Our Five Ring Circus: A Week in the Life of a Big Family {Week 2}

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Week in the Life of a Big Family {Week 2}

Big Family Life

I can't believe we are more than halfway through the first month of 2020! Is it just me, or does time go by faster each year? I used to always think of January as a boring month, but as my kids get older and my family grows bigger, we get busier, and January is no exception!

Everyday life in a big family is already busy enough, but when we add all the extras to our schedule, life becomes chaotic. We are always on the go! We absolutely have to keep a one extracurricular sport or activity per child rule in our family, but obviously, our schedule changes throughout the year due to seasonal sports and activities.

Week two of 2020 wasn't really remarkable, but there truly is never a dull moment around here! Even when we are running from one thing to the next, I try to keep in mind just how blessed we are to have our beautiful family. Here's an ordinary week in the life of a big family...

Week 2: January 8th - January 14th

{Spoiler Alert: There's a lot of Coen! I'm with him ALL the time!}

January 8th

Week two started out on a somber note. Back in 1994, my parents gave me a horse on January 8th. It was one of the best gifts I ever received, and he was with me until he passed away in my arms just a few years ago. Cherokee was my first love, and we always celebrated this "anniversary" each year. Now, January 8th is bittersweet. I have so many amazing memories of growing up with a horse, and then introducing four of my children to him, but I miss him so much. My heartache grew even more when I found out a friend's daughter had passed away.

Pet Blogger

Despite the sadness, the day went on. After I dropped off Liam and Lily at school, Coen and I went for a run at the park. I decided to focus on the other gifts in my life. That day, my sweet Coen celebrated the 10 month milestone! I can't believe he's so close to his first birthday!

Baby Blog

Exercise with baby

Fit Mom

Mom Blogger

Parenting Blog

Pittsburgh Blog

10 months

10 months old

Milestone Blanket

Milestone Blanket Photography

Baby Milestones

Monthly Photo Ideas for baby

January 9th

Thursday morning was busy! Dylan had a live class at 8 AM, and had an appointment at 9:45. I had to drop Lily and Liam off at school, then come back to pick up Dylan. While he was at his appointment, Coen and I hung out in the car. When we got home, Dylan made us breakfast (he loves to cook) before his next live class. His southwestern scrambled eggs were really good! The rest of the day went by quickly in a flurry of activity.

Mom Life

Beautiful Baby

Breakfast Idea

January 10th

Coen did not sleep well the night before, so I tried to go back to bed for a bit after Lexie got on the bus. As you can see, I didn't have much luck, but Coen sure did! We spent the afternoon at my parent's house, then I picked up Liam and Lily from school and drove Dylan to his girlfriend's house. We headed back to my parent's house for dinner, and it was Lily's turn to spend the night at their house. The rest of us headed home, and I went to bed a bit earlier than I usually do on a Friday night.

Real Motherhood

Life with kids

First Year Baby Photo Ideas

Baby Fashion

Baby Fashion Blog

(Coen's Outfit - Trendy Bubs)

January 11th

The weather has been very mild here. It felt more like Spring than Winter. When we woke up to a 60+ degree day on Saturday, we started to tackle our outdoor to do list! Dylan and I took down the outdoor Christmas decorations quickly, then Lexie and I painted the front porch. Once our work was done, we played outside for hours, without coats or shoes. It was wonderful! Grant drove Dylan to his friend's house while we played. When we came in, Lexie started working on her new hobby again - special effects makeup! That evening, our friends came over, and we made dinner together. We watched a movie and some TV shows, and went to bed earlier than usual again. (We must be getting old!)

Down syndrome blogs

Down syndrome

Pittsburgh Family Blog

Special effects makeup

January 12th

On Sunday, Lexie had to help my dad at work, so I dropped her off at their house. (She actually helps him at work once a week!) We had a quiet afternoon back at home. Later that evening, I filled up my gas tank, and picked up Dylan from his friend's house. We ate dinner, then got ready for the upcoming week.

Mom Life

Life with Kids

January 13th

On Monday, we hit the ground running! I went for a run after dropping the kids off at school, then Coen and I had our weekly shopping trip. Back at home, we put away all the groceries, and had lunch. Dylan had a live class at noon, and Coen took a good nap, so I was able to get stuff done! I picked up Liam from school, and he fell asleep on the way home. I tried to wake him up to play outside, since we still had spring-like weather, but he belly-flopped onto the kitchen floor, and fell back asleep. I had to stop by my parent's house, then drop off Lexie at her friend's house to study, but when I got home, the kids played outside, then Lily and I built our new fireplace! Lexie came home later that evening, and finally had the blue hair tips she had been wanting!

postpartum workouts

Life with a baby

Life with Down syndrome

The Lucky Few

Ikea Swivel Chair

Life with Down syndrome

Special Needs Blog

Kids Furniture

Mom Life

Down syndrome blog

January 14th

Tuesday was a busy day! After dropping off Lily and Liam at school, I went to the dealership to get my oil change. It was a bit of a wait, but Coen was pretty good! After it was done, we stopped by the park for a run, before heading home. It was an ordinary morning/evening, and the weather was still really nice, so we played outdoors after school. That evening, Lily had her private tumbling class with her best friend, and was so excited to finally land her standing back bend on her own, without bumping her head on the mat! When we got home, we had dinner, watched a movie, then headed to bed, ready for the busy days coming up!

Tom Henry Chevrolet

Mom Life

Pittsburgh Family

Teen outfit ideas

special effects makeup


Trampoline photography

Infantino 4-in-1 Jumbo Activity Gym & Ball Pit

Fire & Ice Mars



I'm still making my way through Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness! I don't get much extra time to read these days, so I'm aiming for one book per month until I can pick up speed!


Grant and I finally got caught up with This Is Us, and we can't wait to see the next episode after last week's cliffhanger! Last week we watched the new live action Aladdin with the kids. It was entertaining, but it doesn't compare to the original! We're also making our with through the Oscar Best Picture Nominations. Last night, we watched Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit. I thought Marriage Story was too real, too wordy, and too long. Jojo Rabbit was really good though!


I'm still on my organizing/rearranging kick! I'm actually getting everything in this house organized, throwing away junk, donating a bunch of items, and re-purposing items that weren't being used. I want to get through all the major areas as soon as possible, because I have a lot of house renovation projects in mind that I can't wait to tackle!

I organized a lot this week, but my favorite trick was to re-purpose a jewelry organizer that kept getting knocked off of the girls' bedroom door. Nothing was in it anymore, and everyone kept tripping over it. Meanwhile, Coen is in the inquisitive stage where he gets into everything, and I repeatedly pick up dozens of pairs of socks and shoes in his room.

I brainstormed, and then realized the pouches in the jewelry organizer were perfectly sized for his tiny socks and shoes. Voila! Instantly organized, I can see everything he has so I no longer forget about things before he grows out of them, and they are out of his reach on a hook in his closet!

Baby Socks Organization Ideas


I need to start writing down my menu plan again, because I can't remember what we ate when I sit down to write this post, and I cook dinner 4-5 nights a week! So, instead of trying to figure out what we ate, I'll share a major diet change that I'm seriously considering.

Back story: I was a vegetarian for almost 15 years, then started eating some meat when my iron level dropped really low during my first pregnancy. I still don't eat much meat, and can easily go without it.  I've always struggled with anemia, so I'm not sure if meat actually has anything to do with it. If anything, I will eat tuna, popcorn shrimp, ground turkey, and some chicken. I pretty much hate most red meat and seafood, and cooking it or thinking about what I'm eating grosses me out.

With that being said, I'm considering cutting meat out of my diet again. I won't make my family go vegetarian, because it's already tough enough with one gluten-free family member, and they all love meat. I, however, will stick to meatless meals as often as possible! (I don't cut out dairy, eggs, etc...) I've done it before, so I really don't think it's going to be too hard!

Listening To 

I've been listening to my Spotify playlists in the car, and when I run. I'm back on my musicals kick again, probably because I really miss performing. For now, I'll just belt out show tunes in the car!


The spring-like weather lasted another week, so I wore a lot of long sleeve shirts and leggings. And now, Lexie loves to "twin" with me! We get most of our matching shirts on Amazon. (Spoiler alert: The sweaters, boot socks, and snow boots came back out over the weekend.)

Matching Mom & Daughter Styles

Coming up this week... 

The upcoming week is quieter than usual. I have to go shopping, I'll go running each morning, Lily has tumbling, Liam has a dental appointment, we'll visit my parents, and we'll spend time with friends over the weekend. Something extra (or two or three) always seems to pop up, so it helps that we're not overly booked this week!

It was just an ordinary week for us. No birthdays or special events. Just everyday life, work, and kids keeping us busy. These days are fleeting, so I'm focusing on enjoying this stage in my life. When I get overwhelmed (yes, it happens once or twice a day), I remind myself that my house will be too quiet and I will be wishing this all back one day in the not too distant future!

A Week in the Life of a Big Family

I love hearing from my readers, so in the comments, tell me one exciting thing that has happened in 2020 so far!


  1. It is nice that you are keeping track of what's happening in your life! That special effect makeup is pretty creepy!

  2. I love the picture of the girls on the trampoline. How wonderful that you all got a few days of mild, warm weather. Here in Texas, we feel the same way when we get a cool front coming through. Have a good week!

  3. I love these little updates! Lexie's hair is so cute, and wow, that movie effect makeup is really good. I can't believe Coen is 10 months! Wow, time really flies by. haha


  4. I always love these weekly recaps! You'll be so glad you did them so you can look back on them one day!

  5. You are sure busy, but I love how much you do together as a family, it’s refreshing to see. Can you explain Dylan’s schooling? It sounds different than homeschooling, but I’m not sure. Understand if you don’t want to share, just curious.


I love hearing from you! Let's chat!!!