Our Five Ring Circus

Monday, January 9, 2023

New Year’s Goals

Big family blog

New Year’s Resolutions. I just don’t make them anymore. Every year that I did, I felt like I was just setting myself up for failure. Instead, I choose goals. 

Goals are something to aim for. It’s okay if you mess up. It’s okay if you miss a day. It’s simply a learning process to reach those goals, and you can change or adapt as needed. 

Each New Year, I take a little bit of time to reevaluate my goals. I look back on the past year to see what worked, figure out what goals were reached, and decide which goals to keep, get rid of, or add. Because it’s the start of a new year, it’s a good time to make a new game plan for the year ahead! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

1000 Hours Outside


1000 Hours Outside

Last year, we participated in 1000 Hours Outside, and we are doing it again this year. Truthfully, we will reach that time well before the end of the year. Playing and exploring outdoors isn’t just a parenting trend for us. It’s simply how I was raised, and I want my children to experience that gift. 

The first decade of my life was spent exploring the woods, creeks, and ponds that surrounded my house. I was truly outdoors from sunrise until after sunset. If I wasn’t home, I was hiking, swimming, fishing, or “touring” our state with my dad and nephew. The second decade of my life was spent riding my horse. Almost all of my favorite childhood memories involve being outside. 

Parenting kids these days is a whole new ballgame! While I fully believe in the benefits of technology, I think free play and exploring the outdoors is every bit as important. There can easily be a good balance between outdoor play and exercise and electronics and technology!

Monday, January 2, 2023

Ringing in 2023

Big family blogs

Once upon a time, New Year’s Eve was a big celebration for us. I have never been a fan of New Year’s Eve, and we aren’t drinkers, so we shifted our focus. New Year’s Eve became a party with my big family, until everyone started doing their own thing. 

Soon after, a big New Year’s Eve party with friends became our thing. Over time, our group whittled away, families moved, and kids grew up. Finally, instead of going to a party, we became the hosts. It has been that way for several years now. 

I miss how it used to be, but as long as I’m with my immediate family and closest friends, I’m happy. I realize that our traditions will adapt and change over the years, so maybe one day, it will become a big celebration again! Nothing is forever. Maybe I will even start to love the holiday!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Goodbye 2022, Hello 2023!

Family photo ideas

Happy New Year! So many people were eager to say goodbye to 2022, but we will forever remember it as the year our baby’s heart was repaired. It was a GOOD year. That being said, I am hoping 2023 is a great year for our family!

My posts in 2021 and 2022 were few and far between. A surprise pregnancy, a surprising diagnosis, a newborn, dealing with open heart surgery, and parenting 6 kids clearly took priority. I can’t promise anything, but I am going to TRY to be more active on my blog this year! 

I’m going to start with a 2022 highlights update! 

Over the past year:

❤️ Hayden had open heart surgery.

❤️ Dylan turned 18. We have an ADULT child!

❤️ Lexie turned 15, Lily 11, Liam 9, Coen 3, and Hayden 1!

❤️ Lily got a kitten, and Dylan got a Guinea Pig. 

❤️ Lexie was certified in emergency first aid, which paid off when she saved Hayden’s life 2 days ago. 

❤️ We had a fun vacation with friends at Myrtle Beach. 

It was a memorable year for our family, and it was filled with little moments that meant so much. There were ups, and there were downs, just like any other year, but we were healthy, and we were together. I love this big family of ours, and I thank God for them every day! 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Back to School in Style with Zulily


Back To School Shopping

*I received a Zulily credit for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. This post may contain affiliate links.

The back to school season with 6 kids is chaotic - and expensive! I don't mind much, though, because this moment in time is my FAVORITE moment in time. All of my kids are still under the age of 18, and we're all living under one roof!

Whenever I start to feel overly sad about Dylan and Lexie being so close to adulthood/college, I try to focus on the fact that we have four younger kids, too! It doesn't make it that much easier, but we still have so many school years ahead of us. SO many!

We are now two weeks into the school year. Time flies when you're busy! Our kids headed back to school - and into fall - with style this year!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Chat

Big Family Blogs

Happy Monday! I’m making my return to blogging with a Monday morning coffee chat. So grab your coffee or hot tea, and let’s reconnect!

The last time I posted, I shared about the last day of school, but an entire summer break has passed by in a flash. Here we are, with just two days left before the first day of school. I’m facing the school year with mixed emotions. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer!

A lot has happened in the year since we found out we were expecting our sixth baby, and clearly, my presence was needed elsewhere. But, oh how I have missed blogging! I’m excited to share all the details from this whirlwind of a year - a surprise pregnancy, a baby diagnosed with Trisomy 21 and a heart defect, a NICU stay, open heart surgery, and so much more! Hopefully my return will be permanent!

Monday, June 6, 2022

The Last Day of 3rd, 5th, 9th, and 11th Grade


Big Family blog

The last day of 3rd, 5th, 9th, and 11th Grade was over a week ago, but I’m a bit behind, as always. 2 of our 4 kids were very sad about school ending, 1 was excited, and 1 goes to school for 8 days in July. Truth be told, I think our girls would go to school year round if they could!

This school year was one of the few - if not only - years that school ended before Memorial Day. It was nice, but it felt so early. May was definitely much busier than it usually is!

It was a good year overall. It felt more normal than the past two pandemic years, which was great. It was a stressful year for our family, so we are glad school was the easy part!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Just the 8 of Us - Family Updates

Big Family Blog

Adjusting to life as a family of 8 has been a wild ride, but we're getting there! So much has changed in 5 REALLY fast months for all of us. Life has gotten so much busier than it already was, but I wouldn't change anything...well, except for maybe adding a few more hours each day to get stuff done!

There is so much going on right now, and I'm going to try my hardest to stay up to date with everything that's happening. I still have so many big life events to share - our surprise pregnancy, how we found out about Hayden's heart defect, Hayden's birth, our NICU stay, birthdays, vacations, holidays, baptisms, and more. Some BIG things are happening over the next few weeks, and writing is therapeutic for me, so I'm just going to jump back into blogging. 

There's no doubt that social media has taken over blogging, as it has many others, but I still have big plans to update this space. As I begin ease back into writing, I figured now would be a good time for a family update. If you follow us on social media, you do see little snippets of our lives, but never the whole picture. There's a lot going on with 8 people under one roof! Plus, I need something to keep my mind occupied right now...

Monday, January 31, 2022

Welcome, baby! Introducing...Hayden Grant!

NICU baby

Hello, blog world! It has been a long while. When I last posted, I shared the news that we were expecting another baby. Since that post, we welcomed our sweet baby boy into our family, and he's now nearly 3 months old! 

The past few months have been a whirlwind, including a NICU stay, lots of appointments, and the holiday season. We are adjusting to life as a family of 8, and I feel like it's almost our new normal. Before I do anything else, I wanted to introduce the newest family member on our blog!

I plan on easing my way back into things, including posting regularly to my blog again. I missed it so much, but there simply wasn't time, and I wanted to enjoy our last baby as a newborn. He's still newborn sized, which I absolutely love, but I can't believe he's almost 3 months old. Time simply flies by when you're a parent!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Completing Phase Three: The Final Pregnancy Chapter with a TWIST

Pregnancy Announcement

My husband and I started our parenting years when we were young. While everyone else we knew was in college or starting their careers, we were buying a house and having a baby. Two years later, we added another child to our family. Grant said he wanted one, maybe two, kids, so we thought that was it for us.

4 1/2 years later, we changed our minds. Lily was born, and a few days after she turned two, Liam joined our family. At that point we started referring to our kids as Phase One and Phase Two. We always said there would NEVER be a Phase Three!

Well, we all know how that turned out! Coen was our BIG surprise, coming into our lives after we donated most of our baby items. We were done. Phase Three would just be Coen, and we would move forward on our parenting journey. It turns out this chapter in our lives hadn't ended just yet...