Thursday, November 24


It's that time of year again.  Thanksgiving has rolled around and this morning I lay in bed thinking about this past year and all of the events it held.  It's slightly overwhelming to think of the vast variety of huge, life-altering events that have happened over the past year.  There are so many things to be thankful for and yet, at moments, I find it very difficult to find that thankful spirit within me.

This time last year I was typing up a blog about all of the things I was thankful for.  Smiling and filled with excitement at the previous year and the upcoming one as well.  This year I can find many things to add to my list but there is still one event that bogs it all down.

Losing my dad was and is the hardest thing I've ever had to experience in my life.  There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about and miss him.  Some days are better than others, and most days I'm finding genuine happiness, but there are those select days that just seem to weigh my spirit down.  I was in bed last night thinking about the Thanksgiving feasts we have planned for today.  My mind went back to last year, the whole family wrapped around the dining room table.  Dad perched comfortably in his seat at the head of the table with the rest of the family surrounding him.  We ate and ate, talked about our lives and all of the things we were thankful for.  He had this way about him.  He'd just sit there quietly, knowingly and listen.  With a glass of tea or a cup of coffee in his hand he'd sit back and watch each person as they discussed those things in their lives they were so abundantly thankful for.  I think it was always one of his proudest moments.  One of the few times we were all at a dining room table together.  He mentioned being thankful for his new grandson, for his growing family and all of the comforts the Lord had blessed us with.  He was never selfish in his thanks, it was always directed to his Heavenly Father and he was so eloquent with his words.  I got to sit to my dad's right, and during the prayer I cherished holding his strong, warm hand in mine.  I've always prided myself on being so much like my dad.  Followed in his traditions as I became an adult, adopted his mottos and good habits.  Today, as I think about all of the things in my life that I am thankful for it reminds me of him.  His constant urging for us to remember why we celebrated the holidays, why it is that we took time off work/school to spend time with family.  With Dad, there was always a reason for everything.

So today, I sit here, wanting to uphold the tradition.  What am I thankful for?  It's a question that has been gnawing at my heart.  Typically I'd make a list and elaborate on each item, but this year I think it is enough just to get them down.

First and foremost, I thank my Lord for watching over my family over this past year.  For providing us with comfort, friends, and family in a time of desperate need.  He is a faithful God and it is my absolute honor to be called his child.

This year held so much... Here are a few of the things I am thankful for:

  • The freedom to love my Lord so freely, to worship in public and not be persecuted for it.

  • My husband who is the most selfless man I've ever known, constantly encouraging me through my crazy adventures, pushing me to be the best I can be and loving me even in my darkest of moments.  

  • This life that grows inside of me.  This baby is a miracle.  God has chosen Josh and I to be parents to a child and the feeling of being pregnant is one I never imagined.  It is overwhelmingly wonderful to know that in a few short months our family will go from two to three.  What a wonderful and incredible blessing.

  • My family - having them close, healthy and growing.

  • Friends.  Without them I'd be lost.

  • A job... If you've followed my blog at all you'll know how thankful we are for a full time teaching job in this economy.  

  • Food, shelter, clothing and modern comforts that I typically take for granted.

  • Life.  I see now how fragile life is.  How easily it can be taken away, because of that I have learned to appreciate every moment, every breath and every hug.  

To all of our family, friends and loved ones, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.  May your day be filled with family and love... And if you remember, tell someone you care about that you are thankful for them.  Hold your families tightly today, hug them all a little tighter.

To my daddy, I am thankful most today to be your daughter.  Though you aren't here physically for me to hug or hold your hand during prayer, I know you are watching.  Those big brown eyes filling with tears of pride as you watch your family from Heaven.  We miss you, we love you... And I am so very thankful for the almost 49 years you blessed this world with your life.

Tuesday, November 1

Life's Little Blessings

I can't believe how long it has been since my last post!   Life has been so full we're simply bursting at the seems.  Here's a few updates. :)

Teaching has completely transformed my life.  Being a substitute definitely has its ups and downs.  A huge perk of subbing is that I got to step foot in several different teacher's classrooms, was exposed to several grades/ages and learned a TON.  The hardest part was definitely the fact that I wasn't able to form the relationships with staff and students that I had so desperately been wanting.  It's difficult to be wearing someone else's shoes day in and day out in their room with their kids.  A HUGE blessing came about two weeks ago.  I was presented the opportunity to interview for a fourth grade position in a classroom that had recently lost their teacher.  I was the substitute for this class prior to the interview and just continued to pray that God would lead me in the direction He desired.  After months of prayers, four interviews in two different districts and what seemed like hundreds of classrooms the Lord blessed me with the full time teaching job!!  My first day was Monday... It has been a whirlwind of a school year and I can only imagine what the next several months will be like.  Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!

Here are a few pictures from our crazy, busy lives these past two months. :)

Angie's birthday celebration.  Just missing Kristi!

Mom's house went on the market... Bittersweet.

Josh's 28th birthday, before Texas de Brazil.  Yumm!

Matty's 1st Birthday!  The cutest baby ever!!

Halloween with the sweetest little bear

And a little fun surprise....

That's right!  We are having a BABY!!!!!!!!  

We've had so much fun telling friends and family the big news.  One afternoon after school Josh and I went to visit his parents.  We had purchased a little frame with the word "Baby"on it and printed the following poem to be framed inside:

I do not have a face to see,
Or put inside a frame.
I do not have soft cheeks to kiss,
I don't yet have a name.
You can't yet hold my tiny hands,
Nor whisper in my ear.
It's still too soon to sing a song,
Or cuddle me so near.
But all will change come June,
That's when the say I'm due.
I'm your new grandson or granddaughter,
I can't wait till I meet you.
All I ask between now and then,
Is your patience while I grow.
I promise I'll be worth the wait,
Because of all the love we'll know.
So what I have to give you now,
is a wish to you from me.
I cannot wait to be a part
Of this wonderful family.

Steve and Marsha are thrilled to be grandparents!  This will be their first grandchild! 

Telling my family was really fun.  As most of you know we are big Settlers of Catan players.  With both sets of grandparents in for Matty's birthday party we took advantage of their presence and played a game.  During the game I played a "development card" that we had made prior to their arrival and yelled out, "I win!"  Athena refused to acknowledge the win because she knew I only had four points (you need 10 to win) but I insisted she look closely at the card.  She read it aloud, "We're having a baby!" then looked over at my mom who's jaw had dropped to the ground.  Mom mustered out the word, "REALLY?!" several times as I nodded my head and held back tears of joy.  

We've really had so much fun breaking the news to people and are elated that we can finally share it with everyone.  We are a little over 8 weeks and our little peanut is due sometime around June 12, 2012.  Just in time for my first summer vacation as a teacher!  We had our first sonogram on Tuesday October 25th and got to see our little bean's heartbeat.  It was so incredible and emotional.  I just laid there on the table, eyes locked on the monitor as they filled up with tears of excitement.
I have been utterly exhausted (which is why the updates are so far and few between) and pretty sick.  Luckily I'm able to keep all of my food down but the nausea doesn't seem to want to lay off.  Really looking forward to the second trimester. :)  We've been taking weekly pictures to document our sweet peanut's growth, at the end of my pregnancy it will be fun to put them together and see how much my belly grew.  I hope you'll check back for some more frequent updates!  We are so excited and happy to be able to share this with all of you.  Here's to a healthy and happy pregnancy!  :)

5 Weeks

6 Weeks

7 Weeks

8 Weeks