Saturday, January 5, 2019

Top 5 Posts of 2018

This will officially be the last post about 2018!  From here on out it will be 100% 2019!  Woo Hoo!  It's fun to me to look back at the end of the year and see what posts on my blog got the most attention of you guys!  Every year, there are a few posts that I'm not shocked got into the top five (like our weightloss post a few years ago).  But every year there are few random ones that sneak in there and surprise me!

Here are the top posts for 2018:

#5 - The First Day of School- With the kids and I all starting school in a new system this year, I wasn't too shocked that those types of posts got a lot of views.  However, the "first day of school" type posts are usually just really interesting to our family.  The fact that this made it in the top 5!

#4 - January Randoms- This is one of those posts that comes completely out of left field and surprises me!  This was my "random" post about January of 2018!  This post covered things like an "at home" date night, making snow cream, getting the flu, and Cooper losing a tooth.

#3 - Coming Home to Lowndes- This one was not a shock to me at all to be in the top 5!  This is the post where I officially announced that I was leaving the school system that I taught in for 11 years for my dream job!  Such a bitter sweet moment, but one of my most exciting moments of 2018!  This whole story was so amazing and had God's hand all over it.

#2 - Orlando Trip- This one surprises me a little.  This summer, the kids and I took a trip to Orlando for a few days with The Parkers.  We just hung out and enjoyed being together for a few days!  It was a great time with some of our best friends!  Plus, two moms with 6 kids??  That's bound to be a crazy time!

#1 - The Journey to Our New House- Before I even started looking at my blog stats for the year, I was pretty confident that this would be the #1 post (or pretty close to it).  Our old house was in a hard-to-sell area.  When we put it on the market, we were hopeful but also realistic that it may take a while.  Literally nine days after putting it on the market, we got a full price offer.  Then, 3 days later, we put an offer on our new house.  This story is 100% written by God and one of the craziest experiences I have ever lived.  It was an AMAZING thing to walk through this year!

Thank you so much for following along with our family this year!  We can't wait to see what 2019 holds for us!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2018 Recap

At the end of 2017, I just had a feeling that 2018 was going to be an epic year for us.  It just felt like BIG things were coming, and Matt and I so looked forward to this whole year and seeing what it had in store for us.  Boy, 2018 did not disappoint!  God showed up in some BIG ways, and we had about as many BIG changes as we could possibly have!  Looking back at 2018, it was an absolutely incredible year for us.  It doesn't mean that there weren't low points along the way, but it just had so so many high points.  Here's a look back at our "Gatsby year".

Almost as soon as January started, we had the biggest snow fall that south Georgia has seen in the last 30 years!  It was so fun to be home as a family and see the kids experience real snow!  We also had Matt's (belated) work Christmas party that was in a Vegas theme.  One of the Christmas presents that we got for the kids was a trip to Jacksonville to see Marvel Avengers Live.  We took Cooper a few years ago by himself, and we thought it would be fun to go back with LL.  We all loved it and had a great time!  Cooper and I ended the month with having a mommy/Cooper date night!

We kicked off February with LL's 9th birthday!  She and Matt also went to their annual Father/Daughter Valentine's Dance.  My sister and I had an absolutely amazing girl's trip to Las Vegas.  Getting on stage with Penn and Teller was one of the coolest moments ever!  I also had my first experience at an escape room with my friends - and loved it!

Spring is always a busy time for us, and we love it!  We had the Bunny Hop at Cooper's school as well as a Easter Festival at church.  LL and I hosted a baby shower for Mrs. Kayla and Jelly Bean - and it was the first baby shower that LL had ever been to!  I took the day off to go to Cooper's class Easter egg hunt with him, and we had the best time together.  We also had some low-key fun like hanging out with friends and going fishing!

We kicked off April with Spring Break - which was full of several trips to the strawberry patch and Wild Adventures to feed the giraffes!  We got in our first swim of the season when the weather warmed up a little.  We had a super crazy month when we put our house on the market and got a full price offer in just NINE days!!  Two days later, we put an offer in on our new house!  We ended the month with adding a sweet new baby to the friend family!

May was an insane and amazing month for us!!  Matt and I started the month doing something that we've never done before - a mud run! We loved it and can't wait to do it again this year!  A huge dream came true for me this month when I was offered my dream job at my dream school.  I accepted whole-heartedly and was so excited to work in the same school system that Matt and I graduated from!  We celebrated the end of school for both kids - 3rd grade for LL and the last year of preschool for Cooper (which means Preschool Graduation!).  Right after school got out, we had a HUGE day - we sold our old house and bought our new house...all within the span of 4 hours!!  As if the month couldn't get any bigger - we left for a CRUISE with the kids the day after we closed on our new house!  After an amazing few days in the Caribbean with the kids and my sister and her family, we came home to move into our new house!

June was a fun month filled with summer and settling into our new house!  We spent a lot of time with friends, and that is one of our favorite parts about summer.  We also took two trips this month: one trip to the beach with Grammy and Pop and one huge friends trip to Orlando with the Parker's!  At the end of the month, we celebrated Cooper's turning 6 years old!

July was another more relaxed month for us.  There was one pretty big event for us this month when Matt started his new job!  He started a new position with medical device sales and loves it!  We had fun celebrating the 4th of July with friends, and doing annual activities like visiting the firestation, going to the peach shed, and dressing up like cows and going to Chik-Fil-A!

August was a month of firsts for us - my first day at my new job, LL's first day of 4th grade, Cooper's first day of Kindergarten, and the first day at a new school for all of us!  We also had quite a bit of fun this month: We went to Atlanta for Ben's 9th birthday, and I went to a Taylor Swift concert with friends while we were there!

The biggest thing that happened in September is so so special to our family - LL asked Jesus into her heart and got baptized!  There is no greater joy as a parent that seeing your child invite Christ into their lives!  We also celebrated Matt's 20 year highschool reunion this month.  We took a spontaneous trip to Jacksonville with my sister and her family to see MonsterJam.  We also had some pretty fun dress-up days at school!

Thankfully, October was a slower month for us.  Cooper and I kicked off the month with a Mommy/Cooper weekend to Atlanta.  LL also started gymnastics this month.  She did gymnastics for a while when she was younger, but we stopped until she was old enough to really put in the work.  She asked to start again and is loving it so far!  We also had fun going to the pumpkin patch and trick-or-treating with our friends!

November wasn't super busy, but it was a big travel month.  I took an epic 4 day girl's trip to NYC with some of my best friends.  We also went to Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with my sister.  LL joined choir at her school a few months ago, and her Christmas program was this month, too!

December is always a fun month for us - we fit in as many Christmas activities as we could.  We also had a re-do at an escape room with my sister.  We did a different room than last time, but this time we got out with 58 seconds to spare!  We had the best Christmas in our new house, and we had a good time bringing in the new year with friends!

Looking back, 2018 was truly an amazing year for our family in so many ways.  Seeing the whole picture, I'm just at awe in how God was working on so many different things at different times for us.  I don't see how 2019 could top 2018 - and I'm looking forward to just focusing on being content in 2019.  I want to make improvements (on my health, our house, relationships, etc), but I also want to be content with the stage of life that we're in and where God has us now!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

December Randoms

We had a lot of fun Christmas activities planned during the month of December, but we also had quite a bit of random things in the month that didn't make it into a post of their own:

What We've Been Up To:
Once again, the memes were killing it this month!

TWICE this month I caught the kids touching (without screaming) while watching TV this month.  It was a Christmas miracle!

I'm starting the process of moving a lot of our cleaning supplies over to Theives this month!

Matt and I were able to sneak in a lunch date to Chicken Salad Chick this month.

LL woke up at about 4am one morning not feeling good (which led to throwing up) - and of course Matt was out of town that day!

Aspyn was a good snuggle buddy for LL when she was sick.

Our school has quite a few guinea pigs - haha.  This one is not mine, but I went and got her during planning for some snuggle while I worked at my desk.

So accurate!

I bought Lola a new bed this month.  She loved it, but I ended up having to take it back because it was just a tad too little.

I got my first ugly Christmas sweater!

LL and I have started reading Harry Potter together this month.  We've been having "family reading time", and Cooper has a knack for falling asleep during it - haha.

Another day, another Harry Potter nap victim.

My sister came in town and we had a double date night to do another escape room.  We did one way back in March, and we didn't get out.  This time, we got out with 58 seconds left!

Release was a new oil that I ordered this month, and I used it in a roller bottle for Cooper.

We've had sewer line issues twice now since we moved in...and of course it happened the second time about 45 minutes after Matt left to go out of town.  Thankfully, he turned around and got it fixed for me!

More guinea pigs while getting work done!

My dad wanted to take the kids out of town to look at Christmas lights, but they don't have a car big enough to take the kids on a trip with.  They borrowed mine, and I asked my step-mom to get a picture of my dad driving a Ford.

While the kids were out looking at lights, Matt and I got a date night in!  We finally used a gift card that we got when we bought our house in May!

I had a major baking day where I made 160 chocolate chip cookies to give as Christmas gifts!

They are seriously the best chocolate chip cookies ever...and they're huge!

I help out with the Bee Club at school, and we made candles out of bees wax from our own hives this month!  It was so cool!  We had enough for each student to take a candle home.

One of the clubs at school came around one morning close to Christmas and served each teacher with hot chocolate and a cookie - it was such a sweet way (ha!) to start my day!

One of the guinea pigs at school was pregnant, and I got a call one evening around 6:30 that she was having her babies, so I rushed up there to see.  They are so small and so adorable!

For all of November and December, 8th grade Science at my school has been working on a forensics unit to help solve who kidnapped Rudolph.  As I was leaving the night that I went up there to see the guinea pig babies, I saw this as I was walking out.  All the teachers started out as suspects, but the students narrowed it down to five - I was shocked to see my face on the suspect list! (Spoiler alert: I didn't do it!)

LL has been dying to see the guinea pig babies, so we went over Christmas break to visit them.  They are still so tiny and cute, and LL loves them!

You know you love your students when you spend an evening making pigs in a blanket for them.

Sweet Hadley came over before Christmas so that we could give her her Christmas present (which was bigger than she is).

She loved it!

Our elves, Sparkle and Michael Jackson, got up to some crazy stuff this month!

This is 100% how Matt and I are.

I spent the first day of Christmas break with a killer migraine, but hot chocolate always makes things better!

It was no shock to me when I took an enneagram test and came out as a number 1.  I sent this bingo game to Matt because it is soooo accurate.

I pretty much ate like crap from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but 2019 is coming in with some HUGE health goals!

Matt and I watched BirdBox one night, and I laughed when I saw this.

Meghan and I met at the park one day to let the kids play, and Cooper and Luke came prepared with Nerf guns!

Afterward we all went to lunch at DQ and then to WalMart together.  #bffgoals 

Gigi and I had been trying to take the kids to Wild Adventures a few different times, and it kept falling through.  We finally made it happen one evening!

This is the most precious picture. I absolutely love it.

Old lady Lola.  We took her on a walk one night and it wore her slam out!

My sister and I used to sing this song alllll the time when she was in college and I was in middle school (which is terrible now that I think about it), so I loved this meme!

We wanted to go to lunch after church one Sunday, so we took the kids to Cracker Barrel.  We never go eat there, and we realized this was Cooper's first time ever!  LL has been as a baby, but not in a loooong time.  It was a hit with both kids!

I had a Zulily credit and got this shirt for myself - nothing has ever been more accurate for my personal or professional life.

Kayla, Andrew, and Hadley came over for dinner on New Years Eve.  Hadley is sooo tiny (only 16 lbs at 8 months old), so it's so funny to see her standing all on her own!

All three of us celebrated together last year, too, Hadley was just still in the womb.  :)

That is a wrap on both December AND 2018!!