Reflecting on 2016 – Our Family Journey

I realize we are a month into the New Year. I started this at the turn of the year but have had a difficult time finishing it up.

A memory from 2012 appeared in my Facebook feed and I realized how much I forget over time. I wanted to post this to remember the last year as the memories begin to fade.

If you asked me on New Years what I thought of 2016, I would have said it sucked but as I looked closely at my photos and reflect on the moments, that is far from the truth. We had many wonderful moments. I struggled through some personal challenges turning 40 and facing mid-life and the New Year continues to throw me off course but these memories provide me peace and hope for a our future.

January

The year started with Walt and I ringing in 2016 at a black tie party. I don’t remember making any New Year Resolutions so I think it’s safe to say they didn’t stick.
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January brought a few snow days where we took the kids sledding, threw snowballs and made snow angels.

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snow angel

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February

February kicked off with the Panthers in the SuperBowl and we all know how that went.

Super Bowl!!!!!!! Go Panthers!! #keeppounding #gopanthers #dabbing

A photo posted by Angela Guyer (@acguyer) on

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March

March was a big month. Lily and Walt had their first Daddy/Daughter dance.

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While I would like to take credit for the coordinating outfits, Walt planned that on his own. He was looking forward to the day, however, according to him he didn’t get to dance much with Lily. She immediately found friends and spent the whole event with them. If I recall correctly, she even asked her dad, why he had to keep following her around. Really? The girl was only 5 and already trying to escape her parent.

I kicked off home staging. It’s something I’ve wanted to do but was hesitant to take it on but with Walt’s encouragement and support made it happen.

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I celebrated a milestone birthday. I really wanted to let the day go by unnoticed but Walt had a different idea. He threw a dinner party that turned out to be the perfect celebration. Through the years I’ve learned there are times he knows just what I need more than I do. My sister made the event extra special by coming in town to celebrate. DSC_0150

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This little guy really started to become a little person with rational thoughts, an inquisitive mind and developing conversations. The bond between the youngest two children really strengthened.

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We celebrated Easter quietly and I took time off to spend Spring Break with the kids having picnics and playing at the park. IMG_4422 IMG_4432 IMG_4770 IMG_4774

Townes started soccer lessons and has proven to have a hidden talent. He has amazing ball control and aim.

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We wrapped up Spring Break with a trip to Great Wolf Lodge which was both fun and exhausting.

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April

In April, Walt and I headed to Boston for another marathon. Despite being well conditioned and prepared, Walt’s race did not go quite as plan. He amazed me that he didn’t let it get him down. When you train for 3-4 months for something and you only have one shot to prove your ability, it’s can be disappointing if you don’t receive the results you anticipated. However, he shook it and we had a great time!  IMG_4567 IMG_4551

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We stayed an extra day and became total tourist. Our 2013 visit turned out to be devastating and our return in 2014 was spent recalling our 2013 trip and observing the impacts of the previous year. In 2016, we were able to explore more of the city and catch up with friends. We did a Duck tour, did a Sam Adams brewery tour and took in a Red Sox game. It was such a great trip and fun getaway!

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May

In May, I celebrated a Happy Mothers Day with Lily at school where I got a glimpse of her perspective. Followed by an amazing report card! IMG_4718 IMG_4704 IMG_5003

Walt and I went to our first Kentucky Derby party. He has wanted any reason to buy a seersucker suit so now I see future Derby parties, maybe even hosted by him, in the future.

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May also started our clearing out process, although it’s tough to tell looking at the current state of our home. We had a couple of yard sales and began letting things go. We were holding on to baby things thinking we may have another child but as the months went by, we decided it may be time to let things our children were outgrowing go. IMG_4818

This little guy didn’t handle it well and kept claiming yard sale items for himself (i.e. rain boots on his feet). Note to self do not invite kids to yard sales where you are giving away their old belongings. That may be obvious to many but it didn’t cross my mind. They were too young the last time we had one so I wasn’t prepared for the rebellion :)

We wrapped May with one of my favorite family trips of all time! We spent an amazing Memorial Day weekend secluded in the mountains.

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We stayed in a beautiful cabin and reconnected as a couple and a family!!

June

June was a bit of a blur. Lily had a fun field day where she won the 40 yard dash beating all her classmate competitors. She grew leaps and bounds intellectually, emotionally and socially from her first day of Kindergarten. Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 5.00.31 PM IMG_508

We celebrated her last day of Kindergarten!!
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The kids honored Walt on Fathers day with sweet snuggles and serving him breakfast.
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Lily wrote out a whole menu and even requested payment for his meal. :)

July

July was filled with birthdays as the kids and Walt all aged a year. Townes celebrated batman style. Lily got her ears pierced and was surrounded with Shopkins. We hosted a bday celebration for Walt at a local craft beer pub. Jacob celebrated at an overnight basketball camp. IMG_5317 IMG_5245 IMG_5273 IMG_5231
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August

In August, we did our annual trip to the beach. We spent a week in Florida. We spent over half the week relaxing at the beach and splashing in the pool then traveled to Orlando to visit Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Although I think one of the biggest wins was making it 11 hours in a car without fights, tantrums or frustrations! (May have to credit a crazy hilarious game of Madlib played by Townes) :)

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IMG_5603 IMG_5534 IMG_6755 This last photo is one of my favorite pictures of us! Surrounded by beauty and calm, I didn’t even notice the kids captured running in the background until later.

Unfortunately, I ended up working quite a bit during this trip which left me stressed and regretting that I didn’t engage more with my family. While we had a good time, this vacation left me wanting a do-over. I vowed not to let work issues impact another vacation. This was also the time I decided to join a new firm.

Shortly after our trip, the kids returned to school and

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Walt and I celebrated 8 years of marriage!

I remember the love we shared that day and how it grew and strengthened over time. Our relationship is not perfect in fact some days it’s not pretty. It’s a journey where each chapter brings something different – a twist a turn, a peak or valley. But one thing remains the same, the beauty of facing it together.

September

September was less eventful since July and August were jam packed and we settled into our routine. We went to Greek Fest and Carowinds.

IMG_5887 IMG_5882 I turned my focus inward and started our Zero Waste efforts, our journey to minimize waste and eliminate plastics from our household. This journey is still in it’s infancy with us.

October

In October, we went to the Cleveland County Fair, enjoyed our first Opera and of course trick or treated.

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November

In November, Walt and I traveled to Minneapolis for his work. I was thankful to be part of that trip! We tried a new brewery and absorbed the shock of the election.  IMG_6201

The family was able to support and cheer Walt throughout his local marathon where he had a remarkable 4th place finish. He is hard to please and wishes he had done better but we were all so incredibly proud of him and how far he has come since his first race 6 years ago. IMG_6215 IMG_6216 IMG_6217

We traveled to Dallas to visit family and meet our new niece and Lily ran her first 5k! IMG_6272 IMG_6288

Lily’s race was such an incredibly proud parenting moment for us! She has followed in her fathers footsteps and embraced running. She has great form, amazing dedication for her age and it seems to come naturally. She aspires to run the Boston Marathon, like her daddy, one day.

December

Guyer-1 Guyer-5 Guyer-7 December was a difficult and trying season with illness, holidays and various challenges pulling us in different directions. There were very few photos to find.

However, Walt’s festive spirit was one of the highlights (photo courtesy his teammate)! IMG_6431

And we wrapped up the year with a memorable New Years Eve evening together at one of our favorite concerts! Leaving the year as we started – together.

There you have it, 2016 according to my iPhone. This forever long post captures just another year of our beautiful journey with the family I love. Not perfect or even all that exciting but it’s ours! May we treasure every moment as we don’t know what tomorrow brings.

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4 comments

  1. Crystal says:

    Hey Angela – saw your link on Facebook and popped over. I enjoyed reading your year in review. What a great reminder to reflect on the moments and memories from the previous year. I keep telling myself to make a yearly photo book but never do. You just motivated me! Thanks, Crystal

  2. Sue Deege says:

    Hi you ….so happy you shared your family with me. An amazing year and such fun all of you shared together. You will always have a special place in my heart…believe it or not I turned 80 Dec 24…still in shock Keep in touch if only a text message❤️ Sue

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