Here we are. December 29. The year is almost over. The past few weeks have been….interesting. They’ve been crazy fast and unbelievably long. It never really felt like Christmas and yet Christmas is over. We celebrated three birthdays, and also enjoyed several Christmas celebrations since I last reviewed. Time flies. Except when it doesn’t.
Early November brought the return of Matt and Emma from Haiti and led straight in to planning and preparations for birthdays and Christmas celebrations.
We celebrated Ellie’s birthday first with the Pinterest fail of the year. I was attempting to make a rainbow cake. It didn’t work out so well. (hahahahaha)
Next up was Thanksgiving and some wonderful celebrations with family (and a few exciting games of Nerts here at home).
Grace adopted a bunny. His name is Timothy. And he’s quite possibly the cutest thing ever.
We celebrated Emma’s 13th birthday. She opted to make her own cake. I have no idea why?!?!?!
We wrapped up the kitchen project, 98% of the way anyway. Which, if you do many DIY projects like this, you know that’s as far as they ever get until it’s time to move. The transformation is unbelievable. We’re even a little shocked when we go back and look at pictures of what it was just three months ago.
And then there was the #TeamNovember party for the Haiti team. Ugly Christmas sweaters abounded. As did food and laughter and friends new and old.
Then we hit the final week of school, and crunch time for Christmas prep and shopping. Up to this point we had been in kitchen and party mode 110%, so ten days out from Christmas I had done next to nothing in that department. So, a day at the coffee shop to think and browse and organize uninterrupted, plus the magic of Amazon Prime and Christmas went off almost seamlessly. (One child’s gift to me didn’t make it until the day after Christmas, but such is life.) The girls and I celebrated the end of shopping and the end of the semester with cupcakes at a local shop. Hurray!
Last, but not least, we celebrated Matt’s birthday over the weekend. He and I snuck away to Kansas City overnight where we talked about the past several weeks and looked ahead to next year. We met some dear friends for late night refreshments and came away from the weekend feeling more connected to each other than we have in weeks. He ended his birthday with an exciting case of the stomach flu (along with two of our girls; another one had had it two days before Christmas). Fortunately it was fast moving and everyone was well again by the next day. I am beyond blessed to be married to the man that I am, and the past several weeks have reminded me of that.
The beauty of the last seven or eight weeks have been heavily clouded by the return of a very dark season for me personally. The sun, I’m pretty sure, didn’t shine at all for several weeks, and that never helps. But some personal struggles in our home opened my heart and mind up to a season of confusion and doubt that I haven’t experienced in a very long time. The Lord used my time away with Matt and some of our conversations, along with the prayers of a few dear friends, to lift that veil and peace and joy have returned to my heart and mind, and for that I am endlessly thankful.
I will close with the gifts I have listed over the past several weeks, along with another picture of Timothy, just because he’s so darn cute.
3081. 75* —> 35*; goodbye fall, hello winter
3082. strange, long weeks; wrestling with attitudes and self-doubt; my God who is greater than all of it
3083. soul baring talks on date night
3084. raking leaves in the snow
3085. bread and wine, laughter, prayer, and friends
3086. blankets, heating pads, hot coffee – warmth on bitterly cold days
3087. Timothy the bunny
3088. a heart that longs for more
3089. my big, big God
3090. hard weekends, long talks, relationships restored
3091. my Ellie turning 9
3092. kitchen mess that means kitchen progress
3093. nights to lie awake praying
3094. Thanksgiving celebrations – food, family, laughter
3095. words of grace, hope, and courage on a Monday morning
3096. feeling tired and empty, running to Jesus
3097. reconnecting with old friends
3098. “Friendsgiving” and laughing til our sides hurt
3099. a God who knows how my heart aches and is worn and weary and who folds me in His love
3100. Emma turning 13 – the gift of her
3101. a tree, lit and decorated
3102. our 12th annual company Christmas party
3103. continuing to wrestle
3104. finally laying it all at God’s feet
3106. a good week
3107. the end of the semester
3108. the start of something new
3109. celebrating the birth of Christ
3110. answers to prayer and conversations that finally bring peace, restore trust
3111. celebrating my beloved
3112. the grace of God and essential oils that held off the stomach flu (for some of us at least)
That’s it for us right now. I pray that your New Year is wonderful and filled with joy and hope. But even if it’s not, we know that God is faithful and He is good.
For His Glory ~