Thursday, September 21, 2017

Out of the Struggle

A lot has happened in the last year. So much I wanted to share and be able to look back on. There was a lot of joy over the last 12 months. SO much joy! But we also had our share of heartache. And every time I was going to write, I just couldn't do it. I thought about posting only the ordinary or joyful things, but the truth is the two aren't exclusive. Our lives aren't and shouldn't be, happy or sad. Joy or pain. 
When we adopted Liam over 5 years ago, I learned that joy doesn't always come without sadness. Sometimes the two are a packaged deal. The world will tell you to avoid any discomfort, sadness, or anything that is a struggle. But I have learned that in the struggle is where I find God the easiest. It is where I am reminded that more than anything He is all we need. That no matter what is going on in my life, He knows, He sees, He cares, and He is working ALL things for good. The most beautiful things in this life come out of the struggle. 
In the last year we have loved on babies that we had to let go, not knowing if or when we would see them again. We have grieved for hopes and dreams that were not meant to be. And rejoiced when God revealed new hopes and dreams for us. I wouldn't trade any of the joy to not have to go through the pain. 
As 2016 ended, I prayed that in the new year God would be magnified in my life in the year to come. As this year has gone on I have learned a new trust in Him. One that prays for His will over my own wants and dreams. One that chooses compassion over my own hurts, frustrations, and feelings. I am slowly learning to believe that He truly uses all things for His good. As Katie Davis states in her new book Daring To Hope, "And I did not know that in the middle of much pain and grief and loss, I would experience a joy and a peace that far surpassed human understanding. Reality would shatter my optimism, but I would realize that it was only a cheap substitute for true hope anyway. The Lord would take the darkness and make it my secret place, the place where I knew Him more intimately and deeply than I had ever fathomed possible. In the middle of the hurricane that surrounded me, I would experience a true Comfort so deep, so clear, that it simply could not be denied. It was Jesus. He was near." 
April 2017
Life looks a lot different than it did in September of 2016. My preschooler is off to kindergarten and is now a big brother. We have a 7 month old crawling all over the house. Max is busier than ever running the business, being fire chief, and ministering at the jail each week. My heart is more full than I ever could have imagined it to be. I am excited to share a little more about the joys and struggles of the last year and what life is like now. 
I hope that if you find yourself reading this blog, you would see Jesus. That you would be encouraged to find joy IN your struggle. That you would be reminded that the joy of the Lord isn't based on circumstances. What a blessing! It is my prayer that we would all be more willing to get uncomfortable this year. That we would be willing to take embrace the struggle and accept the joy with it. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Liam's Last First Day of Preschool

Today was Liam's first day as a Busy Bear at Hearts in Mind Preschool. He picked his regular favorite, oatmeal for breakfast. But with sprinkles on top and a special juice to start his big day.
Then we relaxed with some reading time before it was time to go. 
So proud of this little man. He told us he was nervous, but we could tell he was also super excited. 
We are so thankful to be his mom & dad. 
He was ready to get into his classroom...
But I made him stop for another picture. 
Here he goes, starting another new school year. We are so thankful for his two wonderful teachers. We can't wait to watch how you grow, learn, and change this year buddy! You're going to rock this!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Liam Interview 9/5/16

An interview with Liam the day before he starts his second and final year of preschool.

Fave food: Mac N Cheese
Fave color: Blue and Red
Song: "The Avengers Song" (Live to Rise-Soundgarden)
What are you scared of: Lions, and tigers, and bears.
What makes you happy: You, mom.
Fave thing about dad: When he plays with me.
Fave thing about Mom: When you sit by me.
Fave place to go: Skyzone
Favorite toy: Robin and Batman
Favorite movie: Batman (the old Adam West movie)
When I grow up I want to be: A Daddy with babies.

He currently weighs 48lbs and is 43.25 inches tall.

I didn't think I could love an answer more than last year when he wanted to be the TinMan to help me find my way home, but his answer this year was too sweet. He will be the best Daddy one day. And I love that he not only watches and tries to be like his Daddy everyday, but truly wants to be just like him when he grows up. I don't know how he is already so big, and I can't believe next year will be Kindergarten! Here's to a wonderful school year Liam Wayne. You are the sweetest, the most stubborn, the strongest, and the funniest kid we know.
Love you buddy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hometown Christmas

The first weekend in December we had Parker's Hometown Christmas. We started Saturday out celebrating Uncle Kyle's birthday. I also got to lead the story time for Hometown Christmas at our local library. The kids had a blast and I loved doing it. Especially having Liam and cousin Gabe there! 

Liam and Gabe had to take their annual picture with Santa. This year Mrs. Claus was there too. 
And then the parade of lights. Liam and Grandma got lots of candy. 
Especially from Daddy! 

Sledding Fun

Early in December we were back in Chamebrlain for the day, while Max was working in Wyoming. Liam had a very special day. He got to visit Papa Steve at work, and have hot chocolate and cupcakes. Later that day, he was able to go sledding with Papa. He went down the hill with Papa lots of times, talked his mama into going down once, and then that brave little dude went down all by himself! That afternoon full of laughs will stay in my memories forever. Thankful for these precious moments! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Looking Back: Thanksgiving 2015

 Thanksgiving is always one of my favorites! Family, amazing food, and a sometimes needed reminder to stop and take inventory of all that we have been blessed with. We were able to spend time with all of our families and we soaked up every minute. It was extra special this year watching our new nephew, Maverick. We were able to catch the light parade in Chamberlain and then head back to Grandma & Grandpa Dominiack's in time to watch Home Alone with Liam for the first time. It ended up being the first of many times over the holiday season. Precious memories!

Looking Back: Halloween

Liam had big ideas for Halloween 2015. He had been loving "The Wizard of Oz" and we were watching it as often as he could talk us into it. (Which didn't take much convincing, since it is one of my all time favorites!) But upon letting us know he wanted to be the scarecrow, he further informed us that he wanted me to dress up as Dorothy and Daddy to dress up as the Wizard. 
And so we did! 
And we had a blast! 
I couldn't have ever dreamed I would one day have a son who wanted to go as Wizard of Oz characters for Halloween, let alone want me to go with as Dorothy.
God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams with this little man. 

Cousin Gabe stopped by to trick-or-treat!

We had spooky burgers for dinner!