This year had a lot of ups for us, and a couple of major downs. This year we said goodbye to both Eric's mother and grandmother, and it is still hard to believe they're both gone. We have also been struggling with some more uncertainty as to what the future holds for us, though we are confident in God's plan and look forward to finding out what He has in store.
As for the more positive parts of the year:
- We made two trips to Disney World this year, including one that featured Eric's successful completion of the Disney marathon!
- After a long battle against solid food, E.J. started eating and now eats constantly (though his nonstop movement keeps him contentedly in the fourth percentile for weight and size 6-9-month pants, the little shrimp!).
- We celebrated birthdays for all, including a Doc McStuffins-themed third birthday party for Ellie, a Star Wars-themed 33rd birthday party for Eric, a we're-leaving-on-a-two-week-road-trip-in-two-days-themed 33rd birthday mini-celebration for me, and a "Hole in ONE" golf-themed party for E.J.'s very first birthday, which also coincided with a great July Fourth celebration here in Jacksonville. Eric and I also celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this year! Additionally, we attended celebrations in honor of both my parents' 60th birthdays.
- The kids racked up their own list of celebrity sightings, including myriad PBS Kids stars and Disney characters ( such as Thomas the Train, Disney princesses, Mickey et al., Sesame Street friends, Daniel Tiger, and Buddy from Dinosaur Train). They loved every second of it!
- The big summer highlight was our two-week road trip that included stops in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Sesame Place, Pittsburgh, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood at Idlewild, Cleveland for the annual Hesterman reunion, and Pinehurst, NC. The kids were angels and we made some really wonderful family memories!
- Eric started his third year of teaching (honors students this year!) and Ellie started preschool. She also started ballet lessons after school.
- We went crazy with Halloween activities and had a blast in this year's family costumes inspired by the Disney movie Tangled!
- We got to watch Ellie perform in her school Thanksgiving program, and watched her sulk her way through both her ballet recital and Christmas program. At least she has true sulking talent so it was quite a sight to see.
- We enjoyed very nice holidays in St. Pete, spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas proper with family. We followed that up with our own family Christmas celebration back at home in Jacksonville, which was really special as both kids were very into it this year (Ellie especially).
- We wrapped up the year today with the VyStar New Year's Eve Run—my very first 5k! Eric has been helping me train and it went so well.
May 2016 bring happiness and good health to you and your loved ones, friends. Wishing you all the best!
VIDEO: A look back at our year in 2015
Signing off for 2015,