2016 Highlights, Our Year End Review

Around the end of December I find myself thinking, dreaming, and reflecting over all the little things that made up a year. It’s hard to believe that 2016 is officially over, but it is.

Looking back on last year if I was to choose one ongoing theme, I would have to say we did a whole lot of adjusting. There were hard adjustments, happy adjustments, and others that we still don’t know quite what to think of. But all in all I think 2016 was pretty good to us.

January was full of “excitement”. Some unexpected home repairs put a rough start on our new year, but we didn’t let that get the best of us. Or should I say Russ didn’t let it get the best of him? Russ had his 36th birthday at the end of the month and we celebrated with our traditional lasagna and cheesecake.

February brought an unexpected night away for Russ and myself and a 5th birthday for our sweet Emily Elizabeth. I still can’t believe she is 5 and she is nearly 6 now. Must, slow, time, down.

March was a busy month for our little family. The blog turned two and was switched to Word Press. Yes, I made that switch all by myself and still shiver when I think back on how stressed it made me. We FINALLY finished putting Marissa’s room back together after those unexpected January repairs and we celebrated another great Easter

April brought so much joy and the beginning of so much heartache too. Marissa completed her first ever 5K and Russ completed building my 37 Ford. However, April was also the month that we started the wild ride of Emily’s eye problems that went on for months. Thinking back to all of those tears makes my heart ache. 

May was a month that kept us on the move, literally. We finished our 3rd year of home-school, went to our first NASCAR race at the Kansas Speedway, Russ and I did the JMR, (his first half marathon, my 5th), and we spent the weekend in Springfield, MO at the NSRA Streetrod Nationals. 

June was the official start of summer and a super frustrating month for us as well. Emily had started wearing glasses, but we saw little to no improvements in her eye crossing. We were also being pressured into paying THOUSANDS of dollars to get her into vision therapy. We felt so confused about what we should do. Most of our days were spent being distracted at the pool. We also had a blast celebrating Marissa’s 8th birthday.

July brought fireworks, loads of friend time, dress like a cow day (anything for free Chick-FilA), and more days spent at the pool. At the end of the month I ran away on a momcation with my Anna. We spent the weekend relaxing and sorting out our science plans for the year. It was perfect and I wish we could run away at least once every single year. 

We celebrated anniversary #9 in August and started our 4th year of homeschooling. How in the world have we been doing this, this long?! We also went to two car events. A cruise night in Jay, OK and The Annual H.A.M.B Drags, our favorite car event of the year. August was also the month that we took Emily to a specialist in K.C. where we were given a new glasses prescription and told to pray!

September was my favorite month of the entire year… because we spent a week at the beach!!! It was the best week of my entire life and I would go back in a second if we could. Pretty much the entire rest of September pales in comparison to that week, so I won’t bring it up. You can read our vacation recaps below.

Days 1 & 2 / Dolphin Cruise / Fort Morgan / The Final Recap


October was packed full of all things pumpkin, car events, working on our fall bucket list, and trick or treating with my favorites. It was one of the warmest falls we have ever had which was less than thrilling. But, we made the best of it and still did ALL of the fall things. 

In November we started  getting ready for the holiday season early (like always). But even with the excitement of Christmas distracting us we still managed to finish our Fall bucket-list. We also received an amazing report when we went back to Emily’s specialist in K.C. The unexpected happened and we were given the news that eye surgery was officially off the table. The Dr. was SHOCKED by the results her new glasses gave us. It was the best news ever. Thanksgiving was spent with Russ’ family, the same way we always do, and it was so good. After a good Dr. report we had so much to be thankful for. 

Last was the whirlwind that we call December. It is the best month of the year and it always goes by WAY too fast. The month kicked off with colds for Russ and I, that drug on for weeks, but they didn’t slow us down. We still took our annual trip to Silver Dollar City and managed to cross off our entire Christmas bucket list (no, I never blogged about finishing that). Marissa and Russ also built an awesome derby car that won her a third place trophy in the Awana Grand Prix. We finished December with Russ being home for 11 days to celebrate Christmas, my birthday and the New Year with us. 

2016 definitely had its ups and downs for our little family. But looking back over the year, even though we had some unexpected twists and turns, it ended on a high note.

I can’t wait to watch 2017 unfold

What was your favorite part of 2016?

Recapping everything that made #2016 a year full of adjusting in our #YearEndReview. Click To Tweet
  • Jessica

    Wow!!! You guys had quite a year. I’d say the heartache of Emily’s eyes was made up for by the excellent news you received in November and all of the fun you guys had. 2016 was overall pretty great to you. πŸ™‚

    • I definitely cant complain. It felt like a roller coaster somedays but all in all the ride was good.

  • I love this post and wish I had thought to put one together, just for keepsake purposes. I have enjoyed being a part of your extended family and watching all of this unfold online and via our texts/talks. You have such a wonderful family and I love each of you dearly. EE the most πŸ˜‰

    • That is exactly why I made myself do this. I should really keep one going and update it every month for next year.

      Cant imagine 2016 without you friend.

  • Such a wonderful year for you all! The eye difficulties made things hard, but you got through it!

    • By the grace of God! It really was a great year.

  • Lizzie Simantz

    Even with some ups and downs, 2016 still looks like a pretty good year. I need to go back and read some of the earlier stuff, unexpected repairs? Ugh that’s never good! I really love reading along with you friend!

    • It was THE worst. So glad 2016 brought our paths together.

  • chall1018

    What a year for you guys! That April post and photo made my heart hurt! Emily looks so sad in that picture. I am so thankful things are getting better for her. God is SO good! I have loved following along with your sweet family throughout the year and can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2017. So thankful to call you a friend!

    • Oh me too friend. Someday I hope to give you a great big hug. Getting to know you more in 2016 has been so good.

  • Oh that April picture. What a year you had! It’s good to review things like this. It helps us to remember all of the lessons, good things and growth that took place in the last year. Hugs to you and your cute family!

    • Thank you so much. I totally agree too. Looking back shows us how much we’ve grown.

  • Heather Bramlett

    I love the end in reviews! Such a fun year! Even with the eye trouble it looks like it was a great year! I’m with you! Take me back to the beach……

    • Like yesterday, lol.

      2016 overall was quite lovely for sure.

  • What a year, Beth! And I’m so so glad that Emily’s eye is doing better. Gosh, it breaks my heart even thinking about it.

    • Oh my goodness it was so hard friend. God has been so good to us.

  • Amy Smith

    Beth, I can remember all of these events right along with you! So, so grateful that sweet Emily has seen such improvements! I can’t wait to see where 2017 takes all of you!

    • Thank you so much Amy. You’ve been such a good friend to me this year. I appreciate you!

  • I feel SO MUCH better that you havent finished recapping your Christmas bucket list, gives me less guult about not updating mine haha. 2016 was a mixed bag for us too but even in the struggles life is still good. Love you lady! Excited to see what 2017 holds for you and your family!

    • Haha! Yup, my recap just isnt going to happen. I stunk at photographing the last of it anyways. Love you too 😚.

  • What a huge year for you!! You were so busy! I hope you have a wonderful 2017!

    • It was an eventful year for sure! Thank you!

  • I totally forgot about the chaos with Marissa’s room! What an eventful year!

    • I almost did too πŸ˜‚. That was such a bad start to the new year.

  • Whitney Jordan

    So glad you were able to head to the beach this year! Loved all of your family pictures, Minnie Mouse appearances and what a blessing it is to have Emily is great glasses for her little eyes. Excited to see what the new year has in store for your family πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much Whitney. It has been a great year, but I am so excited for 2017!

  • Such a wonderful!! Praying you all have a happy 2017 with LOTS of good times!

  • Desiree @ Macke Monologues

    I love this yearly recap! You and your family did so much, saw so much, experienced so much! 2017 is bound to be a great year for you!!

    • I sure hope so. Last year was pretty great, 2017 has big shoes to fill!