We took our annual picture in front of our house on New Year's Day.


 Sometimes I feel like we are outgrowing our home, and then I look at this collage and it makes me sad to think about moving. I'm sure that we eventually will down the line, but this little house has been the only home our kids have ever known and holds so many precious memories! We are the only family that has ever lived in it. Look at how teeny tiny our trees were. 

Taking our annual picture was really bittersweet this year. We have another baby in the photo, which, of course, YAY! At the same time though, there is a very noticeable absence of our fur babies. I haven't posted about it yet because it still kind of hurts my heart to talk about it, but we said goodbye to Sydney and Sadie in October. We knew it was coming but it was still so hard. They died within a week of each other and not even 3 months after Kooter. Going from 3 pets to none was a big hit to our family. I was hugely pregnant and an emotional, blubbering mess. And I think Rick was in even worse shape when Sydney died. I'm pretty certain she was actually his one true love instead of me. But at the same time we are grateful they went so close to each other. It seems fitting considering we adopted them all as babies and they were all so close. They had much longer lives than most pets (15 years!!) and were loved tremendously. Even over 2 months later we all still have moments where we forget they are gone. Man, do we miss them!

I've been reflecting a lot on this new year. I'm hopeful that it will be a wonderful year for us. Last year was incredibly hard. We said goodbye to Uncle Kenny & Granny, Elby left our family to be reunited with his siblings, we lost our beloved pets, our company endured the brutal economy in the oil industry, and me being so sick for the majority of 2015 was rough on all of us. We have so much to look forward to in 2016. All of Hadley's fun first-year milestones, our 10-year anniversary when we are taking a family vacation to the resort in Mexico where we got married, Harper starting Kindergarten (whaaaat???), my restored health, and SO many sweet memories to be made! 

Welcome, 2016! We are elated to see you.


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