2014 in 12 Photos
Winter was in full effect in Illinois and we were just trying our darnedest to not go STIR CRAZY. Lots of playing and reading and crafting and a little bit of baking. The big kids learned to embroider. And Hannah started to learn to talk (thanks to her fabulous speech therapist!). I bought my first DSLR and took A LOT of mediocre pictures.
This guy kept on plugging away at third year of medical school. Clinical rotations + many hours of studying for Step 2. Meanwhile the kids and I kept ourselves busy. Charlotte had ballet. Isaiah continued chess club at school and took an art class through the park district. I wavered between surviving and thriving much of this month. Joe and I got a much needed date night. Oh and my dad retired!
This month I did a lot of crafting! And I joined a Bible study and learned a lot about myself. I also went on an epic road trip with friends...to do even more crafting:) It was a much needed respite from life as winter was dragging on and on and on. Other family members did other things as well I am sure. I just don't remember. Oh and March marked my one year of blogging here.
We started the long and slow process of preparing to move. Lots of purging and packing! The kids and I went to Wisconsin for spring break (although it felt anything but spring-ish). Isaiah participated in his first chess tournament. And we hosted our first Easter in our home (with my parents). Oh and we all survived Joe's first stint of night shifts. Mostly life carried on as usual in our home.
Hannah graduated from speech therapy and decided she wanted to ditch diapers as well. Foolishly I attempted potty training. It was a failure. Charlotte performed in her first dance recital. Joe & I celebrated 11 years of marriage. We found out we were expecting baby #4...much to our delight! Apparently I had three top blog posts this month so here's the last one - the one in which I admitted that preparing to move was making me CRABBY.
We finally MOVED! Or more accurately the kids and I moved our belongings into storage so we could live in my parents' basement for the next year. Joe stayed behind in Illinois to take Step 2 (ie medical boards exam). We seriously wouldn't have survived that endeavor without the selfless help of many friends and my parents. (Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!) Somewhere in middle of all this chaos Charlotte, Isaiah and I all celebrated birthdays - we turned 4, 7 and (gulp) 31 respectively. Before hitting the road to join Joe for his away rotations the kids and I went camping and Isaiah went to summer camp for the second year. And thus began our grand adventure of fourth year of medical school!
We spent the month in Iowa in a 2 bedroom apartment without a dining room table. It was interesting to say the least. The kids LOVED it! We did our best to take in all the local sights and experiences. Joe had a blast in the local emergency department. I thought it was a pretty good experience overall although "morning sickness" (ie all day nausea) was definitely making it more challenging for me to enjoy. I attempted self-timer family portraits. That too was interesting.
Hannah turned TWO...which was nearly impossible for me to believe. We took our family on the road again and spent the month in Michigan. New state, pretty much the same story. Joe spent his time in the local emergency department learning to save lives while the kids and I attempted to explore our new surroundings. Admittedly I wasn't as impressed with Michigan and pregnancy related nausea and exhaustion made me a poor sport. However our housing situation was MUCH better. So that was nice. Not so coincidentally this is the month I became real lax in my mothering standards (Exhibit A: two year old on table playing with mirror. Pictured above.) After finally seeing my doctor I went public with this pregnancy!
The kids and I left Michigan. Joe stayed behind to complete another one month rotation in yet a different emergency department. Before settling into life in Grandpa and Grandma's house we made a quick trip out to South Dakota and Montana to see family. The first day of school was rough on everyone. New state. New town. New school. That's a lot to take in. But we survived. Isaiah started soccer for the first time. Charlotte started preschool. And Hannah went back to "undie school" and moved up to a toddler bed. Eventually Joe joined us in Minnesota. YAY! And we learned that baby #4 is a BOY!!! Overall it was a very good month. (I finally wrote up Charlotte's birth story!)
Joe left for 5 weeks. Another rotation + residency interview season began. But before he left we took on painting and carpeting my parents' basement AND we enjoyed a mini family vacation to a water park. The kids and I embraced all things fall...pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, raking and playing in leaves, trick or treating. We tried our best to keep busy while daddy was away...including belly and kid line-up pictures.
Winter made it's unwelcome debut in Minnesota. This pregnancy chugged right along into the third trimester (with multiple repeat ultrasounds due to a pesky placental lake). I tried not to panic about becoming the mother of four children. Hannah got her first haircut. Joe came home! Lots of extended family time this month. And of course Thanksgiving happened as well.
Grandma and Grandpa left town so we DECKED THE HALLS for them. Joe went on even more residency interviews. And I snuck away for another quilt retreat. That made two in one year! The kids participated in the Christmas pageant at church. I finally, finally, finally completed my required CME so I can remain a certified PA. And we had fabulous Christmas celebrations with family.