Where to begin! As I sat in my office, overwhelmed with the stress of finances that always comes after blowing the budget during the holidays which was amplified by major car problems and medical bills from a fluke accident, I started to look for photos to summarize our year.
I decided that I wouldn’t just share the posed photos with curled hair, perfectly edited, but that I was going to share a better overview of our year.
Very quickly I stopped being frustrated with our circumstances, and extremely grateful for the year we have had as a little family of three.
In January, we decided to sell our first home together. We wanted to be closer to our church and Will’s work, and we just needed something more practical for our family. So, even though we loved that sweet home, we knew something better was out there in Bluefield. We shot a beautiful winter wedding, and spent time with family to start the year. Then right after deciding to sell our home, at a perfectly inconvenient time, we got a phone call about taking in another foster love. We got the blessing of picking him up from the hospital and cherishing every minute with him until it was time for him to go home. Then right as we had to say our goodbyes to our foster love, we welcomed my newest nephew into the world. We love him so!! In April we also got to celebrate the adoption of some very special kids. God brought this friend to me right when I needed her, and I am forever thankful that our fostering journeys connected us! In May we celebrated the love of this sweet teacher friend of mine as they eloped in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. We enjoyed crab legs for Mother’s Day, which is one of my favorite family traditions! Gram took us to see “Annie” at the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre and Sonya loved it!! Then we spent our last night in our first home together, and Sonya quickly fell in love with our new one that includes a giant yard and a play set! Our new home is just perfect for us, and one of these days we’ll finish our projects and I’ll share photos! We travelled to Jekyll Island for a beautiful wedding and got to enjoy the gorgeous island for a day, too! We got so much beach time this year which makes me so so happy! After returning, we got some family time, but had to say goodbye to Will’s grandmother, Mawmaw Nita. She was one of the first of his crew to make me feel like family, and she is greatly missed. In June we made several more friends during such a fun wedding season! Sonya started gymnastics class which she loves! This year she has mastered her cartwheel, backbend, backbend kicker, and one-handed cartwheel. She had been working out with her dad in the mornings too and building strong muscles! Sassy pants. We got to take a fun family vacation and stay at the cutest resort in Wrightsville Beach. We also got to stay with Will’s sister and brother-in-law for a few days and hang out at the beach with their precious babies! Sonya took her first jet skit ride… she cried the whole way but when it was over, she insisted that when she was crying, she actually meant “Weee!” Sonya got a new build-a-bear, which has become our tradition to celebrate her “home-aversary”… she’s been a part of our family since the day she walked through our front door, so we like to celebrate the day she came home! She spent way too much time in her pool! Sonya also got to attend “Ballet Boot Camp” at Beckley Dance Theatre School. She was so serious about it and loved every minute! We ate way too much Mexican and enjoyed many Taco Tuesdays. In July, we took my mom (and fellows Dirty Dancing lover) to Mountain Lake Lodge to celebrate her birthday. We had such a fun girls day! Then we got to squeeze in a visit with my buddies, Kent and Kayden, while we were in Virginia Beach for a wedding. Kent was disappointed that we didn’t stay long, so we decided to bring him back with us for a week at Auntie KT’s!! We celebrated the 4th of July at Gram’s for her annual celebration. Then we took the kids to a water park that ended with me in the ER… you can understand why Kent only wanted to watch movies after this great adventure… Sonya got to pie her Pawpaw after VBS which was the highlight of her life! haha More fun weddings!!! In July, Sonya went for a week to Royal Family Kids Camp. The highlight of her week was fishing!! We snuck off to Ocean Isle and had the best kid-free time. I think I finished two books in three days… haha We met up with a talented photographer who took some anniversary photos for us! Then Sonya got to “assist” when we went to North Carolina to photograph one of my college bff’s weddings! Love these forever friends!! Sonya had a blast at VBS at her Grammie’s church! Then we started off August with Workman family vacation. We love all these kiddos!!! Will introduced Sonya + I both to the West Virginia state fair… she loved it! Then I got to be on the other side of the camera when my bff got married! Kent came to town for his birthday and of course was a little spoiled… I love being an aunt! Then we snuck off for another mini vacation! We got to eat at Paula Dean’s which is my favorite place on earth and go to Dollywood and Splash Country for a few days. Sonya loved her first roller coaster! She was half an inch away from riding the big ones… even with a big Jo-jo bow on her head… haha but she loved the mini ones! We somehow had a free Saturday and got to enjoy the Lemonade Festival! Then Sonya and I got to travel with Will for a work trip where we spent the days lounging by the pool while he worked and then we got to visit this amazing zoo!! Such a fun kick-start to homeschooling. Then we got to visit Smithfield, Virginia, for a wedding. It was such a beautiful place and we got the prettiest portraits, and we loved getting to visit! More Mexican…. Sonya started at a new dance studio right down the road from us and she is loving her class! I got to visit this sweet friend to teach her high schoolers about photography which was so much fun! We have the best couples!! More field trips! These friends came for a visit + a fall session and we had a blast!! Another epic engagement session!! In October, my mother-in-law and I went to Nashville for a business conference. We had a great time and left super motivated!! Sonya got to travel for work with her dad while I was there and they had such a good time! That same week I travelled to Atlanta, Georgia, to meet some of the sweetest girls who were such an encouragement for my business! Then Sonya found out she’s going to be a big sis!! And she celebrated halloween for days and days… Another homeschooling treat was reading to the kittens at the animal shelter! We are so excited to welcome Sawyer James to our family! Although Sonya wanted a sis, she’s adjusting and decided it was okay because they can be spy kids together. My whole family got to come in for Thanksgiving! Then we got to celebrate Sonya’s 8th birthday. She is growing up so fast!! She has gotten to come see Sawyer on the ultrasounds and loves getting to see him grow… more than she loves doing math while waiting… haha We went to see two Nutcrackers this year, and Sonya can’t wait to dance in it next year! We got a special visit from our little man! We are so thankful his sweet family has kept in touch so we can see him grow! Kent and Sonya got to help their Pawpaw light the candle at church! More family fun for the holidays! We are so thankful for all of the fun we got to share this year, and are excited to see what adventures this year holds!!