The Adventures of the Halstead Fam!

A Year in Review

2017 is officially underway and we can’t help but take a few moments to look back at all 2016 brought us. So, here it is – our year in review:

January Our year started with great anticipation as we prepared for our baby to come. Family and friends gathered to throw us a baby shower and helped us stock our nursery with diapers, clothes, cozy blankets, story books, and sweet teddy bears. All we needed was our baby! We enjoyed our final few weeks as a duo relaxing and playing together.

February With guidance and help from our doctor our baby was born via c-section and we discovered our baby was a boy! Our favorite nurse was taking his foot prints for his birth certificate and lovingly put them on a verse in Sarah’s Bible: “For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.” (1 Samuel 1:27) We realized that was our baby’s name – Samuel James Halstead, 7lbs 10oz, strong and loved.

March Let’s be honest – the first few months of a baby’s life are a bit of a blur. We’ve dubbed this season of life at the Baby Vortex. Nevertheless, we have great memories that found a way to stick with us throughout the spring.

We dedicated Samuel on Easter Sunday and celebrated God’s love for him with family and friends.

Our dear friend Emily came out from Minnesota to visit for a few days. Her timing was perfect as it was right when Stead returned to work. She brought some beautiful sunshine with her, perfect for walks and getting a baby and new mom out of the house.

April We joined a “Baby Support Group”, also known as Incredible Infants, at an organization in town called Parenting Now. It was a huge gift to add even more friends to our community and to meet other new parents.

May Our family enjoyed watching another class march across the commencement stage at NCU and Stead received the President’s Award for staff performance and leadership! Samuel and I beamed proudly as he was called up from his technology station and humbly accepted his award. We are so blessed to be a part of NCU and for Stead to work at a place that recognizes all his hard work.

We also took Samuel to the beach for the first time. Though he spent pretty much the whole trip in the ergo carrier we loved showing him the waves and sipping coffee by the Siuslaw river in Florence.

June We celebrated our 6th anniversary with a hike up Spencer’s Butte with Samuel and playing a new game during his naptime at a bubble tea shop. A mellow, enjoyable bit of time to celebrate and reflect on where we’ve been and where we hope to go together.

July We got brave and took our 5 month old baby camping on the coast! We upgraded our little half-dome REI tent to a 8-man mega tent, loving dubbed the Tajma-Halstead. Samuel did great and we enjoyed a weekend away from the Willamette Valley heat.

August Our family bought our first house! We moved from Eugene to Springfield to our new home with the help of our friends during the hottest weekend of the summer. Stead and I love being home owners and it’s safe to say Samuel loves it as well. As always, our door is always open and there is always a place at our table for visitors (hint hint….)!

September Some friends loaned us their pop-up trailer and we took it out on a weeklong camping adventure along the northern Oregon coast. It was awesome to explore a few state parks with Samuel! Each day was filled with exploring long stretches of beach, food spots in the beach towns, and poking our heads in the dark doorways of historic forts that are scattered along the shorelines.

October Apples, pumpkins, and festive celebrations awaited us in the month of October. Since we were dating we’ve made a point to go apple picking every fall. It was really fun to introduce our family tradition to Samuel!

November Samuel started swim lessons and we quickly discovered that we have a little fish on our hands. The little man loves the water!

December Our year was capped off with a mellow month of rest and Christmas celebrations. Sarah’s mom joined us for our annual attendance of NCU’s Experience Christmas and Stead’s family came down from Issaquah and Maple Valley to join us Christmas Day in our new home.

2016 was a year of learning and growing together. We have been humbled by the amount of support and love we have received from family and friends as we adjusted into our new life chapter as a trio. Thank you for your prayers, gifts, meals, encouraging words, and the love you have shown. Here’s to another year of adventuring together!

Blessings to you & yours in this new year,
Stead, Sarah, and Samuel