If I had to sum up what 2016 has meant to my family it would only take one word - babies. We saw a few over the course of the year!

I think we all take stock of our lives when the New Year looms before us. Where are we in our lives, and how did our lives change in the past 12 months? For me, it's been an eventful year. Mostly good, but with a few sad chapters, as well.

First, the sad stuff. We suffered two very personal losses over the year. We lost our beloved dog, Copernicus, over the summer. Just shy of 4-years-old, he was taken down by Lyme Disease that hit his kidneys and became incurable.And, just a few days before Christmas, we said good-bye to my sister-in-law, who had spent the year battling cancer. She was a sweet and loving woman who brought so much joy to my brother and to everyone she met. We'll miss her terribly, but are grateful that she's out of pain.

Now, for the good stuff! Going into 2016, I had one grandchild. A little over a month before Cami's 3rd birthday, she got a baby sister named Stella! But even before that, my youngest son and his wife had the first boy of his generation in our family! Oliver was born in April.

In September, Jim and I adopted our own 'baby' and named him Gifford. He's a mix of German Shepherd, Husky, Springer Spaniel, and who-knows-what-else and is looking like he's going to be a tall, big boy. He's not as disciplined as Pernicus was so we're learning how to deal with a real puppy. He strews trash around the house and grabs food from your plate, given the opportunity. And jumps on my bed in the middle of the night just to kiss my face. Still, with all his mischief, we love him and are happy he's part of the family.

And, just to round out the Year of the Baby, we learned at Christmas that Oliver is getting a baby brother in the summer! Congratulations to my children for their expanding families, and thanks for giving me the most precious gift - grandchildren that I can spoil rotten!

Oh yeah, one other thing happened in 2016 - I got married! Oh, baby! What will 2017 bring? Stay tuned!