2016 Family Year in Review 

2016 was a rollercoaster on a global, national, and personal scale.  It’s one many want to forget but there were some pretty bright spots in 2016 for our family. So here’s a look back on our year as we ring in the fresh start of 2017!

Blog Stats:

We transferred over our old Christmas blogs and started our year round blog here on May 28th.  Since starting Painting Clouds, we’ve posted 124 entries.

Our top five most popular posts (based off of hits) were Shark Week Party, The Empty Box, I Didn’t know, A Call for Change, and Baby Number_?

Brad’s favorite post was: Tall Ships.  He loves family days spent trying new things and introducing our kids to new experiences.

My favorite post was: Yay, Snow Day!  I try to be a good pinterest mom most of the time but, dang it, sometimes you have to embrace the mess and just laugh.

Our two ongoing series we started in 2016 were Cloth 101 and From the Shelf (look for those in the category section on the right of the screen if you’re on a tablet/laptop or the bottom of the page if on mobile)

2016 in pictures:

Last New Year’s Eve


My birthday was celebrated with a trip to the science museum and ice castle


Our 2016 family Valentine


Marshall learned how to skate without assistance under his papa’s watchful eye


Vi had her first food on February 1st (six months old) we did baby led weaning and her first food was mushy sweet potato chunks. Violet Angeline the Sweet Potato Queen!


These two really became so close in 2016. Here’s Marshall making Vi smile after getting her 6 month shots.


We celebrated Vi’s first Valentine’s Day


Marshall proudly brought his first Valentine’s Day box to school. He made a volcano for his favorite little “love” song I Lava You


We celebrated Vi’s first St. Patrick’s Day


I started making tutus (check out the DIY instructions here)


We celebrated Vi’s 1st Easter


Marshall got his first April Fools prank (gelatin in milk)


We did our annual “camp-in” to help break up the cabin fever


We celebrated Earth Day with other cloth diapering families at The Great Cloth Diaper Change


We received our spring caterpillars to raise


Marshall started 4-year-old soccer


Mother’s Day ’16 found us doing a picnic on the lake’s shore


We spent Brad’s birthday doing a family road trip to Kansas City and Omaha. Vi got to go to her first Royals game


Our caterpillars grew into butterflies and we set them free to kick off summer


Father’s Day 16 we went to the zoo and Pizza Lola’s


We found out that another little one would be joining our family





Our garden surprised us in big ways- like this baby size zucchini.


We spent plenty of hot days at the beach



Marshall felt pretty awesome shopping at the Mall of America for his back to school clothes


We went to see the Tall Ships on Lake Superior


The Tall Ships made the perfect opportunity to announce another Ding would be joining us (with a nautical newborn cloth diaper of course)



We had our share of little parties with the kids




And Vi looked forward to getting mama to herself during the day


Brad represented his district with pride








And we started our 25 Days celebration


Blooper Reel

Not everything in 2016 was picture perfect…

The before pictures are always better when feeding a baby for the very first time


When you’re a hot mess mom that brings her kids to Target during nap time


He pushed her swing so she pushed his face


Photo op goes from cute and cuddly to wrestling on the sculpture garden lawn.


“I caught a big one, mama!”


So tired he not only didn’t make it to bed but didn’t quite make it all the way onto the couch either


I breastfed Vi for her first 14 months. Marshall took note by drawing me like this in family photos. “Mom I drew you!” “Oh that’s nice buddy! But…what is that” giving him the benefit of the doubt. “Those are your boobs!” “Hmm, well maybe we shouldn’t draw body parts that clothes cover?” “But clothes don’t always cover your boobs!” Oy. Vey.


Brad was talking about having another baby after Francesca. Violet let him know she didn’t like that idea by throwing her ball at him, without even looking, and hitting him between the legs.


Marshall’s friend took a toy from her, she was keen on letting him know not to mess with little girls in pink footie pajamas. He was terrified to turn his back on her.  Judging from her aim, I think she is a top prospect for fast pitch.


When the boys do yoga but Vi is anything but zen


It’s so crazy all the firsts we had with Vi last year and now will be having another year of them with Francesca.  We look forward to all that 2017 has to offer; from Marshall starting t-ball, Vi starting dance, and Franki being here for all of it.  Yes, 2017 has so many exciting new things coming and we are full of positive energy to make the most of what comes our way!

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