Bigger 2016 Crew EG recap Our Home The Road to Love

A look back: my year in three.

September 28, 2016

This year is not over, no, but truthfully it won’t be long until we’re ringing in 2017. Not that I’m rushing it – I have loved 2016 for so many reasons (more on all of that in a few months). Today’s #blogtoberchallenge asked us to pick the top five pictures that illustrate our 2016 so far and I thought I’d do a version of that but with a series of pictures per three of my top picks. Of course, I went back through my Instagram to pick my photos; pretty cool how Instagram has become a bit of a journal of my life. While I often times have to remind myself to put the camera away and live in the moment, I’m also really glad I snapped so many of those moments – it’s awesome to look back at all the pictures and remember all of the little things that were in fact the really big things 🙂



Late last year, Christian and I bought our first house and so this year we have worked on making it a home. It’s been a slow process due to busy schedules and traveling – we still don’t have much on the walls, haha – but it’s been so much fun to take our time and add things here and there. Mostly though, it’s been such a blessing to have a place that we share together… a place we know we can always rest in when the outside world gets just a bit too crazy.




I found my greatest creative passion this year: writing my first novel. I’d had this idea for a story to be written since I was young, that just kind of seemed to grow over time and the more I thought about it. I’d started actually jotting down ideas for the characters and story line the last few years but this was the year I really officially started it, worked really hard at it, and realized so many things about so many things. For one, I learned that everyone has their own creative process… like, within THE general creative process; I found mine and it was one of the most empowering, insanely awesome things to ever happen to me. It gave me freedom and confidence and the space to allow myself to take my time with this story, and I have. I also learned that when you’re really, truly passionate about something – it pretty much makes you crazy 😉 haha. I could spend literally all day writing parts and pieces for the story, only to trash ALL of what I’d written that day… to then wake up in the middle of the night and start at it again because I just can’t stop. Writing this story is the first time in my life I’ve ever felt 100% me, and I’m not sure I’m even able to completely explain what that means, but that’s the best way I know to describe it. I’ve found inspiration for my characters and overall story in so many things (quotes and music and characters from movies being just a few), but learned this year that most of my inspiration comes from the fog and the trees – which might sound totally funny but it’s true. I wrote so many parts to my story while walking the path around our house, or taking drives through the trees (here and here and here). While writing for this book may be paused for the moment (because HELLO, baby!), I think about it every day and have plans to begin taking one day a week to head to a coffee shop and begin working on it again. One day, this book will be finished… exactly when it’s meant to be 🙂




Best. gift. EVER. Like, this year yes but also of my entire life. My son is definitely my favorite thing to happen this year 🙂 Crew gave literal meaning to my word for 2016, Bigger. (More on that later this year too.) Getting to him was so hard, such a tough and long road, and every day I celebrate the fact that this year is the year the rough road came to an end, and an amazing NEW road began. I have always referred to our adoption journey as “the road to love” because I knew – regardless of how much pain we felt on certain days, or how many failed matches or disappointments we experienced – love is what would be waiting for us at the end of it all… and that love’s name was Crew Xavier, a gift not just for us but for the world. I can’t wait to see all the ways he shines his light in this world, a light that began in this year.

What has your 2016 been like? What have been your favorite parts?

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  • What. A. YEAR!!! It’s been an incredible journey for you and I’ve loved following along and praying for you along it ?? You my boy, Blue!!

    • This is so late, my reply. Sorry! I had to laugh when I read this – X and I say that to Crew all the time only “You’re my boy, Crew!” 😉 How lucky he is to have such super cool parents. haha

  • What you said about Crew made me tear up #feelingemotional
    So sweet, Em!

  • This post made me cry. What a beautiful year you’ve had already. I look forward to reading your novel whenever you finish it. I love all of your blog posts so I know I’m going to love any novel you write. I’ve started playing around with some ideas for a novel I want to write and it’s so scary but also exhilarating. Also, your son is the most precious little boy. Seeing pictures of the two of you together makes my heart happy.

  • I feel like a total failure that I could not pick 5 pictures!! lol. But for real…your year!!! It has been amazing. I am so blessed to have found you and your sweet soul two years ago in this crazy blog world. I’ve loved following along with your journey!

    • You know what I’d LOVE to see on your blog?! A roundup of your favorite outfits/looks from the last year that you’ve worn. (I feel the same about you, Shelly!! XO!)

  • Pamela

    I’m writing a novel too…..if you want to help each other through the process let me know, this is my second book (first novel) and I can use a fellow writer to be there with me during this journey! my email is

    • Hey Pamela! I’m so sorry for my delayed reply. #newbornlife Congratulations on your novel adventure! Hope it’s going well for you & that you have a creative & inspiring week 🙂

  • So sweet, Emily 🙂 I feel like this year has brought you so much growth- both in growing your roots and growing your lives (and family)! These pictures are just the perfect summary!

  • Your year has been amazing! I’m so happy for you 🙂

  • All of the heart eyes for your year so far. Yes to feeling like the trust version of yourself when you’re writing..yes yes yes.

    • It’s been fun to read about baby Jack, as he’s a bit older than Crew – as I enjoy the little moments in these first few months, you and Jack give me so many things to look forward to as Crew grows!

  • As someone who also enjoys creative writing and has had certain story ideas in her head since a young age, I really enjoyed hearing about your creative process and what you learned along the way… not that I didn’t love the adorable baby pictures too! 🙂

    • Do you have plans to write those story ideas down into book/novel form?? 😉

  • 2016 has absolutely proven to be a BIGGER year for ya’ll. Love keeping up on the adventures 🙂

  • What a lovely post! And I’m seriously impressed by your creative passion for your novel—I too am working on my first novel, but I am nowhere near as inspired about it on a regular basis as it seems you were, lol. It’s basically come down to being like exercise—I’m always glad AFTER the fact that I did it, but I’m not always so happy DURING. So it goes, eh? 🙂