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One of our goals when we built our house was to have it be a place where everyone can gather. Growing up I have such wonderful memories of all of my family getting together at my aunt and uncle’s house. They were even so kind as to invite all of our wedding guests to come to their house for a get together after our wedding (we got married at 7 am and the reception ended by 10:30 so people went to their house to hang out after!). I always admired how they opened their home up and loved how “group friendly” their houses were. Spacious, lots of things to do, open floor plan, etc. When we decided on house plans, we had that in mind!!! I wanted a layout where a party could flow from room to room effortlessly and where all the living space could be utilized but also feel like ONE space, ya know?
I think we achieved our goal! On top of that, we also want to have a place where kids want to be. We have a pool, a playroom, and now a playground. We want our children under our roof as much as possible. Especially as they get older. Their friend’s parents may not have the same rules and standards we do (hello, how many parents now-a-days buy their kids alcohol?!?! so crazy!) so the “cooler” our house is, the more our kids will want to have their friends over rather than be begging to go elsewhere. We really try to think “big picture” when we make decisions for our home and family and, so far, I’ve been really pleased with the choices we’ve made!
When Kye was Brittlynn’s age we missed out on a TON of family events. Zach’s parents and grandparents all live in Valdosta but they live about 20 min or so away. It’s tough with a baby on a schedule to go to things, especially when you’re trying to rush home to get the baby in the bed on time. We felt like we were ALWAYS eating and leaving and hardly ever got to stay for the fun at things. With Brittlynn it’s a HUGE blessing that we’ve moved into our new house. It’s so much bigger and has so much more space for everyone (in Zach’s immediate family alone there are now 13 of us!!!).
I LOVE LOVE LOVE hosting stuff at our house!!! The kids can stay on schedule but we can still be included in everything. It’s so wonderful not to have to be the first ones to leave every event!!! It helps me stay motivated to keep the house spotlessly clean too. 🙂 I also like that it takes some of the work and stress off of Mrs. Charlotte. She’s not in the best health (she has rheumatoid arthritis and myasthenia gravis) and Zach and I always feel guilty when she hosts things at her house. She has to clean it all AND cook for everyone. This way she can just sit back and enjoy things! You can tell she’s SO much more relaxed when we’ve had stuff at our house. I think everyone else enjoys it too! I hope it’s a new trend that never stops 🙂
After the playground was finished, Kye has been begging to have Colt and Payton over. It all worked out great…we offered to host Courtney’s birthday at our house! We also hosted it here last year…sadly this year there wasn’t a big announcement from us (I do LOVE re-watching those videos though)! Mrs. Charlotte always cooks our favorite meal for our birthdays so she still did that for Courtney but just brought it to our house instead of having it all at her house. It was such a fun evening, I told everyone to come early so we could enjoy the playground and pool and everyone got to spend some time with Brittlynn before her 5:00 nap. Right when Colt and Payton arrived they wouldn’t slow down for nothing…those kids RACED to the playground 🙂
I think Colt is pumped 😉
Little Mama enjoyed some Brittlynn loving!
Of course it didn’t take long to pull out the jeep!
Wish we had one more swing for Colt!
Colt KILLS me with the pool. The child cannot swim yet he runs and jumps right in. It’s so so scary!!! He has ZERO fear and you have to literally never take an eye off of him. He would sink to the bottom with a big smile on his face probably! He’s a dare devil for sure.
Kye and Trey
It was funny because the one kid that can swim stayed in the float the entire time!
This brings back SO many awesome memories for me of playing in Nana’s pool with my cousins
When it was time to eat we brought down Kye’s kiddie table from the playroom. Again, another memory!!! Who hasn’t been “banished” to the kid’s table at some point in our lives?!?! They thought it was sooo cool to have their own space. I LOVED it. I remember all of my cousins and I getting into plenty of our own trouble back in the day at the kid’s table. I also remember the great feeling when I finally got to sit at the adult table (for real, I think it was even as recent as after Kye was born haha).
Up from her nap and the birthday girl got some cuddles!
When Brittlynn got up for her bath, of course everyone wanted to cuddle with her and she did not like it. Poor thing got so upset! It was pitiful! I think it was just overwhelming for her to see SO many people and to have them all be showering her with attention.
Zach and I have been so blessed to be able to host such events at our home. I truly do love it and it makes my heart feel so full. I also LOVE seeing Kye with his cousins. Growing up I had a cousin who was 11 months older than me and one who was 11 months younger. We were SO close and the best of friends. My brother also has two cousins within a year of his age. Isn’t that so neat?!?! It is such a special bond and I’m thankful that Kye has that as well. I know as Brittlynn gets older she and Payton will be close like the boys are. I also am thankful that Casey and Jordan will be having their kids (hopefully) around the same time as our third and fourth babies. Won’t it be so fun to have family gatherings then?!?!