We Loved You Too, 2019

Sunday, December 1, 2019

After several years that seemed to be teeming with chaos, we're thrilled to have had a couple of years of just plain enjoyable calm. I keep waiting for something crazy to happen, and honestly sometimes we get fidgety and consider creating our own chaos. Another kid? Foster care? Something else to shake things up? But this year a sweet mom reminded me that it's ok to just enjoy the (relative) calm. And so that's what we've done.  Life is good, and we're grateful to be looking back on a fantastic 2019.

Today we put our Christmas cards in the mail, so I figured it's time for another rundown of the year. I spent some time looking back at last year's review and really, not a ton has changed - and we're ok with that!

B U C K   &  C H U C K

Oh, where do I start?! These two kids are our favorite people on the planet, and we are absolutely obsessed. Is that normal? Doesn't matter. We're sticking with it. We LOVE doing life together with these two mini-humans!

Because of the chaos of our lives, and because our family unit is a top priority, we have chosen to homeschool. We don't know if that will be the case forever, but for now, it's allowing us to do life together in a way we love! We have curricula we use, but a large majority of our "school" is just adventuring together and learning as we go (plus reading a whoooole lot of books)! We have created a culture of learning in our family and the results are phenomenal already. It is such a liberating and fun approach to education, and I'm still mind-blown that we get to do life this way!

We are part of a (Classical Conversations) homeschool community that meets weekly for a more structured & formal education setting, and we get together regularly for field trips and play dates. We also have other friends in the area who homeschool and have been amazing families to build relationships and do life with!

This year, Charlie started soccer! The first game was rough, but there has been a slow improvement since then! Brian is coaching her team, and I'm not sure who loves it more! It is so much fun to watch BOTH of them in this fun new adventure. Charlie actually is really good when she wants to be. She'll be playing indoor soccer this winter and is already signed up to play in the spring!

In addition to playing soccer, Beckett started Tae Kwon Do this year! He looooves it, and I love watching him. Because the classes are all ages and the schedule is flexible, Brian has decided to join in, too. They are soooo cute getting into their uniforms and heading off to practice together, and I'm glad they have some time to bond while Charlie and I have some girl time at home!


I've said it many times before, but I can't seem to express how impressive Brian is. The way he manages to work harder than anyone I know, while also keeping our little family as his top priority, is just magical. He's a unicorn, ya'll.

It has been four years since he launched All American Calendars. To say it's been a wild ride would be a monumental understatement. He's been hurt by people he trusted, stolen from, lied about, and sabotaged. We've navigated law-suits and contracts and court cases galore.

But. God is GOOD and integrity matters. And there are also super friggin' awesome friends in his corner. It has been a REALLY great year. We're so grateful for his team at AAC, who has worked their tails off to make this year the best so far, and for the fantastic support system that has seen him through the chaos and FINALLY to a point where we THINK the bulk of the messiness is behind us.

In addition to running AAC, Brian celebrated one year of his new venture with my brother, DJ! Last October, they started Ten31 Properties with the goal of buying six rentals in their first twelve months. I am SO proud to say, they succeeded in that, closing on their sixth property just two weeks before their anniversary. They are now up to owning seven rental properties, five of which are currently rented out and the other two not far behind!


Travel continues to be a passion and priority for this crew! We want to go ALL of the places and we're SO pumped that the kids are totally awesome little travelers. We're on the road so often that it feels odd if we go a couple of weeks without one or all of us needing to get out of the state. This year, as a family, we traveled to Tennessee (twice), Kentucky, Texas, Illinois (dozens of times), Wisconsin, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Florida, Boston, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Maine, for a total of well over 25,000 miles! That doesn't include dozens of trips for just the adults (either together or solo).

The travel highlights of the year are hard to narrow down! 
  • We got to spend the first five weeks of the year in Tennessee, which allowed for Brian to be in the office, and all of us to catch up with the family and friends we love there!
  • The kids got their first passports and took their first international trip! 
  • I was able to escape for a full week for a baby tour, visiting the two newest additions to the family (Brooke in Dallas & Ben in Chicago). 
  • We crossed off our shared bucket list item of visiting the northeast in the fall - AND got to do it with both sets of grandparents.
  • We got to spend Halloween in Dallas with and rock a huge family costume theme that included all 6 adult siblings and all 7 cousins!

W H A T ' S  N E X T ?

Well, we couldn't sit around too long without making a major change, so 2020 has a new adventure in store for us! We're waiting til next summer to make the big reveal, but we are SUPER stoked about our current project! Any guesses what's coming?

Hint: I'm not pregnant. 

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