Eve. Cheers!