Here is our 2014 in pictures.
I looked through all of the photos on my phone and picked my favorites from each month. Some our just favorite photos, some are to document special events. Enjoy 🙂
Anna turned three on the 23rd. As usual, there was an abundance of snow so there were few in attendance. We celebrated her party at my parent’s house with with pink cupcakes and soup.
Bennett was just so cute. He started and ended 2014 in 18-24 month clothes even though he got several inches taller. This is one of my favorite pictures of him. He’s wearing my Grandpa’s old glasses and playing the piano at my parent’s house.
Drew and I took Anna to the circus for her birthday. We think she liked it even though it was a little long for her.
The end of January/Beginning of February included a trip to my grandparent’s house in Illinois since we failed to make the trip at Christmas time. Here’s Bennett modeling a bucket on his head because, of course, the Tupperware drawer was the favorite.
Anna really like “helping” daddy shovel. It snowed a lot.
I’m not joking – a lot.
Here’s a picture of Great Grandma Esther with all of her great-grand kids just after Livi was born – before Caleb.
Anna started gymnastics class. This was her first formal class of any sort. She impressed us with her ability to listen and follow directions – a skill we were not confident she would develop based on her behavior at home 🙂
Anna and Drew went on a daddy/daughter date to see Disney on Ice thanks to a classmate of mine from High School who gifted us some tickets. She was amazed.
Although there was still snow on the ground, we were a bit stir crazy after the winter we had so as soon as it was remotely warm enough, we loaded up for a walk at Foster Park. This was Bennett’s first out-of-the-stroller walk at the beautiful park right near our house. He loved it!
March is also around the time that Bennett really started to sleep in late – another reason he’s really a frat boy trapped in a toddler body. Here he is on St. Patrick’s Day after I woke him up to go out for breakfast with Grandma Jane. I still get this look 10 months later if I make him wake up before 9AM 🙂
About six weeks before Caleb was due to be born, Anna and Bennett really started to gang up on me and do things like dump clean laundry on the floor to climb in the basket on top of the table. Lucky for them, I was too tired and hugely pregnant to care.
Not pictured: I enjoyed lovely visits from my good friend Robyn, who was living in San Diego at the time. I also enjoyed a late lunch one afternoon with some college friends, including Alison who made the trip up from Nashville for a wedding.
It was officially time to start storing up sleep before a newborn invaded the house. I’m pretty sure the kids knew something was about to change.
I’m pretty sure the kids knew something was about to change. If I sat down, they sat with me. Not that I was uncomfortable or anything.
This is me on Easter Sunday. Huge but feeling ok enough for one last picture before our baby joined us. His official due date was May 7 but I was ready whenever.
As you can see in the picture above, I was due to have another large baby. At my 38 wk appointment, the doctor decided that it would be a good idea to induce labor at 39 weeks (just 6 days later!!) as birthing another 9 pound or larger baby might not work. I’d been lucky to avoid a c-section with the first two. We decided to take her advice. That meant that unless he decided to take matters into his own hands, we had 6 days until baby number 3 joined our family. So, among other things, we went to the zoo one last time as a family of 4.
On April 28th, at about 11:58PM we checked into Lutheran Hospital to begin inducing labor at midnight. I was induced with Bennett so I knew that I was in for a long road ahead. I’ll spare you all of the details but Caleb took it easy on me – significantly easier that the other two. From the time the nurse said, “you can start pushing when you feel like you need to,” until the doctor said, “you’ve got another big baby but this one has A LOT of blonde hair,” took about 15 minutes. Drew and I couldn’t help but laugh because it went so much faster that the other times.
At 10:09AM on April 29th we welcomed our beautiful, healthy, 8lb 2oz, 20.5″ little boy. We didn’t exactly know what his name would be until that moment but we knew he was a Caleb Daniel when we saw him. Initially they couldn’t get him to cry. He was alert and breathing and doing all of the things a healthy baby should do but he just wouldn’t cry. When you have a third baby in three years, the nurses don’t fuss over you nearly as much as with the first, so we sat at the hospital for three days trying not to be bored out of ours minds as our new one slept.
We had a couple of visitors (Ruth, Dick and Esther, Molly, Mia, and Hunter, Ash Bauer, and my parents) but the two most proud were Anna and Bennett. Anna just couldn’t get enough and Bennett just couldn’t stop watching the trucks go by out the window 🙂
On may first we headed home from the hospital to start this new adventure as a family of five.
Blonde hair every where.
The night before Drew went back to work. Do I look ready? Because I wasn’t. But I figured it out.
We left the house a lot less often that the previous summer. The best part about it, we spent so much time with our neighbors – mostly on their porch. Here are the big kids with one of their three boys, Charlie.
We made a trip up to Grandpa Andy’s lake house and the kids had a great time!
Eventually I even started taking the kids back to the zoo. We have a pass so we can go for a long or as little as we want (or are able) without feeling like we’ve wasted money. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is one of the greatest assets to our city, in my opinion. Caleb sure enjoyed his first trip:
This is one of the very first outfits Anna picked out by herself. This is when the color pink really started to take over our lives.
The first week of June is the best week in the year. Isaac and I celebrated our 26th and 29th birthdays in Anderson. Potentially the last one we spend together for a while and probably the last one we spend in Anderson. Man, I look tired, ha ha.
On my birthday, we were invited to crash my parents’ friend’s annual cookout at Dr. Johns house. Mike surprised me with my favorite cake (whipped frosting!!) which was especially meaningful considering other events taking place that evening that we weren’t invited to. Apparently our ‘friends’ forgot it was my birthday and got together without us. This was a major turning point in our year. Despite it all – we had a FANTABULOUS time hanging out with my parent’s and their friends. A great group of folks!
This is just a picture of Bennett eating yogurt that I wanted to share.
I thought I was the greatest spouse in the world when I surprised Drew with this bike cart for the kids. We had borrowed one the previous year that needed to be returned and we were missing our bike rides! He was surprised, the kids loved it, everyone wins.
THEN, Drew won the greatest spouse competition (we weren’t really competing) but beginning the FENCE FOR OUR BACKYARD!! This was a major game changer. The kids could run out and play to their hearts content and I didn’t have to take the baby out or worry about stray dogs and the street. YAY!!!
Here’s a picture of Great Grandma Esther with all of her babies. They look so tiny.
Mom, Ricci and I celebrated my birthday and one last girls day before the move by doing a Wine and Canvas event at Club Soda. Such a fun night. These ladies are so special to me.
I thought I had figured out the mom of three thing enough to take the kiddos to the Kurtz’s house to play in the pond by myself – with Molly of course. There were a few close calls but we all survived 🙂 This picture was taken the day she told me she was pregnant – and now she’s expecting twin boys ANY DAY! These two tough guys will show them the ropes soon enough!
Ugh, I could cry. This is the last picture I took of my kiddos with Isaac and Ricci before they moved to Atlanta. I am so proud of them and excited for their time there but not a day goes by that I don’t wish they could magically be closer. My kids adore them. And we miss them.
We spent the 4th of July with a party at our house including Drew’s sister’s family from Paris, Tennessee and then headed out to Ossian to the Kurtz’s house for swimming and firworks. Here is a picture of the kiddos doing the obligatory ‘snakes.’
We enjoyed several Rock the Plaza’s with my parents this summer. Free concerts on the plaza at the downtown library. Another wonderful asset to Ft. Wayne.
Anna learned to ride a bike (with training wheels)!!!!
My parent’s and I took the kiddos to Illinois for our annual July trip. My parent’s high school friends usually get together during the Music on Main event hosted by the town of Sheffield. This is small town America at it’s finest, in my opinion. Here are the kiddos playing with bubbles in my grandparent’s yard:
Here’s a picture of me with Rock and Roll great and Nashville legend, Jason Ringenberg, at my most favorite bar, Brother’s Pub. Jason treated the town of Sheffield with a solo show and then played along with Windjam, who are the greatest cover band in America. All of these folks went to High School with my parents.
Anna, dressed as Princess Anna, got to meet Queen Elsa at our friend Lucy’s birthday party. It was such a special event. One that still gets talked about.
Drew’s classmate, Caitlyn, took the most beautiful pictures of our family. Every time I look at them, I am so grateful for her and her talent. I will treasure these pictures forever.
Here’s is a picture of our kids. It makes me laugh.
Here is a picture of almost all the Feipel’s at the Annual August Party hosted by Ed and Jane. We look forward to it every year.
My most favorite picture of Bennett ever.
And one of my most favorite pictures of Anna:
This is how we spent most of July.
We also spent a lot of time at the zoo with our friends Ian and Olivia (and you, too, Ruth!).
Drew’s favorite day of the summer was probably the day him and Pete went on an ultimate bike ride. Pete is one of Drew’s best friends and lives in Texas.
Another picture that causes me to cry: Anna’s first day of school at Avalon Christian School. She is in Miss Teresa’s class and loves every second of it. She goes three mornings a week for 2 1/2 hours.
While Anna is at school, the boys and I get to spend time together. Here we are at the zoo enjoying a train ride.
At this point in Caleb’s life, he was REALLY bad at sleeping at night. I mean horrible. One of the only ways he would sleep is if we played David Crowder songs really loud right by his head. But then, with the music so loud, I couldn’t sleep. There were a lot of late night on the couch.
One of my favorite days of the Fall was the day I received a pack of Apple Cider doughnuts from Tanner’s Orchard in the mail. If you haven’t had them, you don’t understand. But my cousin Tim and his wife Elizabeth, saw my plea on facebook and sent me some from Illinois. Bennett liked them too 🙂
At the end of the month I ran my first 10k with my parents at the Fort 4 Fitness event. After the race we had a garage sale at their house and then that evening we went to The Brass Rail to watch Joel Levi (and Andrew Camp) who sang at my wedding open for James and the Drifters. Joel and Andrew went to college with Isaac and some of the JatD guys went to college with me. Funny little world.
Sadly, October means the zoo is closing for the season. For the 2nd year, I’ve let the kiddos pick out a toy from the store on our final trip. We avoid the store at all costs for the entire season so it’s an extra special treat. Last year we got giraffes, this year we got giant stuffed snakes. Yay.
Bennett turned 2 on 10/11. We did a mighty machines (construction trucks) theme. Randomly, a big semi pulled up out front to unload some construction materials for someone in our neighborhood. Kind of perfect.
Here are the treats for his party. Our family friend, Nadean, made the cupcakes. They’re the best cupcakes ever and cupcakes are so much easier to serve at a party but I hate to make them. I do, however, enjoy making cakes. Thanks to Pinterest I whipped up this little dandy.
My good friend, Ruth invited us along with a bunch of other stay at home type folks to go on a tour of a local dairy farm. I wrote a big huge post about it after it happened. I’m re-sharing this picture of Anna milking a cow. How cool!
I’m a big Halloween grinch. I know. But Anna’s school hosted a trunk or treat event so we all went, even my parents. It’s was a great event (although I wasn’t too fond of a couple of the cars). I couldn’t believe how many people were there. It’s open to the public and they had food trucks and all sorts of blow up jumpy things. A lot of fun. Bonus – they handed out the good name brand candy. I thought that was kind of huge. Great hospitality. Anyway, this is a great picture of my dad and Caleb 🙂
Then, for Halloween weekend, we trekked down to Indianapolis to trick or treat with Drew’s cousin Sam and her family. Her girls are in the same age range as our kids. We had a great time. Eloise – Ariel, Livi – Sebastian, Caleb – dinosaur, Bennett – Cookie Monster, Anna – Princess Anna of Arendelle.
I’m sure we did a lot of other things in November but I didn’t take many pictures. This must have been one of the months my phone was sent away being repaired (thanks kids!). The month always starts with celebrating my Dad and Grandma’s birthdays. Then……..Drew and I went on our very first “vacation” since our honeymoon. Sure, we’ve gone on trips, like Myrtle Beach in 2013, but when you take kids, it’s not a real vacation. Right? My parent’s graciously took on our troop for an entire weekend and Drew and I ran as fast as we could to South Haven, Michigan. We stayed at the Victoria Resort Bed and Breakfast. It came highly recommended and we highly recommend it! It was such a lovely time.
So: here is a photo of me at our nice dinner out sporting my new bracelet that Drew surprised me with. Oh, it was our 5 year anniversary – thus the splurge. We ate at a place called Taste! and it was soooooo good. So good. Eat there if you can.
And here is a picture of one of our trips to the beach. It was cold, and so windy, but amazing. No filter here, folks. it would be such a lovely place to take the kids in the summer time.
Not pictured: Our trip to Illinois for Thanksgiving. My phone was most definitely broken. The five of us headed to my grandparents house and had a nice, relaxing trip. The kids slept great and it was awesome. We rarely get my grandparent’s all to ourselves so it was nice.
December already? We scored this sweet, fluffy red blanket black Friday shopping. It’s comfy cozy.
Anna and I went on a girls only trip with my mom to Chicago. We left on Saturday and came home Sunday. It was a lot of fun. Here is Anna and Shed Aquarium:
Here’s the three of us waiting on a show.
Here’s an adorable picture of Caleb, just because:
Making cookies with Grandma will hopefully become a tradition. This is how we passed the time waiting on Aunt Ricci and Uncle Isaac to get here!!
I was sick for Christmas this year, again. But we spent Christmas Eve at my parent’s house. Drew took the big kids to his Grandparents house that afternoon for Feipel Christmas while I stayed home and slept. I pulled myself together for dinner and presents with my parents, but only barely. Drew took the big kids to church with my family that evening. This is as good of a photo as I got:
Christmas morning my family came to our house for breakfast. I made Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls (which will probably be making an appearance every year from now on) and one of those Pampered Chef crescent rings with an omelet inside. They look real fancy but they’re really easy to make and super delicious. Then we headed to my parents for lunch and to say goodbye to my brother and his wife. It was quite dramatic but made for a great photo:
Not pictured: Anna’s first Christmas program, which will have it’s own post when I get to it. Christmas with Drew’s Mom’s side of the family Christmas evening. I wasn’t feeling great but Nikki made AMAZING prime rib and a lot of cheesy deliciousness to go with it. The Saturday after Christmas we headed back to Illinois to celebrate with my grandparents. My parents were there and so were Deb, Kevin, and his girlfriend, Lauren. My Uncle Mark and Aunt Christine whipped up a lovely Pratt gathering as well.
2014 had it’s fair share of tragedies. A good friend of mine and her husband lost their daughter during delivery after a full-term pregnancy. One of the coolest, most real and genuinely fun girls I’ve ever known lost her life during delivery, leaving behind an adorable little boy and her husband, who we knew was a great guy but has proven to be one of the strongest men we know. My grandpa lost his twin sister, the bear lady and my pen-pall, Aunt Mary Edith. And Drew’s great-grandma passed away as well. Drew’s mom had a heart attack and recovered and my mom freaked us out by going to the ER the week of Christmas for her allergies.
On the flip side, babies were born and engagements proposed. Our kids had terrible colds but we stayed healthy enough. This was a pretty laid back year for us all things considering.
I hope to never forget 2014 and the people who were a part of it, but here’s to a great 2015!