30 October 2018

Happy 90th Birthday, Aunt MJ!

Aunt Mary Jo turned 90 so we took her out to lunch one Sunday after church.
She enjoyed lobster crepes at the Belgian café, Si Bon.  

Afterwards, I took the kids home and Morgan took his aunt to get her first EVER pedicure of her life.
She said she was in seventh heaven!

At 90, Aunt MJ has severe hearing loss and she is suffering from dementia. Regardless, she still has so much joy in her heart. She absolutely loves the kids and she loves to laugh. Two things that keep her young.

Morgan does such a good job of taking care of his sweet aunt.
I'm so proud of him. It really is one of the most touching and inspiring things to witness.

29 October 2018

Birthday with Girlfriends

Karen, Hailey and Melissa took me out to celebrate my birthday as well.
I picked Luna Grill and it was tasty, healthy Mediterranean food. My new favorite!

This girl right here is a gem. Hailey and I have grown up a lot together.

 My sweet Jill had to work so she and I went on a hike instead. We love our sunrise hikes!

 And these two precious friends, Leslie and Lyndi took me to Luscious Lorraine's Organic Café for a celebratory lunch as well.

I feel so blessed to have one good girlfriend in my life, let alone a handful.
These ladies are not only dear friends, they are my prayer warriors.

God's banner over me is love.
These sweet friendships are proof of that.  

28 October 2018

October Beach Day

 The forecast was over 90 in the desert one Saturday so after the kids' soccer games, we headed straight for the beach. Gotta love the beach in the fall when you've almost got it to yourself.

 He's all about the sand and heavy machinery.

 The girls braved the water and did some boogie boarding.

 My view.

 Vroom, vroom!

Had to represent my Dodgers in the World Series.

Even though the clouds rolled in in the afternoon, we still had a fantastic day. We knew this was going to be the last beach day of the year for us so we thoroughly enjoyed it to the fullest.

Like I always say, "There's never a bad day at the beach!"

27 October 2018

We sold the cabin!

 After 3 years of owning the Big Bear cabin on Balsam we had with Ben & Lucy, we sold it.

 Just for posterity sake, I wanted to remember the cabin in all its staged glory. 😄 

 I can still hear the birds chirping.

Master bedroom.

Upstairs bunk room.

Lots of movies and games played down here.

Downstairs game room.

 Downstairs bedroom.

 At the end of September, we stayed in the cabin for the last time before escrow closed.

 He loved being outside on this deck.

 Cold and cuddly mornings.

 Sibling love is so sweet.

 Zach had to ride the trails again.

 And of course, we had to make a trip to the Alpine Slide.

 This is a favorite. So fun!

 Our little cub,  back in August of 2017.

 A year later in August of 2018.

The kids have grown up a lot over the last three years and Zach was just starting to love the cabin and get used to it but in the end, we made the decision to simplify our life.

In between renting it out, dealing with the rental company, making improvements and just maintenance,
it was a lot of extra stuff on Morgan's plate. Plus, we were lucky to visit twice a year. When we wanted to,
the cabin was always booked.

At the end of summer, the market seemed like it was the right time so we decided to test it out and low and behold, it sold!

We look forward to spending time in Big Bear again but now, we will enjoy someone else's cabin. 😉

Thanks for the memories, Balsam Peaks!

16 October 2018

17 and 48

Morgan and I snuck out for an afternoon date to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary.
These days, a date at any time of day feels like a luxury. We don't feel comfortable yet leaving the kids alone at night and at the same time, we're too cheap to pay for a babysitter. 😂

No, seriously though, a babysitter doesn't seem necessary when you have two "almost" teenagers who are quite capable with their little brother.

So, for now, day dates seem to work for us and that's perfectly OK by me!

We headed to our favorite resort for sushi, uninterrupted conversation, and an opportunity to sit really close to each other and hold hands. 😂 

 In doing the math, I realized that this year, I've now known Morgan for half of my life. When I was in my 20's (and early 30's), I had this picture in my mind of how I wanted my life to be. You know, the normal things a girl wishes for... a handsome husband, two kids, a nice house, etc., etc...

God always amazes me with better plans than I can dream up of on my own. It's a reminder that
maybe we settle for our little dreams when in fact, His desire for us is much bigger than we can even imagine. I couldn't have imagined the 3 kids He's given me to mother or how they came about. I couldn't have imagined the opportunity I have to encourage others towards adoption. I couldn't have imagined that this would be my story and the privilege I have to steward it well.

 And I couldn't have imagined a better partner in life to share it all with.

After 17 years, we've had some ups and downs and I'm not gonna lie, sometimes, life is hard. Sometimes, marriage is hard and it takes deliberate effort to connect and communicate.
That's why I'm so grateful that Morgan pursues God on his own. In pursuing God, I know that he'll always pursue me. We don't have a perfect marriage by any sense of the word but we do have a Perfect God who seeks to sanctify us through our marriage.

No matter what life throws at us, I know we are both committed-- to God and to each other.
Here's to the next 17 years and Lord willing, beyond, babe!
I don't tell you enough but I hope you know I love you beyond words. 💘💘💘

 The next day was my birthday so we celebrated by letting me have the night off of cooking and taking the whole family out to the Cheesecake Factory.

Wow, I'm 48. 😱
I don't care who you are, 48 is not young anymore. 😂 
In some ways, I feel like I should be 38??
However, I know that age is just a number and I'm determined to live fully, right where I am.
I'm so grateful to the Lord for my health every. single. day. He gives me the energy to keep up with my kids and do things, like exercise and hike.
I trust that He will give me exactly what I need in order to fulfill the purpose He has for me.

The 40's (especially the later half) has been a wake up call.
No longer can I eat or drink whatever I want.
The stewardship of my health and body is also an act of responsibility.

After all, I hope to be around 48 more years!
Lord willing, let it be so.

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