Friday Favorites - A Year in Review

Today, I'm linking up with Momfessionals, A Little Bit of Everything, and Grace & Love and sharing my favorites from 2016!

We rang in 2016 in Arizona with my family. (we were all in town for Maddie and James' Arizona wedding reception.)

Before going home to Iowa, my friends and I got the crazy idea to take a day trip to Six Flags in California. It was pouring rain and closed when we got there, so we went to the L.A. Temple instead and then somehow ended up in California Adventure that evening! We had a blast! (If only I knew then how many times this year I would be at Disney ;) I think I should title the year of 2016 as "The Year of Disney". I started the year at Disney, spent the middle of the year in Disney and ended the year in Disney. I doubt that will ever happen again in my lifetime!)
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David turned TWO on January 31st! My parents gave him a "lawn mower" like Jack's and he has been riding it ever since :)
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I made some winter goals to help me survive this winter - take vitamin D, run outside and play outside more, and plan a trip to Disney World :) I felt like this winter was a lot better than the winter before, but it might have just been because of El Nino and because my kids were a year older, and not because of any of my winter goals ;) We had a very mild winter, thank goodness!
I built my very first snowman ever :)
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I took my very first road trip by myself with kids to Kansas to visit my friend, Julie!
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We celebrated Spencer's birthday on the 28th! The high that day was in the high 50s (a February birthday miracle!) so we played outside almost all day long! 
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We had quite a few "warmer days" so we played at the park with friends quite a bit for March!
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We had a great Easter!
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We continued to play outside (an example of a day in the life in April) and took a day trip to Chicago!
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We went camping with friends!
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I spent a weekend in Chicago with friends (and no kids!) for Lisa's 30th birthday! (I lucked out this year - two girl's trips in less than 6 months!)
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We went to Disney World! We saved, researched, planned, dreamed, and talked nonstop about Disney World (ok, it was mostly just me! Sorry Spencer and friends!) for over a year for this trip and it was a dream come true! Planning for this trip turned me into a Disney addict. Seriously.
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Talking about Disney World nonstop really paid off because I convinced my family to come with us! We had a blast!
We swam a lot, Spencer and I celebrated our 6th anniversary, and we celebrated Father's Day! I tried (and failed!) to potty train David!
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We celebrated the 4th of July with friends, we camped in Nauvoo, I raced in the Bix 7, and we took a trip to Utah to visit family!
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We found our that we are expecting! Jack and David were so excited when we told them about their baby brother or sister!
Jack, David, and I visited Arizona for a week. (Little did we know it was going to be one of our last trips to my parent's house :(
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Jack started 4-year-old preschool!
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September and October was a blur because I was soooo sick. (my first sick pregnancy) Somehow, David was potty trained in September but I don't remember how because all I remember was how much I threw up!
Our sweet friends took Jack and David overnight so Spencer and I enjoyed a 24-hour date!
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My friend, Elizabeth, moved to Texas (and then Lisa moved to Virginia two months later!) Whaaaaaaah!!!!! I'm not sure how I will survive this winter without them!
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My favorite month! We did all the Fall/Halloween things!
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We took a day trip with Lisa and her kids to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago while Spencer was at a conference in Boston. It was one of the first days in a long time where I didn't feel too sick and I was so grateful!
My sweet mother-in-law was diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease in October, and the doctors say she is in the final stages of this fatal rapidly progressive disease. October was a month of praying, mourning, and remembering what's really important in life. She is soooo loved by everyone that knows her and we have been amazed as we have watched God's hand work in her and my father-in-law's lives these last few months.
We celebrated Thanksgiving in Arizona with my family and said goodbye to Tradewind Court. (My parents moved to Utah in October!)
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Jack turned five and got to celebrate his birthday in Arizona with my family and then with his friends in Iowa a week later. (He had a Finding Dory party :)
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We won tickets to Disney on Ice and loved it! I'm telling you, this year is the Year of Disney!
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We played in the first snow of the season! (the only snow worth playing in ;)
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We ended the year with a Hall family vacation to Disneyland!!! (Then celebrated Christmas in Utah with family) Two things on my mother-in-law's bucket list were to visit Hawaii and to take all of her grandkids to Disneyland. She was able to take both vacations this December thanks to the hundreds of people who love her and helped make her dream come true!
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2016 has been good to us. We are grateful for God's grace and presence that has been with us through the good times and the bad. Bring it on 2017!

2015 year in review


Life lately

The temperatures have been frigid this week (the HIGH this Sunday is supposed to be NEGATIVE 5!! Whaaaaahhh!) so I have had little motivation to leave the house. Here are the few things we’ve been up to when we actually left the house this week:
Last Thursday, Jack had his preschool Christmas service and it was so sweet. Sadly, this is the best picture I got of him.
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David fell asleep as the service was ending at around 6:15 pm and slept until morning. My boy was tired!
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On Saturday, we went on a date to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It obviously was not as good as Harry Potter, but it was still a fun movie!
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Jack had his five-year-old check up this week. I always lose these dang percentile stickers so I’m just going to post a picture of it on my blog for posterity and stuff.
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And then they both got flu shots. They were traumatized :(
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On Monday we had our annual “Jammie Cocoa Christmas.” We’ve always loved driving around looking at Christmas lights, but I got the “Jammie Cocoa Christmas” idea a few years ago from one of my favorite bloggers, and I have to say, Jack and David get way more excited about it just because it is called "Jammie Cocoa Christmas” and because they get to wear their jammies and drink hot cocoa in the car :) Here we are about to take off!!!
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And here we are two seconds later… #jammiecocoachristmasfail!!! I’m not quite sure how he pulled off a spill as bad as this, but thankfully the "hot cocoa" was pretty cool! Spencer ran back to the house to get stuff to clean him up and I was a great mom and just took a picture of him ;)
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Once we got David cleaned up, we finally left to look at Christmas lights. In one of the neighborhoods, we spotted a random Santa sitting on his porch with a bag of candy canes! There were no cars or people around, so we are thinking it must be the real Santa :) Only the real Santa would hang out on his porch in 15 degree weather just for fun! Jack and David were so excited!
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Yesterday, I gave them the choice to go to the Family Museum, John Deere Pavilion, or swimming and they went for the Family Museum. I can’t believe Jack will be in all day Kindergarten in just 9 short months. We’ve got to make these months count!
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Favorite quotes this month:
  •  “It’s my birthday today!” said David to the ultra sound tech. (His birthday is not for another month :)
  • David to Jack, “I’m not mad at you, I’m just angry at you."
  • Jack to me while driving in the car, “I was tired but then “Bavidad” came on (Feliz Navidad) and it made me smile the biggest smile!"
  • When the doctor asked Jack what he should do if he ever found a gun at his friend’s house, David screamed, “SHOOT ALL THE BAD GUYS!!!!"
  • David talking about Darth Vader’s breathing, “Ya well I don’t like Dark Bader’s snore."


Life lately

We had our 20 week ultrasound today and we are having a.... baby boy or baby girl!!! We aren't finding out the gender again (we didn't find out with David either) but we loved seeing our little baby.
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After we got home from Arizona last week, Jack had a little more birthday celebrating. My in-laws gave him a dinosaur game that he loved!
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My grandma and grandpa gave Jack a dinosaur book and 5 dollar bills! He was pretty excited to spend his dollars so we headed to the dollar store and he even shared one of his dollars with David :) A dino hat, a Captain Hook hook, and silly puddy for Jack and a sword for David. (Thanks grandma!)
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The cold hasn't stopped my kids from going outside yet!
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This happens on my way to work every week. Driving after 3:30 pm always puts them to sleep. How are they so big though?!
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I think I am going to name 2016 as the year of Disney - last week I won 6 tickets to Disney on Ice from a Facebook giveaway! Jack and David got to take friends and we all had a blast! Disney on Ice was a lot better than I expected it to be (I don't know why my expectations were low - it's Disney and it was magical!) I love watching my kid's reactions to everything and David surprisingly sat by ME instead of Spencer! He is such a daddy's boy but I loved sitting next to him and listening to his millions of questions.
"Who is gonna stop the witch, mom? Who?!" Asked over and over and over again.
"Why is there mices? Where is the wicked witch?" Asked during the Cinderella part.
"Mom is the witch in the cage?" I'm not sure where he comes up with this stuff :)
"Mom, the witch is only pretend. Not real."
"How her gonna get her hair back?" During the Tangled part :)
Jack's favorite part was the dance party at the end, David's favorite part was the witch from Snow White (surprise, surprise :), my favorite part was the Tangled part, and Spencer said he just thought it was better than expected :)
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Field trip to Flat Stanley the musical with this boy :)
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On Saturday we had Jack's birthday party. My quirky kid wanting a "Finding Dory" party and has wanted a Finding Dory party even before the movie came out during the summer :) Throwing parties is definitely not my passion so it's a good thing Jack likes dollar store/Walmart parties :)
We played "Finding Dory" (where kids took turns hiding Dory, Nemo, and Destiny), fished for stuffed animals, and had a pinata (that was supposed to be Dory but when Jack saw the turtle pinata he was sold :)
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The whole gang

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This is how David is with Spencer every day :)
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One of Jack's friends gave him a dino digging kit and Jack loved it! Supposedly the fossils are real, and Jack excavated a dino bone, a dino tooth, and fossilized dino poop ;)
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On Sunday, we had our first snow of the season! Jack and David were so excited to go out and play after church!

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We have a little sledding hill that is a walk-able distance from our house that I am so grateful for! It makes the process of bundling up and going sledding a tiny bit easier. Jack and David are both sledding by themselves this year!
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We were all impressed with Spencer's snowman! (Until it tipped over an hour later!)
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Jack is reeeeeeally into playing in the snow so far. He has gone out and played in the snow for the last three days and is really disappointed when David is ready to go inside. I'm loving that they are old enough to go out and play in the snow WITHOUT me this year ;) I looked out my window today and saw Jack sitting in a bush! haha
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I love the snuggles I get from David when he comes inside :)
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I also love it when he spoons me! haha I can only handle face to face cuddling for so long until I feel like I am going to suffocate but he still wraps his arms around my neck when I turn around :)
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Also, loved these memes :)
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