Oh 2013 you have been good to us in many ways. I have been meaning to blog more personal things but decided not to spend as much time in front of a computer this year so something had to give. Hopefully you will get to see more personal posts from all of us at HolliB and get to read more about our cute families/lives/personal stuff for the year.

My #1 favorite thing about 2013? I gave up most all social media in 2013. AND IT WAS LIFE CHANGING. (I allowed myself one day per month to set up self publishing business posts on fb and had a few other small rules) Did you read that? LIFE CHANGING. You will never know how much you miss out on until you do not have a phone glued to your hand at all times. For the first time in a couple of years I can honestly say that I was present for life, I was there, I wasnt looking down at my phone telling others about it all thru social media, I was there LIVING it, FEELING it, and loving it. It was hard, but oh, it was worth it. And I am not going back to social media. Its not worth it anymore. Call me, text me, or even better come sit on my porch and look at my cows- I am having real conversations these days, not status updates or instagrams.

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I guess it was technically 2012 but we spent the last days of it in Cody, Wyoming visiting my brother and sister in law for our family Christmas. It is a gift that my entire family likes each other enough to spend a week together at Christmas. We play board games, tell stories about our childhood, drink wine, snow ski, and have a fantastic time enjoying each other. We even had shirts made with our picture on it.

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Jax birthday. Every year we do the exact same thing. Its the best. We have a kickball tournament, go on a hike in the woods, tell stories around a campfire and then play hide-and-go-seek in the dark. Its probably my favorite day of the year every year. But to be completely honest, I tried to bribe him this past year. I was a little OVER all of the holidays (havens birthday, christmas, new years and then jax birthday all fall within a 3 weeks span) and told him we would (finally) give in and buy him an ipod touch for his birthday if we didnt do the big birthday party. He said, “mom, my birthday party is the funnest day of the year… there is no way I want an ipod instead of a birthday party.” And then I died. I love him so.

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Milkshakes with my mema. She loves the dang chikfila peppermint milkshakes.

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Farm life. Did I mention we are wannabe farmers? Well, its really happening. We purchased 80 acres of land about 4 years ago with our best friends, 30 cattle, 2 ponds and a whole lotta dreams. We spent a LOT of time on the farm in 2013.0006best of 2013

I was hesitant on the whole COW thing. I was. They are large and I didnt know what to do with them. But now I love them. It was a new love in 2013. Truly, madly, deeply.

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The daddy daughter dance is homegirls favorite day of the year. Every single year. LOVE these two.

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This little guy was born. His name is Abe and he is the newest HolliB mascot ;) Welcome to world Abe!

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We got to baptize our children this spring. SO many tears. I surprised myself with the tears actually. We LOVE our church SO much and it is such a gift to baptize them ourselves.

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Oh, the sports. We did a LOT of sports in 2013. Sports is a BIG deal around our neck of the woods and in our family. We love the families we get to hang out with throughout the year and the lessons it teaches our children (most of the time) So much of our time in 2013 was spent watching little league sporting events.

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If you ask my kids their two favorite things… Jax would be board games and Haven’s would be crafting. We did many of the two this past year.

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We moved forward in deciding to move to the land and this is our drive way ;)

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More summer sports. I told you, LOTS of sports ;)

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I am so lucky to say that I have GREAT girlfriends. Last minute trips with friends were among some of my favorite memories of 2013. I had an antique-ing weekend in Canton with my friends Allison, Liz and Tara. I picked cherries and picnicked with my friend Shannon and our kiddos.  We visited Kansas City in February and got to meet one of best friends new baby, River. I get to work with two of my besties on a daily basis.  I am surrounded and influenced by some really incredible women. Here are a couple of random iphone pics of a few of them.

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COWS. I told you I loved them.

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Among Jax and Jace’s favorite things are fishing. We did a lot of fishing.

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Summery garden food. This was a bounty of tomatoes from the garden.

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More land fun… lots of land fun.

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We decided to put our house up for sale during the summer. We felt like there had been a few nudges from the Lord that this was the time. Little did we know that it would sell so fast and we would have to frantically find a place to live and be out within 2 weeks. This maybe wasnt one of my favorite moments of the year but it did solidify our plans to move to the land a tad more quickly than we thought! We LOVED this house that we built 5 years ago so much and it was hard for me to say goodbye to it!

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THIS GUY. Oh man, this guy. This is my very first NEPHEW and man do we love him. Cameron was born in July and we are smitten with him! Have you ever seen so much hair on a newborn?!?

0024best of 2013Hands down the highlight of 2013 was our two week vacation visiting all of the places we played and lived during our 8 years of playing professional baseball. We flew into Panama City, Florida and drove to Seaside, Florida and then we photographed a wedding at Watercolor Inn. We then drove to Montgomery, Alabama then onto Atlanta, Georgia continuing to Charleston, South Carolina thru Savannah, Georgia, down to Celebration, Florida and then down to St. Petersburg, Florida and then drove back up and flew home out of Orlando, FL. We spent every bit of 30 hours in the car together. We had SO SO SO much fun. Our kids were too small to remember much about our 8 years playing professional baseball because they were just babies. We took them to all of the cities we lived in and ate at our favorite restaurants. We showed them the place we were married and walked along the beaches without a care in the world. This trip will forever be etched in my memories.

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The kids found an article in a magazine for the Montgomery Biscuits that mentioned their dad- they thought it was pretty cool.

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My team. Yall, these two? Are the best. In every which way. Sarah, Taylor and I photographed a beautiful tablescape for the newest Brides of Oklahoma magazine. I love working with these people.

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Jace got a new job coaching and teaching back at the school he grew up in and where our kids attend. This was SUCH a blessing. His heart will always be here and it was a dream come true for him to get to come home to the town that he grew up in, to coach and teach. He is SO good at it too. I am SO proud of him. These kids are so lucky to have such a dedicated and experienced coach! Plus, my hubby looks reeeeeal good in a uniform ;)

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I had a staff appreciation day that included getting our hair and makeup done at Blo, lunch at Republic Gastropub, new headshots, pedicures and a fun little treat bag. I cannot express how thankful I am to know each and every lady on the HolliB team.

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This guy. Yall I have known this man since I was 14 and not allowed to date yet. We got married at 20 and 21 and spent our honeymoon flying all over the world to play baseball. We had no idea what we were doing- we just knew that we were high school sweethearts that loved each other. This year we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. I literally could not love him more and am so grateful to call him mine. We have fought, but we have laughed more. We have cried, but we have “silly danced” more. We have slammed doors, but we have truly “seen” each other more this year than any year before. I am a lucky gal.

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This girl loves the selfies. She isnt allowed to have a device yet but she sure loves using mine ;)

0034best of 2013Another highlight of my year was attending Pursuit 31- a womens conference for creative entrepreneurs who love Jesus. And wow. just wow. I was blown away. I will write a whole nother post about this soon bc it was life changing. I already signed up for it again next year. Oh, and I got to meet, hug and chat with Bob Goff #bucketlist

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This is a TERRIBLE picture but one of my favorite things is seeing movies in the middle of the day. Its about as rule breaking as I get. My parents called me and asked if I wanted to see a movie with them at noon, in the balcony, at the Warren, while my kids were at school. I dont get to do it often but its my absolute FAVORITE.

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Our annual photo shoot with Taylor. Its an interesting evening every year as I am THE MOST AWKWARD person in front of the camera… maybe ever. But I love having them done after its all said and done. We chose the perfect time to shoot them when the Oklahoma fall colors pop with golden prettiness. This is a friends driveway.. but it worked.

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House church. I was raised in a southern baptist church in a small town. We now attend a house church, which is the furthest thing from how we were both raised. But it is intimate, challenging, vulnerable, encouragin and glorious in every which way. We had a lot of people gone over Thanksgiving so we just had a quaint breakfast brunch. House church is my favorite.

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Jax and I went to see Wicked. This kid… he LOVES sports. But every now and then you see a side of him that is hidden a bit and i love it. We had SO much fun and ADORED seeing Wicked.

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Yep, more sports. Homegirl here LOVES the cheerleading. Much to my dismay. I was an athlete and never thought cheerleading was a sport but I was wrong. I am pretty sure this girl is going to be a cheerleader for a long time.

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We spend Thanksgiving with my hubbys extended family every year. His grandmother is full German and she loves to cook with the kiddos. It is such a treat for our kids (and us) to know our grandparents so well!

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My hubbys family on Thanksgiving…

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This guy. Cameron. I told you we loved him. #heartbreaker

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COWS. I cant get enough.

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Since moving to our tiny town lunch dates at the cafeteria are more frequent. This kid still likes to invite his mom to lunch. Im hoping this never changes but have a feeling it will soon ;(

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LOTS of cooking dinners. Fun ones and plain ones. I am in dire need of a couple new recipes to add to the monthly menu.

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I photographed many BEAUTIFUL WEDDINGS this year (25 of them to be exact). I love my job SO MUCH. I am SO blessed to call this work. Other than the neck strains of carrying heavy equipment for 8 hours- I cant complain.

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My family wearing matching pajamas every single christmas morning since I can remember. I love this tradition SO MUCH. We added a new member this year as my brother is dating a swell gal ;)

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And my BFF little brother and his wife Lindsey…. gave us a pretty awesome surprise… I.CANNOT.WAIT. I cant even tell you. SO SO SO SO SO excited for them to be parents and to have a new niece or nephew!!!

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This year was full of SO many things and I am so thankful that we lived slow enough and that we were present to enjoy them. I have a God that never leaves me, that allows me to ask hard questions and invite me back into his arms every single day. I have a husband that loves me and is truly so easy to be with even after over 18 years of knowing him. I have beautiful, healthy, children that make me laugh and are genuinely fun to be with all the time.  I find my work fulfilling and purposeful and the people that I get to call clients become dear friends time after time.  I have every single thing I could ever want or need right in front of me. I am so blessed. Cheers to you 2013!

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Comments
  • Kimberly Smith

    I absolutely LOVED reading this and was sad that it ended! The no social media thing has really been put on my heart as well. I’m glad to hear it working out for you, and hoping soon I can be as strong. I remember going to your house during our engagement session when it was just in the construction phase :) Gerron helps take care of a farm near Amber since the couple travels a lot, so I have become more comfortable around the cows as well. We would love to see yours some time! Thankful for you, friend!

  • Katelyn Snyder

    Holli,
    This is my absolute favorite post of the year. I enjoyed getting to read and see pictures of you and your sweet family over the past year. This makes me want to live in Oklahoma! Best wishes to you and yours in 2014 and each year!

  • Awww, thanks Katelyn!! It is so good to hear from you! Thanks for the kind comment! You are welcome to visit us ANYTIME!

  • Hi Kim!
    Thank you! You are always the best commenter!! We need to have you guys over when we finish the house! Hope you guys are great!

  • Absolutey beautiful! I laughed and I cried. I miss you so much and my heart is filled with joy knowing you are so happy! Make 2014 even better!! Xo

  • Let me tell you, I teared up, I laughed, I was challenged… I am blessed to know you!

    1. Your kids are so grown and gorgeous!
    2. I LOVE that you are farmy people now!
    3. I am more challenged than ever because I have decided that I need to get a part time job to help out our family budget. I have been throwing some things around and seeing you getting to do something that you so love and still get to be a very present mother has spurred me on to try to do more graphic design-y stuff (kinda like what Taylor does) in order to still fulfill my purpose as a wife and mommy, even if I do have to find a part time job in the mean time!
    4. Another challenge, social media. Yes. Enough said.
    5. I want to bring my boys fishing.
    6. Cows.

  • Holli,
    Thanks for sharing your 2013 review in pics. I always love checking the blog, but this post was so REAL! I love that you are continuing to do what you love, are able to spend so much time w/ your kiddos and start some new adventures on a farm. =) You’ve been a HUGE inspiration to me over the past few years and I strive to be an amazing person like you!

    P.S…I tried to limit social media and I’m failing!

  • These giants you call your kids make me happy and sad at the same time! I love you guys and miss the Brewer’s a lot.

  • Love this. Love you. :)

  • Holli,

    My favorite post all year. I adore your heart for Jesus and those Baptism pictures made me tear up! I love your House Church-I was raised southern baptist as well and we are trying something a little different but I love it. Your year was wonderful. :) Loving the ‘cows” too. :)

    -Kenzie
    theashcraftbunch.blogspot.com

  • Wow this post is so amazing! It’s nice to see a small selection of you year!! When i see this than i wish to experience this with you!! I hope to see you soon!!!

    Greatings from Germany

    Marina & the german relations

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