I honestly don’t know if this year could be anymore of a whirlwind for Chris and I. While we definitely didn’t travel as much as we have in years past, we’ve definitely ridden the emotional rollercoaster all year long. We like to say that we’ve had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Without a doubt the highest of highs was the birth of our baby girls, but I know that we’d both admit that we’re looking forward to what 2018 has in store with us. But anyways, it’s time to recap 2017 with another year in review post!
We started off the New Year like we usually do with Christmas with Chris’s brothers and their families. It’s always so much fun to see the kids open up their Christmas presents, and I can’t wait to see the girls do the same thing in a few years! Things started to get crazy at work for me since it was year end, but that didn’t stop us from visiting our friend’s lake house! The weather didn’t really agree with us, but we still enjoyed getting to spend some time hanging out with our friends and exploring the cute town of Granbury.
All the happiness that we had experienced in those first few weeks of January quickly came crashing down when Dart started acting funny and Chris took him to the vet. We found out that he had a tumor that ruptured and then ruptured his spleen, and he had to go through surgery and spent almost a week in the ICU recovering. There was a very strong likelihood that he had cancer, and our fears were confirmed when we literally pulled into the driveway at home and got the call from the vet. We spent the weekend trying to stay positive and just tried to soak up as many puppy cuddles as possible.
In February we were still focused a lot on Dart and met with the Oncology team at Gulf Coast Veterinary Clinic for the first time after he got his staples out. While the outlook for Dart was pretty grim, even if we did chemo, we knew that we wanted to try and spend as much time with him as possible so chemo was the best option. It also helped that we had doggie medical insurance for Dart that helped out so much with the cost of his treatment.
Dart started his first round of chemo, and the first round took a lot out of him, but after that they lowered his dosage and you couldn’t even tell that he’d had any sort of medications. We knew that we only had a finite amount of time left with our sweet boy so we tried to make sure that we took him to all of his favorite places. We took two trips in February, one to Chris’s parents’ place in Blanco and the other to my parents’ place in Leakey. Both places are in the country, and you could just tell that Dart loved being out and about with all the smells and all of the animals.
It’s always really exciting in Houston in the beginning of March because it’s the start of Rodeo season! There were quite a few people that were performing at the Rodeo that Chris and I wanted to see, so we had tickets to three different shows to see Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett. Unfortunately Old Dominion had to cancel their show because of a death in one of their members’ families, so we hit up the wine bar for the first time ever which was awesome!
Little did I know that just a few days after our wine bar experience that I’d be taking a pregnancy test and finding out that we were pregnant! I still think that it’s funny that Chris really didn’t think that I was pregnant, and that I got to prove him wrong! We had so much fun being able to tell our family and our close friends about the pregnancy and starting to imagine what life would be like with our baby (we didn’t know at the time that we were expecting twins!).
March was also my birthday month, and one of my best friends and I planned a big trip to Vegas for our 30th birthdays. While I couldn’t partake in any of the normal alcohol and partying in Vegas, we still had a blast gambling, walking up and down the strip, eating delicious food, and seeing Backstreet Boys in concert! It was the perfect weekend for us 90’s girls! Chris and I celebrated my actual birthday weekend with a trip to Galveston for a beach weekend with Dart! He’d never been to the beach, and I wanted to take him there to see what he would do. He loved going on walks up and down the beach with us, but he definitely didn’t like the waves and got freaked out by them.
I also had a couple of photoshoots in March as well. Kathleen and I did another photoshoot at some of the murals around Houston for our birthdays with balloons again which is always a blast. We also got some professional pictures of Chris, Dart and I from our friend Lindsey Marie Family Photography. We’d been talking about it for a while, and I’m so glad that we finally did it! I will treasure these pictures for the rest of my life, especially since we had just found out that we were pregnant that very same weekend. So our family of 3 pictures were actually a family of 5 pictures!
March and April in Texas means that it’s wildflower season in Texas and bluebonnet season as well! We wanted to get some pictures with Dart in the bluebonnets, but we were a little scared that we’d be too late. Thankfully we were able to drive around and get some pictures with us in the bluebonnets, and even some with my parents’ pups as well!
We hosted Easter at our house this year with one of Chris’s brothers and his family, my sister and brother in law, and both sets of parents. It was so much fun to hide Easter eggs all over the front yard for the kids and to just celebrate with everybody. The week after Easter we were heading to the doctor for our second appointment to hopefully hear the heartbeat, and I remember joking that since we hadn’t heard the heartbeat yet, that maybe we’d get a two for one deal with twins. Little did I know how true that would end up being because that week we found out that we were expecting two little ones and not just one!
While most of April was a very happy month, April also marked the month that my grandmother passed away. We miss her so much, but I’m so glad that we got to see her as much as we did. She always loved seeing Dart too, even though she would call him Spot instead of Dart!
We started off May like we have the past few years with the Santo de Mayo 5K, which is a 5K thrown by one of our favorite craft breweries in Houston. You basically run your race and then afterwards you get to party and get beer at the end! Unfortunately this year I couldn’t partake in the beer after the race, but that didn’t stop me from having a great time, I just drank root beer instead!
My parents had officially moved into their house in College Station in April, which meant that it was the perfect opportunity for us to visit quite often! My cousin got married this month so Chris and I were in town not only for their couples shower, but also for the wedding itself. Weddings really are the best because it’s always so much fun to get to see all of the extended family.
We also made another weekend trip to College Station to go to an Aggie baseball game for the first time in a long time. We went with our friends and their daughter, and I know that we’ll be so excited to take their girls next year! Plus the baseball field is named after the best ice cream ever, Blue Bell Park, so Chris and I of course had to get sundaes in the baseball caps before we left.
The end of May and beginning of June meant the start of the second trimester for me, along with the start of our second European adventure! We hopped across the pond for a trip to Edinburgh, London, and Paris, and we literally had the best time! I honestly don’t know which city we loved most because each city was so unique in it’s own way.
I instantly fell in love with the people of Scotland and loved getting to love about the history of Scotland while we were in Edinburgh, but our trip to the Scottish Highlands literally took my breath away. I just wish that we’d been able to see Jaime and Claire! I loved getting to see history literally come alive in London, but definitely my favorite part was getting to see my friend Stacy and going to high tea while we were in London! And finally Paris, the City of Lights! It was so incredibly beautiful, the cafes were everything I dreamed about, and we even got to see Mickey and Minnie while we were there, due to some botched travel plans on my part.
We loved getting to explore, but definitely the best part of the trip was finally getting to announce our pregnancy of our two little girls! Their little onesies have been in three different countries, and I can’t wait until they’re actually big enough to wear them!
The rest of our June was spent celebrating Chris’s 31st birthday, nesting, and getting ready for our two new babies! We had a huge list of things that we wanted to get done around the house, but of course being the procrastinators that we are we hadn’t actually gotten anything done in the 3 years that we’ve been in this house. So I made a list of things that we needed to get done every weekend so that we could get everything complete before our gender reveal, and we actually succeeded in getting those things done in June and July!
We kicked off July by celebrating my friend Stacy and her baby girl! She flew back into the States from Italy for the shower, and we loved having everything girly and Italian for her and her sweet baby girl! I think that the best part about having friends with babies around our girls ages is the fact that they’ll have some friends to play with!
We spent the rest of July nesting, but we did manage to throw in a lake weekend in there as well! Unfortunately, my doctor didn’t want me to go swimming, but we still had a blast hanging out with our friends and watching Dart hate being in the water like usual. We also tried out a new restaurant for our 7th anniversary this year. I seriously can’t believe that we’ve already been married for 7 YEARS!
The end of July was one of the best weekends of the year because it was time for our gender reveal! My sister and mom went all out with the decorations, and I was seriously so excited when I saw those two sets of pink balloons pop out of the boxes! Chris might have been little disappointed about not having a boy initially, but I know that he loves having our baby girls around!
While July was full of joy, August was definitely the most painful month for Chris and I. The week after our gender reveal, Dart took a turn for the worst and had another bleed in his stomach. We rushed him to the vet and they got him stable enough to go home, but we knew that our time with him was truly limited. We spent that last weekend with him just cuddling and trying to make memories, and I’m so glad that we did because that next week we had to make the hard decision to send him to doggie heaven. It’s still one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do.
I was so thankful that we had that next weekend with my parents in Leakey. It was just nice to get away and to try and mourn away from our house that held so many memories. I just wish that he’d been able to make one more trip to Leakey with us before he had to go.
The rest of August was spent trying to heal from Dart and getting things set up for the girls, but we also managed to make another trip to College Station for a weekend. Chris’s cousin was beginning her freshman year at A&M, so we helped her to move in and spent some time with my parents.
By the time the end of August rolled around, we thought that maybe we’d be in the clear for hurricane season, and then we started hearing rumblings in the news of Hurricane Harvey and that it potentially could hit Houston. I sent Chris to get some things that we might need in case it hit, so we felt pretty prepared for what might come, but I don’t think that anybody could have predicted or fathomed what actually happened! Some areas of the city got more than 50 inches of rain in the matter of a few days! Thankfully my parents house that they were selling, my sister and my brother in law’s house, and our house were all fine and we didn’t have any damage, but there were tons of people in the city and along the Texas coast that weren’t ok. Thousands of homes were destroyed during the storm and after the storm once the bayous and rivers started to crest with all of the extra rain water. We were flooded into our neighborhood for a few days, and some parts of the city are still feeling the effects of storm.
We decided to get away from the city for Labor Day and drove to Dallas to spend the weekend celebrating with Chris’s brothers and their families. After being inundated with all the news of the storm, it was nice to get a break from all of that. The next weekend we all came together again for my travel baby shower that was thrown by two of my amazing girlfriends. They really outdid themselves, and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect shower for me and the girls. We seriously felt so incredibly loved by all of our friends and family!
The month of September means that it’s closing in on playoff season for professional baseball, and I’m so lucky that my company has season tickets to the Astros and that we had one weekend where we got to attend two Astros game. One was pretty exciting with a guy that jumped down on the field, and thankfully both were exciting with wins by the Astros. The game that we didn’t attend that Sunday was actually the win that sealed the deal for the Astros as division champs!
We decided that we needed one more weekend trip before the girls made their appearance, so we took a long weekend trip to visit Chris’s parents in Blanco. There are a couple of small towns around them that I hadn’t had the chance to visit just yet, so we visited Gruene and Luckenbach, which were so cute and so much fun! Luckenbach is actually pretty close to Fredericksburg, so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to visit there again soon!
On the last day of the month my amazing coworkers also threw me a shower and it was so incredibly beautiful! I was so thankful for each and every one of them, and it was so nice of them to all chip in and buy us our stroller. I swear it’s the best thing ever, and we use it all the time!
We started off October right with our first and only Aggie game of the season. It was definitely a lot different going 7 months pregnant, but I was so incredibly thankful for the stadium remodel because it was so much better to ride up the escalator instead of walking up all the ramps to our seats! We ended up not sticking around to the end of the game, but I was just glad that the Aggies ended up pulling off a win!
Besides being football season, October also marks playoff time for professional baseball, and this year the entire city of Houston was invested in the Astros march towards the World Series! I was so excited when my boss gave Chris and I tickets to one of the American League championship games against the Yankees right before I was put on travel bedrest. It was such an exciting game, especially since the Astros pulled off a win that I started jumping up and down. Chris didn’t really like that very much, especially since I was so pregnant at the time!
The Astros ended up beating the Yankees to advance to the World Series and the entire city of Houston was ecstatic and ready to hopefully have the Astros bring home the first championship! Chris and I had multiple late nights staying up to watch the games, and each win was so incredibly exciting!
Also during October we got some maternity pictures taken by Lindsey Marie Family Photography who took our pictures with Dart. They turned out so incredibly beautiful, and I know that I’ll treasure them forever. It was such a special time in our lives, anxiously awaiting our little girls.
Everybody in the city of Houston was hoping that the Astros would win the World Series at home in Houston, but unfortunately it went all the way to Game 7 in Los Angeles, but the Astros did it and pulled off a win over the Dodgers! It was so incredible to see how happy everybody in the city was, and to see just an amazing group of athletes do something so incredible after not even winning 50% of their games a few years ago. Plus it was so awesome to see that Sports Illustrated article come true, where the author predicted a couple of years ago that the Astros would win the World Series in 2017!
At the end of October, I started to develop a pretty bad rash all over my body, and unfortunately the blood work that my doctor ordered didn’t come back very quickly, so on my Halloween doctor’s appointment, we went on ahead and scheduled my c-section for Friday November 3rd. I’ll never forget how nervous I was going into that operating room, or how incredibly happy I was to hear Addy’s cry first and then Izzy’s cry. Looking back now with them being 2 months old today, I still can’t believe how incredibly tiny they were they were born!
The rest of the month of November was such a whirlwind for us as we tried to figure things out with the girls, but there were also some things that I never want to forget. Their newborn pictures turned out so beautiful (courtesy of Lindsey Marie Family Photography of course), but there were also quite a few incidents of pee and poop on mom and dad behind the scenes! We also celebrated their very first Thanksgiving and holiday this month. Their due date was the day after Thanksgiving, so it was extra special to have them with us!
If we thought that December would be less of a whirlwind than November, we were very wrong! We were finally figuring things out with the girls, but with the holidays, we had a lot more outings on our plate. I’m not one that can easily sit still, so it was nice to be getting out of the house more often.
The girls had their first night away from home when we went to my sister’s house for our annual Christmas party. It went better than we expected, and made us feel a lot more prepared for Christmas at my parents’ house. The girls visited Santa for the very first time when we took them up to the brewery for lunch and pictures. There were no tears this year, but I’m not holding my breath that next year will be similar. They also got to experience their first snow when Houston received some snow that actually stuck! It was so beautiful even though the girls couldn’t play in it just yet.
The girls also got to meet a lot of people this month. Our friends Ben and Stacy and their daughter were in town from Italy, so they got to meet for the very first time. Our friends Katie and Jack also stopped by on their way to Houston for Christmas and got to meet the girls. They also made an appearance at Sawyer’s Sip & See and got to meet some of Chris’s friends from college.
The end of December was definitely the most exciting time though with their first Christmas. They went on their first road trip to College Station to spend Christmas at Starry and Pop’s house. They were too young to be on Santa’s list this year, but they did receive a lot of books from us, Aunt CC and Uncle Ben, and of course Starry and Pop. They also got to meet a lot of family members and friends including their Great Aunt and cousins!
We had a few days at home before we were packing up again and heading out on longer road trip with the girls to Dallas for Christmas and New Years with Chris’s side of the family. They got to meet all of their aunts and uncles and cousins and were so incredibly spoiled by everybody all weekend. It definitely made me feel a lot less anxious about us being able to go on trips with the girls!
Overall 2017 was a good year for us with some really high highs with the birth of our daughters and our trip to Europe, but we also had some low lows with the loss of our precious fur baby and everything that happened with Hurricane Harvey. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to 2018 and everything that it might hold for us!