Our Five Ring Circus: The End of the Decade: What a Difference 10 Years Make

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The End of the Decade: What a Difference 10 Years Make

Happy 2020, my friends! I can't believe an entire decade flew by in the blink of an eye, and we're already starting a new one. In 2010, when this past decade began, we just had two children. We celebrated the end of the decade with five children. What a difference from start to finish!

My family celebrated the end of the decade with some of our closest friends, and we rang in the new year together. When you have five children, it's really hard to get away, so our party was VERY kid-friendly, and we had 4 extra children sleep over. Every so often I miss the fancy New Year's Eve celebrations we attended before we had children, but honestly, there's no place I would rather be than surrounded by those I love most! We had a lot of fun, and put together a time capsule that we're going to open in 2030!

To document the end of the decade and the start of a new one, I wanted to share a little timeline of how our story flowed over 10 years. I never imagined these chapters, but the unexpected chapters are the most beautiful ones in our story. We grew so much over the course of a decade!

From 2010 to 2020


We started the decade with just four people in our family. We were a small family, and at the beginning of that year, we didn't plan on having any more children. It was a tough year that I would like to forget about, but we made it through, and announced the upcoming arrival of baby #3 in our Christmas card!

Pittsburgh Blog

Baby Announcement


In August of 2011, Liliana joined our family! We quickly and easily settled into life with three kids!

Parenting Blog

Mom Blog


2012 brought some very difficult moments, and some good moments. Grant's position was cut from his company, so we faced unemployment. At the same time, Grant had to deal with the sudden, devastating loss of his best friend. He spent his days grieving, yet bonding with Lily. He had never had the chance to stay home with a child before. Later that year, Grant's dad passed away. There was so much loss, but little did we know, new life was going to be given to us...

Parenting Blog


In 2013, while still grieving recent losses, we found out we were expecting a surprise baby! While Grant began a new career, I dealt with extreme morning sickness for the fourth time. Everything was going smoothly, and we excitedly awaited the arrival of our fourth, and we thought final, baby. His birth set us on a new path in life. Shortly after he was born, the doctors told us they thought he might have Down syndrome. For three long weeks, we waited while they tried to get us accurate test results. One phone call changed the course of our lives, and we spent the rest of the year settling into our new normal. With that phone call, we officially became a rockin' family!

Down syndrome

Down syndrome blog

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Yes, I'm going to lump four years into one! Life with four kids, including one who had special needs, was VERY busy! We spent those four years living life to the fullest and watching our beloved kids grow. (Once you're married and already have four kids, there really aren't many other super exciting events to document! It's just a matter of living life, and enjoying it!)

The Lucky Few

Life with Down syndrome

Special Needs Blog

Big Family


2018 was a BIG year for us! We decided to get a puppy after losing our beloved Great Dane in 2015. Ella, who is an English Mastiff, joined our family and quickly became a beloved pet. While we were on vacation, we found out that - SURPRISE! - I was expecting a fifth baby after we gave everything away and said we were done! Grant and I were overwhelmed, I was very sick, and the kids were very excited. We didn't announce the news until the day before my 20 week ultrasound, and the next day, we found out the gender for the first time ever. The rest of the year was spent preparing for the arrival of our new baby boy!

Pet Blogger

Big Family Blog


The decade ended with the birth of our sweet (and I think final) baby boy! Honestly, we had a bit of a tough time adjusting to juggling five kids, and Coen was our first fussy newborn, but we found our rhythm by the end of the year. Lexie also convinced us to get a kitten, so in 2019, we became a family of 7 with a dog, a cat, and two rabbits. Our home is full, and our hearts are even fuller!

Baby Fashion

Cute Kittens

Big Family

To document the end of the decade, and the start of another, we put together a time capsule with our friends. Each person that was here on New Year's Eve wrote a note sharing where they think they will be in 2020. (Coen just left his handprint!) They signed it, dated it, sealed it, and all the notes were placed in a box with our New Year's Eve group photo, and our first family picture from 2020. In 2030, we'll all gather, open the notes and read them aloud! 

Time Capsule for New Year's Eve

With that, another first holiday was over for Coen! Only one more to go! (Excuse me while I wipe away my tears!)

Baby's First New Year

New Year's Eve with kids

As we were talking about where we would be in ten years, it hit hard that we're going to have three adult children, a teenager, and a ten year old. It's quite possible that Dylan could even be married, or have a child of his own. Our friends kept joking about our 6th child, to which I replied most definitely probably not, but we'll see what unfolds for us over the next ten years!

As we begin a new decade, I can only hope and pray that it's filled with love, laughter, good health, and happiness, and that we end this decade surrounded by those we love most. That's what truly matters in life. I plan to savor the gift of time that I have with my loved ones, and live life to the fullest. Here's to a wonderful 2020!

Large Family

The End of the Decade: What a Difference 10 Years Make


  1. It is definitely amazing to look back at 10 years! Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year! What a roller coaster your family has had for the last decade. Thanks for sharing your story on the blog.

  3. Happy New Year! You definitely had a lot going on in the past decade, but it sounds like it all worked out for the best and you now have a big, wonderful family. I love that you made a time capsule. Fun idea.



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