Monday, December 30, 2019

2019: A Year in Review

As I reflect on 2019, and all that happened, I am truly blown away. Looking back at the word I chose for the year (listen), I certainly could have done a better job in some areas, but I believe that both Aaron and I have done our best to listen and trust in a variety of ways for the last 365 days. It has been a year of growth, of dreaming, of watching things unfold, and of taking huge leaps. It has been a year that stripped away all "control" that I thought I had, teaching me how much better it was that I wasn't the one deciding how it would all unfold. Some of you may stop by this corner of the web more often than others, so whether you're new here or read regularly, here's a recap of the year: complete with highlights, posts, big news, and fun photos and videos. Here's to you, 2019.


In January, this blog marked its fourth birthday! Wow! I didn't post as much this year, as we were just a little busy with several things, but I still love showing up in this space and I'm so thankful for those who faithfully read, comment, encourage, or even email about a post. In January, I sought to start the year strong by listening, we set off on a trip to Austin that would change our lives forever, and I learned a little more about saying no to working on weekends and yes to loving on my sweet boys.


Between January and February, we had a TON of snow days. So many that I was ready for them to end because it meant we had to go to school until May 30th! I shared my Three Days in Austin Travel Guide,  and the big excitement for the month was throwing Eli his second birthday party: a Taco TWOsday party. Boy did we have fun with the fiesta theme and all the yummy food and pinata fun that came along with it. I wrote him a birthday letter, and loved making his one second everyday video of his 2nd year (you can view it below)! It's crazy how fast time has gone and how big he is now. He will be three in a couple of months and I simply can't believe it.

Two special guests at Eli's birthday party were actually our architect (the one we randomly met in Austin) and his fiancee'. They are the sweetest, and they flew in to design the chapel over Eli's bday weekend - I felt some mama guilt, but it was so worth it! We also started trying for a baby in February, and I shared in this post about how I nearly ruined Valentine's Day.


March came and I went on my first mom trip away to visit my sweet friend in Wisconsin. I thought I may have been pregnant at the time (like she was!) but I wasn't. I shared my travel must haves (including my new luggage that I'm still obsessed with). Aaron and I also got the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Clint Harp, and we learned a lot about marriage and about running a business while also being married!


April came and brought along Easter, Spring fun, and family adventures as we looked towards the summer. We started to do more work on our land, and I shared one of my favorite pieces of the year, One Fork at a Time on the blog. I also wrote a little reflection on marriage and how it looked these days in my post With This Ring. This was a month full of baby showers, and it was another month where I thought I may be pregnant but wasn't.


In May, I finished up my 8th year of teaching, and Aaron finished his 6th! I had many of my kiddos three years in a row at school, so it was weird saying goodbye for the summer and knowing I wouldn't see them in the fall. I woke up on May 9th and took what I thought was a pale-lined positive pregnancy test. That day on the blog, I shared No Matter What about unconditional love and my son. The next morning I took another test to confirm things- one that said "pregnant" just seconds after I took it in my school's faculty bathroom! We went to a wedding the next day, secretly basking in the fact that we were having another baby! 

I wrapped up the month by writing a post about The Edge Pieces, which was hinting at all that was going on with The Brim- about six months before we finally "went live". We had a great Mother's Day with our little secret, sister Angie graduated from Mizzou, and then went on a short vacation with Aaron's family to Branson- where we told them the happy news (just shortly after we had told my parents). 


In June, we finally started our summer vacation! I was able to share our Tuscan Villa Styled Shoot photos after the shoot was published on Confetti Daydreams (my friend Lacey of Lacey Rene Studios is SO talented.) We were also able to join my family for a trip out to Colorado for some fly-fishing, beautiful mountain views, and Eli's personal favorite: a ride on the Georgetown Loop! 

I got to help Lacey with a couple of weddings, which proved to be not only fun, but awesome experience for our new adventure in the world of weddings! I also took on the role as wedding coordinator at our church. Speaking of weddings, Aaron and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary on June 15th. 

On the blog, I wrote The View from the Valley, a reflection about viewing the ups and downs of life from a different lens. We enjoyed lots of pool time and settled in to the sweet simplicity of summertime as teachers. I had a surprise early 30th Birthday surprise with the sweetest friends.


In July, we enjoyed a free visit to the zoo, had a wonderful Fourth of July (Eli loved the poppers and getting involved with the fireworks this year), and soaked up all of the moments with Puddle Jumper pool time, sunny days, and train rides. Aaron and I jetted off to England and Scotland for an EF Tour (minus Eli), and we announced our pregnancy at Stonehenge! It was quite the adventure getting there (yikes), but it was the most amazing trip once we were there!

I read a bunch of great books, and turned the big 3-0 on July 28th! I wrote a blog post reflecting on the decade, saying goodbye to my 20s and my first 30 years. I also did an entire wedding, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and reception at our church- it was for the sweetest couple and was so fun running the whole shabang. 


August started out with a bang when Aaron threw me a surprise 30th Birthday Party at Tribe Collective in the KC River Market. What started as a fun "girls' afternoon" celebrating my belated birthday with coffee and an escape room led to going for a bite to eat- where 32 of my favorite people happened to be waiting. Aaron really pulled off a great one for me, and I felt so loved and special. 

It was back to reality for us both as school started, but I knew that getting through this semester put me right at the end of my pregnancy, with lots of time with BOTH of our babies starting sometime in January. I shared my 18 week "bumpdate" on the blog, and kicked off my 9th year of teaching. We also jumped into the start of our parking lot and irrigation with things at The Brim.


In September, I wasn't training for the Kansas City Half Marathon for the first time in three years, which felt kind of weird. We settled into school, and I shared our big England and Scotland Travel Recap with all the details on our crazy delay (along with gorgeous photos of our adventures). I also got to share my thoughts about what I really need and want as a second time mama in a blog post called And the Kitchen Sink.

We enjoyed a wedding and a couple of birthday parties, along with a football game at my school with E. As a family, we celebrated our SIXTH house-iversary, where I shared more about our new deck project!


October came and I shared my 25 week bumpdate! We celebrated sweet Grandma Alice's (or "Gigi" to Eli) 80th Birthday, I helped with another beautiful wedding, and I struggled a bit with my mama guilt while at work each day. On the blog, I also shared something a bit heavier in We Don't Know, a post about the things we say when we don't know what people are going through: including some of my own experiences prior to getting pregnant with our second child.

After surviving conferences, Aaron and I were able to jet off on a little "babymoon" getaway to San Antonio, which was super fun minus the delay that left me sleeping on the floor of the Houston airport overnight. We had an amazing Halloween with our little dino, who just continues to get more and more fun.


In November, we celebrated Aaron's 29th birthday, and we hosted a special "preview night" kickoff with some of our closest friends and family out at The Brim. It was amazing and emotional to have so many folks out there to hear the story from us on our land and to watch us leap head first into our dream.

 We took family photos with the talented Kaylee of Kaylee Hoeflicker Photography, and then spent most of our month taking people up to the land and sharing our story with them. The blog was all about finally opening up and sharing all that had happened over the course of the last two years. If you'd like to read it, here are part one, part two, and part three of the story. It is truly incredible, and we are thrilled to continue to watch this big journey unfold! Definitely take a read if you haven't yet, and if you're looking for an affordable wedding venue in KC that cares about your marriage too, be sure to take a look:

To round out the month, I hit 30 weeks in my pregnancy, went to a ton of baby showers and sprinkles for other friends having little nuggets soon, and we ended the month with a rainy, chilly, 51st annual Thanksgiving Day family football game and good time with our sweet families.


And here it is, the last couple of days of December, and of the entire decade! I can hardly believe it! On the blog, I shared a quick 2019 Holiday Home Tour, along with my 36 week bumpdate (gosh that went fast). We had two snow days, battled Eli's constipation woes, and enjoyed some fun Christmas parties with friends. We also had the pleasure of taking a bunch of really amazing couples out for tours of The Brim, and had probably my favorite Christmas ever with a joyful and wonder-filled Eli.

We don't go back to school until January 6th, and with this baby due on January 19th, I have numbered days ahead of me at school this semester. Time will tell if I'll be early like I was with Eli (10 days), on time, or late. Depending on when baby comes, I'll have to go back for the last month or so of school, which will be brutal but then it will be summer! Time will also tell if we'll have a girl or boy- it could be really any day now which is crazy!

Cheers to 2020, a new decade, a new baby, weddings, and everything else that it will bring! I pray that it finds you healthy, happy, and oh so loved. Thanks for sticking around this year and loving on us through all of the ups and downs. We hope you'll join us next year for all of our new adventures! 



  1. I loved seeing the progression of your pregnancy! Many blessings for a safe delivery and a happy (larger) 2020!

  2. Sounds like this was a wonderful year for you and your family. Congratulations on the new addition.

  3. This is a beautiful post. I wish you a safe delivery as you welcome your bundle of joy.

  4. What an awesome recap! Looks like you had a great year!

  5. What a gorgeous recap of a special year! You're so close to your due date now!

  6. Love how you did this year in review! It makes me want to do one for the next year. By the end of the year I have often forgotten a lot of how it was, especially in the beginning of it. This would be a great way to retain the events and memories from the year. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sounds like you had a wonderful, eventful year! Congratulations on the new baby!

  8. Oh my goodness! So many incredible things happened for you in 2019! Congrats on your 8th year of teaching! I'm actually an aspiring teacher, and I'll be finishing up my degree at the end of next year. What a fun way to announce your pregnancy! Your pregnancy shoot looks gorgeous. I took a vacation with EF College Break a few years ago to London, Paris, and Rome, and I had a blast! I hope your 2020 brings you many wonderful adventures and memories.

  9. What an exciting year! I look forward with you to 2020!

  10. I so enjoyed peeking into your year through this post! Happy New Years!

  11. Love all of these beautiful pictures of your family! Sounds like you had an amazing year. I love the word "listen" for a goal. Happy new year!



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