Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Best of 2015

I almost skipped out on doing a wrap up for 2015, but it was a great year that deserves a recap.  Lots of highlights and things to be thankful for.  I'm so glad I have this space to document all the big and little things that go on in our day to day life.

We headed down to the Mississippi coast line to visit Biloxi, MS and had a great time.  Living less than three hours from the beach was definitely a great thing about living in Jackson.  I talked about the importance of Windexing your diamonds.  Shared a family favorite recipe for Texas Sheet Cake.  Think of it as a dessert that is the result of a chocolate cake marrying a brownie.  It's delicious.

I started using Bare Minerals make up and am a huge fan almost a year later.  It wears so well and is really easy to wear.  I made these Dark Chocolate Bites with dried fruit and nuts for friends around Valentine's Day and they were delicious.  I need to make those again soon.  I usually do a yearly PSA about making yourself easily accessible online - specifically talking to no reply bloggers.  I always respond to comments via email so if you don't hear back from me, your email is likely hidden.  I have had great luck freezing cookie dough this year.  The cookies taste fresh and they are always in my freezer ready to be baked.  No more waiting around to stir up cookies and then baking them.

I wrote about how charming Southern people are and how I appreciated their kindness.  Kevin had a conference to go to in Savannah, GA so we tagged along for a little Savannah Roadtrip.  We had a wonderful time, visited with friends and walked all over that city.  Definitely an amazing spot to visit if you ever get the chance.   My parents came down to Mississippi to visit and we had a great time working on projects around the house.  We had so much fun decorating and celebrating Easter.  Olive loved hunting for eggs for the first time and we had a blast with chalkboard eggs.
We spent a weekend in Oxford and loved touring the home of Ole Miss.

My in laws came down for a visit and my MIL and I worked for DAYS to overhaul our yard.  We dug things up, planted new things, rearranged and worked our tails off to make our yard beautiful.  I learned so much about gardening and Olive was covered in dirt for days.  We were all happy and adored our place in Mississippi.  Kevin studied for and passed his big psychology licensing exam.  Life with a toddler is never dull and I find myself saying the strangest things to her.  We got to take a quick day trip to Vicksburg, MS.

Olive became a Burn Center graduate this month.  I hated that she ever had to deal with this, but it's been amazing to see how well her hand has healed.  I did not see this news coming - we are moving to Indiana!!  Kevin interviewed and accepted a position at Indiana State.  My favorite restaurant in Utah was Cafe Rio so I regularly make Cafe Rio inspired Pulled Pork for dinner.  It's so good!  Our sweet Olive turned 2 and we put our house up for sale.  We actually showed it to the future owners for the first time on her birthday.

We had a Some Bunny is Turning Two party with our families.  It was adorable and capture her love for her bunny perfectly.   I gave Watermelon Salsa a try and it was so refreshing.  We took our first vacation to Naples, FL with my in laws.  It was amazing and Olive keeps asking to go back to the ocean.  Do you blame her??  I reread this post several times about how our children really just want our TIME.

My blog turned FOUR.   I need to get busy and make these Triple Berry Scones again because I've been craving them.  We SOLD our house in Mississippi!  That was such a blessing to us to be able to move and not have to worry about selling a house from a distance or renting it out.  We were able to completely close that chapter of our lives and settle into our new life.  We had our first garage sale and I shared 12 tips for having a great saleWe moved.  My parents came down to Mississippi to help us pack up and move ourselves back to our home state.  It was a HUGE job like moving always is, but we couldn't have done it without them.  We celebrated Kevin's 34th birthday with a fiesta and fireworks and then celebrated 11 years of marriage.

I shared some of my favorite recipes for football food & appetizers with the kick off of college football.   We went to the Indiana State Fair for the first time.  We interviewed and hired our first non-family member babysitters for Olive.  It was stressful, but I'm glad we got the ball rolling.  Talked about the differences in parenting during year 1 and year 2 of Olive's life. 

 I had the best time hosting a Woodland Creature baby boy shower for one of my friends from high school.   We took a little weekend trip to Kentucky for one of the prettiest Southern Weddings I've ever been to.  I had fun picking out 5 celebrity guests to invite over for dinner.  I wrote a letter saying Goodbye to Mississippi.  I loved our time there and am thankful for the year we had.  I mentioned how I aspired to be a cheerleader... for my husband and family.  We took a road trip up to Notre Dame for a game day weekend with my in laws.  We had the best time, ND won and Olive got to visit campus for the first time.  I definitely won't be our last trip up to tailgate and enjoy football festivities.

Olive had so much fun pretending to make 15 Bean Soup.   We finally shared some BIG BABY NEWS that we'd been keeping a secret for the pats 12 weeks or so.  It was so fun to tell family and friends our news and include Olive in the fun this time.  I started documenting my pregnancy monthly and I love looking back to see these early moments of the first twelve weeks.  We went to our first homecoming at ISU and had a great time tailgating and watching football.  It was Olive's first time to go into a stadium for a game.  Hands Free Life was one of my favorite books of 2015.  We let Olive pick out her Halloween costume for the first time and she decided to be a Pretty Pirate.  

We kicked off the month announcing we were having a little BOY!   I love sharing recipes on my blog and I love that many of my favorite recipes can be found on my blog.  This Chicken Noodle Soup is definitely a favorite at our house.  I gave myself 7 birthday challenges for the coming year that I look forward to tackling.  Making pies is not so intimidating when you know some Pie Making Secrets.  We spent a weekend with friends in Chicago.  

We started a new tradition with The Kindness Elves this year.  Olive and I had a great time making Christmas ornaments together.  These Pumpkin Streusel Muffins have been made several times since first trying them at Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful brunch with Santa at our country club.  I loved how our Christmas cards turned out this year. 

My favorite moment of the year:
It's so hard to pick one... so I'll pick two - moving to Indiana and baby brother on the way!

My least favorite moment of the year:
Moving for the 4th year in a row :)

What was the high and low of 2015 for you??

Can't wait to see what 2016 has in store for our family!!


  1. What a great year! It's amazing to see how much Olive has grown over the year, so sweet. Hope you have a wonderful 2016!

  2. Love how you keep track of it all and recap! I am definitely going to try to blog and document more what is going on with my life. :) Happy 2016!

  3. I had lots of fun looking back at your year. What a year y'all have had! Crazy how much can change in a year's time. I can't wait to see what 2016 brings! I want it to be a year of positives!

  4. What an amazing year you have had. It was fun to look back on the happening before I was following along. I have wrote a no reply PSA announcement too. I got so tired of it I finally switched to Disqus which I thought I would hate but I surprisingly love. I never realized you could just direct reply to comments on Disqus from your inbox. Anyways, I am rambling!

  5. This was such a fun recap! You have had quite the eventful year! It was fun to see Olive change just in those pictures you shared here. Your blog is one of my top favorites and I love reading what you share every week!

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort


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