We Loved You, 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018

I am absolutely obsessed with this crew. On a regular basis, in our ordinary old day-to-day lives, I find myself swooning and melting with affection for each and every one of them. Deliriously happy is an understatement. 

2018 was not particularly ground-breaking. It was actually a bit of a chill year compared to the last few, but it was a year full of adventure, family, and gratitude for this life we've built and love.

L I F E  I N  S T .  C H A R L E S

We just celebrated ONE FULL YEAR back in our home in Saint Charles. Remember we moved here five years ago, then moved back to Tennessee for what we thought would be six months, and then finally made the "official" move back last December (two and a half years later). 

We LOVE this area. We love the environment St. Charles provides for raising a family, we love the new church we've found (seriously, I'd move here all over again just to attend this church), and we LOVE LOVE LOVE being close to family! My brother and his family live just over four miles away, which is AMAZING. The cousins have gotten super close, and adults have each other to lean on! We're raising kids together - among other adventures (more on that later!)

Brian's family is only 35 minutes away, which means the kiddos are close to their grandparents, we have free child-care, and we get to spend plenty of time together. We particularly love camping together, and finally got our very first camper this year, which means MANY more family camping adventures to come!


Things with Brian's company continue to change and evolve. There have been a lot of overwhelming and discouraging moments, but even more moments of progress and gratitude. (We finished a 3-year law suit last month!!) Being a business-owner is nothing short of HARD WORK, but he takes it in stride and manages to prioritize family life better than I'd ever expect a human being with his work load to manage.

In addition to running a company and studying for other hobbies and ventures, he's also partnered up with my little brother to start their own LLC (so now he gets to work with TWO of his brothers!). This was a big deal this year! These boys have been talking about getting into rental property for EVER and on Halloween, they finally took the plunge and bought our very first property. I'm so proud of them and their hard work!

I am still really loving being a Book Lady with Usborne Books & More. I get to work part time and on my own schedule sharing these awesome books and leading a team of book ladies - and I love {almost 😉} every single minute! 

Book lady life has helped cover some major expenses (mostly travel 🙌), blessed us with a ginormous library of truly wonderful books, kicked up the book-obsession in this house quite a bit (growing two avid readers), and introduced me to an empowering and inspiring network of people. With the combination of fantastic books that we love and the amazing women that I've met, this journey has had a GINORMOUS impact on a major decision we made this year... which brings me to my next point:


EEK! Yep. This year, we made the huge and extremely unexpected decision to homeschool! We're still kind of in shock (and awe), but simultaneously feel liberated and empowered and so so excited.

See, I was a public school teacher and (to be honest) pretty anti-homeschool. I'm a BIG fan of public schools (mostly of the teachers who work SO hard) and always expected my kiddos to attend. We actually moved to this neighborhood with the local school in mind.

I won't get into the story behind the decision (we'll save that for another extra-long post), but I can tell you that we believe so deeply that this is the right decision for our family, and we are so thrilled to have the option to learn and grow together as a team, and to have our family unit be so close-knit.

What makes the decision EVEN. SWEETER. is that Brittany is homeschooling her two as well! The kids attend a Classical Conversations community together and are learning all of the same material there. We get to journey through this together, and our kids get that much more opportunity to learn and grow as a family. I do not have the words to express the depths of how precious this opportunity is to us. We are in love!

T H E  K I D S

These two kids are w o n d e r f u l. We are smitten and grateful and overwhelmed that we get to be their parents. They get along incredibly well MOST of the time and sincerely love being together. They both love hot wheels, legos, playing with babies, being outside, wrestling with dad, reading, being with their cousins, helping in the kitchen, and {home}school! Brian and I agree that their current ages are our favorite yet. They're old enough to be independent in a lot of helpful ways, but not old enough yet to cause toooo much drama. 😉 

Beckett turned FIVE this year and had a super fun transformers + nerf war party (check it out here). This year he is in pre-k. He started soccer, took swim lessons, ran his first Spartan Race, and (among other awesome academic accomplishments) graduated to reading chapter books (!) completely independently.

Charlie turned three this year! She started tumbling classes (and loves them), attended soccer camp, and started talking up A STORM. Her vocabulary is way ahead of where Beckett was at this age, so we're continually amazed. She's also incredibly sassy!


Travel is a passion and priority for this crew. We want to see EVERYPLACE, domestic and abroad, and try to be intentional about saying YES to opportunities to just GO! This year, we visited Chicago (five times), Wisconsin (a couple times), East Tennessee, Florida (twice), Michigan, Texas, Southern Illinois (a dozen or more times), Indiana, Arkansas, Jamaica, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, Panama Canal, and Kentucky for a total of more than 18,400 miles traveled as a family! That total doesn't include three girls trips (including another cruise) and a few work trips for me, or a couple of boy trips and many, many work trips for Brian!

The highlights were getting to spend a TON of time with all of our fantastic family (including welcoming my sweet new birthday twin nephew!), spending 10 days on a cruise to the Panama Canal with my mom & her side of the family (see those highlights here!), and taking the kids to Disney for the first time!! Apparently I forgot to document Disney here on the blog, but the jist is: it. was. MAGICAL.

T H A T ' S  A  W R A P !

For our family, 2018 has been WONDERFUL.  The fact that the same is not true for all families around the world is NOT lost on us. We are indescribably grateful for the sweet life we live and actively look for ways to share joy and bless others as well. 

This new year already looks wonderful, and we cannot wait to see what God has in store.

Happy New Year!

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