(in a nutshell with lots of pictures below)
2021 was a much more joyous and redemptive year for our family than the difficult year of 2020. As you will see in the pictures and details below, we gained a new baby daughter and a new daughter-in-law, both of whom we love dearly and we couldn’t be more grateful! Keep reading and see the pictures to find out all the details…
The year started out really delightful with a lovely and unusual snow that lasted for about 5 days! This was very out of the ordinary, as we rarely get snow where we live, so the kids had an absolute blast playing in the snow with their friends and I was able to get some portraits of each of the kids in the snow as well, which was a fun change!
Even more strange, was that not long afterward we got another round of snow, but this time it was not pleasant at all. The second event was an ice & snow storm that wreaked havoc on the entire state with huge power outages, roof damage and frozen pipes that caused people to be without water for days and some for weeks. The second snow storm was widely known as “Snowmageddon” because it was so destructive and miserable. Being without power was difficult in the freezing temperatures (I had to put multiple layers on the baby and a fleece hat on him to sleep in because it was so cold in his room), but being without water for so many days was the bigger challenge for us…I was never so glad to see running water again after that experience! So many people had it much longer than we, so it could have been much worse, but it definitely puts things in perspective and made me more grateful for electricity and water. I was also grateful for my husband who engineered ways for us to have a little heat here and there and be able to cook a little also. We all huddled together while at home. We also went out to check on and feed the cattle so they could stay safe and as warm as possible.
After the snow storms were over, Kyle and I were invited to travel for a long weekend with 3 other couples who have been close friends of ours for years to Arkansas. We visited, hiked together and had a really delightful time of Christian fellowship.
Then came the time for our baby to be born…We planned a home birth as with the previous 9 babies, however plans changed and we ended up transferring to the hospital because the baby’s heart rate was irregular. When we arrived at the hospital, they checked the baby and the heart rate was perfect, so nothing extraordinary needed to be done; we were so relived to hear that. Thankfully, I was ready to give birth when I arrived, so it ended up being pretty simple for the hospital staff since I basically just went there to push the baby out. I was definitely exhausted though since I had been in labor with her for 21 hours, which was my longest labor yet.
We were so surprised and THRILLED to find out we had a new baby GIRL!!! Georgia Jane Hay was born and weighed 9 lbs. 9 oz. at almost two weeks early! It had been 11 years since our last daughter was born, so this was was exciting for all! She is a double rainbow baby and an incredible miracle after losing two babies to miscarriage just months before conceiving her. She has been an absolute JOY and she has us all wrapped around her finger!
We also acquired two other members for the Hay farm this year…The girls wanted to bring their Grandpa’s two horses from the family farm in South Texas to our home property, so that they could ride more. They painstakingly built fencing in our pasture and brought home Shine and Buckskin. Our oldest daughter was less than a year old when she first rode Shine with her Dad on Grandpa and Grandma’s farm, so these horses have been in our lives for over 16 years…it was pretty special. You can see pictures below of baby Scarlett riding Shine and then more pictures of grown-up Scarlett and her sister Francesca both riding Shine. They are the two of the girls that are interested in horses.
Kyle needed a new desk for his new office, so we took a short trip with baby Georgia to the antiques weekend in Round Top, Texas. It was a brief but nice little getaway.
Speaking of travel…a very special friend of mine, Sarah, who has been my pen pal since I was 17 came down with her family to visit and stay with us for a few days. The first time we met was when she came to our wedding, the second time we saw one another was 17 years later when I flew up to visit her and her family with my baby. So, this was only the third time I had ever seen her in over twenty years, but we are extraordinarily close due to having written probably close to 100 letters each to one another through the years. We both love calligraphy, art and pretty things, so we would decorate or hand paint each envelope we sent to one another. We have saved each and every one of those treasured and hand-decorated lengthy letters through the years in special boxes just for our letters. She brought her box of letters and I got out mine and we had such fun re-reading and reminiscing the bygone years through our correspondence. She is like an extra sister to me and we are kindred spirits for sure! You can see some pictures of Sarah and the decorated envelopes from her box of letters I wrote to her below!
The next exciting news was that our oldest became engaged to the sweetest gal and they then got married at the end of the year in 2021. The venue they wanted to have the wedding at originally was already booked for their date, so they ended up having the wedding and reception in our back yard and it turned out perfectly and was the sweetest union! I used to be a florist for 10 years before Kyle and I were married, so I offered to do the flowers for the wedding, which was fun! Our girls and some friends offered to help with the flowers also, which was helpful as many hands make light work. Our middle daughter made almost two hundred homemade cupcakes for the wedding and Kyle’s sister baked the wedding cake. Thank you to my friend Sarah Williams from Silhouette Studio for taking the pictures at the wedding! She did a fabulous job and allowed me enjoy the day without having to take many pictures (which is so hard for a photographer who is also the mama) and be in the pictures as the mother of the groom.
Fun Snow Day Pictures 2021!
“SNOWMAGEDDON”–the NOT-SO-FUN ice and snow storm that followed. We were without power and water for days on end in freezing temperatures.
Short trip to Arkansas Kyle and I were invited to by some friends!
A few maternity portraits before baby was born…
The birth of our new baby GIRL Georgia Jane Hay!!! Born almost two weeks early and weighing 9 lbs. 9 oz! Thank you to our friend Natalie for the birth pictures!
Portraits with Mama, Daddy and Georgia taken by our sweet friend Natalie!
Yearly family portraits taken by our sweet friend Lisa!
The “new” horses we brought down from Kyle’s parent’s farm for the girls to ride. Their names are Buckskin and Shine. Our oldest daughter, Scarlett rode Shine for the first time with her daddy when she was about 9 months old (see pictures of baby Scarlett below), so it is super special to have them now!
Portraits of the little fellas in the clover and bluebonnets in our yard!
Baby Georgia at four months old!
Quick trip with Georgia to the antiques weekend in Round Top, Texas to look for a piece of furniture for Kyle’s office.
Some daily life pictures…Here’s what it looks like shopping with 5 young kids!
Visit from my dear friend and pen pal of 25 years! Sarah and her family came to visit and we exchanged the treasured boxes of letters we have so enjoyed writing one another through the years!
Georgia at six months old. She is in my great great grandmother’s antique wicker pram and the antique wicker rocking chair that I used as a baby in pictures below!
Our oldest son, Caleb proposing to his sweet girlfriend Lexi!
She said “yes”!!!
Processing and designing the fresh flowers in our kitchen for Caleb and Lexi’s wedding. I used to be a florist for about 10 years before we had children, so we did all of the flowers ourselves with the help of some kind friends.
The Wedding Day
It was a small, mostly-family wedding in our backyard.
Thank you to our sweet friend Sarah Williams of The Silhouette Studio for taking the wedding pictures for us on the wedding day!
In Conclusion of 2021…
2021 was a year of little travel compared to the previous year, but had big gains/blessings for our family because of the gift of new baby Georgia and our new daughter-in-law. As you will see in my next post about 2022, we gain even more blessings, as our son and daughter-in-law have our first grand baby and I find out I am expecting another baby as well. Stay tuned to Volume #4 Hay Family Mega Life Update to find out the details…