All of last year in a mere one million photos ;)

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family days / the daily life

Well, now that we are solidly into 2023, let’s remember the entirety (HA) of last year, shall we? Cause apparently I didn’t document any of it. I was trying to remember what we did… we didn’t really travel anywhere special or do anything of significance… just lots of ordinary days, spinning on by! I still like to remember such things :) Maybe one of my favorite things I did last year was taking the time to try to document my garden. I worked SO hard on it… I love gardening. Literally could do it all the time but UGH there were definite moments of just… one… more… hole….. such. hard. dirt. Must. go. on. Don’t. want. to. Sooooo many plants. So much digging. So many gophers undoing it all. So much discouragement. Lots of tears. Lots of tired. Lots of sunburns and sweat and all the things. So to go out in the morning with a cup of coffee and watch the sun make its way through the yard, or go out in the evening after a long day of school and mental exhaustion… even when everything looked a mess or I wanted to cry seeing one more delphinium get sucked into the ground, I found there was always something pretty to find and appreciate, like a hug to my soul from the Creator of all the lovely things. There were so many birds and bees and all things magical and I came to just cherish the slowing down process that is so needed in this crazy, busy world. So here are a few snippets from this year that I treasure, because it’s winter and I cut everything back hard, and naturally believe I’ve killed it all, and the weeds are in full force and I’m back to being discouraged and exhausted and and and ;) BUT! lest we not forget, seasons are not forever and SPRING IS COMING!!! And we can just try again next year ;)

Got back into bread making, thanks to Aunt Sarah coming to the rescue, once again! I shall try my very hardest not to kill yet another batch of starter :D

Noah went on his first roller coaster ;)

There were little hikes with cousins

And playdates with the sweetest of friends

We finished our first year of two in school!

There was much to celebrate because in reality, more days than I care to admit, looked like this :/

Last year was a hard year of growth in all of us. I saw yet again, my utter depravity and desperate need for a Savior. There were many moments of asking my kids’ forgiveness cause EWW all this gross stuff keeps bubbling up! I saw vicious spiritual attacks on my kids where I had to just stop everything and pray over them because what the heck is going on. I saw God work so powerfully in their little lives. I saw my daughter come to a greater understanding of what Christ did for her. She broke down crying one day because she would never be good enough to get to heaven. What a JOY it was to share the BEST NEWS!!! That NO ONE is good enough. That ALL have sinned and fallen short (Rom 3:23). That while we were still ENEMIES(!) Christ died for us (Rom 5:10). To save us! To make a way for us! The only way! That if we confess with our mouths that He is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved!! (Rom 10:9) What a hope we have in Jesus! Yes, homeschooling can be hard. It’s become very clear to me I am not patient. At all. I have lots of projects that are on my mind and distracting me most days. I am a huge work in progress and full of flaws but boy am I thankful for His extreme patience with me. These conversations I get to have with them, the verses we’ve been learning that are now embedded in MY heart, the battle I get to fight on behalf of my kids… it’s been the biggest blessing. It’s been a really good, really healing year for each of us and I am thankful.

I’ve been feeling really convicted about screen time so catching them actually using their imaginations every now and then just makes my heart sing. Fishing, they are.

There were lots of pool days!

And fun, fancy shopping days!

And stumbling upon the sweetest little man, humming softly to himself, in his own little world, while his train chugs steadily around him :)

There were miracle days where little RC planes got blown away to never never land, and we prayed we would find it, and it just so happens the one other man at the park, went home at the same time and saw it on his neighbors roof and was able to get it back for one very-excited-trying-hardest-to-be-brave-and-not-cry-boy! That one still amazes me in the happiest way :)

There were painting days

And celebratory days of favorite peoples

There were ballet recitals!

And the celebrating of the best of dads!

There were freezing cold beach days!

And super hot backyard water balloon fight days!

The kids loved it when I made them start school mid summer ;)

There were berries to be eaten!

And backyard camping trips with cousins!

We found if you want to put Noah to sleep, paint his face :D

It’s just the best when the husbands make the foods :D

There was the one trip we went on down to San Diego where we stayed in hotels with the COOLEST bedsheets. Or so the kids said ;)

Well, actually that was our Santa Barbara pit stop. I just love it there. How can you not!? You could hear our family making our way down the lovely tree lined sidewalks from miles away but I didn’t care. It was warm and magical and glorious and I feltttt like people loved our loud, twirling presence ;)

THEN we got to San Diego and went to the Safari Park which filled my whole heart up for good. It’s still ever so full.

Yes, there was at least one child lying on the ground wailing about not being able to go on. Yes, this was his face immediately following the picking up of said humans. Yes he knows exactly what he is doing.

This place was such a dream! Maybe it was my expectations – I thought all the animals would be so far away and tiny, but they were all SO close and SO happy and that lion SO looked like it wanted to eat me. It locked eyes and I questioned the thickness of the glass. And then we got to stay in little tents and eat s’mores and wake up to the trumpeting of the happiest baby elephants!! Oh it was all so good and I’m so glad we went!

We got to be just a tiny little net away from a happy little cheetah and promptly got a shuttle escort from the park so as to not be a further liability. (Someone kept falling down and bleeding all over the place ;) ) Our kids inherited our grace and walking skills..

We were then off to our next hotel where the kids quickly adjusted to their new lives of relaxation, waiters and pool side dining. WHAT ARE WE DOING!?

We made a day trip out to one of Greg’s favorite youtube mens to eat tacos that resembled barf. But they were actually very good. Thanks, Sam.

I just love exploring with this little family of mine. Next was Luke’s birthday! I also love when I get to benefit from other people’s birthdays with yummy breakfasts and pretty views. He had to blow out his candle in the conference room on account of the windy wind ;)


These were definitely my favorite part. THEY WERE SO AMAZING! Some people have cooler jobs than other people.

And then we were back home to more dates and more concerts

And more concerts

And more dates

And more concerts

There were more boardwalk days!

And lunches with these crazies!

There were boat rides!

And hurried haircuts!

And so much celery

There was lots of staring at this precious little face <3

And more ballet

I just love her

There were nights out

And days in

And drumming debuts

And birthday parties galore!

There was my dream family band moment

There were pumpkin patches, and attempts at caramel apples, and much hanging out on the porch, pretending the railings were horses for hours :)

There were FINALLY visits from Auntie Jen and Grandma Lory

There was pretending not to know the strange children lying on the floor in public…

There were pony rides and hay mazes and patio sits

There were towers. So many towers.

There were delicious birthday dinners and surprise sewing machines!

There were dresses to be sewn!

For Halloween costumes of course!

That face painting…. puts him right to sleep. Bless <3

We attempted Wizard of Oz but ended up with Dorothy, Tinman, Cowardly Lion, and a cowboy.

There were buses to board

And trampolines to be jumped

Luke got to move up to the big kid karate where the children are HUGE

There was more bowling

And then there was Thanksgiving which is positively my favorite <3

And here she is from this angle..

And from this angle..

And with Papi :)

And with all the mens

And here she is smiling

And here’s another child

And here she is delicately opening her mouth

And preciously swallowing ;)

And this is my favorite moment of the whole holiday season. Everyone happy and fed, Christmas music to come, just moments away! Glowy candles… Christmas spirit in the air! It’s my happy place.

And here she is with her actual parents ;) I love my kids too.

And then came Christmas!!

We did get our tree on the rainiest day of the year. There was mud. Someone did go splat. There was more wailing and a hurried departure.

But Greg let me finally put it in the front room and ALL THE WORLD REJOICED

Luke lost both front teeth in the appropriate season.

Took the kids to their first real concert way past their bedtime and it was a success!

Then there was the Nutcracker which I’m still recovering from. Must. Sacrifice. For. Children. But whyyyy so many rehearsals. It’s Christmassss!!!

She did awesome though! First Grande! performance and remembered all her moves and didn’t run off stage crying as I might have feared. So proud of her :)

The other thing that took over the Christmas season was… the roooooom. I just saw Christmas approaching and my heart was so sad to think of my children waking up in ^^that^^ on Christmas morning. It was just so gross. I figured, it’s now or never. Greg told me to just not get in over my head. I decided I probably shouldn’t tell him about the mural… or the stripes… or the painting of all furniture… or the shades and bedding I needed to make. My sweet little brain. I haven’t been able to finish a single painting in over a year, but by jove! I will be able to paint mural in a week. There was a bit of anxiety… a lot of late nights… and a few tears… but we are calling it done despite all the things I need to fix ;) and it makes me happy. And I like being up there again, so all is well.

Noah got drums for his birthday! It’s been fun ;)

And then we headed up to the snow for the snowiest adventure!

Abbie had a most lovely princess tea party birthday complete with the finest servers in town!

And thank the LORD I am almosttttt through our busy season! It’s been a busy one! And there you have one million photos of random bits of our year ;) ugh, sorry! Mostly I’m just so thankful for the ordinary wonderful bits of life. I love ordinary. I’ve grown to adore being around my kids when for a while there, well most moms of young children know there comes the DON’T TOUCH ME time of life, but they are growing into the most wonderful little people that I just love hanging out with :) And this guy..

I feel so incredibly blessed to have the JOY of doing life alongside him. He’s always been the one that made me smile biggest and laugh the hardest and that hasn’t changed all these ten years of married life later! He’s still my favorite. So thanks for following along with our silly little life. We sure love you!


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