Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Beginnings

Happy New Year! For those of you who don't like the notion of New Years resolutions, read no further, but for those of you who have no problem with the notion of creating new goals for a new year, here goes! Towards the end of this year, I have slacked off in a number of areas, this blog included. Perhaps I was distracted by anticipation for the upcoming holidays, but whatever the case, I'm looking forward to fresh perspective and a fresh start.

1. First of all, this blog, I'd like to try to write on here once a week. Nothing profound or book-worthy necessarily, but just my thoughts about life at the moment, maybe just pictures, whatever is floating my boat during any given week. Writing/journaling has always been therapeutic for me and I believe it's part of the way God uses me for His purposes and glory, both in and through me, so more...yes. And here's something less serious, but just as fun! I intend to jump on the give-away bandwagon very soon, so stay tuned!

2. I'd also like to limit my time on facebook. I'm thinking about a certain time limit each day at a certain time. I'm not sure exactly how it will look yet, but I just know I want less time in front of technology this year. The T.V. isn't a big temptation for me, but I'd also like less veg time and more reading time, which leads to my next goal.

3. More time in the Word. I don't think this goal will ever NOT be on my resolution list! I would really like to join a Bible study this year for the added accountability, so if you live in my town and know of some good ones coming up, please let me know. I am also praying that as I dig deeper into God's Word, that it would over-flow into more intentional teaching of the Word to our kids. I'd like to have family scripture memory be part of daily lives, perhaps a monthly verse to memorize.

4. Less sugar, more exercise. Yes, you knew a fitness goal had to be on here;). After all the scrumptious Christmas cookies, I'm planning to cut sugar down big time! Aunt Pam, your peanut clusters are my nemesis! (But I do want the recipe for next Christmas;). On the exercise front, I'm shooting for 30 minutes, 4 times a week at the minimum, but I hope to grow from there.

5. More quality time and shared activities with my main man! We'd really like to venture out, just our little immediate family, on more adventures this year too.

6. I'd like to invest more time and energy into my friendships. My girls are so important to me and I want to love on them better.

7. I'm praying for more of those famous fruits of the spirit in my life. I know they come from abiding in the Vine, so of course, that's where I must start, but I need the Lord for even that step. But I'm really asking for more patience in this role of mothering.

8. The last one I can think of right now is that I'd like to be more real and vulnerable with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want you all to know the hard right along with the good. Perhaps it's easy to omit some of the hard or less than perfect as I strive, in optimism, to "pump myself up" with what is good and positive on here. But I wouldn't, for a moment (Faith), want anyone to get the impression that life is roses over here all the time or that I don't wrestle with that nasty sin nature every single day. Just because I'm no longer a slave to it, just because I am a new creation in Christ, that doesn't mean I don't fight to live inside this new freedom each and every moment. And boy do I have mountains to learn from each of you! Grace is the name of the game and I want to do more living in it (not to be confused with riding on it;)).

So how bout this, in the spirit of New Years goals, why don't you post some of your own and tell me about it.

Cheers to 2010!
Love, Sarah

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twins Trip to Austin

Here is a scrapbook of my trip to Austin to help my cousin Katie with her newborn twin girls, Mira and Sofia. I also had some special times with her older daughter Luli, but for some reason we missed getting many pics of Luli and I:(. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Affair

Hello Friends! I realize it's been about a month since last I posted. I would say I'm sorry to have been gone for so long, but the truth is, I've been connecting with many of you through another website. You know the one... Facebook. There, I've said it, it's now public knowledge, I've been cheating on my blog with Facebook. It's such an easy way to stay connected with "friends", and brief little chats and status updates rather than essay blogs feels like a better fit at the moment. Have no fear, I shall return to this place I love. It's so much more personal than Facebook and I get to decorate it and most of you know how much I love decorating:). Family life and Christmas activities are bustling around here, business and fun and good things. I check in with all of your blogs from time to time and always love to hear your latest happenings and thoughts. I'll be back, I promise. Love and Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Capturing Beauty

Sometimes, few words are necessary:).
And yes, I took these. Have I mentioned how much I love photography?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Emma's Character Award

Our Emma Grace just won a Character Award at school! It reads, "As part of our continuing effort to reinforce and acknowledge positive character traits in our students, we want to recognize your student for consistently displaying the character trait of: RESPECT- Showing consideration for others and their property; listening to and following instructions of those in authority; honoring others; following the Golden Rule; being courteous and polite. Mrs. "S" comments, "Emma is consistently respectful in our Kindergarten classroom, at specials, in the lunch room, and on the playground. She listens well and follows directions- always paying attention to what she has been told to do. We can count on her to be polite and respectful at all times. Way to go Emma!" You are to be commended for teaching these behavioral traits in your home. We are pleased to recognize and celebrate your child's excellent character and accomplishments."
Just had to brag on my Peanut for a minute, thanks for obliging this proud mama:)!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

This Wall

Life seems to be moving along pretty predictably at the moment. We have settled into Emma's school year and are finding our new daily routine accordingly. But there is a struggle within that I've had a hard time giving voice. I need to be vulnerable here, I need to be real. I need to share this because I long for growth and change.
I have been in a valley in my walk for awhile now. I suppose we all define these times differently, perhaps we call it a dry spell, feeling distant from the Lord, but whatever we call it, it's not a comfortable place to be. It is as if, on the other side of this wall in front of me, a short wall that I could easily climb, there is this intimacy with the Lord that I long for but can't seem to reach. And it's not as if my legs are trapped in concrete, preventing me from climbing this wall, no... I could jump right over any old time, but instead I sit, somehow content in my complacency, waiting... for what I'm not sure, but feeling lost and alone. And the hardest part to understand is that in my head and my heart, I know that time in the Word and prayer, surrounding myself with the Body, all these things will take me closer to what I long for. But it's as if my current failure and distance keep me wallowing in defeat, afraid to let His grace and mercy be new each morning, afraid to listen to the Holy Spirit and what He might ask of me. Why does it seem easier to look to other things for fulfillment, settling for second best when I know in my heart that God has so much more for me? Why do I try to hide from Him, the seer and knower of all? Why do I turn away from His promptings and invitations to know Him and love Him more? Why am I afraid that He may ask me to suffer for the sake of His glory and for my own refinement? Where is my faith, my assurance that this is not my home?! Why do I settle into false comforts, quenching the abundant life by filling my mind and my time with the temporal? "Father, I beg you to jump over this wall and snatch me up! Carry me over, into your presence, into that life-giving relationship with You I once knew. I am weak, be my strength! Build me up, challenge me, refine me, walk with me Aba! I need you, not just when times are hard and I'm crying out for help, not just on Sunday mornings, but every minute of every day sweet Jesus! I am thirsty, give me your living water! I am hungry for You! Don't let me dry up in this dessert. Refine me, even with fire, fill me up, find me and fill me. Thank you for your grace, for never giving up on me, for being always faithful, though I am not. I'm running to your Word now, pull me over this wall! Amen".

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Day at The Farm

On Emma's first full day of school, I took Chloe and Sawyer to a local farm for a special outing. We had a great time! We recently went back to the same farm for pony rides for the girls, I'll get those pics up soon too.
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: A day at the Farm
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One Year

One year ago today, I was beholding my firstborn son for the very first time! I remember crying tears of joy at the first sight of you, "Monkey". Sawyer Michael, what a blessing you have been to our family! You have three mommy's you know. You are loved so very much by all, that sweet smile of yours must be made of fire, because it melts the hearts of all who behold it. You are my mellow man... so far that is. Easy going, go with the flow, I often call you my happy camper. So much a year can hold, sweet son, so many firsts. I treasure each moment, locked in my memory, to hold me fast when one day I watch you graduate from high school. There will be plenty of time for letting go, for launching you into independence. But for now, precious son, keep snuggling in, putting your arms up whenever I walk by, giving that precious sigh of contentment when I oblige.Baby mine, happy first birthday!


Friday, August 21, 2009

My Dearest Emma Grace!

My dearest Emma Grace. Today was a big day for you, little peanut sauce. Today I dropped you off at Kindergarten. You were so excited to get dressed this morning, in your little navy blue uniform dress and new school shoes. You were up before I had to wake you up anticipating the day ahead. You requested a bun for your hair today, but we compromised with a half bun since I like your long curls so much. Daddy and I both took you to school today while Grammy watched Chloe and Sawyer. You wanted to ride with Daddy in the Buick since that's how you'll be riding to school every day. I pulled along side you in the van and you waved at me with such excitement. I waved back with the same look of excitement while holding back the lump in my throat. "Is this really happening?" I thought to myself. When we pulled up to school, I watched daddy carry you across the street and immediately the flashbacks of him carrying you in your infant car seat across the hospital parking lot came into my mind's eye. It seems like only yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital in your little green dress. Emma Grace, you have filled our hearts in a way that simply can't be expressed with words! You are beautiful, sweet girl, in every definition of the word, my precious firstborn. Your sense of humor, your excitement for surprises, your tender care of your sister and brother, the way you're eager to help me around the house, your sweet hugs and kisses, our priceless times before bed when I give you "tickles" on your back and we talk about everything under the sun and above it. I Cherish you so much! Today was hard for me, this little step of letting go. How can anyone love you as much as I do? Well, you know who. About a week ago, we were laying by the wading pool on our towels having a special time together and I told you that school would be starting this week and that you might miss me. I asked you if you were worried about missing me, to which you replied, "Jesus is in my heart, mommy, so if I miss you I will just pray to Him and He will help me feel better, because He is always with me." I was shocked and awed and my heart melted in a puddle right there! I said, "you're right baby, and mommy will need to do that too when I'm missing you!" But time has to move forward, and babies have to grow up and every day involves trusting God with your little heart and life, even when you're not in my care. I pray this day is special for you baby, that you have a great time with your wonderful teachers and new friends. Know that I'm always with you in my heart, I pray for you all day long and can't wait to pick you up from school! We will get through this together and no matter how many other teachers you have along the way, Daddy and I will always be your number one teachers and we are so honored and blessed to have that job!

This is the special note your teachers gave me on the way out the door with a fluffy cotton ball, a note that made me cry my eyes out all the way home!:

"Dearest Kindergarten Parents,
We just want to give you a little "gift" as you leave your little growing edge of the world with us this morning, so you will not have to go away "empty-handed".
As you hold this little cotton ball in your hand, the softness will help you to recall the gentle spirit of your child. Go home and after you have wiped your tears, make yourself a nice warm cup of tea. Put your feet up and relax. Remember, that together, we will all work along side your child, this year, to help them grown to their fullest capabilities.
Thank you for entrusting your child to us for this upcoming school year. We promise to do our very best every day to be your child's companions in learning and exploring this bright new world they have just stepped into...into the world of "I CAN!"
Tina and Heidi"


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Chloe Paige!

My sweet little Chloe Mo! How ever did you go from this...

to this!
Such beauty, such light, such fire for life!
You will always be my precious baby, no matter how big you get, my mama's girl to the core! Your hugs and kisses and "I love you's" melt my heart like no other. Happy third birthday sugar! I love you to the moon and back!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Trusting God Enough

I'm deep in thought tonight about the direction our future, as a family, is headed. I am married to a visionary man, full of passion and excitement for the future. It's exciting to be his wife for sure, I love his passion and I too want to be courageous as we attempt to step towards God's best for our lives. But sometimes my heart gives way to fear. Fear of the unknowns, the what-ifs, sketchy finances and the like. I know that each new venture into the unknown gives us more opportunity to trust the Lord, and that is what I'm praying for tonight, that I would learn to bathe in God's promises, that I would trust God enough to trust Travis as we makes some big decisions for our future. I want to hang on tight, eyes wide open on this ride, ready to embrace what's around the next corner!

Monday, July 27, 2009

11 Months!

Sawyer Michael turned 11 months yesterday! I can't believe we're only one month away from his first birthday. My little Gerber baby will be toddling before I know it, he's so close, walking along furniture, crawling with great speed. I really don't know how this year flew so fast!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

So I Don't Forget

I ask Chloe, "would you please help me fold this laundry? Here are some towels and pillow cases for you to do."
Chloe (Folds her items with great care): "Look Mommy! I folded it good!"
Me: "Yes you sure did sweetie, how did you get to be such a good folder?!"
Chloe (Chest puffed out, proud grin on her face and in her eyes): "I just growed up to be a good folder Mommy, I'm big now!"
Me: "You're right baby, you are SO big! Thank you for being such a good helper to Mommy!"
For the rest of the day, she kept asking me if there was anything else that needed to be folded.

In the car today, Chloe exclaims as she looks out the window with excitement, "Look at the clouds Emma!!!"
Emma: "Ya, they're like peanut butter and jelly, all spreaded out!"
Where do they come up with this stuff, I love it!


Friday, July 03, 2009

This Vessel

I've been giving much thought to this birthday post over the past few months. We all know, deep down, that birthdays only mark the passage of time, they don't speed it up or slow it down. But somehow, they always get us contemplating our age and what it means. And these decade birthdays seem to get more attention than others; I guess we like to think it tens? I've been getting comments all year like, "you're turning thirty this year! Is that hard for you to think about?" Or, "The big 3-0 is approaching, how are you feeling about that?" I know these questions are usually asked in sympathy as the asker expects me to be bemoaning my age. But I can say, in all honesty, that I am feeling quite different than one might expect about this thirtieth birthday.
Thirty years ago today, my parents were having one of the most amazing moments of their lives! At 4:17pm on July 3rd, 1979, their 5lb. 13oz. baby girl entered the world, their first born child. As morbid as it may sound, there are so many people who die in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood, I have been touched by so many of these stories, babies who never leave the hospital alive, etc... So to complain about getting older is to complain about the precious days God has allowed me to live on this earth, each of which is such a gift!
This vessel has served me well, friends, I cannot complain. And that is what my aging body is, yes? A vessel, a vehicle my soul gets to ride in through this journey of life. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments of vanity, wishing my skin looked like it did when I was 18, wishing the skin on my stomach had a little more elasticity to pull itself back together after three babies stretched it halfway around the world and back. But alas, I have stretch marks and moles, and the beginnings of fine lines on my face. Shhh! don't tell anyone, but I even found my first "age spot"! But I'm not going to get stuck on this laundry list of pettiness, NO! I am so blessed!
For thirty years, I have watched the seasons change, seen the glory of sunsets and even a few magical sunrises. I have anticipated warm holiday times with family and friends, laughed until I cried, cried until I laughed, sometimes cried until all my tears were completely dried up. I have been in love, and then learned what real love is, the kind you choose. I have carried life within my womb, something so miraculous and wonderful, I just can't find words for it! I know what it is to be "Mommy", I know what it is to be "Sweetheart, Baby, Wife". I have mourned and rejoiced, had times of excitement and times of quiet "normalcy". I have known the joy of becoming more mature, of being able to look back at where I was and see the amazing growth and fruit God has worked out in me. With each new sentence I write, my smile grows bigger! The whole package of my life, the blessings and hardships, ALL of it has been such a gift! And what has been the greatest gift of my life? Jesus Christ! It is because of His death on a cross and Resurrection that I have the promise of eternity with my God, it is because of Him that I can call Him "my God". And this eternity does not just begin when I die, He has given me abundant life NOW, joy that overpowers circumstances, peace that washes my soul even in life's greatest storms, hope and purpose and love beyond measure!
I am thankful, bursting with thanks really for the gift that is my life! I will leave you with these verses of promise and hope as I celebrate thirty wonderful years on this earth. Thank you Lord for this vessel!

Philippians 1:21
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Romans 8:11
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."

Philippians 4:12-13

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Taking You In

A thought crossed my mind just now, sweet Emma, as I watched you out the window. Completely unaware that I'm watching you, swinging on your swing set, braids blowing in the breeze of each swing. You are little now, almost five years old, but you won't always be so little. In fact, the thought of the speed of time fell heavy on my heart just now. Oh, that I could stop time, or at least bottle it up for safe keeping! You're thinking about something as I watch you, it's all over your face, brows furrowed, talking or singing to yourself as you look out over the pasture behind us. Perhaps you are wishing you could fly, or maybe you are imagining you are riding that horse you see. Dream, sweet daughter, dream big! God is a big God, give your heart to Him and He will give you life abundant!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Water Babies!

There is something blissfully simple and yet profoundly memorable about summer days spent around a backyard wading pool. I remember running down our backyard hill with reckless abandon to jump into the small pool, swimming on our stomachs in circles for what must have been hours, giggling til our cheeks hurt. I've heard it said that having children is like reliving your childhood, and I am finding that to be true in so many ways. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few thousand!

Oh so serious!
Now he gets the idea
And now that there's a ball involved, yes please!

Check out the cool water I captured near Emma's leg. Have I said anything lately about how much I love my camera?!

Does this picture not say mischief?!! Just look at her expression!
Nothing like swimming to get those tummy's growling. And lunch outside makes clean-up a snap!