I want to thank each and every one of you who read and supported our family lifestyle blog, Annapolis and Company. Since the fall of 2014, we have moved to Atlanta, Georgia and added a fourth baby to our growing clan. His name is Hugh Elliott and we have spent the last 10 months soaking up his babyhood and growing in togetherness as a family.
I, Mary Beth, have spent the last year learning, growing, and resting. It may seem like this would be the busiest time of my life homeschooling, adjusting, and raising 4 children, but we have guarded our time fiercely and been intentional about our days. The respite has been oh so sweet. In that time, I’ve asked God to direct my next step and he has confirmed my decision to step away from personal blogging, yet opened the doors for other opportunities I am SO excited about. Should you wish to follow along, you can find me at my new website HEREor on Instagram HERE.
Again, thank you for all of the wild rides and the dialogues and the laughs. Blogging about our family was one of the best things that has happened to me. I hope you feel that way too.
Goodbye, Annapolis and Company. You’ve been like a long lost friend I didn’t know I needed.
I’ve always asked myself with each new venture, “Is this something I’ll be happy I did 20 years from now?” For the longest time blogging was a huge “yes” and I saw God bless this little space far beyond what I could’ve imagined. If I haven’t told you, I feel like I got really lucky. There are gazillions of blogs now and everyone seems to scramble for their niche, their voice, their desire to be “known” and while popularity has never been my thing, this place thrived in its own little way and gave me the confidence to go try new things, see new things, and believe in the gifts God has given me.
Annapolis & Company will have been around 3 years this Thanksgiving and though it is time to say au revoir, I want you sweet people to know it has truly been a gift. I’ve formed friendships from it, kept in touch with faraway friends through it, recorded our family memories and stories because of it, and developed my photography business last year through people supporting me. It’s a chapter in my story that I can honestly say I don’t think I’ll regret twenty years from now.
I’ve always felt sad when a blogger sort of trickles away and doesn’t ever say they’re going. I don’t in any way feel like bloggers owe it to their readers, but (in a way) you readers have been apart of our life for three years and it didn’t seem right to just fade away without saying something. Though people have tried to speculate many things about my life this year, there is no scandal. It’s just time to say au revoir.
Au revoir means “till we meet again” and that seemed more appropriate then saying “goodbye”. I think there is a part of me that will always tingle with words and so I don’t think this is the end of my voice. I just think maybe God has something different in mind for that voice in the future. A foreign reader once emailed me saying she had struggled in vain to find what it is that was missing in her life. She emailed me a “thank you” email to tell me she had been reading back over my old blog posts and it was there that the Holy Spirit had convicted her and made her realize that it was Jesus. Jesus was who she was missing. Jesus is why I’ve blogged. Jesus is why I have a voice in the first place. Jesus is who I hope you’ve seen in me on here.
Before I go, I just want to say thank you. If I could, I would send bags of Reeses Pieces to each and every one of you who came to read my words and leave comments or send me texts while I blogged here. It’s been an incredible ride.
Till we meet again,
P.S. I’ll be food blogging for Casey Leigh on Wednesdays and I’m on Instagram should you like to follow me there. Other then a slight chance my Facebook page will make a comeback if I decide to open up my photography business again, that’s about the extent of my internet usage I foresee for a while.
(6 Weeks) Found out we were expecting in January in our little Oklahoma rental home…around the same time we finalized the decision to move back east.
(8 Weeks) Saw Steven off at the airport for his 10-day sightseeing trip to London/Scotland/Portugal. I was in the thick of morning sickness, but I packed the kids up for Missouri and we began the first and last of my interviews for the book I had planned on writing this year. Stayed busy packing up the house for our next big move.
(13 Weeks) Moving day!!! This photo will always be precious to me. We were SO happy to be moving on from the Midwest and beginning another adventure. We felt complete. I drove the nineteen hours in our jeep with two of the kids, surviving morning sickness by popping clementines and making frequent stops. Longest drive to date, but we made it!
(14 Weeks) Announced to our families the big news within minutes of rolling up with our moving truck. Began some renovations on the house immediately that week. I was still oh so sick.
(15 Weeks) This period marks the longest I had ever been apart from Steven – 29 days straight. During this time Steven was finishing his job in Oklahoma, plus interviewing and securing a job in Atlanta. I was working steadily on the house with the kids and trying to enjoy Easter and the start of spring. We really really missed him. We tried to stay busy and met up with Emma and Shiloh’s Oklahoma pre-school teacher who came to Greenville for a few days. So nice to see faces from our midwestern home! Still hadn’t announced publicly that I was expecting, but you can see my little bump.
(18 Weeks) We announced I was expecting to everybody and received so much love and support it blew me away. Fourth babies don’t always get to feel special but I’m of the opinion they are just as amazing as your first. I was really really grateful for this online community. And cliff bars. I was eating those like nobodies business and still trying to get rid of morning sickness.
(20 Weeks) Daddy was beginning his new job in Atlanta and beginning his weekly drives to be here with us on Saturdays and Sundays, so we waited till the next month to schedule our ultrasound. I was bursting I could barely wait to find out if it was a boy or girl!!!
(22 Weeks) Bébé kept me company while Steven was constantly gone. I’ll always look back and remember what a gift it was to have him right there next to my heart, sleeping when I slept, walking when I walked, waking up early when I woke up early. It’s hard to put it into words but let’s just say I’m going to try reeeeeally hard to let him go peacefully when he finds a lucky girl one day.
(23 Weeks) Steven came home for a three-day weekend and we celebrated at the lake. We followed up with my ultrasound appointment and I’ve never seen the kids sit so still. When she said it was a boy (she had to convince me because I was certain it was a girl) we were all grabbing our faces in shock and excitement. I was so so happy for Keller. And so so happy he was safe and sound in there. And so unbelievably happy we were together as a family. It was national donut day, so we went and got free donuts. Twice.
(27 Weeks) One of my favorite holidays – July 4th. Gaining waaaaaay more weight then I’ve ever gained with my other babies, but feeling so much better with the nausea finally gone.
(28 Weeks) Long days of house showings and being crabby at the kids trying to keep the house perfect. Target was our go-to spot when we needed to be gone. I hated Dave Ramsey (author of the book we’ve been following for financial peace all year) at this point. I wanted to buy everything, even if it was new underwear. I did finally break down and buy my first piece of maternity clothing for this pregnancy that day. Black pants. It felt good.
(31 Weeks) I’m not a big nap person, but I started laying down with Keller in the afternoons when third trimester exhaustion, along with solo parenting craziness, got the best of me. It became one of my most treasured times this pregnancy. We would read books and talk about baby Hugh and just snuggle up next to each other. I really needed that.
(33 Weeks) Once the house went under contract, me and the kids began driving down to Georgia more and more. We would stay in Steven’s 1-bedroom apartment and sleep on makeshift beds on the floor. During the day, we would load up and go look for housing while I learned quickly the ways of the infamous traffic. It was nice to get to break up the week and get to spend time with Steven in the evenings, then it was back to the grind in SC. I was so grateful for our new-to-us mini van on all those drives back and forth.
(34 Weeks) Took a break from Dave Ramsey’s rules and spent the night in a hotel 30 minutes from our house, just so we could get away from it all and celebrate each other. 7 years of marriage is a special thing. We slept and slept and slept and I cozied up in those soft hotel resort robes. We ordered room service and stayed up to watch multiple episodes of New Girl on our laptop, laughing so hard I was afraid I would pee in my pants. We held hands and got coffee and talked about mistakes we’d made and what we had done right. We talked about the future and dreams and the times we were looking forward to. I’ll never forget those two glorious days right in our own city.
(35 Weeks) Baby month!!! It started to feel real that we were adding a fourth baby, so we went and bought baby essentials. I wish I had a video of the kids in Target – they were laughing and asking all sorts of labor and delivery questions as we picked out things we thought baby Hugh would like. I painted my nails black for the entrance of autumn and pretended it wasn’t 90 degrees out. Still pretending as we speak.
(36 Weeks) Waddling around in a comfy robe and new slippers. My to-do list each day includes keeping the kids alive, getting some school done, and trying not to pass out. Maybe pack a box or two. We found out closing is in a week and a half and that puts us moving two weeks before my due date. Started getting worried Steven wouldn’t make it here for the birth, since Keller was born ten minutes upon arriving at the hospital. So we decided to schedule an induction for Baby Hugh’s birthday and just keep praying he stays put until then.
Baby Hugh, I already love you so fiercely it hurts. Can’t wait to meet you in two short weeks (or less!)and introduce you to your excited family. We love you!!!!!