Monday, December 31, 2012

Adios 2012!

    A theme of 2012 for us was change. We morphed into a family of 5 in February when we were blessed with sweet Hayes. That is change in the best possible way. Other change came that we didn't forsee and it wasn't what we would have picked but brought us closer to each other and showed us another reality of who God is. The Great I Am. At the end of the day, isn't that what's most important?

    2012 was good to us. The past 12 months we came into our own, both individually and as a family. We made big decisions the right way. We turned to each other when we needed help. We deepened new friendships and rekindled old ones. We have more change planned in 2013 but I would love to continue the path we're on. The dominant theme of 2012 was blessed. We'll definitely remember this year as one of abundance in every way.

I am excited about 2013 for so many reasons. Welcoming another year together feels like a gift that we've been given. I'm excited to see it unfold over the coming months and where we end up this time next year. Bring it, 2013!!

I hope everyone has a happy new year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

Our first Christmas as a family of five was a good one. We spent great time with family and made memories. This year, more than any other year, I was overwhelmed with how rich my life is. God's blessings are so rich and so undeserved it's just mind-boggling to think about. This holiday season, I spent the two weeks leading up to Christmas really focusing on what a miracle it is that Jesus came and SO ready for his return. Wouldn't it be just like Jesus to come back on Christmas??? This Christmas was heavy with reality that our world is evil. I hope he comes quickly.

In the meantime, I'll be posting too many pictures of my kids. I'm going in chronological order.
My kids met Santa. I had major reservations about this last year but got over it. Harris is the much bigger believer but Walker was the one really into meeting Santa. You would have thought they were old friends. Walker showed him how his truck worked, hopped up on his lap and would have stayed there if there hadn't been a line. Harris only said hi because Santa had a bunch of candy canes behind him.


Walker's face in the pic of him alone is so sweet. The one of all 3 of them is the best we were going to do. Ms. Claus looks like she's getting a workout holding little Hayes.

Here's all 3 heading to Christmas service at church. What I  love about this is Walker's face. He was trying to be cooperative. He was saying "SMILLLLLLLE" through his clenched teeth. And Hayes' beret. That baby made my day by keeping it on for awhile. There may or may not have been training sessions to acclimate him to that hat.

Tom got an inflatable Santa and strung some random lights on the our teensy trees. The boys couldn't have been more impressed and there was clapping if we pulled in the driveway after dark. They "helped" Tom string the lights.

Here they are checking out a toy catalogue, wondering what Santa might bring.

I found a random felt thing on Etsy and it was worth the investment. It would be easy to make on your own but the odds of me dragging 3 kids to a craft store and then cutting and gluing all that felt are pretty slim. You told part of the story each night, re-telling the previous nights, and added an object. Harris played with it all the time and it was a great starting point for conversations. Walker wasn't so into it but he will be soon.

We spent a few days at a lakehouse with family and the boys loved it. It's such a nice getaway and being in a different environment just changes the whole vibe.

They ran outside.

They opened presents.

They did the park.

They slept.

They even hit Buc'ees. Aimee, this pic is for you!!

Yes, they were in their pajamas. We were going to drive through a Christmas light display but the line was out of control.

Hayes got a walker (THANK YOU BROOKE) and was all over the place. I don't know what we did before he had that thing. He follows the older two everywhere and gets into everything he can. He loves it. It even has a tray to throw some food on so he can eat while he's running through the house. It may be hard to tell but he likes his food.

We just had such good family time. Walker is really growing up. Every night when I put him to bed I tell him I love him and he always says. "Too" in a small little voice. The other night I told him that and he said, "I love you too mom!!" It was so precious to hear my sweet boy tell me that but a little sad at the same time. He's growing up. He got a good report at church today for the first time EVER. Yahoo! He slept in a bed with no problems and understood that he had to stay in it until we got him out. That had previously been disasterous. He's maturing.
Harris grasped Christmas this year. He could parrot back an answer before but I think this year he really did get that Christmas was about Jesus. He was so excited about his own gifts but equally excited on Walker's behalf for his gifts. It was just a joy to see it all through 5 year old eyes. Harris narrates when he's excited so we got a taste of all his emotions :)
Hayser just hung out and made everyone smile. Love these three and I'm still DYING over the pj's.

Christmas was what it should be. A time to celebrate the birth of Christ and spend time with family.

Merry Christmas!!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Someone mentioned to me that they were surprised I was working, after my blog post about working moms. Ummm, what are we talking about??? A blog post I wrote was unclear. Reading it now, I see the interpretation but it just didn't occur to me at the time.
Here's what I wrote:

Here is the back story. A well meaning friend gave me unsolicited advice about how to deal with one of my kids. It took me out for a few days. I was down on myself about my parenting, feeling extremely unqualified to handle my kids, and just generally unsure of every move I made throughout the day. I knew why I didn't do things the way she suggested. I didn't do them for various reasons that relate to my child's personality and our family dynamics. I just came to the conclusion that there is no one more qualified to make parenting decisions about how to handle their child than the actual parent. Weren't we all much better parents before we had these kids?? :) My point was we all need to stop before making a judgement about how someone else should be raising their kids. And we can rest in the decisions we make as parents, knowing we are doing the very best we can with the knowledge and insight we have into our own child.

This seems like a foolish post, in light of what's happened lately. I wrote it so if I hurt anyone's feelings they would understand my intention had nothing to do with the work/stay home issue.  Please understand that was actually the opposite of where I was going, which was trying to affirm our individual decisions.

We all love our kids and are just so grateful for the chances we have to continue to love on them. I am still shaken at what's happened in small town CT and so sad for these families. SO sad. I have written and deleted a post about this because there are no words. All I can think is that this world is broken and I want Jesus to come quickly.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Harris is FIVE!!

Harris, you are a rockstar!! Every time I write you a note in your lunchbox you tell me to write that so I thought you'd want to hear it now.

You are happy. Just plain happy. Nearly all of the time. I asked you if you were happy at your new school and you told me, "I'm always happy."  Every new place you go or new friend you meet you find something to enjoy in the experience. I love that about you. 

You know Jesus. I never understood scriptures about childlike faith until I saw yours grow because it's how we should all be. If you are read something in the Bible then you totally believe it, without question. When you pray, you pray with full expectation that it will be answered. When you don't know what to do, you retreat to your room and "talk to God." People comment all the time on how smart you are and how fast you learn and that's true. But the thing that will take you farthest and make your life worthwhile is what you already know about who Jesus is.

You love to laugh and especially laugh with other people. You are constantly telling jokes and then cracking up. You see things when we're out and think of other people first. Every time you see a Thomas related item you always say, "Walker would love that, let's get it!" You opened up your piggy bank, all on your own, to give money to a fundraiser for another family at your school. You heard about what they needed and wanted to give what you had. What was even better was after I helped you get your money to give you looked at me and said, "Do you want to give some of your money?"

You say funny things without even meaning to. "You're a little bit poking the bear." and "You're making me NERVOUS." are two of my favorites. You love legos. I mean, you really love legos. You are very detail oriented and can knock out those sets faster than I can. When I "help" you, you usually have to correct me. And you're always right. You like to swing as high as you can. You love books. You think it's so funny when I sit down on you and pretend you're not there. When you go to sleep at night you stand up on your bed and fall straight onto your pillow. It always looks like you're going to knock your head off on the headboard but you manage to miss it every time. Hayes adores you. You love to make him laugh and are quick to see what he might need. If I set him down on the floor you are immediately looking around to see what toys you can give him or what you can do to make him happy. You love to hold my hand when we're out and about. You told me, "I like to hold your hand because it makes me feel close to you." We were out of town without your daddy for a few days and you told me, "Our family just doesn't look the same without dad." You've grown up quite a bit the past few months. You've started seeing how high you can jump off the swing. You NEVER would have done that this time last year. You're getting braver and more confident in your abilities.

You are the picture of grace to me because I've never done anything good enough to deserve to be your mom but God gave you to us anyway. You have a very tender heart. It's been precious to see you love Hayes with pure, compassionate, and totally unfiltered emotion. You haven't bought into the lie that that your emotions aren't "manly" and I pray that it stays that way. You wear everything you feel on your sleeve and give love so freely. You greet me every morning like we've been separated for 10 years. There is no better way to start the day :)

Harris, God has an awesome plan for your life. He's given you an innate compassion for others, awesome capacity to love, and the intellect to do whatever you want. I have no idea what you will end up doing with all your talents but I know you're going to use them in amazing ways. It's such a privilege and blessing to be your mom. You bring me joy every single day and my world is so much brighter with you in it. Love you so much, sweet boy!! Happy fifth birthday!

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3