TOP 10 MEMORIES FROM 2016

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[HANNAH] ATTENDING A DANCE PARTY PUT ON BY ALISON OF THE ALISON SHOW. This was one of those things that I'd been REALLY wanting to do for months (years?), and I finally did it! Now that it's checked off the list, however, I'll probably never do it again. haha. It's funny how after spending $25 on a ticket to get into an all-women dance party, I remembered something: I don't actually like to dance, hahahaha. I mean, I'm ALLL about the IDPs, but dance parties just really aren't my thing. Although this was kind of an unfortunate time to re-remember this trait about myself, I'm still glad I went to see what it was like AND meet/dance with THE ALISON (the sodalicious and rockwell ice cream didn't hurt either 😏). Thankfully, when Alison's next dance party came around (and the tickets doubled in price) I didn't have to feel sad that I wasn't a part of it! (Photo credit: Becky Kimball, taken from this post!)


STEPHEN GRADUATING FROM BYU [WITH A JOB OFFER]. Stephen and I will be forever grateful for the education we each received at BYU, and its role in bringing us together as ity-bity freshman (#RIPoldheritagehalls). We felt very blessed that Stephen was able to land a job offer in Salt Lake (that we were both really excited about) months before he graduated, and we will forever laugh about the fact that the last final he took as an undergraduate student was for BIO100 in which he was required to dress up as a hobbit.  

MEETING ADDITIONAL FAMILY. Due to the tenderness of this subject, I haven't posted about it on social media, but through a series of somewhat miraculous events, Stephen was able to get in contact with (and meet!) his biological parents and their extended families. It has been an incredible experience for us to get to know so many wonderful people, and the sweet and love-filled meeting of his mom and birth-mom is a moment none of us will ever forget.

MOVING FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE WE GOT MARRIED. Moving out of Provo (and out of our first apartment) was definitely bittersweet. We loved living in Provo, but moving away did make us feel a little more like we were entering the "real world." My Aunt and Uncle were SO kind to host us for a few months before we found an apartment that we were really excited about in Bountiful. 

VISITING FAMILY IN CALIFORNIA AND TEXAS. During a "month of homelessness" (before Stephen had to start working) we had a ton of fun visiting my parents in Northern California, my sister Rebekah and her family in Dallas, and my brother Joseph and his family in Houston. We have now visited the stomping grounds of each of my siblings! (Except Miriam who is currently on a mission in New Jersey.)


FINDING OUT A BABY BOY WILL BE JOINING OUR FAMILY IN MAY! Stephen and I have always talked about having our kids close together in age, but after having such a rough pregnancy with Lydia, I wasn't sure I could put my body through that again (at least not any time soon!). Amazingly enough, when Lydia was just a few months old I was already talking about getting her a little sibling! We were thrilled to find out that she will be getting a little brother right around the time she turns one and a half, and I am ecstatic about the fact that this pregnancy has truly been A BREEZE compared to Lydia's (let's just pray the rest of them are this way)!


FURNISHING OUR FIRST 'REAL' APARTMENT AND PURCHASING A WASHER AND DRYER. When we lived in Provo we lived in the basement of a house my parents own. We paid rent to them and had some managerial responsibilities, but moving into an apartment at the beginning of September with no family ties felt much more 'real.'  In November, we did what we agree was the single-most-adult-like-act we've ever experienced, and purchased a washer and dryer of our very own! haha! (Yes, having a baby comes second.) The process of furnishing our apartment is far from over, and I've grown a certain fondness for our cardboard box nightstands, so I don't foresee them going anywhere any time soon. 😂

STEPHEN TAKING THE GMAT. After countless hours of studying for the GMAT, Stephen finally took it in early November! He did AMAZINGLY WELL, and I have to brag about the fact that he scored in the 98th percentile for the verbal section. THAT MEANS that he did better than 98% of people on that half of the test!!!! He doesn't plan to attend grad school (to get an MBA) for a few years, but we wanted to get the test over with (since the score will keep for 5 years) and BOY am I glad it's over with!!!

LYDIA'S FIRST BIRTHDAY. It's pretty crazy that at the beginning of 2016 Lydia couldn't even hold her head up, and "tummy time" was enough to make her scream bloody murder. During the course of this year we have loved watching Lydia learn how to sit up, crawl, laugh, wave, growl, stand, clap, scoot, blow kisses, and take her first steps! The amount that babies learn and grow in a single year is honestly unbelievable. 

SPENDING CHRISTMAS IN IOWA. We loved being able to travel to Iowa again this year for Christmas! It was so great to have people around who are as obsessed with Lydia as we are, and didn't mind following after her as she wandered around the house (always heading for the stairs). Mom Olson was even kind enough to make a new pair of one-year-old-sized Lydia pajamas that match the ones Stephen and I have from last year! (I'll have to post a photo of them soon, they're adorable.)

2016 was an amazing year for our family! We are so excited to see what 2017 has in store!
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han.

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