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

Third Trimester: Re-Cap

I had written this right before Camdon was born.  So, I’m going to leave it the way I wrote it, even though the tenses will be wrong.  It is so fun to look back and read this now!

Get ready for the birth story!  Coming up next!

Projects:

The third trimester total caught me off guard.  Pregnancy seems to go on forever and each week I have felt that I still have more time to wait until the baby arrives.  I have felt less anxious and concerned about getting things finished, that is, until the very end.  I think we might have underestimated the number of projects that we wanted to complete before the baby arrived.  Of course, if anything was left unfinished, we could finish it later, but then we would be contending with two children instead of one.  And one of those children will be very demanding for a while.

I had painted the soon-to-be-nursery over the summer, not too long after we found out that we were pregnant.  In January, I got the idea  that our beige master bedroom was too dull and needed to be repainted.  So, I painted it a light blue and we rearranged the bedroom, which was Doug’s idea.  I was pretty against it, but it did end up opening the space and made it feel bigger.  The painting process required more coats than I expected because the beige was darker than I thought so we basically had to do the trim and walls three times.  It was a project that I thought could be accomplished in a weekend and dragged out to a full week.  But, it was so worth it in the end!

The biggest project was relocating Doug’s office to the space in our garage and relocating his tools and outdoor equipment to a shed.  We explored shed options and even though Doug is pretty handy, we didn’t want the stress and the time commitment of building it on our own.  We opted for a pre-made shed from a local company.  Once we got it delivered, Doug then needed to build shelves inside and reorganize the garage. Thankfully, my Dad was able to help with the building and they got it done in one day.  Sorting and moving and reorganizing the garage took a little bit longer, but it felt good to get it done and we are enjoying the additional space!

Doug’s office was the next space to tackle.  Once it was emptied it had to be painted.  We went with Red and gray to set a Keller Williams vibe.  At 38 weeks pregnant, I was out there with Doug painting and getting that room finished.  Oh, and we decided to make my Dad a cornhole set for his birthday, so that project took over our garage for about a week.  And, if you decide to make one set, you might as well make one for yourself, too. Right?

Having the nursery cleared out we had to decide what to do about furniture.  We had finally found a sleep training system that was working for us and D, which was really awesome as we all were getting more sleep.  But, we should have done this sooner than we did.  We also didn’t feel right about taking away D’s crib after he was finally sleeping so well.  Plus, I’ve heard from many people that you want your child contained in a crib as long as they will stay in it.  So, we bought another crib.  I even assembled it myself!  I reorganized D’s room and moved over a bunch of items that he didn’t need in his room anymore.  It is nice that now he has room for more toys, which frees up our living room from a ton of clutter.  Having the nursery set has been a huge relief.  Although, I really liked not having to do this at all last time.

And then there are all of these little projects that you want to accomplish…crafts, decorations, fixing things that haven’t been working, making spaces more functional, moving clutter around.  We have done some serious reorganizing in preparation for this baby to arrive.  I feels so good to cross those things off of our list.  Any it makes us realize that we have so much “stuff” and that we need do this more regularly so it doesn’t become such a long list…easier said than done 🙂

How are you feeling?

Overall, I have felt pretty well this whole pregnancy.  I am certainly more tired as the end approaches.  As I mentioned before, this baby is carrying much lower than D did.  As I approach my due date, I am becoming more miserable.  D was induced a week after my due date.  I wasn’t have any contractions and I wasn’t dilating or effacing.  So, while I was “over it”, physically, it wasn’t bad at all.  This time around I am and it feels awful.  The only plus is that this baby is lower than D so I’m not getting kicked in the ribs at all hours.  But, it is leading to lots of lower back pain.

I am far less annoyed and crabby this time around.  I think I have mentally prepared myself to accept the fact that I will go late and there isn’t much that I can do about it.  Plus, this is extra time to get projects done and enjoy time with Doug and D as a family of three.

Breastfeeding

I had such a hard time getting started with Donovan and I worked so hard to keep with breastfeeding.  I loved the bond it allowed for Donovan and I and I decided to let him wean when he was ready.  Being pregnant wasn’t go to stop or change anything for me.  At some point in November it just become really uncomfortable and I was always annoyed that he needed me all the time.  It was hard for me to end our breastfeeding relationship, but it was nice to finally enjoy a bit of freedom from it.  I am happy to have given him 21 months of milk and to see him become a little more independent.  I hated that it had to be imposed on him instead of him choosing to wean, but breastfeeding a toddler is pretty minimal anyway.  He only got a little milk each time and it was really more for comfort.  We still snuggle all the time and he knows that I’m still there for him.

Does D know what is about to happen?

Donovan notices my belly more but that doesn’t keep him from climbing all over me.  He will put his ear on my belly and say that the baby is sleeping.  Recently, we have been watching Daniel Tiger on PBS and in a few of the more recent episodes Daniel’s mommy has a baby girl.  It was pretty cute talking about it with him and it seems to be the thing that has made the most sense to him.  The following episodes have addressed how life changes with a baby.  We might need to rewatch them later.

Last minute predictions

I still think girl.  Doug still thinks boy.  We are getting so close to finding out!!  It was fun seeing the predictions on the baby bookie.  It looks like the votes are pretty even for boy and girl.

28 weeks
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30 weeks
30 weeks-Merry Christmas!
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37 weeks
38-weeks
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40-weeks
40 weeks- Happy Birthday, Doug!!

With Love,

From Me to You