Of all the blog posts I write, these yearly recaps by far take the longest to put together. Going through all of our memories from the year makes me SO nostalgic and emotional and grateful for everything that has happened to our family over the past 12 months, and narrowing down our year to a "top 10" always proves to be a challenge! Although I'm not really the type of person to start out a year with a theme or resolutions, it's interesting how when I go back to look at each of our years past, how each year has brought on some sort of small motto or word that's pretty well summed up how we each feel about the passing year, and while looking back on 2019 it was pretty easy to see that this year's "theme" was all about GROWTH. From individual growth to big family and life changes, all four of us have been able to grow in so many ways, and it's been so much fun seeing how all of those changes have brought us closer together as a family. I hope you'll all enjoy the walk down memory lane with me as we share some of our favorite moments of growth and memories in our 2019 year in review!
Pett Family Highlights 2019
1. Kyle officially became a D.M.D. in May when he graduated from ULSD, and after 8+ years of stress, hard work, and studying was able to say good-bye to the student life! When Kyle and I first started dating over seven years ago he was already deep into this journey and goal of his, so graduation has given me the chance to finally see Kyle in a non-school situation (spoiler alert - it's fantastic), and we are all SO proud of him and seeing all of his hard work finally pay off! Way to go Kyle and yay for no more school!!!
2. Chelsea had her second natural labor and along with Kyle and Emery welcomed our sweet baby Ashton into the world on February 11, 2019 at 11:01 AM (coincidentally the exact same time as his big sister). I still have a hard time believing that I'm lucky enough to be able to have two sweet babies now to keep me company throughout my days, and being able to watch Ashton grow through his first year, Emery grow into her role as a big sister, and seeing how Kyle and I have grown and adjusted to life as a family of four has definitely been my happiest highlight of the year. (For more pictures from Ashton's birth and his birth story click here)
3. Emery turned three in June, decided she was ready to be toilet trained, and started ballet class as her very first organized "out of the house" activity and LOVES it. She looks forward to ballet class every week, dances whenever she hears music, practices every day, and loves pretending that she's Angelina Ballerina, even to the point of speaking in a British accent while asking for something (think, "Mum, could I have a glass of water, please?") We also took her to see her first ballet this December to see the Nutcracker, and she can't wait until she's old enough to participate in it as well! (For more details from her birthday party, click here)
4. Ashton, aside from being born, has been the one to make the biggest leaps and bounds in physical development as babies often do! He came out as a big baby at 9 lbs 6 oz and 22 inches long with a head full of sandy blonde hair, and has stayed tall in the 99th percentile for height and the 90th for weight. He's grown teeth, learned to crawl, says Dada when he's happy and Mama when he's sad, hates sleeping in, and is one of the most mischievous, adventurous, and loving babies I've ever known. With his first birthday fast approaching, it already feels like he's always been with us, and every day I feel so grateful knowing that he was exactly the blue-eyed, blonde curly-haired addition that our family needed.
5. All of us traveled from east to west this spring with a cross-country move from Kentucky to Oregon (with a pit stop in Utah) once Kyle graduated from school and it was time to start life in the real world. We flew from Kentucky to Utah while a moving pod took all of our stuff out west for us, and then after a couple of months of living out of suitcases at my parents house and spending the summer with family drove up to Oregon to officially start our new lives in the PNW. We spent a lot of time swimming and playing outside, and on our way up to Oregon stopped by Crater Lake as a mini vacation to break up our drive. Our summer months seemed to drag on forever and fly by simultaneously, and were filled to the brim with the type of summer memories that you hope your kids will all talk about one day when they're older.
6. Kyle had the chance to finally start working as a full-time dentist after our endless summer of moving and loves the clinic he works at and all the ways that he's able to learn and grow clinically in the past several months of working. In Em's words, Kyle goes to work every day to "fix holes in people's teeth", and overall he's settled in well to a routine schedule of working in the day, spending time with me and the kids at night, and dedicating the weekends to quality time together as a family. He still loves to study dentistry and business in his free time (I guess after so many years of school the desire to learn never quite leaves you), but is able to do so in a much more flexible way that allows for lots of time for everything else good in life, and for quite possibly the first time in our marriage life is finally starting to feel a little more balanced.
7. Chelsea & Kyle decided that instead of just talking about how great date nights with just the two of us are, that we'd actually start taking them for ourselves as more of a regular thing. Since Kyle's graduation we've been able to go from about 4-5 date nights a year to about one night out a month, and finally got brave enough to hire a teenage babysitter to watch our kiddos for a few hours instead of only going out when we could work it out to have a family member or close adult friend watch the kiddos (this is what we'd been doing before and contributed greatly to the low number of dates per year). We still love our nightly routine of shows and treats after our kiddos are in bed, but have really enjoyed dedicating more time towards our marriage and reminding ourselves how fun a night "out on the town" can be.
8. Emery started her first official year of preschool, and since she loved our at home tot school from last year, we decided to keep things going strong this year with a preschool curriculum at home with just the two of us. The structure and routine is so good for both of us and Em has been soaking in all of the new information she's been learning like a sponge. She knows all of her upper and lowercase letters along with their sounds, can sound out some basic words on paper, write her own name, is learning how to write the rest of the letters, can count to 30, and randomly knows the names of the seven continents (though she will sometimes still try to claim that she lives in Africa 😂). Her love for learning, reading, and school runs deep and we hope it continues to grow!
9. Chelsea, Emery & Ashton basically became famous before moving away from Louisville when we got stopped at the Big Four Bridge in downtown Louisville with our group of dental school mama/baby friends to be interviewed by the local news station. The news station was trying to interview people to help get viewers excited for Thunder Over Louisville (the city's biggest airplane & firework show of the year done every April to kick off the Kentucky Derby Celebrations), and the news anchor apparently thought that a group of almost 20 moms and babies with strollers would make for an interesting enough addition to the story. 😂 Once the edits were all done our actual time on screen was really brief and it was on the late morning news that probably not very many people watch, but the experience was still a fun one and it'll be fun to tell our kids once they're older about that one time that they got to be on T.V. haha!
(To see our 3 seconds of local news fame, click here)
10. All four of us in lieu of traditional traveling vacations this year decided to instead take to exploring our new home state instead and made some past due visits to family and friends that live on the west coast. It's funny how months of nonstop moving around living out of a suitcase can make you crave the feeling of putting down roots, and we've really enjoyed finding ways to put down those roots in Oregon! We've explored orchards and vineyards, gone on lots of hikes, tried out the local coffee, bakeshops, and restaurants, and have found out that all of us conveniently have a deep love for the beach and ocean, and now within a decent drive of the coast found ourselves making almost weekly day trips there during the summer months. We've all adapted to living in Oregon even better than expected and are really excited to call southern Oregon our permanent home if we're able to make it happen in our long term plans. Within six and a half years of marriage, we've moved our family to a total of three states, four cities, and five different apartments/houses, and feel so grateful to have found somewhere that we love so much and can honestly say feels like home. ❤️
Happy New Year to all of our family and loved ones! Cheers to all of the wonderful memories and growth that 2019 has brought our way, and to the adventures that 2020 is sure to bring!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.