A Look Back at 2017 {life and blog}

Hey sweet friends!

Well, we are over halfway through the first month of 2018, but I want to take a second to look back at 2017.  One of the things I love about blogging, or journaling online, is that I am able to document our lives and look back at my posts year after year. 

2017 was a wonderful year for our family, so I loved taking a look back at this past year through my blog posts. 

I want to share some of the highlights with you!January started off with our exciting FINAL trip to Latvia to complete the adoption of our sweet little girl, Sania Louise!  I was looking back at pictures and video from our trip last January, and I cannot believe how much Sania Louise has changed in one year.  Not only physically, but emotionally, developmentally, and mentally!  All of which have moved in an upward and positive direction.  

Jonathan did “vlogs” each day we were in Latvia.  The first vlog was on his regular channel, and the other 5 are on his ItsJHutch channel.  You can see them HERE.

I cannot tell you how much I miss Latvia!!! We took four trips total to Latvia for our adoption, all of which added up to almost 2 months of our life!  It’s the birthplace of my daughter.  And it is where Sania Louise’s foster family, The Bengere’s, still live.  I would say that the Bengere’s are like family to us, but that would be a lie.  They ARE family to us!  We love them more than words can say, and we are forever indebted to them for caring for our daughter until God brought us together. 

One of my heart’s deepest desires is to go back to Latvia again soon and see the Bengere’s.   It’s one of the main reasons I am working hard to grow my Young Living business, so that I can take Sania back to Latvia to see Anita, Sabine, and Uris.   #priceless

If you missed the Instagram video of when Sania came home, you have got to watch how she told Adam she got her new “password!”  Just click on the picture…


February was an important month for me because it was when I started the “FASTer Way to Fat Loss” program, and I kicked my Journey to Wellness up a notch!  I am so glad that I started this program because it really set me on a new path toward improving my overall wellness.  

Another fun thing that happened in February is that Sania Louise started public school.  

THIS GIRL has blown alway all of our expectations!

In Latvia, we were basically told that Sania was not capable of much.  Their expectations of her were very low, but man were they wrong!  This girl is unstoppable!  She is kind, and funny, and hardworking, and resilient, and positive, and determined, and so very, very lovable. 

We were told she was kicked out of a few schools because of her behavior, and yet in her school here, the teachers and students adore her!  They are patient with her.  They encourage her smallest successes.  They don’t see her limitations, but her possibilities.  She is on top of the behavior chart every day!

Sania will say to me in her Lativan accent, “Why dey like me so much, mama?”

“Because sweet girl, you are so very, very likable!”

We also started our laundry room addition!  It took us many months to get our laundry room finished, but man, it was worth it!  When I look back at this picture, I realize how far we have come!




In March, I went to Texas with Jonathan because he was invited to sing at a school down there, and while we were there, we decided to stop by Magnolia Market!  It was sooooo much fun!

We also finished the “storage room” in our new garage, and you guys, I LOVE having that extra storage space now!!



In April, we made some progress on the walkway leading to our garage by adding some columns!  (As soon as it warms up around here, I am going to take some more pictures of the walkway and show you the new light we have hanging there!)

I also got really brave in March and shared with you some before and after pictures of myself after being on the FASTer Way to  Fat Loss program for a couple of months. #ithinkilostmymind

I also shared that I finally found a vintage concrete sink for my laundry room!  It was a long drive to another state to get it, and it was the heaviest thing I have ever transported in my car, but I LOVE IT!!!



In May, I shared with you how I had participated in the 2017 LaZboy Design Dash!  That was sooooooo much fun!  

The room I designed didn’t win, but I still loved it!  I got to hang out with some of my best blog buddies, and we had an incredible time.  Thank you, LaZboy!

We also celebrated Eli and Sania’s 10th birthdays in May.  It was Sania’s very first birthday with us, and it was so special!

If you missed the short little video of us singing Happy Birthday to her, you have GOT TO WATCH IT!  It was her VERY FIRST  birthday party, and she can hardly contain her excitement! Click HERE to watch.  She said it was the best day of her life!   Oh that sweet girl!  It is such a blessing to experience the world through her eyes!

I was also honored to be featured on the inaugural cover of the Jessamine Life magazine!  It is a local lifestyle magazine for our county. 



In June, we made a lot of progress on our laundry room!

I shared with you a post of how we started the laundry room addition from the beginning.  I also shared how we painted the exterior, and how we installed new windows!

And if you want to see the video of how we installed our HEAVY vintage concrete sink, click HERE.




In 2017, Jonathan and I spent a lot of time traveling back and forth to Nashville for his music.  But in July, things picked up as he prepared to work on his first EP.

His birthday was on July 5th, so we went down to Georgia to celebrate with my husband’s side of the family, and then on the way back up to Kentucky, we spent a few days in Nashville to go to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time, and for Jonathan to start recording his EP.  You can read about those adventures HERE.

Jonathan’s EP is finished, and was originally scheduled to be released in the fall, but because of interest from some publishing companies, we pushed things back until 2018.  

Actually, Jonathan and I are headed down to Nashville tomorrow for another meeting and to do a little “job hunting” for him.  He is moving down there in just a couple of weeks and needs a “side job” to make a little extra money.  The first song from his EP will be coming out soon (#fingerscrossed,) so I will let you know as soon as you can purchase it!  

On the home front, we installed the new tile in the laundry room, and added the barn lights about the washer and dryer.  

You can see how we painted and installed them in THIS VIDEO.

In the middle of July, I was in Atlanta for the Haven Conference!  I am one of the co-founders of Haven, and I can’t believe we were in the 6th year of hosting another conference!  You can watch a quick “Insta-video” about the conference HERE.

It was amazing as always, and I am currently working on planning Haven 2018 in Charleston, SC this year!  whoop!

At the end of July, Cy and I went to Tybee Island to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary!  We had a wonderful time. :)



Some progress we made in the laundry room in August was we added the new faucet for the concrete sink, built some base cabinets, and then added some DIY cabinet doors.  

Cy also finished building my “folding and sorting station” with a butcher block countertop.  



In September, we were putting the finishing touches on our laundry room, and we created a video to show how we installed the hinges on our doors, since that was a question we got a lot. 

I also began working on updating my office.  We re-did the flooring, and added some new curtains and furniture.  

I haven’t done too much in my office since then, but hope to have it completely finished in the next month or two. 

The best part of September?…..We finally finished and revealed our Modern Farmhouse Laundry Room!  Click on the picture below to see the FULL REVEAL.

I’ve been loving this space ever since!  It truly is so functional and really helps doing laundry seem less like a “chore.” :)

I also had the awesome opportunity to fly to Utah for the Young Living Silver Retreat in September too, and it was a wonderful experience!  

I can’t wait to go to the YL National Convention in June this year!  My husband is going with me, along with my sister and her husband too!  #cantwait

Lastly, I also shared our Fall Farmhouse Front Porch.



In October, I posted about how we installed the hard wood flooring in my office (even though we completed it in September.)

I was surprised to find out that pictures of my kitchen were in Better Homes & Garden that month, (even though the photo shoot took place four years earlier.). You can read the whole story HERE.

And we had a fun little family trip to Nashville where Ryan Seacrest smelled my wrist.  ha!  You can read about that HERE.




In November, I finally found and painted a door for my new office. 

I had a fun (and crazy) trip to Nashville with Jonathan to hear him sing.

I hung some new wreaths on my front door, and some new garland on my fireplace!

And before I headed to Boston with Wayfair the first two weeks of December, I shared with you our Christmas Home Tour!




December was CRAZY-COOL because I got to spend two weeks in Boston working with Wayfair.  I absolutely LOVE Wayfair, and all of the wonderful peeps that work there, and it was such an honor to work with them. 

Cy came up for the weekend while I was there, and Boston had their first snow.  It was absolutely MAGICAL, and this video will be one of my all-time favorite videos for the rest of my life!

When I got back home on December 16th, I was in full-on “catch up” mode and tried to stuff all the Christmas “feels” into the next nine days!

It was Sania’s second Christmas with us, and my heart could not have been more full!

So looking back at 2017, I would have to say that it was a pretty wonderful year!  I am so thankful for this life that the Lord has giving me, and I don’t want to ever take it for granted. 


I have no idea what is in store for me or my family in 2018, but I know that Jesus is already there, and He will be faithful and true to walk us through it.  

Thank you so much for letting me share my life with you online.  Thank you for being a part of our earthly journey. 

And may God bless you and yours in 2018!!

All my love, 




  1. Very nice recap, Traci! I remember all of these posts and pictures…so I guess I’ve been following along closely. :o)
    Best Wishes to you and your family!

  2. I don’t have enough words to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed keeping up with you and your family and your blog. I love how everything you do is to glorify God. I’ve enjoyed following Jonathan’s music career and Sania’s family journey with y’all. Lastly, you look great.

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