"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Little One,
The other night your mama was tired.  The day was long, the tasks wrapped in blessing, challenge, and sacrifice.  We met friends for a birthday celebration and sweet Caroline tucked you in just right.

And the secret swelled up in my heart.
I wanted to place your sweet body in your jammies and sway in the darkness, singing to you there's no place I'd rather be, and listen to you coo and respond in your own little way.

I wanted to kiss your cheeks and pray His glorious love and affection over your life.  And as I lay you in your crib and glance back over my shoulder at you, I wanted to smile and relish in the truth, the blessing.
You belong to us.

As I slipped into your nursery to touch your back and feel the rise and fall of your breath, I noticed you needed a diaper change.  And a bath.  Secret revealed and fulfilled.
After I zipped up fresh jammies on your bubble bathed body, I turned off the lights.
I swayed and sang while you cuddled and cooed.

Simple perfection.

And these tender moments mixed with my pregnancy hormones have me all sappy and in a state of remembrance and reflection of the last year.
But first, a little craving overcame me today.  I just needed a bite of a brownie.  Not just any brownie, a brownie in a mug.
Brownies in a Mug
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tbl. cocoa
2 tbl. coffee
2 tbl. oil
2 tbl. of each peanut butter and pecans
(but you can add whatever goodness you have in your kitchen)
- mix it in a mug, do your best not to just eat the batter, and nuke it for a minute.
I just needed a bite.  And let me say the bite delivered.
So now the belly is full, the babies are tucked in, and the sappy mama sits, thinking about lots of things.
I ask the Lord for a word every year and He always delivers.  Early last year He spoke the word receive to me.  That He would bring my heart to a place of receiving from Him and others.

My goodness.
I was given many opportunities to choose His peace over fear, His trust over anxiety, and receiving His grace over pride.

As much as I want to take many trips down memory lane, I find myself very much desiring the present, the today.  So I will just choose a few of the snapshots that barely graced the surface of the blessings we encountered this year.
Our first family vacation to Colorado at Trail West.  The best week our family has ever had.

Playing with my babies and watching their imaginations and personalities bloom in the summer sun.
This baby, oh how she already has a story.  A story of trusting in Him when tests and labels continued to come.  I can't wait for her to learn and know her story of how He grew and restored her precious body.  I love her story, I love this memory.

Celebration of 7 years with my hubby.  I love this man.  Period.

We made lots of memories together and never grew tired of their giggles, messes, questions, pleas, and adventures.
The littlest one turning a year old, the middle one turning 3 years old, and come next month, my baby will be 5 years old.

This past year was an open canvas in the kitchen and we painted ourselves some masterpieces for sure.  The year's favorite, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

And the best gift and biggest surprise is brewing, growing, and will soon be in our arms.
We're looking forward to the year to come as this year comes to a close.  Many days coming of time together with family and friends, of weeks spent in the winter cold baking and painting, of toasty summer days spent in pools and sprinklers.  Sidewalk chalk masterpieces are coming.
New horizons are upon us.

And Little One, one thing this mama's heart is looking forward to, nights tucking in babies and knowing we have been entrusted with royalty.
We've been given you.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Joy


A glorious season indeed.  A season of celebration for the One who came into this world only to give His life as a sacrifice so that we may live.

Celebrations began days before.  Emma's school party, errands around town, things to do at home.

Emma invited Sophie to her party at school and oh how she loved it.

With our sweet friend Ella
We relished in the celebration, drinking in all He has given us.  Some things little, some things grand.

All blessings to be thankful for, including good news for the taking.

I've had a few blood tests the past few weeks and all results show my body's hormone levels are excellent, excellent.  The baby is growing just as expected.
And as this baby grows, we stand in awe of this miracle He has entrusted us with.

The holidays sweetly delivered and we enjoyed every last drop.

We even accidentally came upon a new favorite.  Take your favorite cranberry bread recipe and add apple cider instead of water/orange juice.
Yes, please.

We had a special delivery from the lovely Sherri Thompson, complete with toys and a stack of Christmas books.  What a blessing this family is to us.

Each little girl received her own tea set.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

My oldest brother Rod came in from Los Angeles.  How blessed we are.  This would serve as the kickoff to a wonderful visit to Tulsa.

My mama's house is the best at Christmas.  Decorated trees covered in ornaments with snow, shades of red and green draped in every nook.  It's just plain dreamy.

And so is her Hawaiian French Toast.

Mama's Hawaiian French Toast
Hawaiian loaf
8 eggs
splash of milk
lots of cinnamon
-My mama slices the bread hours before she cooks it so it soaks up the batter even more.

Simply delicious.

As the visit continued with merry and cheery, I found myself soaking in joy and gratitude.

Emma served Alice breakfast one day...we're working on it.
I'll let the pictures tell the story...

This is the part where I should have fabulous photos of my littles all dressed in their angel costumes for the Christmas Eve service at our church.  A sweet service where our amazing community huddles together with our babies to sing carols and tell His story.
While I was adjusting Sophie's wings, Emma proceeded to throw up all over the lobby and even splattered Sophie on her way out the door.
Sweet baby.

It's funny how in the midst of the hustle and bustle, the plans and agendas carved out for the evening, the costumes you spent hours making now in the trash, all of it, gone in a second.
Sister needed us, she needed home.

We packed it up and headed home.  Still carrying on with traditions of pizza, cookie decorating, Christmas Eve jammies, and Polar Express.  With a little one tucked in on the couch watching from the side lines but still absorbing plenty of kisses.

Christmas morning.  The grand finale had arrived.  Smells of freshly brewed coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls welcomed all around the tree.

Little hands happily opened gifts and watched each other's eyes widen with excitement and adventure.

The hubs and I sat back and watched memories being crafted, sipping coffee and catching each others eye thinking how it doesn't get any better than this.  Listening to the story of a precious King coming into this world one winter's night, long ago.  How He came in simplicity yet in triumphant glory.

Sister made us proud with taking a few steps on her new walker and you best believe we cheered her on with gusto.

There's a solid chance Bunny thinks I have truly lost my mind.

She's probably right.

Back to Christmas day...

We played in our jammies, read books, and started a new tradition of making our very own gingerbread house.  It was awesome until we added the icing and the whole thing collapsed.

And I'll admit, I wanted to throw a fit and cry about it.  Instead, we carried on and made it our own.

Our meal commenced the lovely day and enough room was left in our bellies for the desserts created by little hands earlier in the day.

We had a Merry Christmas.  Full of wonder, surprise, and gratitude.  The unexpected, giggles, and memories.  Full of family, love, celebration and most of all...

Christmas joy.

Merry Christmas!