Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Sylestine Family Recap

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven." - George Bernard Shaw

2015 was very kind to this little family of ours. Neither of us have been as efficient as we'd like in terms of documenting this for posterity's sake, but the memories we've created this year are strong and deep. Here are some of the highlights.

Our little dog daughter is trying her hardest. She doesn't understand why we keep adding humans to our household, nor why they grow up to torture her with "love" and "affection". Ella continues to be obsessed with food/eating and protecting the family homestead. Ella's goals for 2016 are to shed as much fur as possible downstairs and to eventually jump high enough to get some food off of the kitchen island.

We're so fortunate to have been able to welcome our sweet little girl to the ranks six months ago. Noelle is one of the happiest babies we've ever known. She has a calm, watchful disposition and will typically greet you with a smile if you happen to catch her eye. She's the type that will trick you into having a third baby...not so sure about that! She's growing so fast and is likely to be tall like her big sister. She absolutely adores her big sister and has the best laugh ever. Nannie Mae thinks N will look more like Molly Ann but will have Jeremy's personality, while it's pretty clear at this point that Q is the opposite. N's goals for 2016 are to learn to eat real food, to sit up on her own, and to crawl and walk.

There's too much to say about Q's year here, but moving from toddler to preschooler is no joke, y'all. Q still thrives in preschool and loves being part of the Squirrel class, where she learns alongside some of her best friends. At home, she lives her life in song and imagination. You'll rarely catch her sitting quietly. Q is always playing, dancing or running, typically while singing or humming a song (actual or made-up). She adores her baby sister and loves making her laugh. We're so excited to watch that relationship grow over time. Q enjoyed her dance class and soccer team in 2015, as well as a couple of summer camps (which helped keep Mama sane during those long summer weeks). Q's goals for 2016 are to learn to ride her "big girl" bike without training wheels, to tie her shoes by herself, and to start reading on her own.

Molly Ann
MA has the best job ever...being a mama and a wife. It's hard and there are days that seem to last forever, but she can't imagine being anywhere else in this season. The joys definitely outweigh the tough moments. Being on the front row to watch her little angels develop their relationship is the most magical thing in the world! When she's not nursing, toting Q around, cleaning the house, cooking, playing Little People or reading to her girls, MA somehow finds time to work part-time with her consulting business. She also started doing a little work for Riverbend Centre for the Arts (the performing arts business that grew out of the church). With the time she has leftover, MA still helps J lead Couple Vision, serves with the Junior League of Austin in the Playhouse Singers (singing at nursing homes), serves alongside the board and volunteers of Hopefully Sow, attempts to work out, reads, watches Gilmore Girls and tries to do fun things with Jeremy. MA's goals for 2016 are to make more time for J despite the demands of parenthood, figure out how to grow relationships with her girlfriends despite our crazy lives and schedules, lose the rest of her baby weight, focus on enjoying this season of young motherhood without complaining and get back to blogging (in her spare time...haha). 

J loves being MA's husband and daddy to his two girls. There's seriously nothing better. Professionally, J became a court chief in October after receiving a promotion at the Travis County District Attorney's Office. After over seven years trying child abuse and domestic violence cases, he's happy to be managing a team of ADAs and handling some of the most serious felony cases in the county. In addition to that, he is in his fifth year as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where he is a co-instructor of the Prosecution Internship. J began serving this year as a board member for ACT Holdings, the economic development corporation for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe. He continues to serve on the board of Hopefully Sow, a non-profit focused on serving children in foster care in the Austin area. And he and Molly Ann both help oversee Couple Vision, a growing community group of young couples at Riverbend Church. J's goals for 2016 are to run another couple of half marathons, to become a stronger leader at home and at work, and to be more intentional about his relationship with MA as parent-life becomes more demanding.

God has blessed us in more ways than we can count. We are truly thankful for our life and our little family...what a fun adventure we have every day!