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

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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! 


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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

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The three best gifts under the tree!


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


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Baby’s first Christmas.


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


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Grace loves her Franny Battistelli.


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This is what a joyful and thankful heart looks like.


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Zach, our newest cutie pie!


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Overjoyed and thankful, again!


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Christmas morning with my two favorite men.


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


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These two crack us up.


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She loves her art studio from sissy.


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More science!


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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

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


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Christmas water.


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


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Cousin Madilyn wants to play.


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Hanging out with Uncle Rich.


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


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Emily & Rich.


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Me & mom.


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Pretty in pink.


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The season for all things red… including lips!


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


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A gorgeous 83 degree day!


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Roller babes.


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Playing with Uncle Rich.


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Morgan’s new board game.


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Legos all the way around.


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Love the new b-ball!


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Girlie goodness.


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Can u tell they’re excited?!


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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…  


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


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This little boy melts my heart.


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Sibling love.


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Half of the G-men.


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Rowdy being himself.


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I could eat him up!


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Entertaining Aunt Mary Jo.


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Grandma’s homemade lasagna was fantastic!


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Happy boy!


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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!

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