30 December 2009

Everything

I heard this song during worship at church the other day and although it's not a new song to me, the words were heard with more clarity and relevance than ever before. Don't you just love it when that happens? Perhaps it was because of the song's heartfelt prayer-like lyrics? Maybe it was the slow crescendo that starts with a gentle cry and leads to a louder plea? Or maybe it's a combination of both these things, as well as the perfect description of where I desire to be in my walk with God? Nevertheless, I can't stop singing this song.

I have so much to learn. I am so grateful for a God who extends grace and gives me countless opportunities to reflect and grow. I want God to be in everything I say, everything I think, everything I do, and everything I feel.

He is my everything and this is my prayer for the New Year.



27 December 2009

Christmas 2009

An early Christmas with Uncle Rich, Auntie Em and Kylie.

Kylie opens her gift from the girls.

Girls rule!

Christina and her two shadows.

Some of the gang.

Grandpa and Grandma.

Bounce house.

Mitchell gives a thumbs up!

Jen, Cat and mom.

Poor Mitchell... he loves it. :)

Let the gift opening begin!

Mitchell.

Kyle.

Grace wants to see what Faith got first.

We love Boz movies!

Cash, what every teenager wants, right?

Sleeping Beauty accessories.

Cinderella accessories.

Me, enjoying watching the kids.

Cute new jammies from grandma and grandpa.

A crown, fit for a princess.

Every girls needs another pair of shoes.

Hugging each other after their gift exchange.

Ready to bake!

Grandma got her a snuggie, just her size.

Gorgeous Faith!

They wanted to put on their dresses with all their new accessories.

Cousins.

Christmas morning.

Daddy helped them build a castle with their wood foam blocks.

Beautiful (and yummy!) chocolate cherry cake that Lucy made.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Whew! I think I'm finally recovering from all the fun Christmas festivities. Despite the fact that we didn't get to see all of our family this year, we had a wonderful Christmas celebration over the last few days. The girls had such a great time playing with all of their cousins. It was truly special to watch. For a minute, it even made me want to have some older kids around the house!

We are so thankful for the many cherished holiday memories that were made. Next year, we are seriously considering taking the whole month of December off from school. Although we only had school for the first two weeks of the month, we'd love to be able to do more baking, singing, crafting, and serving those in need around our community. We may even try to sneak in a family vacation next December.

Although the girls received plenty of gifts this year, I love the fact that their expectations are kept low when it comes to receiving. It's all about Jesus and we are so blessed to be able to freely celebrate this special time of year with our loved ones. We hope you had a joyous Christmas season!

23 December 2009

Reflections 2009

As 2010 approaches, it only seems fitting to take a moment to reflect back on this past year. 2009 was filled with much joy, as well as some heartache. It was not an easy year, that's for sure. The first part of the year was terrific. Then during the summer months, like so many others, we experienced unexpected changes with Morgan's job. Also during that same time, my dear grandmother suffered a stroke and passed away a couple of months later. It was rough second half of the year but we made it through. Thankfully, after months of negotiation and uncertainty, Morgan and his colleagues reached a definitive plan for the future. He is now settled and looking forward to all the possibilities of his growing business. Thank you for your heartfelt prayers for us during that time. I can also rest assured in knowing that my grandma was a woman of great faith. I know that she is in a better place now and although I miss her greatly, especially during the holidays, I look forward to seeing her again in eternity.

This year, we also had the privilege of sharing so much joy around our house. Our daughters blossomed into talkative, bright, little girls. Turning 3 was definitely a highlight and a birthday celebration that we will never forget.
This summer, we also had the best time playing in the pool. So many cherished memories were made. The summer quickly turned into fall and brought our new homeschooling adventures. The girls and I are adjusting nicely to our schedules and we are having fun while learning and growing together. Through all our ups and downs this year, one thing has remained constant. The faithful presence and comfort of our Heavenly Father. He has seen us through some difficult times this year. He has been there in every joyful moment, every tear that was shed, every smile, and every laugh that we shared as a family. So often, seasons change and during those times of change, amidst the upheaval, we find opportunities to grow our faith and be more fully reliant on the Lord. As we grow older, we also begin to realize what's really important in life. We strive to live simply, faithfully, and with divine purpose. We continue to praise God in all circumstances; in the countless blessings and even in the hard times, when we just don't understand. It's often difficult for me to comprehend God's great love for us. I mean... do we really have the capacity to fully understand how great and how deep His love is?? That's why I am so thankful for the privilege of being a mom. I feel like in some small, tiny way, being a mom gives me a little glimpse into how God must feel about us, his children.

As Christmas approaches, I can't help but reflect on the true meaning of Christmas as well as the hope, restoration, and love that Jesus brings for so many of us. Thank you all for your friendship, your faithful devotion to my blog, and for the many kind thoughts and words you shared with us throughout this past year. May you be richly blessed with good health, steadfast faith, and God's abundant love in the coming new year.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
And now... the highlights!

*MORGAN*
aka: daddy, dad, Prince Charming, King, babe, ook.
current interests: providing for his family, politics, golf, home protection, playing with his girls, making up bed-time stories, homeschooling, date nights, working out, and candy.

favorite 2009 memories: Disney Cruise to the Bahamas, the girls' 3rd birthday, summer beach trips, Sea World, golfing with his buddies, snow, Vegas, and getting settled with his new company.

*CATHERINE*
aka: mommy, mom, the Queen, Cat, Ms. Catherine
current interests: Faith, Grace, Morgan, God, the Lord, teaching home school, Speaker Coordinator for Mom2Mom, serving in Sunday school, keeping up with the laundry, house cleaning, feeding the family, capturing special moments with my camera, blogging.

favorite 2009 memories: family vacations, the beach, swimming in the pool, Disney cruise, Halloween, snow day, date nights, and Vegas.

*FAITH*
aka: sissy, faithie, Cinderella, honey, princess.
current interests: swimming, dancing, school, dress-up, reading, singing, imaginative play, making up stories, playing with Grace, friends, grandparents, talking, testing boundaries, going to church, cutting with scissors, drawing, painting, game playing, and learning new things.

favorite 2009 memories: turning 3, princess birthday party, family vacations, Disney World, Disney Cruise, beach trips, Sea World, summer spectacular (vbs), summer dance class, Harvest Fun Fair, carousels, snow-ball fight, and Christmas caroling.

*GRACE*
aka: gracie, sissy, gracie-poo, hunny-bunny, Sleeping Beauty, princess.
current interests: dress-up, music, singing, dancing, school, playing with sissy, grandparents, friends, froggy, making up stories, using scissors, reading, cheerleading, anything Princess, and being a daddy's girl.

favorite 2009 memories: Rob Biagi at summer spectacular, building sand castles, swimming underwater like a mermaid, learning how to flip turn in the pool, summer dance class, turning 3, princess party, Disney cruise, family vacations, grandparents, Harvest Fun Fair, snow, pony rides, and parades.

21 December 2009

Vegas

Our bathroom (with jetted spa tub and flat screen tv).

Morgan checking out the view.

The other side of our suite.

Our view of the Strip.

Check out http://www.citycenter.com/

I took this photo as we entered CityCenter from the stop light.

Inside the Aria hotel.

A tram takes you around this modern city.

Lobby of the Aria Hotel.

On our way to the Toby Mac concert.

Great show!

Driving past Lady Liberty.

Enjoying a night out.

The Guy Fieri Road Show.

Rock-n-roll and food.

It's been so long since Morgan and I have been able to spend some real "couple time" together. To say that we were looking forward to our Vegas weekend would be an understatement! Apparently, this week is the slowest time of the year in Vegas (which was perfectly fine with us). Because of that, we were able to get a screamin' deal on a suite at Mandalay Bay, one of our favorite hotels. We certainly didn't need all the space but it was nice to spread out and have a spectacular floor-to-ceiling view of the Strip. We also managed to catch two shows. We saw the Toby Mac concert on Friday night and the Guy Fieri Road Show at the House of Blues on Saturday night (he's the Food Network host of Diners, Drive-In's and Dives).

During the day, we checked out the new CityCenter. It's a modern city within a city. The 8 billion dollar project includes hotels, private residences, a luxury mall, and a tram that takes you where you want to go. It was a unique and modern architectural masterpiece. We enjoyed it but wondered how it would fair in this struggling economy?

Believe it or not, another thing that I really wanted to do while we were in Vegas was to go to a movie. We haven't been in ages and we were finally able to see the movie, The Blind Side. I must say, it was phenomenal and I loved it.

The weekend consisted of leisurely meals, lengthy conversations, afternoon naps, reminiscing and counting our blessings, dreaming about our future, holding hands, and just a wonderful chance to reconnect as a couple. It was so nice. Oh, and I also played blackjack for about 20 minutes and won $55! Not bad!

By Sunday, I was so ready to see my two other loves. Much love and thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for treating the girls to a fabulous weekend.
We hope you two are getting lots of rest now!

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