It’s New Year’s Eve and I just got in from playing street hockey with Chris and the kids for a few minutes. I am a SUPER wimp when it comes to cold so I didn’t last long. Tonight our plans fell through so it’s just me and Chris while the kids ring in the new year with my in-laws – so a quiet night. It feels right though. Very us.

I took a minute and looked back through my personal images from 2015 and smiled. It’s been a really great year. Not perfect by any means but overall a good year. And 2016 looks to be even better in a lot of ways. We have some BIG changes coming for our family this year (can’t share just yet but will soon!) and while I’m always nervous about change and shaking things up too much I am also ready for the new adventure that awaits. Tomorrow I will pop on here to share some thoughts for the coming year but today I wanted to take a minute and share some of my favorite moments and images from last year. I’ll add in some brief words but will reflect more tomorrow…


Love those dimples – watching snow!


Last winter was Gray’s checkers obsession!


Took Bailey and Kate bowling for Kate’s 10th birthday.


Walking back to the car after hiking Rockwoods Reservation.


A normal weekend afternoon in winter around here – outside time with Daddy.


Hiking Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve (loved this hike!!!)

20150207-FAP_1726_WEB 20150211-FAP_2083_WEB

Bailey’s 4th grade science project.


Only big snow of the winter led to some epic sledding with the Stallens!


Stacey, our neighbor, walked Nick twice a day every day and this summer he passed away – I’m so glad I grabbed a few shots of him last winter – we really miss seeing them walk together everyday.


Our neighbors John and Alix came over for some snow football!


Hiking various trails at August Busch Conservation Area with my parents.

20150308-FAP_4773_WEB 20150315-FAP_6212_WEB

Pickle Springs – one of our favorite places.

20150315-FAP_6232_WEB 20150321-FAP_7011_WEB

Valley View Glades – this was a great hike but would have been better when the wildflowers are blooming – will definitely go back one spring.


Crazy cousins!


I love that Chris is always the only adult playing with all the kids in the street – street hockey, soccer, basketball or some made-up game! He’s the most active dad I know and I love that b/c that is NOT my strong suit as a parent at all! It’s why I love hiking – it forces me to step away from the computer and be outside with the kids.


Bailey’s 4th grade field trip to the state capital!


Music Makers sang at Busch Stadium!

20150429freshart0054_WEB 20150507-FAP_2165_WEB

Parker’s 2nd grade Zoo field trip – great friends!


Amidon Memorial Conservation Area – just as good as Johnston Shut-ins for us and NO crowds! The series of photos below are my very favorites of the entire year – still makes me laugh SO hard when I look at C’s face! HA!

20150510-FAP_2313_WEB 20150522-FAP_3438_WEB

District Champs and heading to state for the first time since 1987! Seriously the most fun season of soccer I’ve witnessed and C’s 8th year as head coach! My kids have literally grown up on that field. Love that.


We love supporting those amazing high school soccer players! Third in state!


Grayson had an EPIC backyard water gun birthday party! SO fun!

20150613-FAP_6047_WEB 20150615-FAP_6245_WEB

We took a family trip with my parents and sister to the place we stayed as kids – Harvey’s Circle B Campground in Emminence, MO and had the absolute best time! This will become a yearly tradition!

20150616-DSC_0054_WEB 20150617-FAP_6376_WEB

I love this photo so much! I told the family to ACT NATURAL after I set up the camera and they all did this! I love that Abbie is laughing at me and Bailey is falling over behind Parker and my mom is just laughing at all of us! Oh and Avery was like “what”?!?! HAHA! I still need to print this big for our house!


Rocky Falls was incredible!


Kids loved swim team – as always!


We lost Bela just before Christmas and I’m so glad we took some photos earlier in the summer when she got sick – my kids will miss her for a long time. She was the best dog ever.


Parker spent countless hours making fairy houses.


Bailey’s 10th birthday at the lake house!


Chris and I actually got good at cooking something! HA! Crawdad and shrimp boil for the win!

20150711-FAP_8592_WEB 20150712-FAP_8808_WEB

Finding the run off from the lake was pretty cool this summer – until we took my sister back there (because the day we were there in the photo above was so amazing!) and all the girls ended up being covered in leaches! UGH!


My favorite shot of my parents this year.


Bailey went to summer camp for the first time and when we went  to pick her up all the kids got to swim!


First day of school – we have a first grader, third grader and fifth grader!


Spent Labor Day in a river at Onondaga Cave State Park to say goodbye to summer!


Front yard games at my parents.


Loved taking a minute to capture Abbie’s family – even if it was just in my parent’s yard!


Pumpkin picking!


One of Bailey’s club teams (she plays for two) had a tournament in Springfield and Chris has two players that now play for MO State so he worked it out for her team to be ball girls at their last home game. It was so awesome! Not only to see Jess and Ali play again but for the girls to be on the field at a college game is something they won’t soon forget! AND her team came in first in the tournament so it was just a great weekend away overall!

20151017-FAP_8523_WEB 20151017-FAP_8673_WEB 20151020-FAP_9668_WEB

I had more fun this fall capturing my kids in their costumes!

20151028freshart0033_WEB 20151108-FAP_4290_WEB

Hiking at Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve and exploring the local fort during a reinactment weekend was pretty cool – we love driving 1-2 hours to hike b/c so often we end up on these super random adventures! LOVE exploring our state (and IL since we were in IL for these! HA!)!

20151108-FAP_4419_WEB 20151113-FAP_5592_WEB

Parker turned 9 and we turned the studio into a SPA – such a fun party!

20151113-FAP_5643_WEB 20151113-FAP_5707_WEB 20151122-FAP_7483_WEB

Bailey’s Halloween photos – a bit late!


Took the kids and some friends to Hughes Mountain for the first time and ended up at an Alpaca and sheep farm – again – an adventure we couldn’t have planned if we tried! SO fun!

20151125-FAP_7868_WEB 20151126-FAP_7986bw_WEB

We actually got a family photo on Thanksgiving!

20151205-FAP_9094_WEB 20151205-FAP_9116_WEB  20151205-FAP_9222_WEB 20151205-FAP_9538_WEB

I got Christmas photos of my kids this year!!! They are already framed in our house! Love them!


Some random shots from the last couple of weeks!


White Christmas on my parent’s deck is one of my favorite Christmas moments from this year!


Took Abbie and the cousins back to Hughes Mountain b/c we loved it so much and actually ran into the Alpaca farmer on the way up! HA!


Rob Your Neighbor at my parent’s house on Eve Eve – love this night of cousins!


Christmas Eve morning we tried to hike but the path was flooded – at least I got that cool shot of my parents and the grandkids!


Christmas Eve at GoGo and Bubba’s house means Grandpa Allen reads Twas the Night Before Christmas – love him.


AND we tried out a new game! Pie Face for the win!


This was the funniest gift of Christmas for me – a floating cooler for Grandpa which is really a gift for all of us! He’s such a good sport!


It truly was a great year full of family, friends and adventures. It was also full of job changes and money stress and other things that weren’t great – but luckily I don’t have photos of that stuff! HA! I never want anyone to look at my blog and think we have the perfect family or the perfect life. Trust me, we don’t. BUT I will say that our good always outweighs the bad. I’m so glad I remember to capture our life as much as I can so we have photos to look back on. Our everyday stuff is always over on Instagram so these are just the moments I captured with my big camera – something I will talk about tomorrow a bit. For now though, I’m going to go join my family as they have mandatory quiet/nap time before attempting to see the new year tonight!

Happy New Year friends! I hope that even if 2015 wasn’t your best year, you can look back and remember all the good it brought you! Cheers!