Author’s note: this entry is going to be lengthy. The TL;DR version: 2016 didn’t suck as much as people think.
We’ve seen a lot of posts and memes telling 2016 to kick rocks. Admittedly, Arianna even contributed to the sentiment that 2016 was the worst and needed to end. But when we really stop and think about 2016 as a whole, it really wasn’t that terrible. It was challenging and provided some pretty devastating disappointment. But really, overall, 2016 was pretty damn fantastic. Allow us to recap.
At the beginning of the year, we were fresh off the heels of announcing to our family and friends that #BabySuddreth would be arriving Summer 2016. Arianna was out of the first trimester of her pregnancy and the fatigue was starting to subside. Brett was also starting his new position (VP of Interactive Marketing) at his job. We spent the New Year holiday with our extended family and some friends at the family lake house and it was perfect.
In February, we bought a new car for Brett because 1. he deserved it and 2. we needed another four door vehicle for the baby. Arianna also hosted her first ever “Gal-entine’s” Day which was a wonderful evening with great gal pals. She also started a new blog series called #ProofingMatters. We celebrated Fat Tuesday by ordering dinner from Jazz and listening to Zydeco. Then we went to Ash Wednesday service at our church and prepared for Lent and Easter. One of Arianna’s cousins had a baby and pitchers and catchers reported for Spring Training!
In March, we celebrate a lot of birthdays; Brett’s; Arianna’s sister and brother; Brett’s sister and various other friends and family members. We also celebrate one of our favorite traditions; MARCH MADNESS! We take opening weekend off and camp out a local bar with some of our best friends for two days and watch all of the basketball games. Easter was at the end of March and we went to the lake house and celebrated with family.
April brought about baby showers – Arianna’s sisters threw one for her in Oklahoma; Brett’s sister threw one in Kansas and Brett’s agency hosted one for us, as well. We are incredibly blessed with so many friends and loved ones who wanted to celebrate with us. Baseball season started! Villanova won the NCAA tournament! We were fortunate enough to have Oleta Adams participate in our worship service at church! Baby Suddreth’s room was put together. And we got to celebrate the wedding of two of our wonderful friends!
May was definitely one of the best months of the year! We welcomed Baby Suddreth to earth and fell in love with him immediately. He is perfect. We had a garage sale to get rid of some of the stuff that was taking up space and it was pretty successful. Arianna had a craving for italian water ice that she didn’t think would get fulfilled, but we found a water ice stand parked outside of the grocery store! We celebrated Mother’s Day with family. Arianna was asked to contribute to one of her favorite blog series (and if you need something new to read, she highly recommends these books by the blog owner). We spent Memorial Day at home, resting and relaxing.
In June, Arianna celebrated her birthday, we had a newborn photo shoot and had a tree planted to celebrate Baby Suddreth’s birth. We celebrated Father’s Day with family and Brett and his dad went to Boulevardia – a gift for Father’s Day. Baby Suddreth turned one month old and we celebrated his christening! We even got to attend the Arboretum’s annual garden party – Stems.
July saw our first family road trip down to the lake to celebrate Independence Day with extended family and friends. We also went to Oklahoma to visit family and we took a trip out to Lawrence to walk around the KU campus and introduce our little love to Allen Fieldhouse and James Naismith. We went to 7/11 and got our free Slurpees; we even made it a family trip and took the nieces! Baby H turned two months old and had to experience his first set of shots; this was a rough day for everyone, but he did great overall.
In August we had our first family trip to the zoo, celebrated some family birthdays and our TENTH anniversary. We also traveled to Philadelphia so Arianna’s mom could meet her newest grandson! H turned three months old and the Summer Olympics were held in Rio (the USA dominated, btw).
September saw Labor Day, two of Arianna’s cousins having babies, H turning four months old and we celebrated Arianna’s dad’s birthday. We spent Labor Day down at the lake with family and enjoyed our final days of vacation. Arianna’s maternity leave ended and H started daycare. That was bittersweet for everyone, but we’ve all made the transition and have settled into a routine. He also got his first teeth! Charity is important to us, and since we weren’t able to attend Jazzoo this year, we were fortunate enough to get some tickets through Arianna’s agency to attend Treads and Threads, an annual event held at the Kansas City Speedway. And football started!
In October we participated in Free to Breath, a 5K walk/run that raises money to support lung cancer awareness and research, in memory of Brett’s grandmother. It was a bittersweet day, but we spent it together honoring a wonderful woman. H turned five months old and got to celebrate his first Halloween (he was a fox)! We had over 100 kids come to the house to trick or treat and all of the costumes were great. October also is the official kickoff for Arianna’s favorite time of the year! Plus, we took H to his first Royals game.
November saw H turn six months old and he started to become mobile! Baseball season came to an end and we all got to witness 106 years of drought get erased when the Chicago Cubs WON THE WORLD SERIES! The Presidential election was held and a lot of people were disappointed while a lot of other people were not. We were just glad that it was over and we could all start to move forward. Thanksgiving was spent in town with family, just being thankful for all of the many blessings God has bestowed upon us all. Suddreth Manor also started decking the halls in preparation of Arianna’s favorite time of the year!
Finally, December came and was filled with extreme highs and lows. We went to see Cowboy Mouth perform with Brett’s sister and brother-in-law and H had his first sleepover with his grandparents and cousins! We traveled to Oklahoma to celebrate Christmas with family early and to witness our goddaughter’s christening. While we were there, we learned that one of Arianna’s cousins passed away. This was certainly unexpected and devastating for everyone. We all flew back to Philadelphia to attend his funeral and while it was a sad day, being with family helped ease the pain. One of Arianna’s favorite holiday traditions is going to see the Kansas City Ballet perform The Nutcracker with Brett’s Mom, sister and nieces; weather-related flight delays caused her to miss the first half of the performance, but Brett was able to get her there in time to see the second half! We went to a Christmas party hosted by one of our neighbors and got to see The Snowglobes perform. H turned seven months old. Suddreth Manor hosted Christmas Eve Eve and our house was full of family, love and laughter. Christmas Eve and Christmas were spent with more family and everyone had an amazing Christmas. New Year’s Eve was spent at Brett’s sister and brother-in-law’s house playing games with the nieces and enjoying each other’s company.
2016 wasn’t without sadness, challenges and difficulties. But, as a whole, 2016 was a remarkably wonderful year. It was full of new life, lots of time spent with family and friends and love. That is more than enough to call 2016 one of the best years ever.