2018- Thank you!
We rang in the New Year with friends and family!
Followed by moments! Moments that took my breath away. Moments that I am thankful we were blessed to experience.
We started the year off with birthday shenanigans for Jacob ~ 14 and Josh ~ 39! We did small celebrations with friends and family showing love and excitement for them. #birthdaytime
Throughout the year we had some big bucket list moments- March was huge- We got to road trip to Chicago and see Pink in concert! This was something that has been on my list for some time! I always felt like we would get to see her, but it would be years from then. Like a come back tour in 30 years or something crazy. My awesome husband surprised me with tickets for us! The best part was we got to have our first over night without kids in a little over 5 years! Getting to see Pink in concert and spend the night with my husband with no distractions! #winning
June was another big month for us: Our daughter graduated high school! Our son graduated middle school!
Our sweet toddler became a big 5 year old!! We celebrated sweet Chan with a 5 year old sized birthday party- Friends, Family, pink and purple everything, along with a rainbow pinata! “It was a dream” Chan’s words.
Watching these kids grow and change is something special! 🙂 Experiencing life with them is always an adventure no matter where we are!
We purchased our home in June- This is our 3rd family home 🙂 June brought on some fun travels as well~ We visited St. Louis – Grants farm was pretty amazing! What a beautiful place! Who can go to St. Louis and not visit the Anheuser-Bush Brewery! That was incredible to see how it all works and hear the history of it all! The Clydesdale horses!! Ahhh they were magnificent! Treated like royalty! Talk about living the life! #royalty
June – August were filled with birthday parties, sun shine, bonfires, park visits, ice cream shops and festival fun! Lake days, paddle boarding, days at the baseball field, and outside goodness. This couple of months also boasted a day trip to the Dunes and along with a day trip to Winamac.
I finally legally changed my name in July! Only 8 months after getting married! We officially became the “Hise-Johnson Family”
We decided to end our summer adventuring with a trip to Niagara Falls. This was such an epic experience! We boarded the Maiden of Mist and felt the falls first hand, the feels were absolutely all over the place! This was a huge bucket list check, and more than that being able to take our kids and see the looks on there faces as the falls came crashing down- priceless! We then ventured over to Goat Island and took in all the sights. We went on the perfect day because they had family game time along the street. There was life sized checkers, connect 4, sidewalk chalk, a petting zoo. Unexpected free awesomeness!! We ended the trip with a visit to the mall.
August and September was filled with it’s own set of experiences- We started off with play dates with friends and family, fun times on the lake with our paddle boards, we celebrated a couple of weddings and moments with our friends and family. We were fortunate to spend some time with Uncle Nate in Chicago! This was a cool adventure for our kids because we visited a beach filled with gay friendly beach. I love being able to introduce our kids to everything because I am a firm believer the more you introduce to your children the more accepting they will be.
We moved into Freshman football for Jacob- Talk about awesome watching our child do something he loves and excel at it!
Chandler and I tacked home school and we are loving it! This brought on some really exciting stuff- it prompted me to work on a few books- I published a couple of All about me books that we use as our base for home schooling, and a couple of bible verse books that allow for daily devotions for children. #accomplishments
I was fortunate to celebrate my 35th birthday with a great group of friends and family! Such perfect memories! Find your village and hold on to it!
The end of September we boarded a plane in Indianapolis and ventured to Cape Coral to spend time with our Florida friends and visit our “stomping grounds” we visited some really cool pet stores (Chandlers favorite activity) we explored a new beach- Delnor Wiggins State Park- it was pretty amazing! We ventured to the Octegan Animal sanctuary and saw an array of different animals. More importantly we spent some great quality time with some wonderful friends. We also took in the Florida sunshine!
October and November brought on the end of football, but the beginning of Halloween fun! Pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving and painting, family dinners, and of coarse the choosing of the costume. We did DIY projects to our house, and put away our summer stuff 🙁 These 2 months did bring on some pretty fun home school adventures. Science Central, The Botanical Gardens, and the library became our go to’s. Gymnastics was on that list as well- This is actually the favorite. Play dates, lunch dates, hikes, and treasure hunts, we celebrated some birthdays and fun times with friends and family. Josh and I ran the Veterans 5k- we didn’t smash any records, but we did it together and it was awesome. Jacob broke his thumb and had to have a cast. He was still able to finish up football like a champ!
Thanksgiving was spent in Chicago! 4 days of fun! We saw an awesome Thanksgiving parade, ate at The Rain Forest Cafe, spent an afternoon at the Bean, found the best park of our lives- Maggie Dailey Park, a trip to The Lego store, Navy Pier, and we went to the Amazon Go Store! That was pretty amazing! I have been wanting to visit the Amazon Go store since it opened a couple years ago in Seattle- Thankfully they opened one up in Chicago. we then ended our trip with Giadarnos- Josh, Jacob, and Chan’s first time 🙂 Oh and Josh and I ran a couple of miles in Chicago! This was a first for both of us. 🙂
We celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary while in Chicago! One year of officially being married to my best friend! My partner in life! Yessssss!!
After Chicago excitement it was cookie making and decorating a long with family fun! #makingmemories
As the end of November approached it was time! Elisa was in labor and sweet Baby Camilla was going to make her entrance! She sure did too! This was beyond special- Elisa has always been and will always be like a daughter to me- Watching her grow and being a part of her life from the beginning from teaching her to write her name, tie her shoes, cheers from the time she could walk, driving her to and from school…. Watching her give birth in such a way! She was so brave! So strong! I was completely humbled by her ability to power through! This was a moment that for sure took my breath away and I will forever be grateful that I was able to be a part of something so amazing!
December- had it’s own set of awesome attached with it. It marked the end of the semester for school! Jacob finished with flying colors and it has been so much fun watching Chandler love learning!
Josh officially adopted Jacob- Talk about the best Christmas present- What a monumental moment for our family! We followed it up with a celebration dinner surrounded by our closest family and friends.
Then brought on our vacation filled with bucket list checks, heart happy moments, and just complete and utter awesome! We started our trip spending one night on Daytona Beach- Josh and I ran 2 miles on the beach. We spent time playing on the beach, soaking in the hot tub, and just relaxing! From there we headed over to Cocoa Beach and topped that off with a visit to a Ron Jon surf shop! Then we were off to Ft. Lauderdale- Here we spent 4 days soaking up the beach, taking in the sights, and relaxing. During this 4 day stint we took a day trip to Key West! Wow! What beauty! I can’t believe during our stint of living in Florida we never ventured to Key West- it was so sweet! White there we visited the lowest point in the United States! We ate an an awesome restaurant and left a signed dollar bill 🙂 “All the cool kids were doing it” Then it was time for the Christmas surprise!!! A day trip to Bimini, Bahamas! The Ferry ride was a little rough on the way there, but we all handled it like champs- Once on the island we rented a golf cart- went to a local beach right quick and got our snorkel on! Seeing water like that felt like a dream! It was absolutely insane to be able to see all the way down to the bottom- During the day we bounced around the island, chatted with the locals, did some shopping, eating, and playing on the beaches! What a perfect surprise for our kids!
Then it was to Cape Coral we go! Cape Coral just feels like home. It’s a bitter sweet visit each time because it’s so hard to leave. We just have a comfort level here, but the visit- AMAZING! Spending time with our Cape friends is the best! The kids all pick up where they left off and it’s the sweetest! We at the Boathouse- one of our favs! We spent time doing a little shopping and napping, and more time trying to convince my family that we need to make the move- 🙂
This year has been one for the books on exploring new places, but also one in the books for just trying new things period- For me personally publishing 4 children’s work books wasn’t something that was ever on my radar, but wheeew I am so proud of these books- they have been the base around our home school journey and it’s been so sweet watching Chandler love learning!
For Jacob- This kid has stepped outside his comfort and gone out for volleyball. He has pushed himself and worked really hard at sports and school. It’s been really awesome to be able to watch him as he is growing into this sweet young man!
Josh- started his new job, which he’s not in love with, but it has prompted him to work really hard on some new products-
Ashley= She is still trying to decide where she wants her path to go, but for now she is just working and trying to navigate her way through life.
Chandler- is a daily adventure- He is reading, doing double digit math, loves his bible verse book, and is nailing his sight words- He is dancing his way through life and we are so excited to have front row seats.
This year has brought on some challenges for our family as well- Anyone who knows us knows that our sweet Chandler is what is referred to as “gender nonconforming” or as we like to call him our “Rainbow child.” Wheew it’s been something watching people with there dirty looks, mean comments, the worst has been people distancing themselves from us because of it. At first it made me really sad now I just feel empowered, because I know that small minded people exist, but more than that I know that there is a whole world of open minded awesome people and we will surround him with that! We will make sure each of our children know that they are allowed to be who they are and not who society thinks they should be.
We were contacted by “The Daily Mail” in the UK and they did a story featuring our family- Talk about really awesome! It was something to be contacted and asked about our parenting philosophy. I love getting our story out because especially in the mid west it’s just not something that is common and really it’s hard for people to wrap there heads around it.
Here’s the link- copy and paste it.
We are very blessed with our village of awesome people that have completely accepted us and wrapped there loving arms around us it’s a beautiful thing! We are so very grateful for those individuals!
2018- We Experienced moments that took our breath away! We Embraced people! We Enjoyed each day! We have felt secure in who we are and are continuing to stand strong on our firm foundation!
As 2019 approaches I am excited for the adventures, I am excited to put myself in uncomfortable situations and try new things!