Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 In Review

It's time to recap the highlights of our 2016! We reached lots of our goals and set about living joyfully and with good attitudes this year. Yay. =) We enjoyed tons of fun and made some of the best memories. We watched our family grow together and enjoyed lots of traditions, outings, holidays, and regular ole days at home. As I think back over the year I'm overwhelmed by His grace and could cry a LOT over how thankful I am.
Now it wasn't perfect... I faced some stress and anxiety and we dealt with some challenges and hurdles and not so fun issues, but He was always faithful and always good. I will definitely remember this year with a smile and a tear. It was pretty awesome.

Here's a recap of the highlights of our 2016...


January was busy and sweet for us. On January 6th our firstborn asked Jesus to come into his heart and save him from his sins and on January 17th he was baptized. Such a special start to our year and sweet, precious days and events for our family.

In January we also celebrated Garrison's upcoming 7th birthday with his biggest party to date!

January was full of party planning, a dusting of snow, a touch of the sickies, and sweet celebrations.


February is one of our favorite months! We celebrate almost all month long and February 2016 was no different.

Garrison Cade turned 7 on the 5th!

We enjoyed the day celebrating our favorite newly turned 7 year old and later that weekend a Broncos victory in the Superbowl!

On the 12th of February our baby boy turned 2! We loved celebrating with our littlest man!

Two days later we enjoyed a fun Selph Family Valentine's Day

And the following weekend we celebrated Layton turning 2 with his birthday party and my Paw Paw turning 90 with his birthday party!

We loved our February! A Superbowl, birthdays and traditions, Valentine's Day, parties, and a week off of school were pretty amazing. =) And before the month was over I took over as Preschool SS Director at our church. February was super special.


In March we celebrated Layton's birthday by taking him on a special outing to the zoo, we started another season of baseball, and we celebrated Easter with a fun and wet Easter weekend!

March kicked off a crazy Spring for us!


April was all about baseball! I loved watching my big boys play!!

In April we also celebrated my mom's birthday, Terrell's dad's birthday, AND I had surgery for the first time in my life! I spent Spring Break recovering from a tonsillectomy and septoplasty while my boys had tons of fun with Granna, Papa, and AnAn.

April was a little wild for us. We were super busy the whole month with baseball and school, and Spring Break was definitely different for me as I recovered. But we made the most of it all and enjoyed the middle of our baseball season, birthday celebrations, Spring weather, a field trip, and counting down to summer!


With May came Mother's Day, the wrap up to baseball, the end of the school year, and the start of summer! May was crazy busy but also exciting and fun. It was a whirlwind. =)

My guys made Mother's Day weekend super special for me.

And we barely squeezed in Spring pics of the boys... that we did ourselves!

The end of May was very bittersweet as we welcomed summer and said goodbye to Garrison's amazing teacher and awesome 1st grade year.

Then we took our first ever Memorial Day weekend trip to the beach with Terrell's family. It was a super fun start to our summer!

May was happy and fun, busy and crazy. May was FULL.


June was pretty wonderful for us. Definitely one of my favorite months of the year in 2016.

On the 4th, Terrell and I celebrated 11 years of marriage. #socrazy #wearen'tthatold

The big boys enjoyed their first ever mini summer camps, I started tutoring 2 mornings a week, and we soaked up the start of summer.

Then Terrell and I went on our annual anniversary trip! To the beach this time! We had the best little get-away and will always remember this trip as one of our favorites.

After our trip we enjoyed a favorite summer tradition and went to the Braves game!

We wrapped up swim lessons for Austin, celebrated Father's Day with all the dads in the fam, and took a fun summer field trip before taking off for the BEACH!


July arrived while we were away at our new favorite place enjoying our best ever family vacation!! (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) We can't wait to go back to St George Island!

After our wonderful beach vacay we soaked up our last weeks of summer by celebrating the 4th, taking a field trip to the Georgia Aquarium, completing our master bedroom makeover, and enjoying our last big summer weekend.

Then at the very end of July, the big boys had their 1st day of school!

July was pretty amazing. We savored our 2nd half of summer and had tons of fun.


August. Where do I begin? August gets me every year. It's possible I'm still tired from August.

In August I wrote about our big school decision for Austin and I am still so amazed and so grateful for God's perfect plan. The wow factor is holding strong.

In August we started soccer, spent most of the month trying to settle into our new back to school routine, celebrated Terrell's 35th birthday, and celebrated Austin's upcoming 5th birthday with his Braves party!

August was challenging and exhausting but the birthday celebrations we enjoyed were big favorites and the highlights of our month!


We kicked off September with Labor Day/Austin's birthday weekend and celebrating our middle man turning 5!

We started soccer games, took the boys to one of our high school's football games, enjoyed Buggy Days weekend, and welcomed Fall.

September was pretty great. But it also brought some big changes right before we welcomed October...


At the end of September and beginning of October I made the big return to the classroom. This was a huge deal for me and made for a challenging start to October. Can you say exhausted?! Shell shocked? Sleep walking? Haha. My family and I still haven't quite adjusted to mama working full days, but for now, this is the opportunity God has provided and we are thankful. Especially for the part time perks to subbing!

October came with some challenges but it was mostly wonderful. We LOVE October!!

We enjoyed our Pumpkin Patch visit

We had a super fun Fall Break complete with celebrating my 33rd birthday and a trip to the state fair!

We enjoyed Homecoming Week, Field Days at school, pumpkin carving, and Piper's 1st birthday!

And we wrapped up the month enjoying a FUN and oh so cute Halloween!

October is always one of our favorites!!


With November came a slower pace. We finished up our soccer season and began to savor the off season, we survived daddy being out of town for almost a week with work, we hosted our very 1st Georgia party, we set up the boys' new basketball goal, my mom restored an antique buffet for me, and we enjoyed lots more game nights thanks to our evenings at home.

We LOVED our Thanksgiving and enjoyed our week long break so, so much.

And before the month was over we decorated our house, picked out our Christmas tree, and prepared for Advent and the most wonderful time of the year.

November was wonderful and another one of our favorites!


December was special and magical and full of the Christmas spirit. We loved and enjoyed the season SO much and wish it could've been longer. It's our favorite time of the year.

In December we took a trip to Six Flags, attended and hosted a Christmas party, had more fun with game nights, watched Christmas movies, attended school parties, visited Santa, and had the best time on our Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt. Other than strep interrupting things twice, it was perfect. =)

We had an amazing and wonderful Christmas with both our families and enjoyed our celebrations to the fullest. Christmas is always special and this year was one of the best.

2016 was full of highlights and fun for our family. We always enjoy our time spent together most of all and I am THANKFUL for this past year. God's grace was abundant and we give Him the glory. The fun with my family, the traditions we enjoyed, watching my boys play sports, laughing hard together, and loving fiercely are what I'll most remember about 2016.

We don't know what God has in store for our family in 2017 but we are hopeful. We know He works all things together for our good and His glory. Happy New Year!! Praying we feel the peace and joy that comes from Jesus as we welcome a brand new year this weekend! 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016~ Part 2

Part 2 of our Christmas was amazing once again. After leaving Terrell's parents' house around noon on Christmas Eve we came home for what I like to call our Christmas breather. It's pretty much our only downtime between the evening of Christmas Eve Eve and the evening of Christmas night. We all relax and chill and just hang out for several hours. It is wonderful and needed. =)

While I got started on some cooking/baking, Layton took a nap and the rest of the guys went to the basement to watch the Falcons game. That left mama with some quiet time in the kitchen and eventually an opportunity to lay on the couch and watch Christmas Vacation. #MerryChristmastome 

After our afternoon of peacefulness and rest we got ready to head to AnAn's and Frankie's house for our Christmas Eve night tradition! We gather around 5:00 with my parents and grandparents and have chili and hot dogs and yummy desserts. It's a fun, delicious, and pretty crazy night!

Once everyone finishes supper the grands all get to open Christmas pjs from Granna. It's a sweet tradition that kicks off our preparation for Santa every year. =) 

Then everyone changes into pjs so we're all ready for bed when we get home. And of course we have to make pictures in front of the tree! We took a combined 127 pictures and came away with ZERO in which everyone is looking and smiling. Ha! We tried. 

We got home in time to watch The Grinch before bed! It was the absolute sweetest being all piled onto the couch together watching one more Christmas movie. It may be one of my favorite memories from this Christmas. Layton had never seen it so he kept saying He being mean. Mama he is being mean. He tattled on the Grinch big time. Haha!

Before bed we left out a few goodies for Santa and this year each boy chose something different to leave out. Layton left out one of AnAn's chocolate chip cookies she so graciously shares with us every year, Garrison chose a piece of cinnamon cake that I made for Christmas morning, and Austin chose a silver bell/Hershey's kiss. Then our magical night was a little interrupted during the reading of The First Christmas Night. Sigh. We made it through the book but not before we had some mini meltdowns and at least one boy got in trouble and at least one of us shed a tear. Gracious. Thankfully all's well that ends well. =)

It took the big boys longer than normal to fall asleep but once they finally did, Santa came! Santa typically brings each of the boys a few things and maybe something combined, and Terrell and I usually give each of the boys 3 gifts to unwrap plus something combined. So it's not totally crazy but definitely plenty. It works for us so I think we'll stick with it for a while. We had just turned off A Christmas Story when I started making pictures. Watching that movie on Christmas Eve is definitely a favorite Christmas tradition too!

This year they each got a new basketball for outside, Pokemon cards and mini figures, a small set of legos, and some power ranger toys. Their combined gift was a wooden marble run. 

Terrell and I woke up and got ready and heard the big boys a little past 6:30. Garrison told Austin he was pretty sure he heard Santa's reindeer on the roof during the night. =) Thankfully they knew to wait in their rooms and hung out and played quietly for 45 minutes! Layton eventually woke up and then we went upstairs to round up 3 excited boys!

I love this picture!

Terrell captured their reactions to walking in the living room... Priceless!!

We had such a sweet Christmas morning together. It was full of fun and full of joy.

After a morning full of giving and receiving everyone got dressed and we went over to Granna's and Papa's house for Christmas morning with them!

(Unfortunately we couldn't make it to church. Christmas on Sunday is tricky. Given that we all have babies now and we all fit 4 different Christmases into Christmas Day... Anna and Frankie going out of town for 1 of their get-togethers, and the fact that the celebrations couldn't be postponed due to family members having to return to work on Monday, we just couldn't work it out. And that's okay. We didn't stress over it or worry over it, we just accepted it and I'm thankful for that!)

 This year we made sure to get a family picture on Christmas Day!

A few actually. =)

We arrived at my parents' around 9:45 and had a simple brunch together which is perfect for us. The boys even had their Sunny D in Christmas mugs. =)

After finishing up our sausage balls, cinnamon cake, biscuits, and pigs in the blankets we were ready for presents!

Celebrating with Baby Girl was so fun this year!

There is truly nothing like Christmas morning at Granna's and Papa's. A Garrison/Selph/O'Mary Christmas is SO fun!! Plus loud, chaotic, joyful, exciting, crazy, magical, and all of the above. Our love tanks are so full afterwards! And then we have a huge, glorious mess to clean up! =)

Tractors may be this little man's favorite thing. This little ornament went right on his tree as soon as we got home. =)

The big surprise gifts of the morning for the boys were brand new bikes! They are already loving them and begging to ride everyday!

After a super fun morning at my parents' house we came home to let the boys change into shorts (boo to warm weather on Christmas!) and then we were off to my Nanny's for Christmas Day lunch. The highlight of the afternoon was a long golf cart ride for our fam plus an extra little man/cousin.

After a full afternoon with cousins, babies, more presents, and lots of family we came home to let the boys take baths and change clothes once again before heading back over to my parents' house where my mom hosted Christmas night for my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. We partook of another huge and oh so delicious feast and enjoyed wrapping up our Christmas Day with lots more family.

And we remembered to get a picture of the boys with Papa and Granna! It wasn't easy but mama was determined and we took what we could get.

Christmas 2016 was such a blessing. So special, so fun, so full of sweet memories. It definitely wasn't perfect but I love the new motto I heard recently and have decided I should adopt as my own.... It doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect. When we look back and remember this Christmas we'll remember the WONDERFUL most of all. We had our challenging moments but I'm still declaring it perfect, imperfections and all. =)

He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute. ~ Saint Augustine

Throughout all of our celebrations and fun, at the forefront was His grace. Jesus. The "always Gift for all our days". Christmas continues for us who know Him every single day!! So, so thankful for Emmanuel. Merry Belated Christmas from our family to yours!