Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: Year in Review

Here we are at the end of another year; one that was wonderful, eventful and very fun!
Even though I didn't blog as much in 2016, it was a year full of great adventures, family time and lots of stories to tell.  I sure hope one day our kids know how lucky they are and also how happy they make our lives. 
So, with that said..here's my annual photo dump, where I attempt to summarize our year. 
Happy Blogging!

We kicked off January with a little weekend getaway to Tampa to meet our new cousin, Santiago, who was born on January 4th..he is the 3rd of 2nd generation boy cousins from Iggy's family, born in the same order as him and his cousins.. so this picture was quite special for all of them. 


In mid-January we had Oliver's baptism, which was one of the highlights of our year... it was such a special moment and a great opportunity to get all our family together...


In early February, the girls celebrated Grandparents' Day at school and my mom was able to spend some time with them in their classrooms. 


Also in February, Gaby's friend Lucienne came to visit from Peru and they had such a fun time hanging out and bonding; she also met Oliver and he took to her very quickly.. it was so cute to see. 


I, of course, also enjoyed some time with my friend Claudia (Luci's mom) and had a great time catching up on our life stuff. 


February weather was great for some local tourism and we spent a lot of time outside, including a trip to Wyndwood Art District here in Miami. 


Oliver celebrated his first Valentine's Day and this is about the cutest pictures we have taken of all 3 kids together. <3 p="">

In early February, my good friend Gaby welcome her 2nd baby, Anabella, and Olivia had so much fun holding her and being around a newborn again...


Our sweet niece Erika turned 9 in February...


In March, Oliver and I reached 9 months of exclusive breastfeeding and I bought him this shirt, which is so funny so this picture just HAD to make the cut in my annual photo dump!


He also started sitting on his own in early March and this was the first time I captured it in a picture...even though he was still a little wobbly here, his smile is just precious...


In mid-March, we got a visit from our favorite Finn, our cousin Poika came from Helsinki and spent a few days in Miami; he met Oliver and we had a great time catching up...


Here's a picture of Oliver's first St. Patrick's Day and the kids looking ever so adorable dressed in green.


Oliver had his first taste of food around 6 months.  He wasn't too fond of baby food so we went straight to table foods (baby led weaning), which is probably the best decision we've ever made since he's probably the best eater out of our 3 kids; he did so well with textures from the get-go and loves pretty much anything we give him...


In April we embarked on our 3rd family trip to Europe (Oliver's first) and we had the most wonderful time.. We focused on Eastern Europe and visited 4 beautiful cities: Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Budapest.. I cannot talk enough about how wonderful that trip was and how happy we were to have spent those days traveling as a family of 5...we're already planning our next one!


Here are the kids with Iggy at the Berlin Wall, quite the piece of history...


Having fun at the Prague train station...


We spent Easter in Prague and one of my dreams came true when we attended mass at the church of the Infant of Prague, what an amazing place and vibe.. I cry just thinking about it...


Here's a picture of me in Vienna.. one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen...


...and here's us in Budapest, probably the biggest gem in Eastern Europe.. way too pretty...


My father in law came to visit in late April and the kids had such a great time hanging with their grandpa...


In late April we celebrated by uncle Daniel's 50th birthday with a great party at our house...


Here's "Boob Man" and another one of those EPIC pictures that just HAD to make the cut.. this is what happens when you have sisters.. Oliver is such a good sport...


Here's a picture of us on Mother's Day, one of the most special dates during the month of May...


In early May, Iggy received one of the biggest surprises of the year; his best friend came from Argentina and showed up at the house...they hadn't seen each other in over 10 years so Iggy was so ecstatic when he showed up.. I am proud to say that I was part of making this surprise a reality and it felt so good to see Iggy's face when he saw Damian walking through that door!


Some of the pictures from our May visitors... what a great month that was...


My friend Mary's twin daughters also graduated in May so that was another happy moment this year..


In late May we went to Legoland for the first time. Even though the park itself was disappointment and we'll probably never go back, we had a great time and the day was nice and hot...we also got some cute pictures out of it..


I met up with my friend Patty, who happened to be in Orlando when we visited; it was such a great meet up; we've been friends for almost 30 years so it's always good to catch up...


In June, as the end of the school year approached, the girls got to celebrate their "early" birthdays with donuts for the class...


Here they are on their last day of school.. by early June they were done with 1st and 3rd grade and we took our annual uniform picture... :)


As soon as school was over, we hopped on a plane and headed to Panama for a month; Oliver was great on the plane and the girls helped out a lot during the trip..


Probably the best part of our Panama trip was meeting up with my aunt Laurita, who came to stay with us during that whole month. My aunt lives in Venezuela and we hadn't seen her in over 2 years; it was quite the emotional encounter..


Oliver went in the pool for the first time, which is hard to believe considering he was already 9 months old and we live in sunny South Florida but for some reason we did wait that long...


We also celebrated Father's Day in Panama; Iggy's first as a father of 3...


While we were in Panama, Gaby and I took a few days to visit her friend Lucienne in Lima, Peru. Our friends, the Wadsworth family, were such great hosts and showed us a good time during our visit. Gaby was in disbelief when she was able to surprise her friend and they had the most wonderful time..


In early July, Oliver started "cruising" and showing some independence. Gaby was such a proud big sister...


Here's a  picture of the kids on the 4th of July (our 3rd that we spent out of the US, ironically enough). Even though he was very sick that day, he did pose for a picture...


Oliver's sickness landed him in the ER that day, but thankfully he got better and it was nothing major...


While in Panama, we celebrated Iggy's 40th birthday with a small gathering in our rental apartment. 


On Iggy's birthday, we also welcomed our nephew Sebastian, who was born in Zanesville, Ohio.. probably the best birthday present Iggy has ever received!


When we came back from Panama, we had another birthday celebration with our family..


During the summer, the kids spent some time enjoying the beach.. Oliver's first time...


The girls celebrated their 7th and 9th birthdays.. This is the first year they've asked for separate birthday parties, which made me a little sad, but I guess it's part of growing up...Gaby's was a bowling party and Olivia's was a painting party...


Gaby's friend Lucienne visited again in July and they had so much fun playing together...


In late July, we found out we'll be having a niece in early 2017. The gender reveal was such a great family experience and I can say that the moment that balloon popped and pink confetti came out was another one of the highlights of our year..I'm so glad we captured the moment...


In August we celebrated World Breastfeeding Week (my first one ever!). I took this picture to cherish the memory forever...


During that month, Iggy, Oliver and I traveled to Colombia to attend the wedding of one of my good friends.  We spent a few great days in Cartagena and Barranquilla and it was nice to get away for a few days...I met up with some old friends and partied so much at the wedding! ;)


In mid-August we traveled to Ohio to visit my brother in law and his family. We met our new nephew Sebastian and the girls enjoyed their time with their cousin Isabella...


This was the first time all the grandchildren were together in one picture! Quite the historic moment...


In August I launched my sweet business (The Sweet Business) with my good friend Mary. We are having so much fun with this endeavor...


Back to school in late August, and here's our traditional photo...


We traveled to Orlando again in September to visit some family. We also got annual passes to Universal Studios and the girls had such a blast going on all the crazy roller coasters...


We celebrated my uncle Tavo's birthday in September...


In September I lived the saddest moment of the year. I lost my dear godmother on the eve of her 80th birthday; she was the most special woman in the world and even though she had severe Alzheimer's disease, her death was so sad and I will forever miss her...


Olivia said bye to her braces in September..she was so excited and her teeth look so good now...


I took Olivia to the Meghan Trainor concert; it was such a cute mother-daughter date and Olivia was so happy to be there with me...


On September 25th, we celebrated Oliver's first birthday and this was the cake my friend Mary and I made for him.. it was our first "official" cake and everyone enjoyed it so much...


October rolled around and it was all about pumpkins and friends...


We met our friends Benji and Rebecca, who are part of my internet board "The Pumpkin Patch".. the babies were so cute together and we hope to get together again soon! 


My sister Claudia graduated with her master's degree in mid October and even though I couldn't attend her graduation (it was in Arizona), I was so proud to see her achieve another one of her goals.. Keep it up sis!


Another one of our trips to Orlando... this time was in late October and the weather was just lovely...


Election time rolled around and things got intense...but Oliver didn't seem to mind the tense political climate...


The girls in their Halloween costumes....


...and my favorite Mickey Mouse... who happens to be the winner of a costume contest....


In November, Gaby participated in her last ever All Saints Parade at school.. she was dressed as the Virgin Mary and was so happy to bid farewell to her dress-up years at school...


By November, Oliver was already a pro walker; he started walking a week or two after his first birthday and never looked back.. 


We celebrated my mom's birthday on Election Day, so we were able to get our minds off election stress for a bit...


On Veteran's weekend we took our last trip to Orlando for the year 2016; the girls enjoyed their time as usual and we made some great memories...


On November 18th, Iggy and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary... <3 p="">

Oliver kicked off Thanksgiving season with this cute Turkey hat picture...


I hosted my sister's baby shower in mid-November.. it was a huge success and we can't wait to meet baby Mariana this February...


Oliver's first encounter with Santa this year.. he seemed amused..


Family @ Thanksgiving...


Our "Tree of Thanks" was part of our annual Thanksgiving activity...


Here are the kids picking out our Christmas tree in late November... my favorite time of the year!!


December rolled around and Oliver was more than ready....


Gaby spent some time with her friends enjoying the Christmas season...


My friend Claudia came to visit from Peru again and I was so happy to see her and her family.. she's truly a special person...


In early December Olivia had her first show choir presentation; she even had a solo and really came out of her shell.  I really love that she can be part of this music program and she has done so well so far.. let's hope she continues to discover her talents through music and art...


We celebrated my dad's birthday in mid-December.. his 65th.. I'm so blessed to have my dad around...


On December 17th, my best friend got married and I was part of her wedding party.  She had her wedding in Key West and it was such a fun weekend; she looked beautiful and as usual, I was so happy to be part of her special day...


Oliver had his first hair cut on December 19th.. let's just say I'm glad we don't have to cut his hair every day.. LOL...


I turned 35 on December 22nd.. it was such a happy day.. I got so many phone calls and messages and I really fell the love.. what an amazing birthday!


Christmas Eve family picture! Even Oliver smiled! 


Here's a picture of the kids on Christmas morning.. apparently Santa did a really good job because the smiles on their faces could not be wiped off! 


My friend Keily came to visit from Barcelona and spent a great afternoon at my house.. Our youngest kids are 11 days apart and we have been friends since 1st grade so it's always a great time to see each other...


Lots of family time in December.. Most of Iggy's family is visiting from Venezuela so we took advantage of it to take this "historic" picture of all the kids with their paternal grandparents.. it's great to see families grow so much... it truly warms my heart!


..and here's a picture of all the cousins and their boys, all born in the same order as their fathers...
Gustavo (41) and his boy Eduardo (22 months), Iggy (40) and his boy Oliver (15 months), Eduardo (37) and his boy Santiago (11 months) and Gabriel (34) and his boy Sebastian (6 months).. I just love this picture so much.. and I'm sure Iggy loves it even more...


...and with that, we close another blessed year; a year of family and love...one to remember 'til the end of times...
We can only hope that 2017 is just as great as this year was...

Happy New Year, everyone!

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