Family Recap: January 2019

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family recap jan 2019

Welcome to the first family recap post of 2019! 

So. I’ve always done a family recap post for most months and then an individual post for each kid for that month but yall it’s so dang tricky to organize all of that. Cramming it all into one post is also a bit much though. Like this post here? 220 pics guys. 220. That’s intense. 

I’m debating how to handle all of this moving forward. Because right now this kinda works but it really is only doable because Spear is still getting his own post each month. If his stuff was added in here too? No way could it work at all! 

I know some people do weekly recaps, but I’m not sure we have enough “life stuff” to justify doing it weekly. Maybe I can go with semi-monthly to split it up into two posts per month? I think I may try that moving forward and see how it works?! Def need to brainstorm this and would love any suggestions!

Anyway, let’s get into Jan!

Basically, my main memory from Jan will be CHAOS. Our house was in straight up CHAOS and our house being that way also made my entire life feel that way! We had half new-but-wrong carpet, half our old awful carpet, half old tile flooring, half new flooring, half old appliances, half new ones. So. Much. Going. On. 

We needed to purchase appliances for the Disney House and rather than buy new ones for there we decided to buy new ones for us and just transfer ours down there! We went a tad nicer than our old appliances for our new ones and got the french door style fridge. Which I was pretty nervous about working out but so far I’m really liking it! I am planning a whole post about how I have it organized πŸ™‚ 

When it was time to install the new appliances Zach had a BEAST of a time getting the fridge in the house. He had to take the hinges off the front door and even then it almost didn’t fit!

My big concern with the new fridge is the bottom freezer section being able to open in the small area we had available but it worked!

It’ll never be this clean again!

A big perk is that the water section is big enough to fill my water bottles!

Goodbye tile! Hello new plank flooring!

When we moved in the house I don’t even remember purchasing our appliances (it’s a LOT when you build a house guys!) and when we went to order the new ones I was shocked at the cost of the double oven. Woah. 

Old carpet vs new incorrect carpet. You can tell how WHITE the wrong new carpet was!

I wrote this post about our weekend away when the new, correct, carpet was installed…you can read it here! It was SO GREAT coming home to the RIGHT CARPET! It looks AMAZING especially against the new “wood” floors!

Having the carpet done and finished was AMAZING buttttt it also meant really having to clean out our whole house in order to put everything back after having it moved for the carpet. This has pushed and motivated me to do a MASSIVE PURGE. If you come over right now my house has black trashbags everywhere being filled with items to sell at a yard sale. It feels so good to get rid of everything!

Zach and I are really trying hard to work on and pour into our marriage so we set aside a night tonight to have a date! We both wanted some nice warm soup so we went to Olive Garden and we HAD to get the lemon cake. If yall haven’t had the lemon cake at Olive Garden you MUST try it. Shout out to Karla for introducing me to it!

Zach had to attend a work function/meeting and I was jealous of their fun painting activity…of course Zach had to make his duck different than the rest πŸ˜‰ 

2018 was Zach’s first full year in management with Aflac so we hosted a dinner for his team to reward them for the awesome year and get excited for the great things to come in 2019! He has some awesome new peopel joining his team and it’s all exciting (stressful to be in management but exciting too!). 

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Colleen, who works with Zach, and she’s a fellow Rachel Hollis fan. We drove down to Gainesville together to see Rachel’s Made For More documentary in theaters! It was WELL worth the 90 min one way drive and we had a great time connecting together. I cannot recommend the documentary enough – and now you can see it on Amazon! 

We’ve celebrated Christmas with Katie on Jan 1st for a couple years now but this year she had a stomach bug on the 1st so we put it off for awhile and had a late celebration together once our house was slightly more settled πŸ˜‰ 

Our book club book for the month was Something in the Water. It was a read that kept me reading. I didn’t LOVE it but it got me wanting to see the conclusion. Our meet ups have gotten better and better. I LOVE spending this quality time together. I LOVE the community this little book club is building. Each member of Book Club has stepped outside of their comfort zone to be there and it’s just so inspiring and awesome. SO thankful to have these girls!!!

With the state of our house I needed to get OUT. Zach was sweet to take care of Spear and offered me up a day just for ME. BUT as a mama I just couldn’t do something for myself when the big three kids had SUCH a LAME and boring Christmas break all cooped up in the crazy house. So I took them to lunch at a local place that I’d never checked out: The Draw

If you are local here are my thoughts on the place…it’s cool. It’s different and unique and a fun activity to do on occasion. It’s also PRICEY. It was $5 PER KID to let them DRAW and that didn’t include any food at all and they are only allowed three sheets of paper. That’s it. 

I debated saving it as a date night and am glad I didn’t. It just isn’t super amazing together time because you’re focused on drawing. Now the drawing part is super cool. They get these little light up tablet things and trace! Super unique and fun and the kids all LOVED it. From 4 years old up to 9 years old they were equally impressed! 

The food was also good! We all enjoyed ours. Now that our local Atlanta Bread Company is closed I was glad to find another chicken panini sandwich to enjoy!

How great did this turn out? They all were awesome!

A word of wisdom – don’t let your kids choose to draw characters/people. Britt got so upset at how her Rapunzel turned out. I might have broken a rule and allowed her another peice of paper πŸ˜‰ 

Mrs Charlotte celebrated her birthday this month and we all met up at Courtney’s for an afternoon early dinner celebration. The kids loved playing and I loved sitting with Big Daddy. He is just such a precious man and just “gets it.” He came up to me completely on his own and sat with me and said “I know how you feel. I know how lonely it can be.” It was so insightful in a moment where I was feeling lonely. Sometimes being all together with Zach’s family can be hard for me and Big Daddy saw it. Without me saying anything. He saw through the smile. He saw through my friendly chit-chat. He saw ME. So thankful for that man and his impact on my life!

I’m loving that the girls are getting old enough to really enjoy quality time together doing things and going places! We had a baby shower this month and we loved getting to go together! I’ve met Gabe through Book Club and am so thrilled that she’s joining the Mommy Club and can’t wait to meet baby Ari!

So thoughtful to have a kids craft area at the shower!

Rachel and Lora

Robyn and Katie

Jamie!

The Mama of Honor…Gabe!

Katie

Robyn and I always twin at baby showers!

As I mentioned in my Goals for 2019 post something I really want us to work on as a family unit is to be more grateful. For Christmas I made each of the kids a personalized journal and have taught them the practice of waking up a few minutes earlier each morning to read the Bible and write out 10 things they are thankful for!

Tessie did a braid with wet hair and was so pumped about her “mermaid hair” the next day πŸ˜‰

We had a great MLK weekend at Disney! I love being able to have magical experiences with this crew πŸ™‚ Mom van life for life!

As part of our fun weekend away, Fresh Beginnings sent us some delicious cookies to take with us (and don’t worry we ate them ALL ha!). 

Kinda out of order chronologically but as I mentioned the kids had a pretty borning break because we were wrapped up in so much house stuff going on. For their last night before their first school night they had a sibling sleepover and we had a fun chill pj day for their last day of Christmas break!

Complete with chocolate biscuits

I love everything about love languages and this month I decided to do the quiz to see what each of the kids’ love languages are. You can find the quiz here! It’s technically only for ages 9 and up but I figured it didn’t hurt to ask the girls the questions too! Here are their results which REALLY shocked me:

The weather this year so far has been ALL OVER THE PLACE. It’s no wonder we’re all fighting off the crud! The girls love to play outside and even made friends with the neighbor kids who come to play too. I’m SO GLAD I grabbed this swing as a Christmas gift for the kids – it’s been THE hit of Christmas!

I’m also working hard to get caught up on having blog books printed. Yall I know people always talk about their “why.” Well this is mine. This is WHY I blog. It always has been WHY and it always will be WHY!

Now that Kye is a Christian he can serve during worship services and was asked to help on the Lord’s Table for the first time this month! I WAS SO NERVOUS. Especially when he was carrying the grape juice tray down the steps of the alter area and his dang shoe was untied! But he did AWESOME and it made my heart swell with pride seeing both Zach and Kye serving the Lord together. 

Kye is a kid who loves a good bath. He asked if he could use a bath bomb in my tub and he sat in there eating chocolate and reading a book. Living that best life πŸ˜‰ 

We are big believers in allowing our kids to find their passions on their own. We don’t push our kids into sports or extracurriculars but we support anything they want to try. Britt was quick to find her passion in gymnastics but Kye has taken a bit more exploring. He’s done golf camps, tennis camps, football and now has asked to try out basketball. 

Yall. HE IS LOVING IT. He’s exhausted (why are the games so dang late?!?!) but he’s LOVING IT. Which makes my heart just overjoyed. He’s already said he wants to play again next year and that he hopes to play in middle school. He has a lot to learn and it’s tough on his team where they have like 14 kids trying to trade out and get playing time, but he’s learning. He’s improving. And most importantly? He is LOVING IT. 

With football he never had that passion or excitement. He never asked to practice at home. He would be excited when practices were canceled or games rained out. It just wasn’t his “thing.” Zach and I saw that but we didn’t want to push him away from it if he thought it might be his sport. 

Basketball is for sure the “thing” he has enjoyed the most. On days when he doesn’t have practice, he’s in the yard practicing. He talks about it. His heart is in it. He is disappointed when they lose and eager to share his excitment when things go well. 

We are so happy to see him SO happy! 

The games are LATE. Like 7:30 start times. So we are dropping some DOUGH on babysitters, which we knew would probably happen by the time kid 4 came along πŸ˜‰ Kye was excited to get to have #5 again like he did in football and just like in football, he’s very committed to his team. When he’s on the sidelines he’s standing by the coach the whole time. He’s invested in the game and cheering on his teammates. He makes us so proud!

Kye is also at the paper airplane age which is fun but also a bit annoying finding paper airplanes all over the house. One fell behind the entertainment center and Kye created this contraption to get it out ha! He was so proud to show this off πŸ™‚

This month was a big life milestone for Kye. As I’ve been purging my closet I have SO MANY HANGERS and realized that a lot of Kye’s shirts (he’s a size 8) fall off the kid-sized hangers. So we began the transition of moving him from the baby hangers to the adult sized ones. We’re just slowly swapping them as he wears things for now and yall it got my mama heart hurting when I saw them side by side in his closet. What a clear representation of this phase in his life. A phase of transition from child to adult. Whew. 

Britt LOVES to look like me so I have fun curling her hair to match mine πŸ™‚ 

It’s so funny how different each kid is from each other. Britt is passionate and driven when it comes to her sport…but she does NOT like reading. Whereas it’s taken Kye longer to find his groove with a sport he enjoys but the kid will finish an entire chapter book in one sitting. 

It’s been tricky for me to help to encourage Britt in her reading (post to come if it continues to go well!) and we are trying a system for her that, so far, has been showing success. I printed off this free calendar for her and we taped it on her door. She reads for 30 min each night and puts a check on each day as she completes her reading time. Once the calendar is filled, she gets a prize (for the first month it’s a $5 Starbucks giftcard). This has been SO MOTIVATING for her! She looks forward to her reading time and has even started managing her time wisely on days where we know we’ll have a late night so she can make sure she gets in the 30 minutes!

Our little baker made muffins completely on her own from start to finish!

First month of the reading challenge – DONE! Also yall, you gotta check out this book series. Britt LOVES it!

Speaking of Britt loving to look like her mama…she loves when we dress alike so I really try to make that happen at church especially πŸ™‚ I love how proud she looks in this pic of us together! 

You can get Britt’s dress here!

And Mine here! 

I’ve been on the hunt for some new clothes for Britt because as I’ve been purging the house I realized Tess has a TON and she has very little! She is loving the new clothes but cracked me up with having the tag on all day on her shirt…not gonna lie, it’s happened to me many times myself!

Britt has always asked Kye to pull her teeth but one of her goals for the year has been to pull a tooth out herself. Zach’s advice was to leave it alone and not pull it too early. Well she def took that advice seriously! This junk was literally HANGING. 

If you are keeping track she is now beating Kye with the number of teeth lost…she’s lost 8!

She did it!!!

Top knot twinning!

Purging the clothes has been fun, and I’m trying that whole Marie Kondo folding method thing and it makes seeing what clothes they have SO MUCH EASIER. I found so many adorable pairs of pants I forgot Tess owned!

One year apart. Jan 3rd 2018 we had SNOW. Jan 3rd 2019 the kids were out in shorts!

Auntie Katie got the girls nail polish for Christmas and they love it! Tessie painted hers all by herself – she calls them her “Elsa Nails”

Tess made this bday card for my dad and it is just so sweet to me how she always writes Britt’s name on things. She just adores her big sister so much!

Waiting for her fav people to get home from school!

Tess got me a candle for Christmas and always asks to eat her lunch with the lights off and the candle lit “like in the old days”

Daddy’s helper installing the floors!

She is at an age (4 1/2) where she isn’t napping every day. Sometimes she sleeps and she still sleeps HARD and other times she doesn’t sleep at all! But when she sleeps hard she is a beast to wake up!

Tess has always been a very easy child and she continues to be very easy. She’s truly happy and content to play completely on her own. We got home from Disney and had a ton of unpacking and organizing of the house and such going on and she sat here in the spot for over 90 minutes playing happily!

She loves to sit up on the counter while I’m getting ready and she just looks at herself in the mirror. She told me “I know I’m beautiful.” Yes you are sweet girl! I pray my girls ALWAYS see themselves in the mirror and consider themselves beauitful! 

As we were purging things this month Tess cracked me up when we cleaned out her room because I’d show her an item and she’s say “wellll I sneaked that from Kye’s room” She is a little bit on the sneaky side and a little bit of a hoarder of her treasures. I love how she’s rocking that Elsa glove and reading Kye’s book like she can actually read it πŸ˜‰

Tessie adores her BFF cousin Carter and loved when he came to watch Kye play basketball! They are so stinking cute together!

Tess does so amazing at school. She has yet to pull a single clip and I loved seeing this sweet note from her teacher!

With Britt really needing clothes I have struggled with where to buy them. I asked on my IG Stories and got tons of great ideas. I decided to try Abercrombie for their shirts and was shocked at how dang afforadable their kids line is!!! I averaged under $6 per item I purchased for the kids and the fit of the tops is AMAZING for both Kye and Britt. And the quality is SO impressive! Abercrombie Kids has a new fan in me!

My goal is to alternate between Book Club books and Self Improvement books. My first self improvement book for the year is It’s Not Supposed to be This Way. So far it’s AWESOME!

I’m looking for suggestions on post ideas and wondering about ways to make this montly recap post shorter/easier to write for me. Maybe making a separate post each month of my favorite finds and outfits would be wise? I had many people say in my IG Stories that they’d like to see more of what I wear. I’m no fashion blogger but if I did a monthly “ME” recap with books I read, movies I see, items I find that I love along with the clothes I wear that could be fun???

For now, here’s what I wore in Jan (all links are affiliate):

Sweater

White Shirt

Shoes

Leggings (my new favs!)

Pants

Boots

Yes, “leather” leggings! Yall they are legit comfortable and easy to put on and off and add a little bit of dressy factor to an outfit! I love them!

Jacket

Shirt

Jeans

Shoes

Cardigan

Shirt

Jeans

Boots

Shirt

Jeans

Boots

Sweater

Jeans

Shoes

Top

Leggings

Shoes

I am EXTREMELY loyal in general but especially when it comes to my hair. I’ve used the same hairstylist for 10 YEARS. I ended up switching from her to another stylist in September of 2017 and fell in LOVE with her. She taught me how to actually style my hair and I’ve LOVED the way my hair has looked since then. Well. She decided to up and move on me πŸ˜‰ So the hunt was on and it was a struggle for me to find someone new. 

I looked at people’s hair everywhere I went and I finally ran into a friend whose hair I’ve always loved and asked her who she uses. I went to Haley at Spruced and yall. She’s PHENOMENAL. I’m obsessed with my new hair and am so glad I found the right fit to move forward with!!! If you’re local and give her a visit please let her know I sentcha so I can get that referral discount πŸ˜‰ 

Whew. That sums up our Jan and this post also took me an enternity to write! Moving forward I think I’m going to try two things. One splitting it up into a mid-month recap and then end of month recap AND doing a separate post of “What I’ve Loved This Month” and cover all the non-family more personal stuff. Thoughts???

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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