30 December 2014

What I Need in the New Year…

I Need

In just one more day, 2014 will be history. For some, January 1 brings the fresh scent of hope, possibility, and the potential to start anew. For others, we take that opportunity to make longer lists, to organize ourselves better, to do more, be more.

Maybe you’re setting new goals this time of year? I get that and I have a few of my own to pursue but I’ve also lived through enough new years to know what brings temporal happiness.

For me, 2014 has been one of the most challenging years to date. I guess you could say it would be totally normal for me to want to kiss 2014 goodbye. However, in spite of one of the hardest years of my life, I’m nothing but grateful for each and every moment. My circumstances allowed me to walk more closely with the Lord this year than ever before. As a result, I experienced first hand, how His covenant promises apply directly to me and how His grace abounds through the deepest of waters. I faced many fears this year and perhaps worse, I experienced desperate unknowns. All I could do was surrender it over to a Sovereign, Holy, Loving God who can bring about redemption through ashes and triumph out of pain. He knows what’s best for me.

I bet all of us can recall trying times in our lives and yet the Lord’s presence was so very near. These are the moments that can change us forever, if we allow them to.

This year, I’ve never felt so small and yet so significantly LOVED by my Father in heaven. 

He used a brand new life and a life passing into death to teach me more about love. He took everything I thought I knew and He stretched me to depths far beyond my comfort zone.

In many ways, I feel like I’m only scratching the surface of what it means to love, to really love. I have so much more to learn.

No matter what lies ahead in the new year, I don’t need longer lists or to be anything more than I already am.

He knows me and I am convinced the only thing I need more of is Him.

 

Get to

28 December 2014

Post Christmas Hike

Hike 001A

 

Hike 002A

 

Hike 005A

 

Hike 009A

 

Hike 012A

The girls like to go on ahead of us on the trail. It’s cute. They hold hands, encourage one another and “chitter-chatter” as they call it. I hope they always make time to do that! 

 

Hike 013A

 

Hike 017A

Zachary took his first hike up the bump-n-grind the day after Christmas. He seemed to enjoy it since he loves to be outdoors.  The girls thought the hike was pretty easy so we’re going to have to challenge them a bit more by going further in the future. We’ll see if mom and dad (and Zach) can keep up!

Here’s to a healthy, active and happy New Year!

26 December 2014

A joyful and quiet Christmas day

photo 1

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 056A

The three best gifts under the tree!

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 043A

I loved seeing all the sweet gifts the girls wrapped and put under the tree for each other and for their little brother. 

 

photo (13)

Baby’s first Christmas.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 058A

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 060A

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 061A

Every year they look forward to beef jerky in their stockings. Strange! :)

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 062A

Grace loves her Franny Battistelli.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 063A

This is what a joyful and thankful heart looks like.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 066A

Zach, our newest cutie pie!

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 067A

Overjoyed and thankful, again!

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 068A

Christmas morning with my two favorite men.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 070A

Showing Zach his gifts from his sisters. He’ll be playing with them soon!

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 072A

These two crack us up.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 073A

She loves her art studio from sissy.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 074A

More science!

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 078A

Matching plaid pj’s with this cutie.

We started the morning off by reading the Christmas story together in Luke 2. We opened the remaining gifts and then enjoyed cinnamon rolls and breakfast burritos. The afternoon consisted of lots of rest and play-- both inside and out.

Our first Christmas as a family of five was simple, quiet, joyful, and full of gratitude. Perfect in every way.  

Merry Christmas

3 Kids 003

 

3 Kids 007

Why yes, that is a sweater onesie! As you can see, he’s absolutely thrilled about it. :)

 

Christmas 2014 028A

Christmas water.

 

Christmas 2014 002A

Zach trying to figure out if this is his mama or his Halmoni.

 

Christmas 2014 007A

Cousin Madilyn wants to play.

 

Christmas 2014 010A

Hanging out with Uncle Rich.

 

photo 1 (1)

Festive beverage of the day: Cranberry Raspberry Lemonade. The kids loved it!

 

Christmas 2014 011A

Emily & Rich.

 

Christmas 2014 012A

Me & mom.

 

Christmas 2014 013A

Pretty in pink.

 

Christmas 2014 016A

The season for all things red… including lips!

 

Christmas 2014 017A

Born 9 days apart… Zach is trying to catch up to his cousin, Madi.

 

Christmas 2014 018A

A gorgeous 83 degree day!

 

Christmas 2014 023A

Roller babes.

 

Christmas 2014 026A

Playing with Uncle Rich.

 

Christmas 2014 029A

Morgan’s new board game.

 

Christmas 2014 030A

Legos all the way around.

 

Christmas 2014 032A

Love the new b-ball!

 

Christmas 2014 033A

Girlie goodness.

 

Christmas 2014 035A

Can u tell they’re excited?!

 

Christmas 2014 041A

Cousins are the best!

It was my joy to host Christmas for my family this year. My goal was to keep it simple and casual. Being our first Christmas without my dad, its made me appreciate and soak in these special moments with my family even more.

In a way, my dad’s passing has brought us closer together. Despite losing him this year, we have so much to be grateful for, including TWO new lives that entered our family.

Praise God for the blessing of new life and the hope and promise of life eternal.

We miss you everyday, dad.

The next day, Roy & Laura were in town so we celebrated Christmas again at Grandma & Grandpa’s…  

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 006

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 013A

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 014A

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 016A

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 017A

Simply adorable! As you can imagine, Zachary gets lots and lots of kisses everyday.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 018A

This little boy melts my heart.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 019A

Sibling love.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 022A

Half of the G-men.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 023A

Rowdy being himself.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 027A

I could eat him up!

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 029A

Entertaining Aunt Mary Jo.

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 035A

Grandma’s homemade lasagna was fantastic!

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 037A

Happy boy!

 

Christmas Eve Day 2014 042A

Faith loves her science.

The highlights of the day were being with family, putting on the golf course and singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus!

A very Merry Christmas, indeed!

On Instagram

© Brave Soul. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.