Wednesday, December 30, 2015


December always feels like a bit of a marathon for me.

A good kind of marathon.

It's exhilarating.




There are so many ways to celebrate and remember Jesus' incarnation.

So much food to make.

Christmas concerts to enjoy.

Christmas caroling.

Family gatherings.

A  family birthday to celebrate.

Here's photographic documentation of the past month.

Some of my favorite people came to visit.

 Thanks to these lovely ladies my kids got to enjoy our annual cut out cookie day. And, oh yes, they baked and decorated 8 dozen cupcakes for our local kids club while they were here. We had a fun and festive weekend attending two Christmas concerts and baking and laughing. It was altogether a lovely weekend to kick off the Christmas season.

Niece, Cousin, Nanny, Friend... otherwise known as Abigail

Fun Christmas food art.

 Our December has been absurdly warm, in fact, record breaking warm. Cassie rides her trike 2 days before Christmas wearing just a jacket.

Even though I was craving a white Christmas, the warm sunshine was invigorating.

 Joshua celebrates his 8th birthday

Elliana shares her charm

 Christmas Eve day...We went for a walk and took pictures on the front porch dressed just as shown.

My little Christmas Princesses all ready to go to the Lehman gathering on Christmas eve.

 I love all the happiness on these pictures.

Elliana hanging out with her favorite Lehman cousin,Little  McKenna

 And Christmas morning dawns. Quietly, with Elliana on his lap we talked about the wonder of it all. Christ coming to this world as a babe, just like our own little Elliana. We marvel at His coming.

 And then. THEN. The kids woke up.  This is our traditional Christmas morning picture taken in front of the fireplace.
 A little girl's joy, a doll baby!

A little man's treasure....his own pocket knife!

And then the day following Christmas, our family headed off for a 48 hr. get away at my brother's cabin. I felt spoiled to be heading into such relaxation when many others were traveling and stressing about the holidays. It was such a gift to spend this time with our family.

Here are a few shots of our time at the cabin

And now we're home again and Amos is back at work. The kids are still enjoying their break from school and I am missing the co-parenting of the last few days. We're finishing up Christmas treats and still finding homes for the treasures accumulated over the past week of gift giving.

There are a number of activities that I failed to capture on camera at all...

Such as the FBCS Christmas program. I had 3 kids on the stage this year. The music and presentations were beautiful and I felt drawn to worship not only the Babe but also the Risen Victorious Savior.

The Faith Builder's Choral also presented a Christmas Cantata composed by Larry Nickel that was again beautiful and drew my heart to worship.

And the caroling. My favorite Christmas activity. I don't know how to capture the warmth and joy and adoration that I feel in my heart while singing of his birth. It's a joy to share the story with others.

The evening spent with a family-less neighbor man. How Cassie's eyes twinkled when she gave him a present.

Watching "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" and feeling a lump in my throat. Realizing again how little children often lead the way in true worship.

There is so much more that I am sure I am missing...

2016 approaches. Quick like.

Friday, December 4, 2015

1 month

1 month old always feels like a mile marker , both for baby and me.

Elliana's first month of life has been sweet.  

She has broken me back into the world of interrupted sleep and messy diapers and nursing pads and the church nursery in such a gentle way. 

I'm incredibly grateful, especially as I reflect on my first tumultuous  months with Cassie.

Elliana is the kind of baby who makes me wish to freeze time. It would be blissful to have her park in this newborn-ness for a few more months.

She is the kind of infant that makes me think I could maybe keep having babies every 19 months for the next 10 years. {until I think of the raising and training into adulthood}

It was fun for me to look through her photos this morning and see how much she has grown and developed already in just one short month.

4 days old. Sleeping and sleeping and sleeping. I think the noise around this house exhausted her.

4 days old

I'm totally smitten with this precious girl

1 week

Smiling in her sleep at 1 week

first Sunday to church at 11 days

"Hello, big world!!!"

Secure in Daddy's arms

Squishy-squashy big sister love

more big sissy love'in

Big Brother is a good babysitter too!

gotta just love those little bubbles she's blowing

those first smiles are just to die for

Oh help!! My head is outgrowing my hair!!!

It's so much fun learning to know the alert Elliana and seeing a whole new personality emerging

"I'm flexing my lips because I'm just about to tell you the sweetest little secret ever"
Elliana is just starting to coo and she can make the most darling little noises you ever did hear.