The Toyota is up and running as of December 30th. Denver and I were both equal parts thrilled and relieved to have that thing driveable before the new year rolled around. We loaded up the kids and went for a joy ride down the gravel road and out into the pasture (It's not quite road worthy yet as it still needs a muffler and tire balance). I have never so thoroughly enjoyed the sound of a running engine.
It's been a crazy project. I had absolutely no idea what the whole engine swap would entail (Denver has even admitted to not really understanding the full extent of the project himself) but he saw it through and the truck seems to drive like a dream. It isn't quite finished and still needs a good wash after sitting in the shop all these months, but I couldn't help sharing a few of the restoration thus far. My favorite part is all the custom upholstery; new seats, carpet and door panels.
I'm also so thankful that 2018 included dining alfresco after those sweet little faces went to bed. Denver and I ate out almost every evening until the cold drove us back indoors. I snapped the photo below on our 13th anniversary, feeling just a bit fancier then most evenings as Denver threw on a button up and I had a new sweater to wear.