Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Best is Yet to Come

Normally as a year comes to an end I like to go back through blog post and reminisce on the year and all the memories it brought.

This year is different.

Here it is the last day of 2015 and I simply do not have the emotional energy to journey back through the year.

It was such a wild year.

Training and tons of paper work as we worked to become an open home.

Meeting our eight children and bringing them home.

Letting them go and figuring out how to move forward.

We experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in 2015.

As I look forward to a new year and a new start, I don't really have any expectations for the year.  It is difficult for me to believe that this will be the year we become parents.  I've been believing that for so many years.  I'm not sure I can do it again this year.

I received a planner in my January faithbox.  

The cover said "The Best is Yet to Come"

As soon as I opened my box and saw those words the tears began to flow.

Tears of thanksgiving and praise.

The best is yet to come.

Infertility is a fine line of believing God for your miracle baby while not wanting to get your hopes up because it hurts so bad when another month goes by and there isn't a positive pregnancy test.

Adoption after a failed adoption is a fine line of trusting God will walk you through it while being terrified of a repeat outcome.

I know in my head that God's timing is perfect.  The best really is yet to come.

In 2016 I want to know that in my heart.

I want to trust God's plan no matter what it is.

I want to believe the best is yet to come.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015 Part Two

After the dumplings were made and our guests had gone home, we loaded up the car and headed to Andrew's parent's house. 

We decided to celebrate Christmas on the 26th this year.  Since Andrew and I had no more plans on Christmas Day and Big Man wanted a traditional meal we decided we would do just that.

It was the year of Christmas Bread.

A story I'm sure we won't soon forget.

Father and son carving the turkey.

It was a fun night just relaxing with family.

The rest of the family joined us Saturday morning for brunch.

It's quite the crew when we all get together.  

Loud and crazy

A million different conversations all at once.

I love it!

We had  brunch this year and I must say it was the best idea!  Breakfast is my favorite meal so I absolutely loved it.

Brunch was followed by presents.

My mother and father-in-law have a stocking for each of their children, their spouses, and all the grandkids.

The celebration continued later that evening at Uncle Kevin and Aunt Sandi's house.

Christmas 2015 Part One

Our Christmas celebration began on Wednesday.  Mom, Dad, Mommom, Seth, Melissa, Mikey and Ellie all came to our house for a traditional meal.

Ham, chicken and dumplings, dressing, and rolls.


After dinner it was time to exchange gifts.

These two were excited.  

Okay so they were really just excited about the paper and boxes.

But we sure were excited for them.

Y'all this baby boy LOVES the camera.  As soon as he sees me pull it out he is all smiles.

After presents it was time to put on our Christmas PJs.

I was so excited to give them their first red wagon for Christmas.  We had to break it in with a trip around Aunt E's house.

Ignore the trashcan in the background.  Yuck!

Thursday brought more family.  My aunts, uncles, and cousins joined us for lunch and more presents.

All too soon everyone began to head home.  

Everyone except Mom, Dad, and Mommom.  They were spending another night with us.

My favorite part of the day came after presents.

Talking with my Daddy about his childhood Christmases, listening to stories of him and his siblings tying their toes together on Christmas Eve, convincing cousins to sled down the stairs, and lots of other mischievous adventures.

It was a moment I will never forget.

I love that my parents spend the night with us on Christmas Eve and are there on Christmas morning.   
I may be 32 but there is still nothing like spending Christmas morning with them

Mommom helped me make chicken and dumplings to take to Andrew's parent's house.  And by help I pretty much mean she made them for me.  That Mommom is a take charge kind of woman.  I learned a few things but I don't think I'm ready to fly solo yet.

Part Two coming soon.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Our 2015 Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

An Old Tradition Returns

This year I've thought about my childhood Christmases growing up.  I have had several conversations with different people about what Christmas was like growing up.

As a kid I always assumed that Christmas looked the same for everyone.  

Presents were exchanged between brothers and sisters and mom and dad on Christmas Eve after a full day of Christmas fun at Mommom's with all the aunts and uncles and cousins.

My brother always slept with me on Christmas Eve.  It was my duty as his older sister to make sure he stayed in the room and didn't catch Santa in the act.

We woke up bright and early on Christmas morning and sat on the couch staring at our gifts until it was an acceptable time to wake up Mom and Dad.

Santa filled the stockings with candies and little toys.  Occasionally the stocking would give away one of the gifts under the tree.  Film in the stocking was a dead give away that Santa brought you a new camera that year.

Santa came on Christmas morning.  He wrapped the presents and used different paper for each child.  There was one big gift that was not wrapped.

You take turns opening presents.  The youngest gets to go first.  This lets you see what everyone receives.

We still open presents in that order.

One of my favorite traditions growing up was having a real Christmas tree.  I don't really remember ever going and picking out a tree or even decorating it really, but I loved having a real tree.  My mom told me this year we always had a real tree growing up because we were poor.  We would go out in the woods and find the perfect tree and then Daddy would chop it down.

I wish I remembered those outings.

I remember one year we had Christmas at my Aunt Tammy's house.  She had an artificial tree.  Seth and I thought this was SO WRONG!   We did not understand why we would have Christmas at her house when she didn't even have a real tree.

Sorry, Aunt Tammy.

We love you despite your artificial trees.

When I was in 7th grade my parents built their house and we got an artificial tree for the first time. 

I've had an artificial tree ever since.

For the past couple of years Andrew and I have talked about getting a real tree.  I LOVE our artificial tree but there is something about having a real tree that is special.

We finally did it this year.

Because we knew Andrew was going out of town for work this month we had to get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving or we would have to wait until this past weekend.

It was raining all Thanksgiving weekend.

The tree farm was a muddy mess.

We had so much fun looking in the rain, hunting for the perfect tree.

And then we found it.

They chopped it down and we loaded it up in the truck to bring home.

I will say this is the fastest our tree has ever gone up.

I love laying in the living room looking at our tree.  This year I am also enjoying the smell of our tree.

It smells like Christmas.