We brought in the new year with family and friends – the people we’d want surrounding us at any ending or beginning.

The older kids went dancing. My brother and his wife also went dancing for a little bit – they found a country swing dance location and couldn’t help themselves.

I took the younger kids to our neighbor’s party for a bit with bounce houses, beignets, fireworks, live band and a photo booth.

And just before midnight Hallie’ had a large group of friends join our family in ringing in the new year: Martinelli’s, sparklers, paper lanterns and games late into the night.

And just like that, another year has come to an end. To be honest, I’m not much for new year’s resolutions (I actually use the start of a new school year to make resolutions – its a more natural timeline for change in my life.)

But I do look forward to the year ahead and what it may entail. As Hallie continues to remind us, this is the year she turns 18 and starts her senior year. The year Hunter starts high school and Bennett starts junior high. The year Steve takes the kids scuba diving. The year we work on the backyard. The year Cannon (and hopefully Briggs) learns to wake surf. The year Hunter gets his braces off. The year Hallie applies to college. The year Steve and I celebrate 20 years of marriage.

It’s a year to look forward to for sure.