Posted on January 22, 2018

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Family of Five | A Year in Review

2017 was the year that we became a family five! I always use my annual Christmas card to give our friends and family an overview from our year. Remember when we used to have to handwrite in every card? I may have gone a bit overboard this year and created personalized photo address labels AND postage stamps! I mean, when your dear friend is an amazing photographer and captures so many beautiful photos of your family, you kind of want to use them all! Big thanks to Shutterfly for the Christmas cards and Mel McLellan for the beautiful photos of our family!

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Baby Makes 5

Our sweet RaeLynn Jean joined our family on September 1st, 2017. She is the best gift we could have received this year. Elliana just said today that she is so glad we finally have a baby! Oh my heart could burst y’all! I’ve been wanting to share my birth story (any of you catch my Instagram stories from those labor days?!) but clearly my hands are full and I’m going to be okay with waiting until the new year to share. Stay tuned!

Deputy Daddy

Phil became a Deputy for the Sheriff’s Office about a week after baby Rae was born! This new role as a Deputy is totally voluntary, so Phil still has his day job as the Senior Project Manager with Whitestone Enterprises hanging out with the Property Brothers and perfecting his skills of building homes so that he can build one for us! So Teck will have no problems instilling fear into the boys that want to date her since she has a gun-wearing Deputy for a Dad! (Uhm, speaking of, Miss thing has a boyfriend now! Don’t tell her I told you…)

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Teck Goes to College

We are so proud of Teck in her achievements in High School. Over the last few years, she has faced many challenges and we are so in awe of what God has done in her life. In case you just started reading our blog, we adopted her almost 2 years ago and shared her story earlier this year on the blog. { HERE } Now she is at Belmont majoring in Motion Pictures and she is totally in her element. She has amazing friends and the best view of the big beautiful fountain outside of her dorm room! I would say the hardest thing about adopting a teen, is that your time is cut drastically short. BUT thankfully she is only 20 minutes away! While Teck is living on campus at Belmont, we still get to see her often enough for all 3 girls to get lots of bonding time, but we miss our Tecky!

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Family of Five | A Year in Review

That Oily Life

If you haven’t already noticed, this year in review is no particular order. I’m just taking you on a little journey (rabbit trail) as I think over all that we did last year. Oh, my trip to Utah for the Young Living Convention! THAT was such an incredible experience! I’ll be sharing a lot more about the life-changing experience we have had with essential oils and the many toxic-free products we have now filled our home with from Young Living. Over the summer they announced their new makeup line with ZERO chemicals and bujunk-a-junk. (that’s my word, feel free to use as needed.) And they even came out with a new plant-based baby line just in time for RaeLynn’s entrance to the world! We just love the baby oil, (a drop IN the bath and then on the skin afterwards) wipes, and diaper rash cream!

The best part about Young Living is by far their Seed to Seal guarantee. Synthetics, contaminants, cheap fillers, and unethical production is just not an option. I love that as a member with Young Living, we can visit any farm across the globe! On this trip, I got to walk the Mona farm, meet the farmers, plant my own lavender, and see everything from seed to seal! I also have pages and pages of notes from the 13 workshops that I attended and I cannot wait to share what I learned with you on the blog!

So here are a few shots with the lavender planting experience, exploring the farm and a shot with my girls! {Notice my Savvy Minerals makeup face in the last pic!} One of the best parts of being a Young Living member is the relationships I have built. I got to spend lots of time with dear friends and make some new ones too!

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Beauty Turns 4

Elliana participated in her first ever beauty pageant! She totally killed it! I really wanted her to learn to be brave and go in front of an audience. I was blown away at how confident she was on stage. We were so proud of her!

She also turned 4 in 2017! We had a sweet time with dear friends celebrating the vivacious, creative, talented girl she is! And of course, I can’t talk about 2017 without mentioning the eclipse! Elli did a little sclipse art while we experienced the big event.

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Family of Five | A Year in Review

Elliana took swimming lessons with Laura from Warden Aquatics here in Franklin, Tennessee. We kept the dilapidated above-ground pool that came with our house for last summer because Mama knew that being pregnant in the Tennessee heat was not going to be fun! When you have a pool in your backyard and you have littles, it is so important to be confident that your child will know what to do if they fall in. Elli did some basics with Laura during the first lesson and by the second she was well on her way to swimming! I couldn’t believe how quickly she learned.

Oh Canada!

We took a very unexpected trip to Canada upon receiving word that my sweet Grammy was in her last days. I was over 8 months pregnant but I grabbed a pair of support hose and within 2 days we were on the road. Just me and my two (3 including baby in my belly!) girls drove up to Ontario and made the best of what was to be a sad occasion. We split the drive in two parts as to protect us all from insanity by stopping in Ohio for the night. I was so thankful to have Teck with me to help keep Elliana entertained! We had so many laughs along the way. And poutine…and Tim Horton’s.

I wasn’t my usual picture-snappy self as I was very distracted by the fact that my Grammy would soon be gone. Which means I only had 300 pictures instead of my usual 900 from a trip of this length. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration because I actually completely missed some of the people we got to see. I am so glad we got to have this special time with our family! This was Teck’s first time meeting most of our family members! She asked everyone loads of questions and got to know them and we made a ton of memories! We even got to celebrate Phil’s Dida’s (Grandfather) 80th birthday!

On our last day, I was determined to stop at Niagara Falls so that the girls could experience what I did many times as a little girl. Being the penny-pincher that I am, we parked incredibly far away and had to walk (I waddled) quite the distance to the Hornblower Cruise part where we got to see the falls up close and personal! Afterwards we ate at the little cafe right on the falls and then hiked our buns back to the car. It was about 1:30pm at this point so we pretty much lost a ton of driving time, but it was worth it!

Cheers to 2018!

Okay, you guys should all do this. I mean, you don’t necessarily need to have a blog, but just skimming through pictures from 2017 has brought back so many memories and made me stop and think about all that I have to be grateful for. God just blew me away last year and I’m just not so sure He can top it! I wonder what is in store for us in 2018? What trips will we go on and what memories will we make?

My word for 2018 is ‘TRANSFORMATION’. I recently shared this on my Facebook and Instagram:

My hope for this year is to see transformation in all areas of my life. Starting with my prayer and devotional time. Goodness, I need more Jesus in my life! 👆🏼Then in my time with my husband, being deliberate in dating him and loving him well. ❤️ I want to see transformation in the way I parent, especially in the challenging moments when I am quick to anger.😅 I want to look my girls in the eyes more often and help them to always know that I am present when I am with them. And lastly, I want freedom from debt. 🙌🏽All of it. I want our lives to be transformed by that kind of freedom, to where we can give more freely and travel and see the world! 🌎 My oil addiction didn’t start because I had this grand experience upon trying them the first time, it was because my need to help others was fulfilled by being able to help them transform their lives and health with oils! Then my testimonies came later with my own use of the products. This year I’m hitting GOLD with the most incredible company in the world! (Thanks @younglivingeo)

What is YOUR word for the year?


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