Taking Inventory and Bidding Farewell to 2016

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Another year behind us!  Are you one of those people who embrace a new year or one who dreads saying good-bye to the old year?  I'm a little on the fence, I think.  Each year I am shocked that another 365 days have sped away. Combined with the reality of my age - both of those remind me of the brief number of days I have left.  The reality of life can be harsh and it's impossible in these golden years not to realize that the biggest portion of our lives are behind us.  While I may get a bit melancholy when facing this, the New Year also presents me with opportunity - opportunity to try new things, improve things, take chances and challenge myself to be open to change.  The New Year is a clean, fresh slate. Before I look forward to a New Year, though, I love to look back and make note of the year behind me.

2016 was a good year for our family.  In February our Indiana family came home to New York after living in the mid-west for three years .  Those of you who know me know what a huge and amazingly wonderful homecoming that was for us.  While we learned to endure the miles between us, there wasn't a day that my heart didn't long for their return.  Having them home again filled our hearts, our home and our hours with so much fun and so many wonderful memories.
There was sledding.....

And pond hockey on Round Lake,

 egg coloring....

And bubbles...
And more bubbles.....

There was playground fun.....for everyone!

John got to be a mystery reader for Elena's Kindergarten class.

In March, we were all swept away by the magic of the Lion King at Proctors!

There were Easter shenanigans with Mimier....and in June

we got to attend Elena's Kindergarten Graduation.

Elena mastered blowing giant bubbles and

 Braelyn mastered the art of charming a Grandpa!

In June we enjoyed the Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival.  We also were proud to photograph and blog about Laura's hard work, the Saratoga Tour de Cure.  Despite an all day pouring rain, thousands of brave riders rode their bikes and raised money for the American Diabetes Association.  Witnessing their dedication and the culmination of Laura's first four months on the job were awe inspiring.

We took more road trips than I can count, through New York, Vermont and Massachusetts and enjoyed a few wonderful days in beautiful Rockport, MA.

Once July arrived, I was blessed to celebrate my birthday with this loving crew......

We enjoyed fireworks!
We also enjoyed several cruises........... on the Adirondack Cruise & Charter on Saratoga Lake,
 and aboard the Thomas E. Lannon schooner in Gloucester, MA.

In August, another big highlight of my year was spending a week photographing Vacation Bible School at my church.  Uplifting and inspirational, I'm not sure who had more fun - me or the kids attending, including our granddaughter, Elena.

August also found us celebrating two birthday girls!
By September, we saw this big girl's first day of  First Grade.

and Grandpa enjoyed more playground time.
Also in September we helped Laura and her family get settled into their new home.....just down the road in our development. Talk about the frosting on the cake, right?!?!?!

We all enjoyed visiting the llamas at Dakota Ridge Farm.

We had a blast with Iggy and all the animals, birds and butterflies at Joseph L. Popp Conservatory.

And Braelyn continued to charm her Grandpa!
In October we received the amazing news that our daughter Katie and her husband, Michael, are expecting!  After 35 years with Type I diabetes, this pregnancy comes as a huge blessing along with some worry (on my part). Katie has risen to the challenge and with some intense and diligent carb counting, many, many finger sticks a day (in addition to her continuous glucose monitor and pump) and lots of consulting with her 'team' for regular insulin tweaking, Katie has already achieved A1c's that are the lowest in her life as a diabetic.  Anyone with diabetes or those familiar with it can appreciate her 5.9 and 6.0 results! With God's blessing and Katie's hard work, we look forward to welcoming Baby Goot in May!

And for the first time, our grandchildren were in our Annual Halloween Parade!

While the majority of the year was filled with happy times and abundant blessings, September and October found John in the throws of a health ailment.  In November he had surgery and fortunately had a good outcome and speedy recovery.  You'll hear more about that in an upcoming blog post.

Before we knew it, it was December.  We rounded out the year enjoying the holidays - not hosting for the first time in 38 years - but being hosted by Laura and Eric!  While that felt a bit foreign initially, I quickly embraced the beginning of new traditions and the ability to hand over the reins and the legwork to the younger members of the family.  It was wonderful!
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that blogging was a huge part of our year.  In 12 months I wrote 82 posts!  We visited 8 farms, blogged about 20+ businesses, met many wonderful people and expanded our horizons beyond my wildest expectations.  No, our adventures did not take us to exotic places far from home but they were a testimonial to the wonderful people and places that are right here in our little corner of the world. 2016 was a good year for sure.  Full of so many great times and precious memories, we can't help but embrace 2017 knowing that these little people, and a new one, will be here filling our days with love and laughter. 2016 was a reminder that the people we love and the places we find happiness are all that is necessary to fill our hearts and lives with everything we need. I look ahead with gratitude and excitement as I welcome 2017 and say, Bring it On!!!!  Thank you for being a part of my year.  I wish for you happiness, adventure and many road trips in the year ahead.

p.s. If you love the opening painting, Shelly Broughton's art can be purchased locally at the Bluebird Home Decor in Troy, NY.

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