Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

 Twas the night before Christmas... Here are my beautiful little Christmas girls all dressed up for Christmas Eve Service.
 And of course, our strapping little lad!
 After a night of church and Grammy's for a family celebration, two tired girls set out milk and cookies and head to bed for those "visions of sugar plums".
 What's this?  Santa's been here!
 And the stockings are hung by the "chimney" with care...
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

28 weeks and blooming!

 I'm always looking my freshest and best in the morning when Travis isn't home to take my picture, so here's yet another attempt at self-photography.  This is my bare (gasp, shock) belly at 28 weeks.  This may be the last bare belly shot you get of me...ever, so enjoy!  I'm feeling pretty good these days, emphasis on the word "days".  Nights are getting a little rough with heartburn, hip pain, frequent bathroom trips and the feeling that I can't quite get enough air at times, which forces me to sit up, or dark trips to the kitchen for a snack.  But I've been with child enough to know how quickly these last two months will fly.  The very thought of that is a bit too much to comtemplate right now, so I'll save that for another post.  But I am thoroughly enjoying all the kicks and hickups and rolls little Autumn is entertaining me with throughout the day and relishing in this special time with her inside me.
I've also included our family picture for your viewing pleasure.  May your Christmas season be filled with reminders of God's great love for us.  And may that love inspire and fill you to pour your own life out to those in need of it.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Slowing Down

The house is silent as I type.  Chloe and Sawyer are napping, Emma is at school, Travis at work.  Dishes are begging to be done, two loads of laundry need folding, and of course the ever-present tiddying of clutter.  But I am soaking in the silence, beautiful solitude, so those things will have to wait for a moment.  It's been a busy, loud week.  Good things yes, but maybe as I grow older, simplicity and silence are becoming more appealing.  I'll just say it, I don't like to be too busy, I don't like the building stress of too much on my plate.  There is a simple life I long for in those times, a simple life of simple tasks, of basking in relationships with my children and husband, of making meals and cleaning house, quiet afternoons to think and pray and read.  Too much clutter in my life, just like too much clutter in my house creates stress and noise that cloud out what's most important, those simple things, those higher callings that need my time and effort and work.  Thank you Father for the simple and profound callings on my life, for giving me rest and silence after times of busyness, for helping me know that more is not always better.  Thank you for this moment of rest and reflection, and please give me the energy I need to accomplish the simple tasks of this day.  May I abide in you through every one of them.  Amen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 25

Day 25
Happy Thanksgiving!
Today I am thankful for a cozy, warm bed to crawl into after a day of eating and relaxing with family.  I think food is something we so easily take for granted, as well as a warm, comfortable place to sleep.  Thank you Lord for your provision of both, for the abundance I don't deserve.  Amen.
Goodnight sweet friends, near and far, may we all rest on a bed of thanksgiving tonight.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 24

Day 24
Today I am thankful for three beautiful children, who flock around their mama like little chicks, who consider me their favorite place.  I am thankful for their daily requests for special time, with just them.  It is my earnest prayer, that even in my blazing imperfections and failures, I will point them to their Father's love with my love for them.  Father, I thank you for being MY favorite place.  Thank you for your forgiveness and grace, your mercy that is new each morning.  Thank you for loving me, in all my sin and wretchedness, and washing me white as snow by the blood of Jesus!  Thank you for blessing and entrusting me with four young lives and a precious man to pour into and love.  Thank you for the ways you use each of them to shape and refine me and to draw me closer to you.  You are the giver of good gifts!  May I never stop praising Your name and thanking You for all that You are and all that You've done!  Amen

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 23

Day 23
Today I am thankful to have this beautiful girl home with us for the next five days!  As much as she loves school, she's happy about a break too.  We have plans for lots of reading and snuggling and movies and walks as a family.  And of course, LOTS of eating!  This picture also happens to be taken when I was exactly 23 weeks.  I'm now 26, the weeks are flying!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 20, 21, and 22

Day 20, 21, and 22
Well, just when I thought I was getting better, bronchitis really settled in, so I'm combining the weekend's days too.  But I am so excited that it's Thanksgiving week!  I am so thankful that Travis will have six whole days off with us this week, I'm positively giddy!  We got all our Christmas decorations up inside on Saturday night while my mom was here this weekend.  It just makes the house so cozy, I love it.  I am thankful for eggnog and Christmas music, for stuffing and hot rolls and green bean casserole, for pies and homemade whiped cream, yes food is a gift and the enjoyment of it even moreso.  Happy Thanksgiving week to all!  May you have safe travels and warm times with family and friends this week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 17, 18, and 19

Day 17, 18, and 19
Once again, an illness has kept me from keeping up with my daily thanksgiving, this time it was me who has been sick.  But in my efforts to be obedient to the call to "give thanks in all circumstances", I am truly thankful for an illness that reminds me how good it is to only be temporarily out of comission.  There are so many who struggle daily with pain and chronic or terminal illnesses who don't have that light at the end of the tunnel.  Thank you Father, that I was ONLY sick for a few days and that you are making me well again.  Thank you for a husband who takes care of us so well and steps up to the plate when mama is in bed.  And thank you for the humble reminder that chores can wait and that the meals I cook, or don't cook, do not define my worth.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 16

Day 16
Today I am thankful for coffee dates on cold evenings with good friends, I'm looking forward to such an evening tonight.  There's just something about sipping a hot drink while bearing our souls and laughing together that is such medicine for woman's spirits.  May we never underestimate the importance of maintaining our female friendships.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 15

Day 15
I am thankful for the Holy Spirit, convicting me of sin, encouraging my heart, and enlightening me to the truth of God's Word.  I am thankful for God's mercy, that is new every morning, that I do not have to sink under the weight of a day's failures without the hope of complete forgiveness, renewal, and the promise of wisdom when I ask for it.  Thank you Father for saving me from the filth of my sin by the torturous death and glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ!  Your love for me inspires me to live a life that is pleasing to you and to share the good news with others.  Thank you for adopting me through my faith alone, so that every good work springs forth from gratitude, not stressful attempts at earning your favor, which no imperfect human can ever do on their own merit.  You are my everything, my love, my life, my Savior, and my friend.  May my life exist to praise your matchless name and may my joy be complete in you, as nothing else but knowing you can give me true joy.  Amen!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 12, 13, and 14

Days 12, 13, and 14
After a weekend of coughing and body aches and a baby boy with stomach flu, I am thankful today for a day of rest, for the calm after the storm.  Looking forward to still waters and green pastures again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 11

Day 11
Today is Veteran's Day, so let me give my genuine thanks to all the service men and women who have, do, or will serve our country, not only by fighting for our freedom, but for the freedom and justice of those without a voice or defense.  God bless you and your families for your tremendous sacrifice, for laying down your life for others!  I will probably never know what it's like to have my husband on a year-long deployment, but I know so many heroic wifes who have.  So today, not only do I want to honor those serving, but also the families they leave behind.  May God sustain you and fill you with the joy and peace and safety that only He can provide while you are missing your loved ones.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 10

Day 10
As the cold air moves in, I am increasingly thankful for shelter, a home and roof to keep out the elements.  Not only does our home protect us, but it encircles us in arms of togetherness, cozy times on the couch or snuggled in beds.  It is a place where the aroma of cooking food and scented candles invite us in after we've been in the world, a place of comfort and love and relaxing.  A house is shelter, a home is something created and longed for.  Thank you Father for our home!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 9

 Day 9
I am exactly 24 weeks, 2 days pregnant today.  Six and half years ago, my precious nephew Tayden was born at this exact gestation, almost four months premature, weighing only a little over a pound.  He was not much bigger than a pencil, as you can see in the picture below.  Today, I am thankful for Tayden, that God chose to spare and protect his life through modern medicine and His matchless healing power!  I am thankful that Autumn Mae, at this very same size, is still safe inside my womb.  And I pray she will stay there until at least 37 weeks.

Tayden, you are a miracle and such a blessing to all who know you!  Auntie Sarah loves you more than words and can't wait to watch you grow into the man God created you to be!

Monday, November 08, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 8

Day 8
Thank you Lord for naps.  They are few and far between these days, but when they come, what a sweet blessing.  My pregnant body longs for them these days and today, I got one!  I laid down right away when Sawyer and Chloe went down for their naps, so I got a full hour and a half, bliss:).

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 7

Day 7
Today I am thankful for free food!  Noodles and Co. had an awesome deal today where your kids turn in their Halloween candy to be sent to troops overseas and in exchange, they get a free dinner.  So the kids and I had a lovely dinner for just $4.25!  We cleaned our bowls and left with full bellies, I didn't have to cook, and we didn't break the bank, mama likie!  And it was an evening proof positive that a mother with three young children and one in the oven can have a peaceful dinner at a restaurant with her children without fighting or fit throwing, praising the Lord (and my children) for that one big time!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 6

Day 6
It really struck me today how fortunate we are to live in the same state with all our siblings and both sets of parents.  That will soon change when my brother and his wife move out of state at the end of this month, but even so, they will only be about 8 hours away.  It really is all about perspective and attitude isn't it?  There have been times when I've envied the fact that my sister and mom live in the same town with each other while I'm two hours away, but I always have to remind myself how very blessed I am to ONLY be two hours away from them.  I get to see them about once a month, sometimes more often, and I know there are so many out there, military families especially, who have known the sting of very long separations from loved ones accross very far distances.  There's also the fact that there are no guarantees we will always live so close to each other, so today I'm choosing to cherish the blessing of now.  Thank you father for the blessing of family and for the undeserved gift of having them so close and getting to see them so often.  Amen

Friday, November 05, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 5

Day 5
Today, I am thankful for the people who dare to go deep, who dare to tackle the stuff of life that really matters and share it with others.  I read this post today and love it!  She is one of those people I am thankful for.  Be sure to read this post of Ann's too, somehow the music on her blog opens my heart to deeper places too.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 4

Day 4
(Travis brought each of the girls a rose home after work one day, because Chloe had left him a tearful message at work saying she missed him)
At around 4am this morning, I was suddenly awakened by an aweful cramp in my calf.  All I could mutter to Travis was that I was having a bad cramp!  He quickly wanted to know where, thinking I was talking about a contraction, so I eked out "calf".  I finally got it to release, when Sawyer woke up.  I like to think he sensed his mama in peril, but it was probably just a coincidence.  Travis jumped up to tend to him, but I soon heard calls for "mommy" that I couldn't roll over and ignore.  He just needed a little reassurance from a bad dream I think, as all it took was a few rocks and he was ready to be put back in his crib.  Not even an hour later, we heard Emma calling for me in panic, so once again Travis jumped up from bed and ran to her.  Then I hear racing feet coming back down the hall and Travis say, "she's going to throw up!"  They made it to the toilet, but once again, it was mama Emma wanted.  Travis tried to convince her that I was pregnant and needed my rest and that he would fill in as back rubber and hair holder, but I could tell she longed for me in that moment, so out I rolled.  She was on an every 15 minute roll, so I made a bed for myself on the bathroom floor and closed my eyes in pretend sleep as I rubbed her back.  After about 30 minutes, Travis appeared at the door and said he'd take a shift, so I went back to bed.  As I snuggled in, I listened to the sweet words Travis whispered to Emma, that he loved her and would take good care of her and she would be okay.  After a few more rounds over the toilet, she fell asleep in the make-shift bed on the bathroom floor, so Travis returned to bed.  The next time she woke up, it was Travis she called for.  And this leads to what I give thanks for today, Travis.  Not only did I mention him yesterday as my dearest friend, or the day before that as our provider, but today I celebrate him as my mate and companion, the servant leader of our home.  He loves and cares for us with such selflessness, it can only come from one place, Christ in him.  I often call him my night time hero as he has never been the type of husband to lay like a rock in bed as I tend to all the kid's night time needs.  In fact, aside from when I am nursing a baby, he is the usually the first one out of bed to answer our kid's calls.  He sacrifices his own sleep for mine and never tries to make me feel guilty about it.  Especially when I'm pregnant, I SO MUCH appreciate this way he selflessly loves me.  And selfless love illicits selfless love, does it not?  Nothing makes me want to serve him more than my gratitude for the way he serves me!  I delight in doing his laundry and making him meals and keeping the house clean, because these things bless him and I just love him so stinking much!  Thank you Lord for Travis, You love me so well through him, I really don't deserve it.  Show me ways to love and bless him even more as I fill my tank with Your love for me.  Amen!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 3

Day 3
Friendship.  Such a commonly used word and yet there are so many different interpretations of what it means.  Today, I am thankful for the true and Godly friendships God has blessed me with in my life.  With my husband and with the beautiful women whose hearts I have come to know and love.  Friendship, to me, is what God describes in scripture as true brother/sisterhood in Christ.  Relationships where we offer forgiveness before it is ever asked for, where intimate accountability is desired and offered in love as we both desire to grow more like Christ, where humility and servanthood are given, without the expectation of equality.  It is a place where we can be real and open and honest, a listening ear for breaking hearts, an encouraging word in times of despair, a challenge towards righteousness in times of our weakness, prayer together when the best place for us is at the foot of the cross.  Friendship is the closest extension of God's love for us we can come to in human form, more and more beautiful the closer we draw to Him.  It is pouring out our lives for each other, considering each other more important than ourselves.  To all of you who have been and are this type of friend to me, I want you to know how very thankful I am for you!  I praise God for you and pray to grow more and more in my love for you.  You are gifts from above, God with skin on to me, He has used you in ways you will never know to bless, challenge, and grow my heart.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 2

Day 2

Today, I am praising the Lord for His provision.  Specifically, through the hard work of my husband.  God has blessed Travis with work since the day we brought Emma home from the hospital, he has never been without it, even in this sketchy economy.  Not only that, but God has provided well enough for us never to have to consider me needing to work to supplement his income.  I have been able to be the full time homemaker I have always wanted to be, and because I know there's no guarantee this will always be the case, I am flat on my face with gratitude!  We have a home, food in our pantry and fridge, clothes on our backs, cars to drive and far more wants than we deserve.  My prayer is that as I ponder the tremendous blessing of God's provision, I would be moved more and more every day to give and overflow to others in need.  That I would have a spirit of true contentment, of understanding that nothing is mine, but all the Lords.  I am but a steward of every material and non-material gift He has given me.  I pray that I would be a good steward, that greedy or materialistic would never be words to describe me.  Thank you father, for abundantly providing for all my needs!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Month for Giving Thanks- Day 1

I'm doing this for me.  I know that every day benefits from an attitude of gratitude, but it's so easy to forget.  So for the month of November, I'm going to daily count my blessings here.  My theme verse for his month is:
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18- 
"Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Day 1
I'm so struck by how surprisingly overwhelmed with joy I am about this little baby girl within my womb.  And not that the joy pregnancy in general, of life growing in my womb, surprises me.  But little Autumn Mae is such an unexpected blessing in that, I never envisioned four children being a reality for me.  Travis and I always said that four would probably be our max, but that three was most likely.  As I feel her moving and kicking within me, there are times when I just feel overcome with joy!  Daughters are so special, they are the heart and heritage of their mothers, the crown of their fathers.  I dream of holding her in my arms, nursing her in the wee hours, of her first smiles and laughs, of watching her little unique personality emerge, even of the adult relationship we might have some day as we grow into dear friends.  Thank you Lord, for blessing us with another baby girl.  May we be good stewards of these four tremendous gifts.  Give us grace and wisdom for the journey...Amen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Blogger's Prayer

I came accross this prayer through a friend's blog and I simply must share it!  This is my new prayer, both for this blog and every word I utter on facebook or otherwise.  Thank you Lord for the way your are speaking through Ann Voskamp!

Friday, October 15, 2010

21 weeks

Here we have my growing girth at nearly 21 weeks.  Chloe took this picture this morning.  I could nit pick about how puffy and tired my eyes look, but they look that way for a reason due to little sleep last night, so I digress.  Travis and I have been staying up way too late each night watching the Pillars of Earth series and then of course, the kids are up at their normal early time.  The news that a little princess is on her way is sinking in around here, the girls are already calling Autumn by name and are very excited to have a little sister.  I don't think Sawyer really knows what's coming, but I'm banking on his mellow personality to get him through without too many hardships;).  Housework is calling my name at the moment, so until next time...

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Autumn Mae
 Her beautiful profile!
 Showing us her dancing (or soccer) legs
 Little foot
 Here's looking at you
A proud and excited big sister:)!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Repost- "We hope for YOU!"

I wrote this post at exactly the same point in my pregnancy with Sawyer over two years ago.  It really captured my heart then and truely fits now too, so I thought it was worth a repost:).

For those of you who don't already know, we're having our diagnostic ultrasound this Thursday and yes, we'll be peeking to find out if it's a boy or girl. Going into Thursday, I can't help but feel a sort of pressure that I just have to talk about here. When you have two girls, it seems almost inevitable that everyone assumes you are hoping for a boy, and vice versa if you have two boys. This seems to be especially true since this will most likely be our last, Lord willing of course:). Now while we'd be lying if we said we're not curious what a boy would bring to the mix, what it would be like to parent a child of the opposite sex, I can't say that we're "hoping" for anyone other than exactly who God created in my womb. In our own limited view of our lives, and in our simple human logic, of course we've thought, it would be nice to have a boy. As I've dialogued with Travis about it, we understand how natural it is to desire a child of your own sex, someone "like you", to teach and train in "the ways of man or womanhood". I know that if I had two sons right now, I would be diligently praying for a daughter, but again, that would be in my own wisdom and understanding of what fulfills my life. And don't get me wrong, it's not just Travis who desires a son. I too would love to know that special relationship between mother and son.
But all this brings me to where our hearts are at a mere two days before the big ultrasound. And please know that these are not just words we've convinced ourselves to believe. This is really, truly where God has us, and it feels really good, all glory to Him! We know, that before this little baby in my womb was created, every hair on his/her head was numbered. Every day of their lives was ordained for them before one came to pass. Our precious Father, in His infinite wisdom, even took into consideration our family dynamics. And here's the part that fills my heart to bursting! He decided that Travis and I, full of weaknesses and faults that stretch a mile high, would be just the parents for this little life. That we needed this baby in our journey of growth towards deeper intimacy with Him, and that this baby needs us. Humbling? Incredibly so! And so don't you see? To "hope for" anyone other than exactly who this person is, girl or boy, seems pretty arrogant and silly. Do we really presume to know better than the God of the universe? The God who loves us so much that He sent His own son to die for us? The God who loves us more than any human love can match? Certainly not! We already love this baby, for exactly who they are. Thursday to us is an exciting chance to get to know this little one just a little bit more, and we can't wait! And we can't wait to share our news with you as well.
Baby (insert last name), we want YOU! We hope for YOU! We can't wait to see YOU on that ultrasound screen! Love, Mommy, Daddy, Emma, Chloe, and Sawyer xoxoxo

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Big Week!

I woke up this morning a bit more giddy than typical for a Monday.  Today is a "normal" day, but this Thursday we have our 20 week ultrasound and get to find out just who has been swimming around in my womb for the past 18 weeks!  On one hand, I can't believe it's already here, but on the other hand, I know each day of this week is going to drag by as I anticipate Thursday.  I want to see this little one so bad, to make sure they are healthy first and foremost, but also to see that precious little profile, the little kicks and turns and maybe some thumb sucking:).  And of course, those little parts that reveal our big surprise, the boy or girl news!  We've had people ask us if we're going to wait til the birth to find out since this is number four, but I have to say, we've so enjoyed splitting the surprise between two dates in the past that we have no real desire to wait.  I also love to name our kids at the 20 week ultrasound, this way we get to call them by name for the rest of the pregancy and feel like we know them just that much more when they actually get here. 

We had a wonderful weekend with my mom this past weekend, she came for a fall visit.  Lots of enjoying the outdoors, some Go Fish playing, watching movies, laughing and soaking in our time together.  I also got the chance to take some "professional" pics of her and the kids, they turned out so great!  I can't wait to get some with Connie and Lee and with Grandpa Dan too!  Cousin Lupe had the idea that I should make a collag of all these pics with the grandparents for the kids bedrooms, great idea Lupe!  Here are a sampling of the pics we took.  And I'll be back on Thursday for our big announcement, so stay tuned:).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Giving the Gift of Humility

Sisters, it can be so hard to gauge our "realness" when it comes to the blogging world.  Even in our attempts to be authentic, we can still be seeking praise for our humility, or we can be painting a prettier picture than really exists of ourselves so as not to appear "too bad".  We can even be tempted to explain away our failings or struggles to make it appear that we are somehow justified in our sin.  I realize this may be a heavy topic, but I think it's one we need to talk about.  I believe, with all my heart, that one of the greatest gifts we can give one another, as sisters in Christ, is our own humility.  Do we bless a sister in Christ when we clean our houses to spotless perfection before they come over, after all we claim it's not to impress them, but rather to offer the "utmost in hospitality"?  Personally, I find it more of a blessing to see a sister's house in the midst of real life living.  It reminds me that none of has it all together all the time, and it becomes an extension of God's grace towards me.  So what about our blogs?  Are we painting romantic, "holy" pictures of our lives through pictures and words on our blogs in attempts to "bless and inspire", cleaning house so to speak?  Is that really where the most blessing and inspiration happens?  Or do most of our readers walk away from our blogs feeling less than us and defeated.  In our own insecurity, do we only ever put our best foot forward?  Or maybe we keep it shallow because we are afraid our deep ponderings might bring judgment?  These are all hard questions friends, and I'm still pondering them.  What I do know is that I am most drawn to blogs where people aren't afraid to be humble, to share their REAL  and current struggles, even when they haven't reached the hindsight place where they can see the big lesson.  I'm less drawn to blogs that make me feel like a schmuck because the person always appears to have it all together and always has the perfect, "holy" words to say.  As a writer, I know I've fallen into this trap too, so I'm preachin to the choir girls;).  It's tempting to write a good "story", to paint yourself and your life in the best light possible, but is that the greatest gift I can give those reading my blog?  I really don't think so.  Certainly, God gives me inspiring lessons to share, but honey, sometimes I'm wallowing in the muck and I have to ask myself why I'm not as quick to jump on my blog and share about it.  Don't get me wrong, we all need to have healthy boundaries here.  There are certain issues that have no place on our blogs because they could defame others, or perhaps they just need to stay private because that's best for one reason or another, but I would venture to guess that most of the time, we need to get some of that muck up here to be the greatest blessing to our readers and to get the accountability and encouragement that is such a great blessing to us.  We need to allow God to display His power in our weakness, to use even our struggles with sin for His glory as He draws readers in who can relate and then brings us all to a better place as we link arms in the journey and beg Him for healing, redemption, and wisdom.  In Beth Moore's book, "So Long Insecurity, You've Been a Bad Friend to Us", she talks about how that person who seems to have it together the most is often the one with the greatest insecurities.  When she tries to prove to others her "goodness", she's really trying to convince herself.  But it's GOD who's great friends, not us.  And His greatness is more evident when it's clear that anything good in our lives is from and because of Him, not from our own merit.  Girls, I'm asking you AND me to step out of our comfort zones and get a little more real.  God wants to use us in each others lives in mighty ways, this blogging platform is such a powerful tool and a gift that we've been given.  How are we using this gift friends?  To puff ourselves up or to display God's power and perfection in our weakness and imperfection?

2 Corinthians 12:9- "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Romans 3:22-24- "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Proverbs 11:2- "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." 

So I guess it's time for some muck to come up. Let's pray about the struggles God may be prompting us to share and trust Him enough to share them.  Let's give each other the gift of our own humility and watch God's power be made perfect!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Stolen Moment

Just a few fall pictures for your viewing pleasure:). We've been busy around here, between Emma's school schedule, Chloe's preschool co-op, worship dance on Fridays and all my nesting and normal homemaking activities, I've found it hard to make time for blogging lately. The deep thoughts are brewing, but it seems to be a time for quiet. I love this season , Autumn truly is my favorite time of year, spring being a close second. I can't believe how fast this pregnancy is flying! I'll be 18 weeks on Sunday and we're just a few short weeks away from our big ultrasound and finding out if we'll be meeting a little girl or boy come February (the ultrasound is on Oct. 7th). I've been having lots of "it's a boy" dreams, but I'm not making too much of them since some of them are SO off the wall. I'll go ahead and spill the beans on our name choices as of now. If it's a girl, her name will be Autumn Mae. If it's a boy, he will be Grayson Lee (Lee after Travis's dad). Here's a bare belly pic taken at 16 weeks, I know I'm brave;).
Now this picture just cracks me up! Sawyer has this Mr. Cool face on when there is frankly nothing cool about his appearance. When you're sporting underwear, a camo shirt and your sister's princess helmet, cool just isn't a word to describe you. But cute? Oh yes my son, so cute I want to eat you up!
Here's our little Roo all coordinated in her pink and purple. She's been having fun with her new birthday bike, she feels like a much bigger girl than she did on her big wheel.
And finally, here's a shot of my three darlings enjoying a nice fall dinner on the back porch. We'll soak in as many of these evenings as we can before the snow flies.

Until the next stolen moment...

Monday, September 06, 2010

80 Years

We had the privilege this past Friday to celebrate my Grandpa Dick's (my dad's dad) 80th birthday with him here in CO. This man makes 80 look good, let me tell you! I teased him all weekend that I really hope I inherited his aging genes. He shares a birthday with my dad (who went to be with Jesus when I was sixteen), which was always special for them over the years. Looking into his eyes, his smile, all his expressions, I was able to see glimses of my dad all evening, which made the day all the more special. Thank you, Grandpa, for setting such a great example and passing on such a legacy. We love you and hope we get many more years with you this side of heaven.(78 years between these two handsome men!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Grade...YES!

There was a little song I made up when I was a little girl as I anticipated going to first grade. It went like this:
"First grade never, first grade never
I like to go to school
But I don't like my friends
who don't play nice,
all around the town."
I sang this song to Emma probably a year ago and of course, she got a kick out of it and wanted to learn it. About a week ago, I asked her if she remembered my first grade never song and this is what she said, "yes, but I want to change the words." This is the song she came up with:
"First grade YES, first grade YES
I like to go to school
But I don't like my friend
who don't play nice
all around the town."
This one little word change tells me the world about Emma's attitude towards school. She's excited to be there, to make new friends and learn new things. She's much braver than I was, and for that I praise the Lord, because I remember many a shed tear over recess as I sat in the very spot my mom dropped me off, missing her in the pit of my stomach.As we drove to her first day of school today, we prayed. We prayed for God to remind Emma to do the right thing, even when others do the wrong thing, that she would be a light for Jesus to her teacher and her classmates, and I finished by praying for bravery and comfort if she feels sad or scared. After we had said "Amen", Emma informed me that she wouldn't be sad, but that she might be a little nervous and her tummy might hurt. We quickly added a prayer for her tummy not to hurt and that God would remind her that He's always with her, even when mommy and daddy are not. As I hugged her good-bye while she was sitting in her big girl desk, a surprising lump began to form in my throat. I thought I'd be okay today, we did this last year after all. But as I drove home I realized that it will never be easy to say good-bye to my children, for any reason under the sun. But I have to let them go or they will never learn how to lean on the God who never leaves them. These times apart are gifts because they teach both of us to trust the Lord with each other and our own hearts. They are little journeys out of the nest where they can encounter the world and then come home to process and learn and grow from what they've experienced. It is my prayer that some day, when the time comes for a more permanent flight from the nest, that each of our children will have genuine walks of their own where they depend on the Lord over anyone else. I pray that they will know how to encounter the sin in the world and the sin in their own hearts with the truth of God's word and the reality of His presence. Emma Grace, be courageous as you cling to your Savior at every turn! May this school year draw you closer to Him and may He equip your dad and I to teach you and point you to Him through every experience.
Love, Mommy

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Summer in a Nutshell

It's long past time for a post, but once again, the beautiful living of life has gotten in the way. I don't feel guilty for not posting in so long, because I know it's the result of right priorities, but I love it here, I really, really do. Writing here is such a little oasis for me, a refreshing for my soul that feeds a deep seeded need in me to share my heart and life through writing.

So what have we been up to, in a nutshell? Well, summertime, that's what:). Lots of time outside, which by the way has made it harder than usual to stay on top of the inside chores. But in the winter, when I have ample time for inside tasks, I know we'll be longing for more time I take each season in stride, knowing that just around the corner is change. I'm FINALLY feeling more myself as I near the end of my first trimester, I'll be 12 weeks on Sunday...I can't believe it! My stomach has grown very obviously already, which doesn't surprise me. I'm anticipating a fair share of stretch marks when all is said and done:(. My poor garden is overrun with weeds, but when the heat makes you ill and you're tired most of the time, weeding just doesn't land very high on the priority list I'm afraid. Amazingly though, we are getting a good harvest of yummy veggies this year.

At the beginning of the summer, the girls had swimming lessons, then each of them went to their own dance class at different times during June and July. Emma's class was called Tappin Dumplins, Chloe's was called Magic Wand. They each had a blast! We celebrated Emma's 6th birthday and my 31st in July. We also went on a fun camping/fishing trip with Auntie Kim and Uncle Tyler at the end of July, complete with roasting the catch of the day over an open fire. Most recently, we went on a little family vacation to Salt Lake City to visit old/current friends who were like family during our time there. It was such a blessing to see them all again and take the kids to our very first apartment in married student housing at the U.

Now we're back and gearing up for the school year ahead. Emma is starting first grade, which seems so surreal, and Chloe, Sawyer, and I will be doing a preschool/homeschool co-op with some friends of mine from church. It will be a busy year no doubt, lots of driving and the need for organizing and being purposeful with our time. But I'm excited! I can already smell fall in the air and am loving the cooler evenings and mornings. Today is Chloe's forth birthday, so I'm busy getting ready for her little party tomorrow. Happy birthday to my sweet baby girl, you've blossomed so much this year, inside and out. We had our 12 week ultrasound yesterday and brought all the kids along to meet baby sibling. It was such a treat to see more baby this time, all the little kicks and rolls and waves, be still my heart! We used the nub angle theory to try to guess the gender and right now, I'm thinking girl if the theory is right, but we'll find out for sure soon enough. Wheh! Okay, back to work for me. My goal is to get some pictures of all the said events up very soon. Thanks for your patience, and all my love to each of you! I do read your blogs whenever I see new posts:).
Love, Sarah

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

News to Share!

Once again, I feel SO behind and neglectful towards this blog and I will once again blame it on facebook. But I have something exciting to share that deserves more than just a facebook announcement...I'm PREGNANT!!! I'm eight weeks along and due Feb. 27th, 2011. Many have asked us if this was a surprise and the answer to that one is no. This baby was just as planned and prayed over and wanted as the others. After Sawyer was born we were on the fence about the size of our "quiver". Some days, I felt like we were complete while Travis wasn't so sure. Other days, the table was turned. But the bottom line was, we just didn't have a true peace about saying for sure that we were done. Now, I realize that some believe God wants us to have as many children as He would allow our biology to produce. For the record, we are not in that camp, but that's a topic I really don't want to get into at the moment as I fear it's one of those that has a tendency to divide instead of unite. That being said, this decision certainly didn't come easily and we know full well that God could have and still could say "no" even if we decided "yes". Here's what this baby represents to us in a nutshell: Faith! It is when we feel incapable that God can show up and be glorified as He enables us. It is when we feel like we can't that God shows up and proves to us that with HIM all things are possible. It is when faulty logic douses the God-initiated desires of our hearts that God asks us to trust Him, even when it's scary. That's what this "decision" was, a trembling, slow-moving, heart-racing step of faith. After seeing a little baby with beating heart last Thursday, the first flood of blessing came over us as reward for this step...and the trembling in fear was replaced with trembling for joy! As the saying goes, "we know not what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future!" We are under no romantic notions about bringing a forth baby home. We know there will be hard moments, just as there have been with every adjustment we've had in our lives, but we are excited to see what God has for our family as this new little child becomes a part of it. Please pray with us for a healthy baby and pregnancy, and thank you to so many who've given us such kind and uplifing congrats. We are so blessed by each of you!

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Pictures are Up!!!

Don't stay here for long, head over to my cousin's photography blog to see the beautiful pictures she recently took for us!

Katie Metka Photography

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Been awhile, I know...

For the past three weeks, I guess I've been enjoying life instead of writing about it. But for those of you who don't keep up with me on facebook, I don't want to leave you high and dry and wondering what's happened to me. (Right before we left for the airport)
So a little catch up, Travis and I went to Vegas for our seventh anniversary last weekend. It was so much fun! We saw Cirque Du Soleil's Mystere show, there just are not words! We were in the second row, right in the center, the best live show I've ever seen!(In front of the Bellagio fountain show)
We ate wonderful food, enjoyed the pools at our gorgeous hotel, and did lots of relaxing and sight seeing. (Around the pools at our hotel, Mandalay Bay)
When we got back we had a few days of getting back to life before my cousin Katie and her family came on Wednesday. She's the one I went to help after she had her twin girls in December. We had a great time and the girls just couldn't get their hands off those baby girls, it was so sweet. This week we start swimming lessons every morning and Emma has her last tap dancing class. If July flies half as fast as June has, we'll be feeling crisper air and smelling the glorious smell of new school supplies before we know it! We're looking forward to our annual Forth of July neighborhood party next weekend and hopefully a camping trip and a road trip to Salt Lake City some time before the summer's end. I hope you all are enjoying your summers as well. My cousin took some amazing family pictures for us, so hopefully I'll get to post those soon. Blessings!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Seven Years

I know I've posted this picture for past anniversary posts, but I never get tired of looking at it. A young couple, with all the hope of the future in their eyes, rested eyes I might add. Little did we know that day about the richness of life experiences and time that would grow our love over the next seven years, and I can only imagine the richness and depth that will be our love when we're bouncing grand-babies on our knees. I pray we get to do that some day, Lord willing and by His grace!
Happy Anniversary Travis!
I'm the luckiest girl alive to be your wife, and I mean that with all of my heart!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Alina Renee

Introducing, my beautiful new niece, Alina Renee!
6 pounds, 8 ounces, born on May 26th, 2010 at 9:56pm.