RECAP- 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I'm already emotional about writing this, but 2014 had some really great memories. I know that we are going to start 2015 fresh with a bang! Here's a timeline of what this past year looked like for my family and I:

The Howland's moved to the upper left of the United States and we were reunited with my family. This was made possible because of the compassion reassignment request (for my mom) being approved. Ava bug and I took our first plane ride together (without daddy), and our sweet girl started crawling within days after our PCS. Ava turned eight months old and her first set of teeth came in. Last, but certainly not least, Justin and I celebrated three years of marriage!

We had our first family valentine pictures taken a few days before Ava turned nine months old, my sweet girl experienced snow for the first time, and we went to the Seattle Aquarium for the first time together. We started actively baby proofing this month because our girl could get into almost everything on her level. Ava started feeding herself more and more, and this mama went on a total hippy kick. We also watched our BRONCOS get beat pretty badly during the Superbowl.

I turned 23 years old, and the mister was away for training. Luckily I got to spend my special day with m family. We took our first family trip to Pike Place Market and ate at the infamous crab pot. Ava started dancing around like crazy and she stood up by herself UNASSISTED! I made the decision to become more of a spoken advocate for breastfeeding and attachment parenting. Best. Decision. Ever. Ava bug also had her first park playdate.

Ava's two top teeth cut, we started using big girl cups, and Bug took her first steps. We celebrated Easter with my family and we officially switched our girl to a convertible seat. We also started using our ring slings A LOT more this month. We spent some time down at the waterfront in Tacoma and Ava got to meet Miss Jennifer!

May might have been the best month of my life. My sweetheart turned 24 and my child turned one year old! Ava was full blown walking by her first birthday, and she experienced her first cake smash! Daddy started WLC (military school) and Ava decided to ditch baby foods completely. Washington weather warmed up tremendously, so Ava got to use her first baby pool. I had my first mother's day and Justin made it one for the books, as did my parents! Ava also got her first pedicure. She's such a girly girl and I love it! I also became FRG leader for Justin's previous company.

Daddy spent a long month away at NTC, I introduced the potty with Ava, and I officially started putting Ava bug in her crib. I purchased Ava bug her first pair of big girl sneakers and SHE finally got over her fear of grass. We experimented with paint for the first time and made daddy some awesome gifts for Father's day. Washington weather got so much hotter this month, so Ava had a few different trips to the river.

Justin and I had our first date night since deployment! We had family photos taken at the beach in Seattle, and we considered prepping for baby # 2. I told myself I was going to wean Ava this month... (didn't happen) and I fell in love with the fourth trimester bodies project. Justin decided to actively ride his motorcycle.

Justin and I celebrated four years together! We took Ava to the drive-ins a couple times, Ava experienced her first county fair, and we had my mother in-law out for a visit. We went to Mt. Rainier, Seattle, and a bunch of other random places to show Arleen the beauty of Washington. I had my first appointment with Madigan's endocrinologist, and I had a mature follicle! We tried naturally to conceive, but ultimately the tests were BFNs. Ava had her first late night out, and I got a massive spider bite that gave me some serious reactions.

I forced myself to commit to photography. I got my first DSLR camera and I tried to own it from the start! Our family took a trip to the coast, and Ava got to watch her first sunset. Our Mazda decided to break down on us, resulting in us getting a family SUV. We started the process of purchasing our first home and Justin got LASIK eye surgery. Ava started all of her toddler classes, and we went to our first state fair as a family!

Ava bug met one of her best pals, Zoe! I met an awesome new mama friend, Tausha. We noticed a spike in Ava's development this month. She became more aware of her body, our actions, and her emotions. Ava and I started crafting hardcore. We made turkeys in October... I embarked on a 365 day photo challenge that has already changed my views and my life immensely. Ava got her first halloween costume (my little lady bug) and Ava and Justin had their first trip to the pumpkin farm! This was also the first month that we attended a halloween function for Justin's Battalion. I also got a new lens for my camera.

Ava and daddy started "daddy daughter dates" and this mama started taking more time for herself. Ava turned 18 months old, and we officially made the decision to wait a little longer for trying to conceive another baby. I experienced a shift in emotion towards breastfeeding and we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family. Ava picked out her first tree ornament, and we put up the tree BEFORE the first of December! We celebrated my nana's birthday (rest in peace nana) and we also got a bit of snow! I made my first DIY backdrop and officially became obsessed with DIY projects. Justin sold his motorcycle!

We had our family Christmas photos taken, Ava got a god mama, and we made a DIY growth chart for Ava bug. We made our first gingerbread house,saw the zoo lights, and played in the snow on Mount Rainier. Justin's grandfather passed away this month, and while it's still hard for him, we keep our hearts full of all the good memories we had with him. We also made the decision to move closer to Justin's job!

I am positive there are a lot of things I left off of this recap, but this year was definitely all about growth. Growing as parents, lovers, and a family. Next month marks ONE year of us being in Washington state, and I can hardly wait to see what adventures we get into! Thank you ALL so much for tagging along for our journey. I hope my readers bring in 2015 with love, friends, and family!


♥- Leilani

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