Monthly Family Recap: September 2020

Monthly Family Recap: September 2020

September was a big month for our crew so that means a big blog post to go with it πŸ˜‰

Casey and Aaron’s wedding weekend was the big event this month!!!

It was a family-filled series of events that were all so fun leading up to the big evening. They got married on Friday evening so the festivities kicked off the night prior. The girls all went to get our nails done together and the energy was just excitement from everyone.

Excited about Aaron, Elizabeth and Ella joining the family. Excited about their special day together and their futures. Excited to see Casey so happy. And…excited for SPRITE πŸ˜‰

Yall know my girls…they were so pumped to get to drink that Sprite while getting their nails done. Tess literally took her fist sip and said “AHHHH” haha. I could have saved a whole lot of money on the mani and pedi and just bought a case of Sprite’s and let them sip and watch the rest of us!

We had a big family meal with both sides of the family after our nails and it was a great opportunity to all be together and visit. And, whew, SO MANY CHILDREN. I think we maxed out the room we were seated in with all of our gangs together.

Of course God is ALWAYS good and always has a plan and a bigger purpose but one of my favorite things to do is to look for God in the details. Because He’s in them all too!

A really neat God-detail about Casey and Aaron getting married is how it all works so perfectly for the cousins. All of our kids have a “BFF Cousin” that is super close in age…except for Britt and Payton. Kye and Colt are 10 months apart, Carter and Tess are like 5 weeks apart and Cam and Spear are about 6 months apart. Yet Payton and Britt are over 2 years apart (really closer to three).

What’s so awesome to me is it’s like God left that gap knowing that Ella and Elizabeth would be joining the family someday πŸ™‚ Ella and Payton are the same age and Elizabeth and Britt are only like a year apart I think. Ella and Elizabeth are precious and fit in with all the cousins so perfectly πŸ™‚

The next morning I worked the school attendance system and had the girls check in late and then check out early so they’d still be present but would be able to attend the bridal brunch with all the ladies that morning.

My girls LOVE girl time (they get it honest b/c Mama does too!) and we had such a great time with Aaron’s mom, sisters and nieces for breakfast on the big day!

I was SO honored to be included in so many elements of this special moment in Casey’s life and it made my heart happy to be able to show up for her. It worked out so well that Zach was able to keep Spear and I checked the girls out early from school so we could all go over early to “get ready” together with the bride πŸ˜‰

Casey and Aaron had their wedding ceremony on Big Daddy and Little Mama’s land and the reception on Mr Rusty’s and Mrs Charlotte’s land. It not only made it all super meaningful but it was also gorgeous AND made everything run smoother with having the house as a central hub for everyone to get ready and be able to be hands on throughout the set up of everything too.

They had their “first look” prior to pictures before the ceremony and it all flowed so, so well. The weather could NOT have been more perfect. In South Georgia you never know what you’re going to get…my main prayer for Casey was NO RAIN. She needed beautiful weather and she got it πŸ™‚ Not only did it not rain but it also wasn’t crazy hot either. Truly a perfect day for the gorgeous bride.

It was so precious to me that all the kids gathered on the back porch to watch the “first look” moment. They were all so excited too! I love how Casey and Aaron included all of their kids in the entire day. It was THEIR day too. Casey had a special gift for each of the kids and had a little moment with each of them prior to seeing Aaron.

Uniting families is not easy and I know they will face tough moments in this process but I also know God has prepared Casey for this and has equipped her with so much love to give and so much attention to the little things in parenting that will help ALL of the kids during the transition and beyond too!

Yall know I’m not gonna pass up a photo moment with my Big Daddy πŸ˜‰ I had to hold back tears just seeing him. It worked out SO perfectly that the wedding plans were at his property as he was able to be there for it all. How awesome to always have that memory for Casey that Big Daddy was there! He’s 93 yall. It’s such a gift each day he’s on the earth with us.

We had all the family photos on the land surrounding Mr Rusty’s and Mrs. Charlotte’s home and then just ran or rode golf carts or walked carefully across the field to the ceremony location.

The kids thought that was SO FUN to just be able to run. It was truly the perfect wedding. It was relaxed without being too casual, and had beautiful details without being too fancy. It’s a tricky wedding to plan and I couldn’t be more impressed with how well Casey did having that balance in her wedding planning! The vibe was JUST RIGHT.

Brad officiated and the ceremony was very short (which doesn’t everyone attending a wedding appreciate that?) but also very meaningful. All of the kids were included in parts of the ceremony which made it extra special and just a reminder that this isn’t “just a wedding” it’s a bringing together of two families too!

All of the kids looked so adorable and the girls felt special. They had their hair done and special dresses and it was all so precious!

We then headed over to the reception and, again, everything was just perfect. They had INCREDIBLE food. A food truck served amazing shrimp. The string lights glowed perfectly as the sun went down. Everyone visited and ate and it was all very relaxed and just comfortable.

We even put Spear to bed so we could truly just ENJOY the night! In many ways this night was meaningful to me on a personal level and it was very important to me to be fully invested in Casey’s day and I am so thankful I was able to do that.

We had SUCH a fun time too! The kids ended up playing backyard football and were DRENCHED in sweat by the end of the night. I’m pretty sure Tess had more soda in that 24 hour period than she’s had in her entire 6 years combined!

Zach and I also had a great time together. There is just something about weddings right? It was a special day for us too in many ways. We are so proud and happy for The Horne’s!

I wanted to share here what I shared on Instagram too:

It’s been such a whirlwind few days getting to celebrate Casey and Aaron 🥰

So often we wish we could look ahead and see God’s plan. See the future. Know what’s coming. ❤️

We trust Him and know He has a plan and that we will get through our trials but man it’d make those tough times hurt a whole lot less if we could know that outcome! It’d make that faith journey a whole lot easier. Right?! 👏🏻

I’m so, so happy for Casey. For her happily ever after. For seeing her so filled with love and joy. For getting to celebrate it alongside her. 💕

God is so good. And tonight was so perfect! 😍

Not only was it a fun-filled family affair…Lindsay Colson also was their wedding photographer! SHE WAS PERFECT.

Truly. Lindsay’s Vibe + This Wedding = MAGIC.

Here are some of the photos from Captured by Colson. Lindsay specializes in weddings and she is incredible at what she does!

I am really mindful when it comes to sharing wedding stuff. I didn’t, and don’t, want to take anything at all away from Casey and Lindsay both! It’s Casey’s day and Lindsay’s work so I’m only sharing the photos that I felt like were “my place” to share πŸ™‚

Lindsay did AMAZING with all the photos and she truly captured the entire vibe and feel and joy of the day!

Be sure to visit her site, Captured by Colson, to see more of her work! If you’ve got a wedding, a senior or even looking for family sessions -she’s your girl πŸ™‚

We also had a really big Book Club event in September! We did a murder mystery dinner night and it was THE most fun event!!! We each had a roll in the story and a script and everything. To go along with the murder mystery theme we also read The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle which is one of my new FAV books. SUCH an interesting and different read – highly recommend it!

Tiffany was the victim of murder and Rachel ended up being the murderer…and only Tiffany and I solved the case! I truly only said it was Rachel b/c I was still being in character and had some “personal beef” so I pointed the finger at her and just happened to be right πŸ˜‰

Ashley won for best costume but I won for the most money! Part of my character vibe was a rapper lifestyle so I kinda made it my mission to go for getting everyone’s money the whole night and even may have “borrowed” some from the victim after her passing πŸ˜‰

It was seriously SO SO SO FUN. We had THE best time! We all laughed so much and it was fun how into character everyone got. For my role I channeled my inner Enzo from Big Brother and struggled to turn it back off after haha.

Love this group of ladies and all the fun times we have together!

With Spear in school three mornings a week I realized…I CAN DO LUNCH. Yes, it has to be an EARLY lunch but still! I’m now a mom who CAN LUNCH! Whoop whoop!

Katie and I have been waiting for this day for a decade πŸ˜‰ Zach and I had a lunch date for the first time! Tiffany and I got to share our hearts! Casey and I got to rehash all the fun wedding moments. Lindsay and I planned out our #momboss lives. I even got to meet with two new sweet friends and talk about all things adoption. Def loving the lunch life!

Quality time is a big love language for ME and I highly value making sure my kids get that quality time too. Britt and I had a fun morning getting CFA breakfast and doing a bit of shopping for her soon-to-be Harry Potter themed room and some Good Will shopping for our Halloween costumes too!

She loves to coordinate with me so we did our best to match for our fun too πŸ™‚ I was able to return stuff I bought from Old Navy for our costumes and got almost everything from Good Will for the price I paid for ONE item at Old Navy!

Kye LOVES Fazoli’s so we went to dinner there and got dessert at The Mix together. We discussed Christmas wishlists, faith, girls and middle school life. It also meant so much to me that he took the time to fix his hair nicely and pick out a nicer shirt to wear for our time together. He even asked to snuggle me in the booth – he still loves his mama πŸ™‚

Tess has ALWAYS loved “Spooky Stuff” so we decided for our date to be at the local Halloween store. We had THE best time. I didn’t know that the Halloween stores have so many spooky things set up in the store and we had SO much fun!

She is much braver than I am πŸ˜‰

We also planned to get CFA for dinner because she LOVES IT BUT mom fail…I went to the wrong Chic Fil A for kid’s night so I had waited in the line for over 30 min to only have to drive across town and get BACK in line again at the other CFA.

Tess didn’t mind at all. At the second one she went ahead and sat upfront with me so we could talk and visit while we waited. She said “I bet Kye and Britt are arguing right now” which is probably pretty accurate haha!

Out of all the kids I think the solo time is the most important for Tess. The whole time at the Halloween store Tess kept pointing out things that BRITT would like or enjoy but didn’t point out a SINGLE thing that she liked FOR HER. I want her to have a true sense of self and I think that individual one on one time is so valuable for her. A true focus ON HER and ONLY her!

Kye is really loving middle school life. The only really struggle is that he’s staying after school almost every afternoon and THEN has homework on top of it! It can be a LOT for him on his plate and can feel overwhelming at times.

It’s especially tough that he’s the only kid with homework too! He is really managing it all so, so well and I’m so proud of him. He is doing TSA, FBLA (and serving as an officer), Archery and started anchoring the morning news too. He is really finding his groove and is LOVING it.

He is not intimated AT ALL about doing the morning news or being involved as a 6th grader! He even ran for an officer in FBLA with no fear. I love it!

Most of all I’m so proud of how he ALWAYS puts God FIRST. He truly inspires ME to do better. Almost every night when I go to tuck him in he’s reading his Bible.

This month at church he also moved “up” to the Youth Group which is a HUGE deal and a big step that he’s been so excited about. He has become very close with Harrison and I love that his BFF is someone who loves Jesus too!

Kye also had his first mom-free playdate – EVER this month. Yall I was DYING LAUGHING at Kye. We had it planned out for him to go home after school with Tiffany and Davis to have some dude time with Davis before book club that night so on the way to school I had the “you know how to behave” talk and he said “NO MOM I DON’T BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER GONE TO SOMEONE’S HOUSE.”

We talked through it and legit – we never go to people’s houses. It’s ALWAYS at our house. Playdates. Dinners. ALWAYS. Which I love but I also feel kinda bad that the kids never have the experience of playing with kids at other houses too!

Tiffany ALSO cracked me up when she text me and said “so I should feed Kye all the snacks and soda and have him watch You Tube and play games online right?” SO FUNNY. She knows me well πŸ˜‰ Which is a true gift. I’m so thankful to have Tiffany’s crew in our lives and Davis as such a wonderful example to Kye!

Kye also went to help Big Papa (and Zach) build a bunkbed set at their house for all the grandkids! He also got to spend an entire morning with Big Daddy. I went to visit Big Daddy for a few hours one morning while Spear was at school and Big Daddy specifically asked to have KYE come visit. Kye had a great time learning all about Big Daddy’s younger days working on the rail road. Super special memories.

Britt is LOVING third grade and says its her favorite year ever πŸ™‚

She’s my one having the hardest time with the mask rules (I mean I feel her) and it makes me sad that she has to wear it and that she brought home color pages of masks and such. So ready for NORMAL life!

It can be hard for Britt being the older sister because all of her things get passed down to Tess. Sometimes it’s fun but sometimes it’s SAD because something she loves no longer fits and she has to watch her sister enjoy it! Huge thank you to my sweet friend Danielle who helped me find this shirt for Britt from Poshmark!

I always meet the girls on the front porch after school and love our chats. One I will always remember is the day Britt came home from school and told me she likes a boy and that she wanted to figure out how to tell him.

She said she likes this boy because he is smart and loves science. She loves math so they make a great team and that they are both unique. When we got Kye from school she asked his opinion and he said that first of all, she shouldn’t have any boyfriends in third grade – it’s a fourth grade thing.

And the easiest way to tell the boy is in a note but she shouldn’t do that because she would get teased. But she also shouldn’t go up to him on the playground because he will be with his friends so they will also know.

He told her the best bet is to try to get by him in the lunch line and instead of telling him that she likes him, ask if he likes her πŸ˜‰

She ended asking Zach for advice too and his main point was to see if the boy believes in God and The Bible. So she ended up going up to the boy and saying “Do you believe in the Word of God? Do you like me? I like you.”

I love my girl and her heart for the Lord!

Tess is also thriving in first grade. It’s so crazy how much changes in a year…she’s always been my most reserved, most mommy-clinging child but this year? Girl is SO SOCIAL and has SO MANY FRIENDS. She’s really blossomed!

She did a great job completing her addition tasks on their math program and is doing fabulous in her reading. Huge perk – she can help Britt study her spelling words now πŸ˜‰

Tess is all about a good theme and loves dressing up for school. I think she’s my first kid to be hardcore about wanting to dress up for Johnny Appleseed Day!

Tess also made a “Thank You” card for Jesus. Which is just BEYOND sweet. Spear drew on the card so she had to make another one and it was beyond precious.

She is still my snuggle baby and loves to be held. Physical touch is very important for her!

Tess is getting more into clothing and loves dressing up and playing pretend but also is getting more choosy in what she wants to wear to school. I pick out her clothes and then she comes down wearing something else!

We decorated for Halloween a little early this year and Tess is ALL ABOUT IT. She loves to pull out our holiday books and get her witch gear going.

Love my sweet girl!

Here are a few pics that we did with Tess for a campaign that I just loved!

Spear is also adjusting well to school and loves his teacher this year so much. Cam is at the same school with Spear and I helped Casey out one morning at drop off and they were SO CUTE together πŸ™‚ The best of buddies!

A little speech update – he is getting ready to be evaluated to see if he will qualify for services at age 3 and his current therapist talked to me some about how she believes he still very much needs services even though he may not end up qualifying. So we will see!

Right now we are working on the “P” sound and the way he moves his mouth to make that sound. Focusing on having him use straws to drink and also to work on fine motor skills to help (like play-doh and games).

He is also a “w” sitter which has nothing to do with speech but it can cause hip issues I guess? So I just gently fix one leg when I catch him sitting that way!

Kye loves Taki’s as a snack and let Spear try them and he LOVED them! Kid LOVES flavors!! Zach and I cannot do spices at ALL but Spear is all about it!

I can tell we’re getting closer to the easier life of a three year old. Spear is starting to sit and play for longer periods and is being more helpful and less whiney and less destructive. I’m hereeeee for ittttt!

Other family stuff this month:

Zach is working on revamping Kye’s room into a more Star Wars theme and kicked it off with repainting the room and hanging some shelves for Kye’s Legos.

We also had a funny thing happen over and over this month – we kept finding things in the freezer that were supposed to be in the fridge. Zach and I both accused each other but neither of us remember doing it! Maybe Spear has?

Treehouse 2.0 is well underway and it stresses me out to see Zach work on it on the super high ladder. I can’t handle it!

The kids have been very hands on in the entire process and helped with painting and everything. It’s really getting there.

We had several weekends of sweet friends over and enjoyed spending time and developing deeper friendships with fellow Christian friends and their sweet babies!

Zach had SO MUCH FUN watching FSU play with the kids. Britt is way more into it than you’d think she’d be. It made ME so happy to see (and hear) how much fun they were having watching together. We got geared up and ready for Halloween fun and have been just pouring into our family and enjoying our time together.

A few fun campaign pics from this month πŸ™‚ The kids LOVE doing “Instagram Stuff” and it’s become something our whole family enjoys together. The kids all know that the earnings from campaigns help allow them to have Disney passes and enjoy the perks of having lots of the fun products too!

Whew. I warned you – it’s a BEAST! If you read the whole thing…you are committed and I adore you for it πŸ˜‰

A video should auto play in this post too!

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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 Love What Matters, 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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