What a year! And photos to treasure....

2012 was an amazing year for our family. It was a year we tried new things, shook up habits and watched Lucy grow from a baby to a miniature person before our eyes.

As a parent it is so much fun when someone else adores your child, having all these big kids delight in the baby's antics has been an unexpected highlight.

Our five handsome guys

She has taken to calling us first and last name, it is "Mama OOTus" at the top of her little lungs with a hand perched on her hip. She is bubbly and feisty and wakes up ready to see people, heaven forbid a quiet day at home. God knew she needed to be the youngest of eight.

A rare moment of Daddy relaxing, Lucy sporting a necklace to give away the season
The other kids seem to be finding their own grooves, own interests and curiosities. As the kids get bigger and we have more time to hang out and enjoy them as people Sheff and I are floored by how much we are already learning from them.

Our three beauty girls
The difficult sides of things are the reality of having so many active people and only two drivers, homework assistants and coaches. Someday I envision a BIg coaching a Little in T ball or dance (Like Sheff coached his brother Ty) and already the reading time from Big to Little is a lifesaver on busy nights. I still struggle with Math help, but Sheff and I are working out a balance where I take over something he is doing so he can help with Math specifically. Hopefully 2013 leads to even more kid centered organization and study skills.

Mom & Dad
Sheff and I continue to get out although we are finding some of our favorite nights are hanging out in a friends kitchen with a bottle of wine. I have a goal in 2013 to find a decent dancing bar, tell me if you find one! To get a monthly dancing night fix. Sheff wants to find more time to get back to lifting, with business, coaching and kids he has taken one for the team donating his free time to family time.

Lucy's doll "Happy Baby" 
With major changes in Russian adoption law we also pause to be mindful things can change in a heartbeat. That the joy we have is not to be taken lightly, the challenges we face are gifts and the future as a family needs to be paved with gratitude. In that vein we are grateful for our community, our friends and our loved ones.

Happy New Year!

Thanks to Baylite Photography for taking our photos at the Minneapolis  club!


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