30 December 2016

Our Incredible, Amazing, Life Changing 2016

I've heard a lot floating around this year about how 2016 wasn't the business for a lot of folks out there. I can understand why, it was a tumultuous year politically, socially, and economically. I'm always so encouraged, however, at the end of the year, no matter how rough it may have been, we all seem to band together and share some of the best parts, and we have a positive outlook at what 2017 might bring.

Although, I have to admit, this was one of the best year's of my entire life. So much happened this year that just made it one i'll never forget. I think we all have those banner years, the ones that really changed your life. Perhaps the year you graduated highschool or college, or the year you got married or made a big move.  I feel like the last 5 years of my life have been so incredibly life-changing and memorable. The years that will forever define me as a woman, a wife, a mother, a human. I really believe when I look back on my life, 2016 will forever be known as one of those really big years where my life completely changed.

In the spirit of sharing some of the highlights, I wanted to highlight the top 9 moments of the year (like the instagram top 9) just like I did last year and in 2014, so that when i'm reading back on 2017, I can remember how incredible the year of 2016 was. I've linked some of my favorite posts from the year within each paragraph, so grab a cup of coffee and click through! Let's hop in!

9) Surviving my first year as a working mom. This one was so freaking tough at times, but I think we found our groove. I absolutely love my job. I love getting out of the house and interacting with my friends and coworkers. I love the freedom my paycheck gives us, but you guys, being a working mom is not without sacrifice. There have been so many times i've been stung with the pangs of jealousy watching my stay at home mom friends take their babies to the park in the middle of the afternoon. I've cried my eyes out in the pumping room at work while missing my little guy. But I know without a shadow of a doubt, that those tough moments are beyond worth it. I know this is where God wants me in this season of life, and it may not be forever, but it certainly is for now, and so I will celebrate that I made it an entire year!

8) Our Mississippi surprise! Oh my goodness was this amazing! The first week in June we found out that Jake's brothers and my brother-in-laws were playing a championship baseball tournament in Mississippi, and that my in-laws were making the trip. It was only 7.5 hours from us, so at 9 PM we called every single hotel in the area, found out which one they were staying in, booked a room, and took Sawyer on his first roadtrip!! We're homebodies that don't travel much, so it was like our first vacation all year, and the look on everyone's faces when we showed up was PRICELESS! We also learned we have a crowd-loving little baseball fan on our hands, because Sawyer loved every second cheering for his uncles.

7) 2 promotions in our household! This one is pretty personal, but both Jake and I received promotions at work, and that always feels so validating and exciting. Jake's was so so well deserved, i've never met someone who works as hard as he does, and I was and still am so very proud of him.

6) Sawyer's second Christmas. We can go ahead and just say that every single holiday this year was magical. Of course, Christmas was without a doubt the BEST, but everything from Valentines day to Halloween was made 10 times more incredible with a baby to celebrate with.

5) My in-laws moving down the street. As most of you know, we live 5 houses down from my parents. It's the best set-up ever, we have built in babysitters, and can run down the street for toilet paper or a stick of butter any time we need it. Well this summer, Jake's parents decided they just couldn't stand being half a country away from their Grandbaby, and bought a house right next door to my parents! So yes, you're understanding that right, my kiddos live next door to BOTH of their grandparents. We love it, and we're so incredibly grateful to be so close!

4) The entire month of July. Basically, July is my favorite month ever because EVERYONE comes to visit, Jake and I take time off work for a staycation, and this year was made even more amazing because it was our first July with a lakehouse! We ate, drank, swam, got tan, ate some more, and had the best month EVER.

3) Sawyer's first birthday, and the fact that our BFF's came out for an entire week to celebrate with him! I mean, this one speaks for itself, but there truly is something so special about your first babies first birthday. We did it! We kept a human alive, happy, and so so loved for an entire 365 days. As wonderful as the first year was, i'll be honest and say every day with that goofy little toddler gets even better.

2) Buying our dream home. We've talked about this one plenty, but you already know what a dream come true this house was to us. I can't believe we've almost lived there an entire year! It was so bittersweet to sell our first house, one that we felt had so much meaning and so many memories it was painful to say goodbye, but now that we've made so many incredible memories in this one, I know it was the best decision of our lives.

1) Of course, finding out we were expecting a little girl comes to the top of the list. I wasn't expecting to write this in any sort of 2016 post, that's for sure. To say our pregnancy was a surprise would be an understatement. I used to make fun of people who were "surprise" pregnant. Like, come on, do you really not know how babies are made? That is, until it happened to me! #hereisyoursliceofhumblepie Without a doubt, this has been the most physically rough 5 months of my life. This little girl is already a drama queen, ensuring mama will suffer the majority of this pregnancy, but I have high hopes that means she is going to be an easy-peasy infant. :) We feel so incredibly blessed to get to add another little one to our family, even moreso that we get our first little lady!

When talking about these banner years, these ones that are going to forever define who we are, I fully expect 2017 to be another. How could it not? Watching our Sawyer grow and discover more of the world around him, becoming 2nd time parents, and celebrating another favorite month of the year. We are so very blessed!

At the end of last year, I talked about how my only real goal was to be present. To enjoy every minute, to soak it up, and to not be in a rush to get to the next big thing. Little did I know, 2016 would be FULL of really big things. Cancer scaresnew homes, and new babies were not anything I expected to happen, but they all did, and I really do feel like it was because I decided to slow down, not plan, and just let life happen. They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans, and that was the most true statement of the year for us.

I know that 2017 is going to be even nuttier than this year. It will be hard to slow down and enjoy, but I want to make it a habit. I want to continue to soak it in, and just let life happen. Jesus can take the wheel, and i'll tell you what, we're going to be alright. :)

I'd also like to have a lot of cocktails this summer, see my pre pregnancy weight on the scale again (the first pre pregnancy weight...never lost all of it the second time around ;)) do more projects around the house, and become completely debt free...but i've found that sticking to one goal seems to work  best around here, so i'll say the same as last year, in 2017, I will be present. I will be the best wife, mother, and friend I can be, and i'll enjoy every single blessing this wonderful life has to offer. Our year is summed up in this video that my iPhone created (seriously!) It's long, but wonderful, and the perfect review of this incredible 365 days.

Thanks for reading, friends. Happy New Year!

Until Next Time,


  1. Great recap! I love hearing about the growth of your family and your marriage. You and Jake are definitely blessed. Can't wait to see pictures with your new addition to the group. Happy New Year!

  2. Such an awesome 2016! I know that 2017 will be just as great for you guys and I love getting to follow along with all your happiness :)

  3. Just got my check for $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can get filling out paid surveys online...

    So I took a video of myself getting paid over $500 for filling paid surveys.