It’s been two months since I’ve posted a news-y family update. We did a LOT this summer and tried to just soak it all up and enjoy it, so I wrote very few blog posts as a result. (If you don’t follow on Instagram, that’s where I always share daily updates on our life — and I share a lot of things there I don’t have space to share here!)
Guess who decided to start loving food?? He’s been consistently eating at least two small oral meals every day now and we couldn’t be more excited!
Kathrynne spent a week at a leadership training summit and it was such a great experience for her. It was in downtown Nashville so we got to go visit her once and drop a few things off. She didn’t really know anyone going into it, so it was great preparation for college. She ended up loving it and signed up for their year-long leadership program which she’ll be doing alongside her college classes.
We got to spend a lot of time with C this summer. Most weeks, we watched him 25-40 hours while his mom worked. It was a lot to add in an extra energetic three-year-old to our mix, but we also are so grateful for it!
The relationships these four have are just the best!! They are fierce friends and also fight like siblings, too. 🙂
Kaitlynn spent a lot of time behind the wheel this summer as she’s taking her driving test in a few weeks. She even drove some of the way to Arkansas on our family trip and did such a great job!
Micah celebrated his first birthday and David enjoyed getting to eat some of the cake! (He started walking just a few days before!)
This was one of the best pics I got of all four… it’s almost impossible to get them all looking at the camera and in the same shot at one time!
Kirstyn loved having her older siblings home for the summer and made so many memories with them.
We spent lots of time at the ball fields in different nearby towns. And headed to Alabama for a few baseball tournaments, too.
I attended a very inspirational Influencer’s Event and got to meet some cool people (do you know these two women? Leave a comment if you follow their YouTube channels!)
It’s always fun to be surrounded by people who do similar things to what you do!
David continues to bring such deep joy to our lives and we’re just so proud of the progress he keeps making!
Kierstyn’s Peppa Pig Boots from a consignment sale are one of her most-worn articles of clothing!
If you can’t tell, this boy is such a fun-loving little man! He started talking early and is constantly cracking us up with what he says and does!
He also keeps us on our toes — he figured out how to get in the bathroom, lift the toilet lid, and flush the toilet… and a $300 plumbing bill later, we now have our very first toilet lock!
Jesse and I have created a system for keeping 3-4 toddlers on the sidelines of baseball games for hours (C comes to some of the baseball tournaments with us). One of our biggest helps is bring the playpen, an awning, and fans. Plus lots of drinks and snacks!
Silas and Jesse went on an 8-day deep sea fishing trip together with some friends. They went to Louisiana and came back with all sorts of fun stories!
Jesse perfected the art of holding the fish so it looks more impressive than it actually was. 🙂
Kaitlynn celebrated her 16th birthday with a family trip to Top Golf.
I can’t believe she’s starting her senior year and will be going to college next year! (She tested up back in 6th grade to be academically challenged.)
Kierstyn LOVES preschool and begs for us to do it every day! I’m looking forward to starting homeschool preschool in the fall with both Micah and Kierstyn in the fall. We’re planning to use Memoria Press.
Kaitlynn has been having so much fun fixing Kierstyn’s hair.
Celebrating the fourth of July!
She loved the fire crackers!
“We are babysitting for you for three hours this morning so you can go on a date.” One morning recently, the girls woke up and told me they had talked with Silas late the night before (they’d all gone out together to hang out) and decided they were babysitting for us and they wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“Tell us what you had planned to do and we’ll do it for you so you can get some time just with Dad.”
I listed off that I wanted to do some cleaning, that Kierstyn had swimming lessons, that David needed a bath and to get ready for therapy, and that I was planning to go to Aldi.
“Give us a list and we’ve got it.”
And they did! Jesse and I ended up having the most amazing morning!
We did a workout together (yes, we may be weird, but the first idea we thought of was that we could actually do a Mayhem Nation workout together without interruption!) and then went to the Factory and got paleo doughnuts (because I was still on the 21 days of no sugar challenge!) at Five Daughters Bakery and just sat and talked and laughed and dreamed and just enjoyed being together.
The last year-ish has been a wild ride of so many different milestones and stretching experiences: birthing a baby, adopting a toddler, graduating a senior, walking with C and his mama and seeking to love them well, the ups and downs of parenting a child with special needs/medical complexities, launching a book… it’s been a lot and there have been hard days and amazing days and many days that held both. But there’s no one I’d rather be on this journey with than this man!
A huge thank you to our older three for the unexpected gift of a spontaneous date morning on a random Thursday. It meant more than I can adequately put into words.
Silas started his first official job a few weeks ago! He’s working in food service with Kathrynne and loving it!
When we asked the kids what they wanted to do this summer, the one request they all had was that we would go to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO — a place that holds so many core memories for us all!
It was such a special trip — despite the heat (it was a high of 101 both days we were at SDC). I’m fact, the heat ended up being a gift because the park was pretty empty compared to what we usually have experienced in July and we got to ride so many rides and spend very little time in lines!
This was Kierstyn’s year to fall in love with rides (she had mostly been terrified last year!) and the first trip to SDC in three years where Jesse and I didn’t feel like we spent the entire trip just barely making it because we were taking care of needy, tiny ones the whole time.
This year — because the three younger ones are not so tiny and needy — we got to ride multiple rides with the older kids, had so much fun riding rides with the younger kids, felt like we could breathe a little more, and we even got to go off for an hour to ride and shop by ourselves — thanks to our teens offering to babysit! It was a reminder to us that these years of little ones truly do pass by quickly and that life will be so much different in a few years when we don’t have any toddlers!
All six kids had the best attitudes and were troopers through so many different things — including the 7 1/2 hour drive where we were all packed in the car, the late nights, and the heat. We ended up staying at the park until closing on the last day and got to ride multiple rides in the dark — which was a first for us!
Jesse and I looked at each other at the end of the trip and said, “we didn’t realize how much we needed this!” Just getting away from usual life and all being together away from distractions and to do’s was such a gift — and I’m so grateful our older kids asked if we could go on this trip. We came home so refreshed and rejuvenated for life — and talking about plans for our next family trip (we’re thinking of trying Dollywood or going back to Holiday World… can you tell we love theme parks?? Any suggestions of the next family-friendly places within a 7-hour drive of Nashville?)
We also stopped at this brand-new coffee shop on the way home. We highly recommend it!
A few weeks ago, The Children’s Place had a big sale and I ordered Kierstyn and Micah some much-needed clothes, including matching jammies. David didn’t need any clothes (he doesn’t grow as quickly so hasn’t outgrown anything like the other two had!) so I hadn’t ordered him anything.
Well, the first night we put the matching jammies on Kierstyn and Micah, David got all excited and kept motioning to them and trying to take his clothes off. It was the first time he’d clearly noticed and communicated something like this — that he wanted to put the jammies on, too.
You better believe Jesse and I got on The Children’s Place website right away and ordered him his own pair of matching PJs — because we want him to know that his voice has value and we are listening to his communication!
Look who is all signed up and registered for college?? She and I went to her college orientation day together a few weeks ago. We’re excited for this new chapter of her life!
He’s turning from toddler into little boy and he just melts our hearts!
We made so many special memories during our annual extended family trip to Bull Shoals Lake!
We loved having @realwillhump come with us again this year — it was a special end-of-summer vacation before he and Kathrynne head to different colleges in the next few weeks.
My mom watched two of our little ones a few times so Jesse and I could go on the boat/hang out with family. And Jesse and I tag-teamed so that both of us got to do fun things and make fun memories with family and our teens.
Kierstyn fell in love with the lake and wanted to swim, swim, swim in it all day. She kept trying to “swim to the other side” as she told us. I loved her confidence and joy!
In addition to lots of double and triple slaloming, our girls *quadrupled* slalomed with their cousins for the first time ever!
A big thank you to my parents who work so tirelessly and give so generously to make this week happen every year. As I told my dad as we left, “I think it was our best Bull Shoals trip yet!” (Can you believe this was our 22nd year??)
There’s a little peek into the last two months! I’m hopeful I’ll be back to weekly updates now that summer is over and school is starting back!