(In a nutshell with lots of pictures below)
The picture at the top of this blog post was taken by our friend, Natalie after church on the day our son, Adam was baptized. One interesting thing to note is that the tie that Adam is wearing is made of the Clan Hay Tartan and was brought back from Scotland (where our ancestor’s are from) by Kyle’s sister over 20 years ago as a gift for Kyle. Each of our boys have worn the tie on the day of their baptism, so that has made it extra special. When Kyle and our oldest son went to Scotland on a graduation trip in 2020 (see pictures of their trip in Volume #1 of the Hay Family Mega Update) they ordered me a custom-made skirt out of the same Clan Hay Tartan, so I wore it in the family picture above as well.
Here are the links to Volumes 1-3 of the Hay Family Mega updates in case you missed any and want to catch up with what’s going on in our family:
Before I get into the details of our 2022 and 2023 years below, I feel I should quickly mention something about the photography in these posts…As is probably evident from the last three family life update posts, photography is something near and dear to my heart! A mixture of my professional camera pictures and iPhone pictures is a way that brings me great joy in documenting what has taken place in our family through the years. Our kids absolutely LOVE looking back over the photo books I have made with the pictures through the years! It is a gift to them (and my own heart as well). Pictures were always part of my life growing up as a child. Taking pictures of every day life, as well as having professional portraits made, was just a normal part of my life growing up. It was important to my mom and my dad, who both enjoyed photography, so they made it happen and I cherish all of the pictures and memories that I re-live through the pictures captured. I am glad that my children also get this joy of re-living and remembering through photographs.
The above reason, is part of why I am so passionate about also documenting memories for my fantastic photography clients as well. I post those sessions on my newer Kristen Hay Photography Facebook page all the time HERE if you’d like to follow along! While I don’t post as often on my Joyful Jane Facebook page, because of taking a break from that season of developing new recipes for awhile while I am in the thick of raising babies, I do still immensely enjoy cooking healthy food and maybe in my next season with older kids I can get back to that more. I plan to post about our new baby on there though, so if you want to find out what we have, make sure you follow my Joyful Jane page on Facebook, as it might be awhile before I do another blog post here once the baby is born…
I also still do custom calligraphy and I encourage everyone to sign up for my blog posts so that you can receive one of my hand-calligraphy free scripture prints HERE! I have other posts with free scripture prints HERE and HERE if you’d like to get those also!
Now, onto a little about our year 2022…
Kyle is a cattle rancher (among other things, such as real estate, etc…), so our year started off with a trip to the family farm in South Texas to work cattle so that they could be taken to the auction. The whole family went with Kyle this time, so it was teamwork to make it happen. The younger kids and I watched the process and you can see pictures of that below.
One fun thing Kyle and I got to do in the spring was attend a Ball that benefitted our local art museum where we had our wedding reception over 20 years ago. Sweet friends invited us to sit at their table and we had an absolute blast! Neither one of us had ever been to a ball before, but we have a very fond connection with the museum because of it being the place of our wedding reception, so I decided it would be fun to wear the only ball gown I own, which is my wedding dress, and Kyle wore a cool plaid suit and bow tie. The theme of the ball was “Odd Ball”, and I’m pretty sure we were the odd couple dressed in our wedding attire, but it was so much fun and brought back so many memories of where it all began for us! You can see pictures from before, during and after the ball below as well as a throwback picture of us at the museum on our wedding day 22 years ago!
Then there are some miscellaneous pictures of various family life, such as our kids having their friends over to bake fun treats, a family beach trip, a new doggie we rescued, a new kitty that was also a rescue, Lego playing, flower picking, little boy mischief and more…
Another exciting thing that happened was that our kind friend offered out of the blue to take us and our kids flying in his plane! Very few of our kids had ever flown before, so this was very exciting for them and we were so grateful to our friend Bruce for offering such a kind gesture!
Kyle, Georgia and I were invited back to Arkansas with friends for a weekend of fellowship and hiking. One funny thing that happened when we took the boat out on the lake for a short sunset tour, was our boat motor quit in the middle of the lake, so the 4 men on the boat took turns paddling us back to shore for almost an hour…we can laugh about the memory now!
The biggest news of the year was that our sweet new grandson was born and about four months before that we found out the news that we were expecting another baby ourselves! You can see pictures of our lovely daughter-in-law expecting our grandson as well as a couple of pictures of the two of us together both pregnant and looking similar, even though she was 6 months ahead of me in her pregnancy! My body doesn’t know how to hide babies or how to make tiny babies, so we almost matched in size while we she was expecting.
My friend Lisa took some special portraits of Georgia with me in the bluebonnets and then I took some adorable ones of just Georgia by herself in the bluebonnets wearing the sweet monogramed blue bonnet that my friend gave her when she was born.
We then celebrated Georgia’s first birthday! Our daughter, Francesca made her the cutest rainbow cake!
Our second-born son, Morgan graduated from high school and you can see graduation pictures of him as well as pictures from his father son graduation trip Kyle took him on to Ireland.
You can see a few fun photo shoots we did at the end of the year…one was the three year old portraits I took of Raleigh and the 6 year old portraits I took of William and a few pictures of Georgia in a red dress that was mine when I was a baby, along with a precious red bonnet two of my friends gave her when she was born. The last one was a super fun shoot my friend Taylor Commiato took of her baby pony with the three youngest kids (and a few with me in them as well because Georgia was terrified of the horse and was clinging to me for dear life).
Three of our boys decided to train and run their first 5K, half marathon and marathon and you can see pictures of those races below!
See pictures of some of what has happened so far in 2023 at the bottom of this post also!
Yearly portraits of all the kids I took in their wedding outfits after the wedding (except for the newly wed couple one that my friend Sarah took at their wedding).
Adam wearing the tie that was brought from Scotland by his Aunt LaLa over 20 years ago for his dad. It is made of the Clan Hay tartan, where our ancestors came from. Adam’s older brothers also wore the same tie on the day they were baptized as well.
The older kids helping Kyle work cattle while the younger kids watch, learn and play at the family farm!
Georgia Jane with her little stuffed cow and one of Grandpa’s hats below!
This is the farm house where Kyle grew up. Our kids love going back here and have grown up with this as a special place!
Silhouette portraits of the younger kids on the farm house porch with the pretty sunset in the background!
You can see Kyle’s silhouette at the left of the picture below on top of the cattle pens at the end of a long day of working cattle.
Kyle and I all dressed up and ready to go to our first Ball together at the same location where our wedding reception was 22 years ago! I decided to wear my wedding dress because it was the only ball gown I owned and because I thought it would be fun to wear it a second time as a throwback to where it all began for us at our wedding! There are also a few pictures with Georgia in her special dress with me also just for fun!
In front of the art museum where Kyle and I had our wedding reception 22 years ago! We’ve come a long way since then!
A before and now shot of us below…the first picture is from our wedding reception (22 years ago) and the second is a photo booth shot inside the same art museum. We didn’t have Kyle’s tuxedo because he rented it for the wedding, but I am wearing my same wedding dress and wedding jewelry!
With sweet friends at the Ball!
The kids love baking with friends any chance they get!
Raleigh getting into mischief!
New kitty, Pumpkin Spice Latte and new doggie, Toto. We rescued both of these sweet animals!
Quick beach trip with the family!
Joel loves to make coffee for his dad in the mornings! Kyle has taught him the process of making an amazing cup of coffee in the Chemex with this particular pour-over method shown below.
Thank you to our friend Bruce for offering to take us each on a plane ride! The kids had so much fun because most of them had never flown before!
Quick trip to Arkansas that we were invited to with some friends! We hiked and then we took a sunset tour on the lake, but we got stuck in the middle of the lake when our boat died and the men took turns paddling us back to shore for over an hour…It was definitely a time to remember!
Dinner with my Bunco group that I have been a part of for over 20 years! We meet once a month at a different house, so this is my month to host it at our house and it’s such a fun time!
Morgan’s graduation portraits, graduation ceremony and celebration!
Kyle took our son Morgan on a Father/Son graduation trip to Ireland.
Thank you to my friend Lisa for taking these special mommy and baby portraits of Georgia and me in the bluebonnets!
Sweet pictures of Georgia that I took of her in the bluebonnets! In the first picture, she is wearing my dress from when I was a baby and her three older sisters have all worn the same dress in this same antique wicker pram that was my great great grandmother’s.
Our son and daughter-in-law announcing that they are expecting a sweet baby!
Fun pictures of our daughter-in-law and me both pregnant together! She is six months farther along than I am…As you can see, my body doesn’t know how to make tiny babies or hide them so our baby bumps almost look the same…
Our beautiful daughter-in-law in her maternity portraits I took on family land!
Our Grand baby is born! We are all in love with him!
Here’s a link to a YouTube video Caleb and Lexi made about his birth with a few pictures below!
Georgia’s first birthday! Our 12 year old daughter, Francesca made the cute rainbow cake for her! Georgia is our double rainbow baby because we lost two babies before she was born and we are so grateful the Lord allowed us to keep her!
Sweet pictures of Georgia’s cake smash taken by our friend Jessica Hill of Bee Sweet Photography!
Raleigh’s three year old portraits I took! All five of his older brothers have worn this same outfit for their three year old pictures!
William’s six year old portraits I took.
Three of our boys decided to run their first 5 K race!
Pictures with the most adorable baby pony, taken by my friend Taylor Commiato! Georgia was terrified of the pony, so she was clinging to me for dear life and looked very concerned in all of these pictures!
A few additional portraits I took of the little kids…Georgia is wearing my red dress that was mine when I was a baby!
(a glimpse so far at how our year is going in pictures below)
We are eagerly awaiting the birth of our Baby Hay #11 due in the spring. We can’t wait to see if it is a boy or a girl!
Three of our boys ran a half marathon and two of them went on to run a full marathon!
Kyle took two of our younger boys on a special father/son trip like he had taken our older boys at the same age to Big Bend Park. They hiked for days and had the best time!
Not long after Kyle and the boys returned from hiking in Big Bend, Kyle’s dad unexpectedly passed away. You can see pictures of him with his horse in my last post Hay Family Mega Update Volume #3. He was a true cowboy through and through and he passed on a great Christian heritage to his offspring and grandchildren. We are very sad to lose him, as we were all close to him, but we are grateful that he is no longer suffering and is with the Lord now. As you may have read in our Volume #1 family update about 2019, my mother passed away that year, so we have both lost a parent now…
Maternity portraits that my friend Emily Atwood took for me in the exact location that my bridal portraits were taken 22 years ago! I’ve included a picture of the bridal portrait below if you’d like to see that. My daughter, Anna Claire also took a few of the maternity portraits as well.
This was a monumental day for these three fellas…They decided months before to train for a half marathon (13 miles for 9 year old Joel) and a marathon (26 miles for the two big guys, Caleb and Morgan). Joel was the only kid in the half marathon and I’m super proud of all three of them for accomplishing such a big goal!
Kyle took two of our younger sons, Adam and Joel on a father/son hiking trip to Big Bend Park. They had a blast!
A couple of pictures from Kyle’s dad’s burial…He passed away unexpectedly and its been a difficult time.
Until we see you again in heaven Grandpa…
In conclusion of 2022 and what has happened so far in 2023…
We feel so blessed that our son has found sweet Lexi to marry and now they have given us the most wonderful gift of our first grand child! We also feel blessed beyond what we deserve that the Lord has gifted us with this new little one we are eagerly expecting any day now…An added bonus to our full life of raising children, is the travel we have gotten to experience as a family and with friends through the years.
We are very sad at the passing of Kyle’s father, but we are glad he is no longer suffering and is in heaven now and made whole.
We feel incredibly blessed to have such kind people in our life who reach out to us in so many ways…Their love and the ULTIMATE love of the Lord helps us get through the good times and the difficult times. Great is HIS faithfulness in the hard times (of which we have had many) and the good times…Blessed be the name of the Lord!