Monday, January 7, 2019

2018 Recap - Part Two

And here is the remainder of our 2018 recap. What a year. We are thankful for HIS blessings and His grace. 



  • VACATION month!  I took a full two weeks off of work, which was awesome and something I'd never done before. We spent the first week in my home town, and had some day trips spread throughout the other week. We visited Raleigh, NC and Kate got to see the hospital where she was born, and stay in the hotel that we brought her "home" to. 
  • We took a weekend trip to Myrtle Beach because summer isn't really summer without a trip to the beach, right? 
  • Kate's birthday isn't until August but we celebrated a few weeks early. She had 2 friends over to spend the night for the first time. She LOVED it. 
  • As is typical of every summer, we had lots of lake days.  
  •  At the beginning of August, our entire family went on a mission trip to a children's home in Tennessee. This was Karsten's very first mission trip and she rocked it. I love it when we get to teach our girls more about serving others, and they have a blast doing it! 
  • Kate turned SEVEN and we celebrated on the very last day of our mission trip. After we got home, we celebrated by going to Red Lobster with my parents. 
  • The middle of August brought back to school activities for both Kate and Karsten. Kate started second grade and Karsten started her 3K program at a local church. 
  • The girls also started back to gymnastics, one of their favorite activities. 
  • Not to be left out, in August we also celebrated Kevin's birthday and our 11th anniversary.
  • Though his birthday was in August (the 31st), we didn't really celebrate Kevin's big day until September!
  • Kate went on her first 2nd grade field trip, which I chaperoned. We went to a state park and the kids got to go on a hike and try to find creatures in a stream. 
  • September got FOOTBALL season really rolling along. My Clemson Tigers have had a great year and Kevin's Georgia Bulldogs were right in the mix of things too! 
  • Kevin finished building the addition to the swing set, and it got lots of good use when our small group met at our house! 
  • Karsten turned FOUR on October 6th and we had a super fun unicorn party to celebrate. She had asked for a unicorn party for months, and finally the day was here! 
  • Kevin and I took the girls to a Georgia game (a night game!) and we all had so much fun. Despite my Clemson loyalties, I can at least concede that Athens is a fun place to be on game day. 
  • Halloween rolled around and we had fun trick-or-treating with Violet (from the Incredibles) and Buzz Lightyear, complete with light-up helmet. 
  • November was not our finest month. We said goodbye to a great man, Kevin's dad and the girls much-loved Papa. He was a man who loved Jesus and so we take comfort in knowing that at this very moment, he is in the happiest place there is - in the presence of God. 
  • We celebrated world adoption day and took our annual picture with smiley faces on our hands! I have to say, this is the easiest one that we have ever taken! Finally both kids look at the camera and smile. 
  • We took the girls to the Great Wolf Lodge for a quick weekend trip. Besides Carowinds, this is probably their most favorite place to go!
  • My niece, Rylynn turned ONE and had the sweetest birthday party! 
  • This Mama caved and introduced Elf on the Shelf for the very first time to our household. We had lots of fun with our elf, Chrysanthemum (Chrys), in the days leading up to Christmas. 
  • Karsten had a scare with some broken glass so we also had our first (and hopefully our last) trip to the ER. 
  • December wrapped up our year with a bang and a blur of activities!  We had a great visit with Kate's birth mom and family at the beginning of the month. It was bittersweet as Kate's birth mama (Lori) moves to California with her husband's military assignment. 
  • We visited SANTA!
  • Mid-month, we got to visit with Kate's birth dad. He is in the military and has been deployed for the past few years and is now stationed in Texas, so it has been quite a while since we have seen him! We are so thankful to have met his wife, step children, and brand new baby boy! Open adoption is an amazing experience. 
  • We did some Christmas tree decorating, Christmas cookie decorating, and LOTS of other Christmas related activities, including wearing red every chance we got. 
  • We celebrated Christmas with lots of family time and loved every minute. 
  • And through out all of the activities, fun, sometimes chaos, and busyness, we made sure to remember the reason for all of the Christmas season - Jesus. Without that baby in a manger, Christmas would be meaningless. It would be just another day on the calendar. But WITH that baby, Christmas is a celebration of a lifetime. Literally. He is a life-giver and a life-changer. For that we are most thankful!

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