i’m taking a moment, finally, to stop and breathe and remember.  in the busyness of our life as a family of four, i haven’t made much time or space for reflection and writing this year.  i am okay with that.  life is full of changing seasons, and i’m slowly learning to ride the waves and embrace the season we are in without longing for something different.

2013 started off with great anticipation.  we had so much excitement about adding a baby to the mix…we were filled with hope.

a few days before gracie was born

then on february 21st, our second daughter, Gracelyn Jean, was born.  i wrote about her birth here.  it was an incredible day of rejoicing for our family.  we have been blessed with a true gem.  she lights up our world and brings us immeasurable joy!

gracelyn edited


her birth made us realize what a miracle life is!  we are so thankful for our little treasure…a stunning reminder of God’s grace and his extravagant love for each of us.   we still can’t believe she is ours forever.  what an incredible little girl she is!!  so full of life and love and happiness.


gracie 8 months

and our beautiful Mikisa has had such a good year too!  when we think back to this time last year, we just can’t get over the growth that continues to happen in Mikisa’s heart and mind and body.  it is truly remarkable to see her surpassing our expectations of what she would one day be able to do.  she can run now!!  and she is talking in more complete sentences.  she is very active and engaging and oh so funny:)  she has such a great attitude and she tries so hard to listen and learn.  she is in first grade now.  she loves going to school and has turned into quite the little social butterfly.  i could write a book about how faithful God is in Mikisa’s story and how He continues to redeem the broken places…but for now, i’ll just share a few pictures of her from this year:


isn’t she lovely?


such a good big sister!

such a good big sister!

sister love!

sister love!

our life is full.  our hearts are overflowing.  we praise God for how He is growing our family together.  He is making something beautiful out of our mess.


2013 has been a year of joy.  it has also been a year of learning to adapt to life that is constantly changing.  waking up multiple times each night makes this mama more prone to not-so-great parenting moments.  so i’m learning to admit my failures, say sorry and accept forgiveness…both from my kids and my husband.  there have been lots of tears,  lots of stinky diapers, spit up on floors [well, on everything!], sibling jealousy, not enough date nights, less quality cooking, more appointments on the calendar [we still have therapy 3 times a week], and sometimes life just leaves me feeling inadequate.  i don’t sweep often enough and i forget to do the laundry.  dishes pile high and toys are scattered across the floor.  i wonder if i’ll ever really be cut out for this “homemaker” role.  i feel anxiety bubbling to the surface and i struggle with fear and doubt.  but we have experienced so much goodness and fullness of life.  we are so blessed and so thankful.  and we have felt grace like never before.  something we really prayed for before Gracelyn’s birth was that God would use our littlest family member to help us learn more about grace.  and He has.  we are learning.  it is beautiful.


so now we wait with open hands for what He has for us for 2014.  we want to fully engage in the story He has written for us.  and that means letting go of what we thought life would look like.  it means less planning and more doing.  less of my creation and more of His.  maybe He will ask us to walk through another valley or maybe He will lead us up higher.  either way, we will praise Him.  we are so thankful for what He has done.


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