2017 Year End Review

Better late than never, right?

What a year 2017 has been for us!

The beginning of the year mostly consisted of us getting ready for our baby to arrive! We had a decent snow and then Jeremy took a last minute photo of Chloe and I in our backyard, and those are really the only photos worth noting before Chloe’s birth!

We didn’t know the gender of our baby and we loved the surprise of hearing that we had a baby girl once she was born. Chloe joined our family on Valentine’s day at 2:01 in the afternoon weighing 7 pounds and 4 ounces.

pregnant woman at the hospitalnewborn baby skin to skin

Chloe was awake for HOURS. It was the craziest experience for her to be so alert after she was born. I had been up for around 40 hours, so I was definitely ready to sleep, but I didn’t want to miss any of her sweet peeps.
baby at the hospital being weighedmother in a floral robe and newborn baby girlnew father holding his baby girl at the hospitalprofessional newborn photo baby girl with flower headband harrisonburg virginia grandpa holding new baby granddaughter

Chloe had jaundice, so we made sure she got lots of sunlight. Thankfully it was a pretty mild February, so there were days we put her in her bouncy seat in a diaper and let her hang out in the sun.

Baby girl meeting great grandparents

Chloe meeting Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Zehr

This is one of my favorite photos! Even though she won’t remember him, Chloe got to meet her Great Grandpa a month before he passed away of cancer. When she was born, my dad relayed the message that Great Grandpa told her, “Jesus loves you, and I do, too.” We later called him and he got to tell her over the phone. But it was even more special the 3rd time when he got to meet her in person. Because of his health, we decided to drive up to Virginia when Chloe was 5 days old. Definitely not a trip I recommend for a baby that age, but it was worth it for us!

Since we came up to VA, Chloe also got to meet her Great Grandma Dean!

Extended family photo

Another photo that we will always treasure – My siblings, parents, and Zehr grandparents! Kelly was carrying Emory (whom we affectionately called “Jobin” at the time!) and we wish he had been able to meet Great Grandpa as well.

(I had to throw in this photo of Matt & Chloe since he missed out on the impromptu photo session at Grandpa’s funeral)

Grandpa’s passing was bittersweet. We all miss him dearly, but know that he is in heaven – he had been preparing for eternity with God his whole life! It also brought family from near and far together. Chloe got to meet many great aunts and uncles, and first cousins once removed, my mom’s cousin (not going to pretend I know her relation to Chloe!), and even one of my grandparents’ sweet friends from Germany.

In May, Jeremy graduated from Liberty University (after an undisclosed amount of years!) with a bachelors in Business Administration. To his defense, he has been working full time most of the time while he was in school. I’m so proud of him!

SumTotal Systems, Jeremy’s employer, recently restructured a couple positions and he is now a Customer Sales Director. This means some more travel. This year alone, he has flown 76 flight segments, which is roughly 32,000 miles and 96 hours of flight time. That doesn’t include time to taxi to and from the gate! He has enjoyed reaching out to potential clients and helping them find solutions to run their businesses more efficiently.

Every year, we try to take a vacation, and this year it was to the New England Coast. We enjoyed strolling along the paths of Bar Harbor, going to the Maine Lobster Festival, touring Old York, going to a museum about the Witch Trials in Salem, Massachusetts, and being able to walk to the Public Gardens in Boston from our hotel. Chloe was a great traveler especially since she was confined in a little portable bed. That meant she couldn’t wiggle around as much as she is used to at night.

man with sunglasses overlooking Bar Harbor, MaineWoman babywearing lillebaby carrier

We did a combination of babywearing and stroller-ing on our vacation in Maine. If any of you mamas or future mamas have any questions about traveling with littles, feel free to contact me! I may not have a wealth of knowledge as Chloe is our first go-round with a baby, but I’d love to help you if I can!

man holding baby by the seaLighthouse in MaineTeal lillebaby carrier, baby girl with dad holding herBaby girl and mom at the Make Way for Ducklings statue in Boston

Make Way for Ducklings was one of my favorite books growing up. It was so much fun to be in Boston and see all the places (well, some of them) that Mr & Mrs Mallard saw before settling in the Public Gardens.

Portland Head Lighthouse

Of course we had to go to the Maine Lobster Festival. Even if it was the worst lobster (but still good!) we had on the trip, it was still a fun experience! We loved watching the lobster crate race and the diaper derby. If only Chloe was older… She definitely would have won!

Maine Lobster Festival 2017Maine Lobster Festival booths and ferris wheelbaby girl in Chicco Keyfit 30 carseat

This photo of Chloe cracks me up! So I had to share it with the world.

Chloe, along with 4 other little baby girls, was dedicated at our church in the fall.

Chloe loves this book! It has our family photos in it, so she is able to see faces and remember people even when they’re far away.

2017 made me a mommy and an aunt!! Being an aunt is so much fun – especially to sweet Emory. Having a nephew also gives me an excuse to look at and buy both little girl and little boy clothes. Emory and Chloe are both such hams!

Chloe is constantly making us smile and laugh! Some of her favorite new things to do are popping bubbles in her bath, sticking her tongue out, waving, clapping, giving high fives (though we’re not sure she knows what she’s actually doing), chasing the kitties, eating table food (especially chicken!), turning pages and lifting flaps in her board books, and saying mama and dada. Her favorite toys are an owl puppet, a lamb that sings Jesus Loves Me, her books (Peek-a Who and Beauty and the Beast are her current favorites), a talking/singing camera, and her bath toys. She had 7 teeth at the end of 2017, and has 8 now!

family of three with a baby at a Christmas tree farm

Jeremy and I tried to calculate it, and I think that we have made the 4 hour drive around a dozen times since Chloe was born. That was definitely one of the factors in us deciding to move back to Virginia. Jeremy also travels for work pretty often so it’ll be nice to live minutes, not hours, from family.

We are looking forward to 2018 and all our little family will experience!

XO,
Janelle

 

 

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