Okay this took way longer than Lindsay imagined but definitely worth it and a tradition we want to do going forward. In fact, Lindsay has always struggled with how to document our family's life – Mark definitely documents, but he’s not in charge of the keeping of our photos. In the past Lindsay has done photobooks with periods of times like dating years, engagement, life without kids, Ethan's first year -- but wow, that's hard to try and decide how/what to segment! She may or may not someday go back and try to do things year by year because this was just way easier and fun to see how life changed in a chronological year. (So probably wishful dreaming but we'll see!)
Anyways, as Lindsay worked through the photos, Lindsay found common themes throughout them so the photos are grouped into categories to show the truly best things that we love throughout the year. We loved reflecting on this past year and seeing naturally what is important to us -- it also challenges us to see if areas that we thought were important were lacking and encouragesushow to structure our new year going forward.
Many special moments of this past year weren't documented. Sometimes, it's too much fun to be in the moment that you forget the camera and stay in it, soaking up each precious memories and joyful smiles.
2017, you were quite the year. We went from a family of three to four. We traveled to Georgia, Montana, up north, Michigan and even Wisconsin – ha! We stretched ourselves by growing in our business, getting out of college debt, Lindsay having eye surgeries, going from zone defense to man-to-man in parenting, and learning how to prioritize our marriage and our relationships with Christ within it all. It has been messy. It has not been perfect. But, it’s been beautiful. We have seen how faithful God is through it all by his countless provisions and unexpected blessings. It leaves us hopeful to see where 2018 will lead us and how we will grow.
Welcome to our Family, Deacon
We know. The first few photos aren't Deacon's birth. It's when you're pregnant, Lindsay. But we had to put it in somewhere because who doesn't want to get a peak at that adorable curly head little boy who is goofy and curious all at the same time. We loved our last few months with E Bear before we became a family of three and have to show this part of Deacon's journey too! Below you'll find lots of special firsts -- first photo of Lindsay and Deacon, Ethan coming with Lindsay's brother and parents to meet Deacon for the first time, grandparents meeting Deacon, Deacon smiling -- you know, all the things that make you go aaawwwwweee.
Ethan and Deacon's Relationship
We have loved watching these two grow in their relationship. Praise be to God, Ethan has never despised Deacon. You know, the horror stories about a child not wanting a sibling? Didn't happen. Ethan immediately was cool with Deacon. He barely even realized he was there -- and when he did, it was all, "Baby! Baby!" Yes, there have been moments where these two have woken each other up and have hit/bit/etc. but the amount of joyful giggles, reading stories, rolling basketballs, and all sorts of funny moments greatly outweigh the not-so-fun moments.
Ethan in Motion
Deacon got a category of his own with his birth, so naturally, we have to highlight Ethan too. In that case, we'll show how he's constantly in motion, except for the rare moments that he's momentarily not. This dude. We love him dearly. We love how he loves basketball and Michigan football, how he brings such joy to those around him, how he puts out his hand and says, "good mornin'" to people who walk in the doors at church, how he points out every flag, airplane, and train as we go along the road. Oh E, may your heart remain pure and your roots dig deep into Christ.
It's been a busy year and the moments that we've gotten to sneak away from it all just the two of us are few and far between -- and often we intentionally not bring phones and cameras because we want to live in the moment instead of capturing it. Here are a few of the moments we have documented -- the many walks to encourage Deacon to be in the right position and come soon. Our first time at a Guthrie play, our countless scouting out in nature dates for upcoming sessions, date days shooting awesome couples' weddings, and our sixth anniversary in the comfort of our daily attire. This is our life.
From Deacon's dedication to the Lord to birthdays to watching Travis graduate from high school and Josiah graduate from college, it's been a fun year of big chapters closing and starting a new. Did I mention my mom turned 50 too? Yup, the day after Deacon was born so we got to go on a fun dinner cruise a few months later to re-celebrate.
Oh the simple joys in daily life. With naps, first foods, hide and seek, messing -- err, we mean playing with Riley --, and the numerous Chipotle runs in between, we love the day-to-day fun and are challenged to be intentional with each and every one.
Trips and Adventures
We love to travel and adventure. 2018 will bring hopefully more and have encouraged us to make sure to intentionally set aside the time to do it all the more. Here are many of the awesome adventures and trips we took in 2017.
That's our year! Thanks for walking alongside with us in it. We love you guys!
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)