Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 13 of 2013

I can't believe we're already saying goodbye to two thousand and stinkin thirteen.

But we are.  So here are my thirteen favorite photos of the year, in chronological order.


Back in the days of potty training.  It seems like a lifetime ago.  Just recently, Jake and I looked at each other and said "Hey - our kid is potty trained!".  It happened so quickly, and part of me thought it would take several tries.  Once again, Carter surprised us and the techniques worked.  Phew!


A little guy and his little girl, enjoying their BINGO video.  So, so sweet.  We miss this blonde little bombshell so much....


I don't even know what to say.  Little belly, smooshy cheeks, hooded towel.  He's almost edible.


Freedom!  On the beach in Florida.  I can't wait to see how he'll own that beach this year.


Our little family.  This might be an all-time favorite, folks.


Such a big, brave boy - leaving '4' and entering '5' - surrounded by his people.  Cry.


Carter's first year at Vacation Bible School.  With his girl, Rach, by his side - he rocked it.  And it made me realize, once again, that he is capable of so much more than I realize.


Carter loves this Dad of his so much, and he always has a smile or two for him.  This one, while on vacation up north.  My two favorite guys, makes my heart swoon :)


And this.  If it wouldn't be weird to hang a giant canvas in the living room of me in my swimsuit, I totally would.  And maybe I will.  Because it's my house.  Well, kind of.


My little boy, holding the hand of someone so dear to me.  After an afternoon of picking Door County cherries in the summer.


His little sassy grin just screams 'stinker'.


Because, FINALLY.


'HOORAY!' - A pretty great way to end 2013, wouldn't you say?


And because it doesn't seem right to post a New Years post without a Christmas post, I will give you a quick run-down:
Five celebrations
Forgot camera at four of them
Family love all around
Spoiled 5 year old
Yummy eats
Favorite people

Merry Christmas.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Peeking into 2014, and it looks pretty darn good.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Eve.

It's Christmas Eve.  If anyone is reading this, I must ask you - you know it's Christmas Eve, right?  Why are you reading this?  Get with your people, girl.  Put down the phone.  Put it down!  Close the laptop.  Go and cozy up with your fam.  Now.

If you're still here, then fine.  My people are all doing what most people probably do on Christmas Eve.  Working.  Well, two are working, one is looking for the candles for our Christmas Eve service, one is running errands, and the other is laying on the bed with the ipad.  Which gives me exactly 12 minutes.

I'm here to say this: Have a merry, merry Christmas.  I don't have a cute card to show you this year.  I had the CUTEST plan.  Back in September when we thought we might be in our new house by Christmas, I had the best, sweetest, most blessed idea for a Christmas card.

"There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays".

Swoon.  Oh well.

Needless to say, we'll be sending out our 2014/We Moved cards sometime in February.  My wheels are turning with other cute ideas...so we'll just have to wait and see.

So where was I....

I was at "Merry Christmas" - which is probably the best place to be.  May it be filled to overflowing with love, joy, and peace.

Thanks for stopping in on this special day.  Now go, be with those you love the most.  Laugh, cry, give, receive, and thank Him for every single second of it.

That's what I'm about to do.  Mostly because my 12 minutes are up.

One Thing I Know For Sure:

{For the first time ever - no words from me.  Just this.  And many tears.}

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


This is not how I envisioned our Christmas season.

All our special ornaments - matryoshkas from Ukraine, glass bulbs from 1984, 'Just Married' & 'First Dog' - all packed away in a box somewhere.

Our family nativity set, and the little one, handpainted by my mom, all packed away.  Antique Christmas candle holders.  The Christmas table cloth.  That wreath I bought at the end of the season last year.

Packed away.

We never, never, never thought we'd be waiting this long.  It's our own fault - we took a long time to choose the lot.  And then we chose it, and learned that it was bad soil.  So we chose a different one.  Which was the one we really wanted, but it was a little pricier.  So we're thrilled that this is where we've ended up, but that whole mess added several weeks to our process.

So here we are.

I'm not complaining.  It's just not at all what we had planned.

This is Carter, saying 'HOORAY!'.

If Carter has taught me anything since he's been home, it's this:  It's going to be okay.  It may not be what you thought.  It might be harder, even.  It might not be what you had planned.  But either stinkin' way, it's going to be fine.  {more on this later...}

And you just might as well say 'Hooray'.

So as we wait, I can say 'Hooray'.

I don't need to worry about perfectly placed ornaments, or what food I'll serve for the Round Robin.  I can just be still.  I can just love my guys, and enjoy the Spirit of Christmas without all the extras.

However, next year, there will be extras.


It's just the beginning of something big.

Well, not big.  It's only 1,600 sq. ft.  When I say big, I mean BIG.

Like this: When I look at this humble little basement, I wonder about the love it will soon hold.  How many kids will this house embrace?  Who will one day say they grew up here?

I don't know.  But we're open.  We're not just building a house.
We're building a home.
A safe haven.
A homestead.
A resting place for little weary hearts.

Let it be so, Lord.

One little heart, weary no more.
Our 'yes' is on the table.  And from here, we say 'YES, Lord!'.  Whatever that looks like - we don't even stinkin' know.  But we're willing, and so excited about this tool that we're building.

So we wait, excitedly.  Because that's really what Advent is about - waiting.  Not decorating or planning or baking (all good stuff, though).  Advent = waiting.  The story of our lives lately.  And we're okay with it.

One Thing I Know For Sure: "Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting." Thanks, Joyce Meyer.
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