Year in Review: 2017 Edition

It is easy to look back at 2017 and remember all the ways that this year was weird, hard, and chaotic. But, I started organizing my yearly photo-books (I make a 8×8 Shutterfly photo-book for every three months.  I intended to make a “yearbook” but let’s be real, I take WAY too many pictures of my children), I was reminded that there was far more joy and I am so thankful for it all.

Here is a recap of our year:

January

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Grandma Kimmy visited and went to the Treasure Island Kite festival.  We also had a visit from Laura and Nick. We rooted the Packer into the play-offs…but there is always next year (haha).

February

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We worked like crazy in December and January, so we took an impromptu trip to Orlando.  We stayed in an awesome suite and watched the Superbowl.  We randomly saw Jeff and Kristen since they were also in Orlando! We survived a few days without Daddy while he was at Keller Williams’ Family Reunion in Las Vegas for Valentine’s Day.  Doug got a new car: a black 4Runner.

March

For the big birthday month, we spent a week at the beach in Venice with Doug’s whole family.  They were all there for Camdon’s first birthday.  Doug celebrated his day at a Ray’s spring training game.  And, Donovan turned three with a Dino party.

April

We celebrated the wedding of Matt and Debbie in Gainesville. Andrew returned home from Bahrain.  And, we loved everything about the Easter season.

May

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For Mother’s Day, I got an awesome garden, so we spent lots of try out in the yard.  Donovan really loved the whole process of digging and watering.  We are so thankful for that huge backyard.  We have spent so many hours playing out there!

June

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My childhood bestie got married and I was thrilled to stand by her side!  Doug and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. Our AC died on Father’s Day and we booked a trip of a lifetime to Iceland and Sweden.

July

Obviously, this is the best month of year!  I celebrated my 31st birthday and we spent our annual week on Anna Maria Island.  This year we bought our own timeshare!

August 

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Right after our week at the beach, Doug told me he wanted me to come see a house. Little did we both know that we would move three weeks later. This month was sheer chaos.  Packing, prepping the new house (it needed WORK), renting our house, and moving.  I’m tired thinking about it all.  We love our new home! And, we loved seeing our dear friends, the Motleys, who visited during the chaos.  Y’all, only good friends (who see you at your most stressed) can come visit you during such a crazy season. As if there wasn’t enough change in our lives, Donovan switched to a new house, new room, new bed (Toddler bed instead of the crib) and started a new school.  Homeslice did not know what hit him.

September

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This month is defined by one word: IRMA. Mic Drop.

OK, but really, so stressful.  We boarded up and traveled to South Carolina and stayed with my dear and very pregnant friend, Sarah.  We also ended up in the same town as my ride-or-die momma friend, Jen.  The photo above is us with the kids at a Chick-fila. Shortly after returning home, we all had the plague and were home sick for about two weeks. My baby sister, Rachel moved to Chicago.

October

We took a trip to Kansas to visit the Motley crew and celebrate Evey’s fourth birthday. We loved the Midwest fun at the farm. We literally finished the Whole30 days before the trip.  The 30 days of the Whole30 might have been the quietest part of our year…go figure. For Halloween, we dressed up as the Wizard of Oz. I was very proud that I was able to sew the boy’s costumes.

November

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I took a trip to Chicago for Leah’s rescheduled (Thanks, Irma) Bachelorette. She got married the next weekend.  It was a beautiful day and I was honored to stand by her side and her Matron on Honor. Sidenote…being the MOH is a ton of work. Other sidenote…I OFFICIALLY have a BROTHER!  Grandma Kimmy came back to help and so did Ashley. Thanksgiving was a wonderful season and we started Christmas early as we prepared for our big trip. PSA: check your passports before you book your trip. If you don’t, just know that Miami does same day issuance, which I do not recommend.

December

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Iceland and Sweden was amazing. I wish we could travel the world everyday. We loved sharing this trip with Grandma and Grandpa DeGroot.  We did not see the Norther Lights and we had very little snow (all that we saw was in this picture), but the kids had a blast and we all had so much fun.  Christmas through the eyes of your children is such a blessing and we enjoyed a beautiful and simple holiday. This year, most of our gifts didn’t fit under a tree because we did them (trip to Europe and our annual sister day). Doug also go a new car: a navy blue 4Runner.

For real estate, we helped 42 families buy or sell this year. And, together we reached our highest production ever!  That is called hustle, my friends.  And, we are forever thankful for our amazing customers, family and friends who chose us to help them.

While this year might look awesome and positive, do not let my recap lead you to believe that it was easy.  We were manic and stressed and tired and sick and crabby so much this year. Looking back, I am grateful for all that we did and everyone that we saw, but I do not recommend it. Be sensible people!  This year we will be saying ‘no’ more. We will be taking care of our family’s health (mental, spiritual, and physical) as our primary goal. We will be simplifying and staying still more often. And, I’m sure there will be adventure and fun, just maybe a little less.  And, that is A-OK with us!

WHEW!  What a year!  We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings us!

With Love,

Jenna

Second Trimester: Re-cap

Rings on or off:

On-I never had to take them off last time, so I figure that I’ll be fine this time.  I did have a reaction to metal during my last pregnancy, which lead to a rash on my ring finger.  This time, all is well!

Cravings:

Anything sweet. Candy. Cookies. Ice cream. Fruit. Christmas Tree Cakes. I try to keep it all in moderation, but it is pretty nice to have an excuse to eat whatever you want 🙂

Aversions:

I’m still not a fan of raw meat or anything with strong smells or flavors.  Thankfully, I have an appetite again and I don’t feel like I’m going to puke all day.

Physical Differences:

This baby is carrying lower than Donovan did. I am also having way more pelvic and hip pain, which is supposedly caused by stretching ligaments.  When I stay active it doesn’t seem to bother me as much.

The long flight to Barcelona was way harder on my body than I expected.  On the way there, I slept in a weird position and had lower back pain for a few weeks.  As if being pregnant wasn’t hard enough on my back!  I also had to pee a million times on both flights.  Sitting in one position for long periods of time is not comfortable, so I felt pretty miserable on the flight home.  Oh, and add a fidgety toddler to the mix.  It was a loooong flight.

Does Donovan know what is going on?

I think he is understanding more and more.  During Christmas, he was very interested in Baby Jesus and once the holiday was over, he began referring to the baby as Baby Jesus…I had to help him understand the difference 🙂

When did you start feeling the baby move?

It was some time around 20 weeks and my trip to Chicago.  Those hiccups.  They are hard to miss.  The rest just feels like flutters.

What are you doing to get ready for the new baby?

Not much yet.  Just lots of thinking about doing things.  With all of our traveling, BOLD and work, the holidays, and just general lack of anxiety this time around, we just haven’t really made any moves to get things in order.  I am certainly a planner and I know that we have lots to do, but I also know that what needs to get done, will get done.  The rest is extra.

Any predictions about the sex?

I think girl and Doug thinks boy.  Donovan is still certain that he is having a “sissy”.

Any names chosen yet?

I thought that we had our names set from the get-go.  But, Doug just didn’t seem as excited about these names as he did last time.  So, we have been looking for inspiration and we have yet to decide.

Other differences this time around?

It is nice to not feel so anxious and uncertain about what was to come.  Doug and I both know what to expect so we just pray for a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby.  Not finding out the sex also takes some pressure off of us to have certain clothes and everything monogrammed…like I would anyway 🙂

All of the doctor appointments are way more annoying this time, since it is all pretty boring until the end.  Plus, I forgot how much they stick you and take your blood in the second trimester. I go to a large practice so I see different doctors for each visit. It is interesting to get to know each of them and understand their different perspectives and personalities.

I am lucky that I haven’t really gotten too big either.  Some people really have no idea that I am pregnant.  And, I sometimes forget, too.  I’m not too uncomfortable and I can still do pretty much anything that I want.  If I overdo it, then of course I feel it, but for the most part, I have to remind myself that I am pregnant and to slow down.  Donovan certainly keeps me pretty busy.  I am still able to wear Donovan (thank goodness!) and I am still breastfeeding.

One of the biggest differences is work.  Last time, I was in a college setting with students who, I’m pretty sure, were just worried that being pregnant was a contagious condition.  I didn’t get a lot of attention from them or tons of questions about how I was feeling.  And, no one touched me, ever…which, I was ok with!  This time around, I work with more people who have their own children or grandchildren.  They have experienced pregnancy and are so open and friendly about discussing their experiences and want to know how I am doing.  And, the touching of the belly is way more of a frequent occurrence.  This time around, I am ok with it.

13 weeks
Week 13
14 weeks
Week 14
15 weeks
Week 15
16 weeks
Week 16–.can you tell it is bedtime 🙂 I lost week 17’s picture somewhere 😦
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Week 18–From California!
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Week19–First day of BOLD!
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Week 20–On my way to Chicago to see the Cubs!
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Week 21
22 weeks
Week 22
23 weeks
Week 23
24 weeks
Week 24–On our way to Barcelona!
25 weeks
Week 25–From Barcelona!
26 weeks
Week 26
27 weeks
Week 27–BOLD graduation!

With Love,

From Me to You

September 2015

One of the best things about September is football is BACK!  College Game Day mornings return and lazy Sundays watching WAY too much tv resume.  There is something wonderful about a new season.  All of the possibility and potential is just brimming from each player and you once again hope that your team will win it all.

Sharing our love of football with Donovan is only natural.  I am usually pretty strict about the ‘no-screen-time’ rule, but football is just different.  Thankfully, Doug and I made a vow (literally, before we got married) that we would root for the Seminoles as our college team and the Packers for our professional team.  Many of my Bears fan family were shocked by my allegiance; however, I have found that when the Packers win, my husband is happy and so is our household 🙂

Donovan did learn many cheers and chants this season.  He will eventually know the correct words to the fight song and he had to begin learning about first downs, touch downs, and cheering for his teams.  We quickly learned that Donovan picks up everything we say.  So, during certain moments of frustration while watching games, we had to be mindful of not using words out of anger.  Inevitably, those would be the only words that he would hear and repeat.

Doug’s mom, Kathy, came for a wonderful visit.  We took her to the Columbia for a nice lunch together and we visited the Aquarium.  We also enjoyed a dinner and a sunset at Siesta Key with my family.  Kathy is so sweet with Donovan.  She is incredibly patient and good with children and she played with Donovan so much.  This allowed Doug and I to finish a few house projects that we had been putting off since we hardly ever have time carved out to tackle them while watching the little man.  We all loved our time with her and wish that she lived closer.

We also got to enjoy a date night, thanks to Grandma Kimmy!  We were joined by our favorite third wheel, Andrew!

We loved using our zoo passes for “swap-tember” and visited the aquarium as much as we could.  Donovan and Evey loved seeing all of the fish and animals that live under the sea.  It is awesome to be able to share many fun outings with friends and their children, especially when they are close in age.  Most importantly, they just ‘get it’ when your child is crabby or needs a break because they have been there.

Donovan is still learning to be gentle with his friends, especially poor Evey!  He gets so excited to play with them that he needs to take a minute to calm down.  I have loved Dr. Harvey Karp’s book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block.  I recommend it to anyone with a toddler.  We have been practicing many of the techniques and our favorite is just taking a few deep breaths to just restart and move forward when Donovan gets too worked up.

Other fun times from September included trips to the park, school picture day, eating out (Donovan mostly likes to eat crayons…don’t let those sweet pictures fool you), adventures to Bass Pro Shop and Top Golf (courtesy of Auntie YaYa) and of course the joys of teething.

We also shared our big news with all of our family, friends, and Facebook.  It was nice to have our big secret out in the open so we no longer had to dodge certain topics or situations.  We shared the news at my parent’s Labor Day BBQ since many of our family and friends were there for the celebration.  As for the morning sickness and hormones, well, they were still hanging in there with full force.  Luckily, I started to feel better a little further into my second trimester.

With Love,

From Me to You