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:



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).



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.


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.


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



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!



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.


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!



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.



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.


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.



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.



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,


Donovan: Month Eight


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..


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

Come on Stella, I’m a pumpkin, too!


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 is the same colors as our bathroom but the light makes it look different!

Finished Guest 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!





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





Brunch at Andrew’s.


Spoons got a little crazy!


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:


An Italian Thanksgiving with the Zecs!

An Italian Thanksgiving with the Zecs!



An early Baptism gift from Great Grandma Maxine Calhoon!




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 🙂


Avoiding Bedtime…

Such a happy guy!

Such a happy guy!


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

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


With GiGi and Grandad

With GiGi and Grandad

IMG_0692 IMG_0899


Our little family 🙂

Eight Month Photos:

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IMG_1174 - Version 2

IMG_1227 - Version 2







Family :)

Family 🙂

With Love,

From Me to You