I can’t believe we’re already sitting here on January 3rd, having closed the book on 2017 and are a few steps into a fresh, new year. Last year was the first time that I did one of these “year in review” posts and I LOVED it (see last year’s here)! I got so much enjoyment out of writing that post – I was reminded of memories I had forgotten about, recipes I loved, and photos that I cherished, so it’s officially a tradition and here we are again!

I hope you enjoy this look back at the previous year as we get ready to forge ahead on our journey together!

What I remember most: Celebrating Joseph’s 2nd birthday. I couldn’t believe what a year of transformation it was for our little guy… at one he was mostly still a baby, and by two he was a full-fledged toddler, and so much fun! We celebrated with a Sesame Street-themed birthday party and he loved his decorations and Elmo birthday cake!

Favorite recipe I made: Chocolate frosted brownies are always, ALWAYS a good idea!

You loved: The always-popular no bake chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal cookies, as well as the Cookie Monster cupcakes that I made for Joseph’s party!

What I remember most: I was still in a very sleepy newborn haze and couldn’t stay awake to see the end of the Super Bowl (which was apparently totally nuts). Joseph had a crazy, crazy growth spurt at the beginning of the month and on my husband’s birthday, he slept for a record 18 hours (7pm – 1pm the next day!) then followed it up by three straight days of 3-4 hour naps. He grew three inches in less than a month!

Favorite recipe I made: Such a toss up between the dill pickle dip (I think I made it three times in two weeks!) and the antipasto appetizer squares (members of my family have continued to make that recipe for functions all throughout the year, as recently as New Year’s Day!).

You loved: The slow cooker spicy beef queso dip was a big hit during Super Bowl week, and then you switched gears to red velvet cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. You drooled over chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake and swooned seeing Duke snuggled up next to baby Dominic.

What I remember most: Celebrating my birthday with my two boys and my favorite dessert, and feeling like I was finally getting into a little bit of a rhythm managing two kids!

Favorite recipe I made: I made a ton of favorites this month! The chocolate cream pie is seriously the BEST EVER, I finally conquered a Milk Bar birthday layer cake, and the Dutch baby pancake has been made in this house at least twice a month ever since!

You loved: In true St. Patrick’s Day spirit, you flocked to the Guinness, whiskey & Irish cream cupcakes, and loved the picture from my birthday above when I shared it on Instagram.

What I remember most: Dominic was just on the verge of crawling and he and Joseph really started to interact with each other. It’s obviously ramped up considerably since then (and has started to include some squirmishes over toys, AHEM), but I remember my heart feeling so full just watching them together.

Favorite recipe I made: The fresh strawberry pie was a total game changer, and a massive hit at Easter.

You loved: Tons of you made the no bake banana split dessert for Easter, and kept at it as the weather warmed up! You also loooooved looking at Boston cream pie.

What I remember most: Joseph passed his first tree nut oral challenge at the allergist. Earlier in the year, he had conquered eggs and soy, so the foods available to him grew exponentially, and now he could add Honey Nut Cheerios to the list (which he still continues to eat almost every morning for breakfast!).

Favorite recipe I made: I did a riff on tres leches cake for Cinco de Mayo and it was GLORIOUS, and I discovered a super fresh and light layered pavlova.

You loved: You started churning out the best ever potato salad and didn’t stop for the rest of the summer; and let’s not forget about these gorgeous blackberry pie bars!

What I remember most: The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup AGAIN! We’re a big hockey house, so it was a ton of fun to watch another cup run. We went to game two during the finals and had an absolute blast… nothing better than playoff hockey in person!

Favorite recipe I made: I was so proud of the Milk Bar riff I did on a s’mores layer cake (and it was delicious!), and basically stuffed my face full of everything else I made that month (so much goodness)!

You loved: The refrigerator bread and butter pickles got a lot of love in June and continued to be popular throughout the summer. Also, sweet and salty brownies in all their glory because there really is nothing better!

What I remember most: My BFF and I went to the Boyz II Men / Paula Abdul / NKOTB concert and had a total blast. We splurged for awesome seats, which were SO worth it. We’re both total homebodies, and it’s like our every other year big night out and we enjoyed it so much.

Favorite recipe I made: No joke, I could totally take out an entire pan of marshmallow crunch brownie bars totally on my own, and the banana-chocolate chip snack cake became an instant favorite.

You loved: Bread and butter pickles were still living their best life on the site, and Boston cream cupcakes totally caught your eye.

What I remember most: We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary and found out that we were pregnant with baby #3! We were so, so excited for our family to grow, especially after seeing how amazing it had been for Joseph to have a little brother.

Favorite recipe I made: My revamp of homemade pop-tarts was a massive, massive hit, and I really enjoyed the retro grammy cake!

You loved: The totally deserving salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars were all the rage, and you loved closing out the summer with a no bake funfetti lush dessert.

What I remember most: We found out that we were having a little girl! Thanks to being considered “advanced maternal age”, I did first trimester DNA screening for genetic issues (everything came back normal!), and the blood work also identifies the sex chromosome, so you can find out incredibly early without waiting for the normal 20-week ultrasound. I still have lots of shopping to do, ha!

Also, Joseph started preschool, which was totally huge, and I was so nervous about it, but it has been one of the best things for him. He loves it so much, is always so excited to go, and I think it’s made a big difference in helping him be a little bit more social. I love hearing about all the things he does, and listening to his stories about his friends.

Favorite recipe I made: It has to be the Jewish apple cake; it was a totally new-to-me recipe, and I absolutely fell in love with it.

You loved: The beginning of football season meant buffalo chicken dip hysteria, and my goodness did you drool over the copycat Bergers cookies!

What I remember most: Celebrating Dominic’s 1st birthday! This boy absolutely stole our hearts with his sweet demeanor and gentle soul. It’s hard to even remember what it was like before he was part of our family; isn’t it funny how that happens?! We threw him a Peppa Pig party because the very first deliberate noise he ever made was to snort like a pig when Joseph watched that show, and it was HYSTERICAL.

Favorite recipe I made: I was seriously skeptical of Cincinnati chili before making it, but my husband and I absolutely loved it, and it’s been on steady rotation here ever since.

You loved: You were still consuming large amounts of buffalo chicken dip, but the cooler weather meant you were eating a lot of classic beef chili, too. Instagram went crazy over our gender reveal and the boy’s Halloween pictures!

What I remember most: Hosting another wonderful Thanksgiving at our home, surrounded by lots of family. Each and every year, we could not ask for a more perfect holiday. I did a dry brine on the turkey this year, and everyone thought it was the best ever!

Favorite recipe I made: They’re not new, but my best mashed potatoes recipe is, literally, the best. There would be a revolt if they didn’t show up on the Thanksgiving table!

You loved: Traditional stuffing was the most popular Thanksgiving option, and many of you served up traditional southern banana pudding for dessert. YUM! And the caramel apple magic bars were seriously drool-worthy!

What I remember most: Seeing Joseph light up at everything Christmas-related this year so much fun and so incredibly heart-warming. Dominic didn’t really “get” presents yet and was happy to lay in the middle of the floor playing with wrapping paper, but he sure did enjoy all of those new toys that suddenly appeared! Celebrating Christmas with little ones is truly magical and I just can only imagine how much fun the next handful of years will be.

Favorite recipe I made: I unearthed the best snickerdoodle recipe and we enjoyed the heck out of it!

You loved: There were many cookie trays out there with no-bake chocolate, peanut butter & oatmeal cookies and slow cooker peanut clusters on them; and you either gifted or sipped on a lot of homemade Baileys Irish cream! And a picture of me baking bread with the boys was most-loved on Instagram.

It was truly an incredible year and our lives were blessed with so much joy. We shared a lot of great food with our family and friends, as well! Thanks for taking the look back with me and re-living all the memories of the past year.

Next up: 2018 resolutions!