A Year Of Surprises

Every year I write a recap post from the year before, and I think if I had to sum up this year, I'd say that this was the year of surprises.  Some of them were not-so-great, but most of them were good!  The first half of this year was just hard.  I had a lot of personal things to struggle with, and lots of things that didn't turn out the way I wanted them to - but even during that hard six months, there were brilliant spots of sunshine - like finding out we were expecting our fourth baby! This is our year, in a nutshell.


Derek started his new job!  We were so relieved that he found something so quickly after spending December unemployed.

I was busy working on the publicity team for our MOPS group, in addition to all my blogging here.

I decided that "simplify" would be my word for 2015, and I started by cleaning a bunch of stuff out.

Clyde turned nine months old.

Derek and I started discussing earnest whether we should try for a fourth baby.  We decided to shelf that discussion until Clyde turned a year old.

Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant!

On the blog: I shared about my shopaholic tendencies, and started giving away some printable Bible verses for my newsletter subscribers (my most popular post from the last year - you can still get them if you sign up!).  I also questioned whether parents are really less happy, and gave tips for going back to work after baby.


My sweet boy, Wyatt, turned four years old!  We had a race car birthday party for him.

Clyde turned 10 months old.

I had some stressful things to deal with, and the pregnancy hormones made it extra difficult - but our pregnancy, still a secret, was such a joy!

We got a new couch.

I told my MOPS leadership team that I better step down for the next year, since I'd have a brand new baby in the fall.

We had our first ultrasound on the 16th, and saw our little baby bean!  It snowed and we went out to Village Inn with my parents afterward.

We decided to announce early this month, so we shot some pregnancy announcement pictures and made our happy news public!

On the blog: I shared a Valentine's Day printable, wrote about Gwen's pink lemonade birthday party - and shared all about how I found out about Baby #4!


I got caught up on Baby #4 updates.

I waved goodbye to the first trimester, and then turned 14 weeks pregnant.

Clyde turned 11 months old.

Chasing three kids around while pregnant started to get to me.

My boss asked me if I would take on more days at work, but it wasn't something I wanted to do if I didn't have to.  I didn't want more days away from my babies.  I gave my "two weeks notice" instead.

On the blog: I shared a guest post on Allison's blog!


We celebrated Easter!  I took some cute Easter/one year pictures of Clyde.

I handmade first birthday party invitations for Clyde's party and sent them out.

I wrote more about my simplifying efforts.

Everything looked under control from the outside, but inside I was struggling a lot.  Little gestures were so comforting.

Clyde turned one year old!  We celebrated with a rubber ducky birthday party.

I reached 16 weeks and 18 weeks pregnant.

I bought new furniture for our bedroom and repainted everything. I always seem to paint something when I'm pregnant.

I had my last day at work, and I'm not going to lie, it was hard.  I felt like I was having a midlife crisis too early.

On the blog: I reviewed a bunch of books and shared some baby shower gift ideas.


I worked through the fact that I was no longer working, and my identity is found in Christ and nothing else.

We lost our sweet little Yorkie, Ralphie.  It was a sudden death, and it was really hard on us.  He was just a dog, not a person, but dogs become so much a part of our lives, so it was still sad.  I didn't feel like I spent enough time with him the last couple years, but somehow we paid him a lot of attention the last few months before he was gone.  I think the Lord gave us that.

I turned 20 weeks pregnant, and we found out that we were having a GIRL!  But I had to keep it a secret for two more weeks until our gender reveal party.  The belly really popped at 22 weeks.

We had a lovely ice cream social gender reveal party!

On the blog: I started a book vlog series (which is now being continued on Periscope), and shared why I decided on a hospital instead of a birthing center.


We took a camping vacation to South Dakota!  Yes, camping with three young kids, while pregnant.  It was great until it rained us out!

We celebrated my birthday.

I reached 24 weeks and 26 weeks pregnant.

On the blog: Lots of stuff happened in our nation this month, and I shared my thoughts on some of it.


I attempted some patriotic fudge, and it turned out pretty well!  I reached 28 weeks pregnant, which is the pregnancy sweet spot for me.

Derek and I had an at-home date - we still want to do more!

At 30 weeks we found out our baby girl was breech!  I got a chiropractic adjustment and did some exercises to help her turn.

On the blog: I shared some resources for starting in watercolors, and did another book vlog.  I also finally shared my gallery wall, and tips for keeping a clean house with young kids.


I reached 32 weeks and 34 weeks pregnant, and ran around like a crazy lady trying to get things ready for our baby.  I was convinced she was going to come early.  We also learned that Baby Girl had flipped head down!

I finished her baby quilt, did newborn laundry, and got her corner of the living room set up.

My mom and sister held a little baby celebration for me - kind of like a shower, but without the presents!  We went to the Melting Pot with some of my close friends, and it was so fun!

We took some maternity pictures, and they turned out beautifully!

I reached 36 weeks pregnant.

On the blog: I shared the hardest thing about being a SAHM - one of my most popular posts of the year.


This was a slow month, because I was expecting to have a baby any day and didn't plan too much!  I started getting very uncomfortable in my pregnancy.

I reached 38 weeks pregnant, and was fully convinced it would be my last pregnancy update!  I had to share a 40 week update two weeks later though, a first for me!

I was so incredibly ready to meet my baby.  The month was a blur.  I cried a lot.

Finally on September 30th, our sweet Clarice was born!  You can read her full birth story here.

On the blog: I shared more printables, and a caramel apple pie fudge recipe.


We brought Clarice home, and the kids fell in love with her.  We took some gorgeous newborn pictures that I will share one of these days!

I hunkered down with my new little family of six, and had some lovely ladies guest post for me!

I read a lot.  We were blessed with so many meals from my friends!

Clarice turned one month old.

On the blog: I shared my tips on how to find time to be creative as a mom, and why it is important to learn your neighbor's names.


My emotions were all over the place (thanks postpartum hormones).  I felt very reflective.

Clarice started sleeping through the night on the 1st (and she has been going through the night ever since - I know, it's amazing!).  Clarice smiled for the first time at me on the 5th.

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family of six! I shared printables and Thanksgiving Bible verses.

Clarice turned two months old.

We decorated the house for Christmas!

On the blog: I shared tips on managing schedules with babies and toddlers, and a pumpkin maple fudge recipe.


I started to feel more like myself again (ie. not so crazy emotional).

We took Clarice to her first Christmas parade.

Clarice laughed for the first time (December 8th).

We celebrated our first Christmas as a family of six!

Gwendolyn turned three years old.  We celebrated her and Derek's birthday.

Clarice turned three months old.

We will ring in the New Year quietly at home with our four kiddos!

On the blog: I did a mini series about Christmas stress - preventing Christmas stress, dealing with specific stressors, and ideas for relaxing during the Christmas season!

I look back over the year and still can't believe how much has changed in twelve months! A year ago, I don't think I would have ever suspected that we would be in this place, and I am so happy that the Lord has better plans than we do.  I remember saying last year that I had no real idea of how 2015 would go, and it ended up being harder and more beautiful than I would have thought.

What was the biggest thing that happened to you this year?

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Emily Barnes said...

September 27 is an excellent day to have a baby! She shares it with my oldest son :)

Callie Nicole said...

You know what I just realized? I typed September 27th - but that was actually my due date! She was born on the 30th. Wow. Can you tell she's my fourth baby? :-P

Meghan Hein said...

What a great post! Love that you guys had such an amazing year. I was just thinking about you today in a moment that I felt overwhelmed with my two and I thought... Callie's had 3 more since we both had our first boys. How in the world does she do it with 4?! Love that your family has multiplied so quickly through these last few years. Always a joy reading your posts. xo

Callie Nicole said...

Ah, thank you Meghan! And I actually feel like a mess most of the time, haha! Pretty pictures hide it well. ;-)

Angie @chasingmyhalo.com said...

I love how you added your Instagram pics to this year in review, and now I want to make sure I'm following you! What a busy year you've had! You guys are adorable, and what a blessing to be able to have kids!!

Natalie V. said...

You've got a gorgeous family! It sounds like 2015 was filled with lots of fun moments for you--I love that you included the picture layout for each month. I'm looking forward to seeing what the new year holds for you! Happy 2016!

Shannon said...

All your photos are SO pretty! I seriously love all of them! It sounds like you had an incredible, crazy year. Happy new year!

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