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

IMG_7703

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

IMG_7957

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

IMG_0910

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

IMG_1423

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 

IMG_3009

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

IMG_2830

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

IMG_3841

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

IMG_4579

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

Donovan: Month Eight

Halloween

Donovan celebrated his first Halloween as a pumpkin.  We did trunk-or-treat at our Church.  So we dress up as scarecrows and Donovan was part of our pumpkin patch.  Stella was not amused by her pumpkin costume..

IMG_6159

Come on Stella, I'm a pumpkin, too!
Come on Stella, I’m a pumpkin, too!

IMG_6180

Showing off the sweet sign Doug made!
Showing off the sweet sign Doug made!
The little pumpkin!
The little pumpkin!
Me and my little guy!
Me and my little guy!

Painting the House

After many years of living with white walls in the residence halls, I was finally able to pick paint colors for our home.  The only trouble is that there are a lot of colors to choose from.  Talk about paralysis of choice.  The slight variations were just enough to make you second guess every shade.  Also, after living in transition for so long, I never really learned how to decorate.  I never worried much since I always knew that I would move out and I didn’t want to leave any holes either.  Now that I finally had the opportunity to decorate, I found myself questioning what direction I wanted to go.  All I knew was that the white walls had to go!

Doug and I made many trips to Lowes.  We started with our bedroom, the bathrooms, Donovan’s room and the living areas…which was basically 75% of the house.  I quickly learned that I HATE painting.  I swear the low-VOC paint does not cover as well and our walls are textured just enough to make you feel like you need a second coat.

Picking out paint colors!
Picking out paint colors!

I was also reminded of a subtle difference between me and my wonderful husband.  Precision.  I know it may come as a shock to some, but I really don’t mind if something isn’t perfectly centered on a wall and I would probably not ever decide to center something on a wall anyway.  I go with how it feels.  Doug, on the other hand, has his tape measure out and ready to go to ensure that the location is correct AND that it is level.  Apparently painting requires a ton of precision and Doug was quite the critic of my painting skills.  I wouldn’t do a bad job, but I did need more touch ups than he did.  That also might be due to the fact that we were painting and taking care of our son, so I would run off to Donovan more than Doug did.

Donovan playing while we painted.
Donovan playing while we painted.

In the end, everything looked great.  And you wouldn’t even notice my little mistakes…which still have not been fixed, even to this day 🙂

Painting our bathroom.
Painting our bathroom.
Our bathroom finished!
Our bathroom finished!
Starting Donovan's room.  Isn't Doug so sweet?
Starting Donovan’s room. Isn’t Doug so sweet?
Two tone green in Donovan's room!
Two tone green in Donovan’s room!
Finished Guest Bathroom..it is the same colors as our bathroom but the light makes it look different!
Finished Guest Bathroom..it is the same color as our bathroom but the light makes it look different!
Our bedroom, finished but still a mess!
Our bedroom, finished but still a mess!
Starting the Family room!
Starting the Family room!

Trip to Tally

We took our second trip to Tallahassee in November for the FSU vs. BC football game.  Donovan was such a trooper!  The weather was starting to get cool and sure enough, it rained the whole day!  We did not prepare for this, so we had to swing by Target for ponchos and raincoats.  Donovan slept through most of the game and somehow, we stayed pretty dry.  I think he had the driest and warmest seat in the house.  And, thankfully, FSU won 🙂

On the road to Tally!
On the road to Tally!
On the way to the game!
On the way to the game!
Before the rain!
Before the rain!
The guys.
The guys.
After the rain...
After the rain…
I promise Donovan could breathe!
I promise Donovan could breathe!

IMG_6343

IMG_6347

Post-game
Post-game

We celebrated Thanksgiving and Mom’s birthday with the whole Coletti family!  Photo credit to the wonderful and talented, Becky.

10704386_920569304638162_849793612104567021_o

10620060_920564107972015_6596197952591923936_o

10451698_920563984638694_8434703937786376425_n

1401469_920564241305335_6496862478583187074_o
Brunch at Andrew’s.
1396828_920564017972024_8834510607175466063_o
Spoons got a little crazy!

Thanksgiving

Donovan’s 8 month-aversary fell on Thanksgiving.  It was such a wonderful day spent with family and friends.  And Doug and I really loved the fact that we did not have to drive more than an hour to spend it with family.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I always enjoy reflecting on the many blessings in our lives.  Donovan’s birth was the biggest one for us we are thankful each and every day that he is in our lives.

Donovan hanging out in the new fire pit.  The backyard looked awesome!
Donovan hanging out in the new fire pit. The backyard looked awesome!
Friends that are like family :)
Friends that are like family 🙂
Uncle Pat and Doug singing by the fire pit!
Uncle Pat and Doug singing by the fire pit!
The babes :)
The babes 🙂

The biggest excitement on Thanksgiving arrived just after dinner.  Ann and Joey Sweeney welcomed their son, Joseph Stone Sweeney III 🙂  What a memorable Thanksgiving!

Other 8 month moments:

IMG_6701

An Italian Thanksgiving with the Zecs!
An Italian Thanksgiving with the Zecs!

IMG_6700

IMG_6699
An early Baptism gift from Great Grandma Maxine Calhoon!

IMG_6315

IMG_6358

IMG_6324

Sick again :(
Sick again 😦
Sick selfies.
Sick selfies.
Donovan LOVES peas!
Donovan LOVES peas!
And yogurt.
And yogurt.
And he loves Stella :)
And he loves Stella 🙂
And Stella loves him :)
And Stella loves him 🙂
IMG_6212
Avoiding Bedtime…
Such a happy guy!
Such a happy guy!

IMG_6145

After the French dinner Donovan found a part of Jack's costume!
After the French dinner Donovan found a part of Jack’s costume!

IMG_1031

With GiGi and Grandad
With GiGi and Grandad

IMG_0692 IMG_0899

IMG_0811
Our little family 🙂

Eight Month Photos:

IMG_1146 - Version 2

IMG_1174 - Version 2

IMG_1227 - Version 2

IMG_1165

IMG_1152

IMG_6381

IMG_1530

 IMG_6375

IMG_6371

Family :)
Family 🙂

With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan: Month Six

Sickness

One of the cons of daycare, besides the expense (!!!), is the sickness.  Donovan didn’t get sick right away, but around 6 months, he was sick all the time, which made going to work that much harder.  It was horrible knowing that he needed me and I couldn’t be there.  Even if I couldn’t do much except snuggle him.  Luckily, I was able to stay home some days, but nothing makes you feel better when your little one is not feeling well.

As new parents we didn’t know the difference between a high fever and a low one. To us, the world was ending.  We made many extra visits to the pediatrician (who thought we were nuts) and started to learn when to freak out and when to just let it work itself out.

Congestion is the worst for babies.  They just don’t know what to do and it makes nursing even harder!  It make sleeping difficult too.  I guess it is just one of those things that you just have to get through as a parent.

That time Donovan got hand, foot, and mouth..
That time Donovan got hand, foot, and mouth..
And the day he came home with a purple foot :)  It wasn't contagious!
And the day he came home with a purple foot 🙂 It wasn’t contagious!
Donovan loves this little swing!
Donovan loves this little swing!

Anna Maria for Labor day

We got to spend a fun, long weekend out on Anna Maria Island with my family.  My Godparents, who own the Alecasandra (http://www.alecassandravacationrentals.com/), invited us to stay with them on the beach.  We love AMI and time with the family 🙂

Breakfast with the fam at Peaches :)
Breakfast with the fam at Peaches 🙂
The boys went for a morning walk on AMI
The boys went for a morning walk on AMI
Uncle Nick is trying to hide greatness aka FSU!!
Uncle Nick is trying to hide greatness aka FSU!!
Smooches from Aunt Vicki!
Smooches from Aunt Vicki!
Pool time!
Pool time!
GO NOLES!
GO NOLES!
Snuggles with GiGI
Snuggles with GiGI
Auntie L and Donovan
Auntie L and Donovan
Helping Daddy pick his fantasy football team!
Helping Daddy pick his fantasy football team! Wish he brought him more luck 🙂

Meeting Mr. and Mrs. K

One of my most favorite people in the whole world is my former high school English Teacher, Mrs. K.  I have kept in touch with her over the years and we would always have lunch together when I came home for breaks.  She was obviously super excited when we told her that I was pregnant with LBD and even more excited to have us back in Florida.  Mr. and Mrs. K loved meeting our little guy!

Pearls of wisdom from Mr. and Mrs. K!
Pearls of wisdom from Mr. and Mrs. K!

Moving into OUR home!!

This was the biggest news of the month.  We were so ready to out of the rental and in our first home!  My awesome Realtor (http://www.kw.com/kw/agent/flrealestatebydoug) was able to keep our closing on track and we moved on September 8th 🙂

Moving is hard work and so is packing and doing it all with a baby.  Luckily, my family was able to help.  We celebrated with pizza for dinner.

None of our furniture was arriving until the next day, so camped out in the living room and slept on the air mattress, for the last time!  The next day our bed, sofa and refrigerator arrived!

Last dinner in Ruskin!
Last dinner in Ruskin!
My little guy :)
My little guy 🙂
Homeowners :)
Homeowners 🙂
Good-bye rental craziness!
Good-bye rental craziness!
Hello moving!
Hello moving!
Stella loves her back yard!
Stella loves her back yard!
Helping Daddy with his crib...and watching football.
Helping Daddy with his crib…and watching football.
The men installing the garbage disposal.
The men installing the garbage disposal.
Bears and Packers
Bears and Packers
There seems to be a trend with house work and football...
There seems to be a trend with house work and football…
Doug loves to do yard work...or so he says now :)
Doug loves to do yard work…or so he says now 🙂

Ed and Cathy came for a visit right after the move so they could see the new house.  Doug and Ed did some water rerouting project and we enjoyed seeing them 🙂

Donovan and Grandpa Ed!
Donovan and Grandpa Ed!
Nap time!
Nap time!


IMG_5648

IMG_5768

IMG_5793
My sleepy boys!

IMG_5756IMG_5798 IMG_5785

Doug's attempt at babywearing...
Doug’s attempt at babywearing…
6 month check up!
6 month check up!

IMG_5712 IMG_5704

6 Month Photos

IMG_0260 IMG_0258 IMG_0257

 IMG_0279 IMG_0273

Family :)
Family 🙂
So over pictures :)
So over pictures 🙂

With Love,

From Me to You