Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So Long, 2013

Jonathan and I both agree that 2013 has been one of the most difficult years we've experienced as a couple.  We had so many unexpected circumstances, one right after the other.  The biggest surprise of all was finding out we were pregnant with sweet baby Noah.  I have never been so shocked in my entire life than I was when that pregnancy test showed "positive".  

We faced termites, having our car totaled (while the babies were with us), multiple trips to the ER (busted eye brows, the flu, etc.), a surprise baby, waiting on pins and needles for weeks to make sure the baby would be healthy, and a few other startling, stressful, and financially challenging events. In the end I can happily say that our faith in God is stronger than ever. When things were really bad and we didn't have any idea what on earth we were going to do, God always answered our prayers and eventually helped us out of the rut we were in.  We realized we were stronger than we ever gave ourselves credit for and I thank God for showing us just what we're capable of.  

Madelynn and Annabella have grown and learned so much this year and I have loved every moment of watching them.  Their relationship is getting stronger and stronger, and even though they fight, they can't stand to be away from each other.  They are such sweet girls and are going to be the best big sisters to Noah.  That little boy will be loved and protected every single day of his life as long as those two are around.  And probably in dresses with make up and nail polish if I don't keep a close enough eye...

Jonathan's patience and prayers paid off this year big time when he graduated college AND got an amazing new job.  He's home every single night before 6:30 and has every weekend off.  Watching the girls greet their daddy each week night and sitting down to a family meal in the dining room is the highlight of my day.  There is no doubt in my mind that God was making Jonathan hold out for this particular job for so many reasons.  Mostly, he's home with us SO much more and there is so much growth potential for him.  It challenges him and keeps him happy.  When daddy's happy at work, he's even happier at home.  

When I look back at 2013, I refuse to focus on the trials that we went through.  I think it's important to remember them because you can see where you struggled, survived, and where God answered our prayers.  But I refuse to focus on them.  There is so, so, so much to be thankful for.  We go into 2014 positive and excited.  We look forward to finding out where Jonathan's job will lead him, becoming a family of FIVE and watching God's plan unfold before our eyes.  

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

Christmas is two days away.  The girls are singing their precious version of Jingle Bells over and over, Santa is the topic of most conversations, and Christmas Eve has been tomorrow according to Madelynn for about a month now.  We interject a lot of Jesus into our conversations so they can begin to understand the true meaning of Christmas.  Madelynn is catching on and 90% of the time will answer correctly when we ask her what we're really celebrating during Christmas.  The other 10% of the time her answer is "Santa" instead of "Jesus" and I can live with that answer from my 3 year old.  It's got to be hard for a little one to understand when Santa and presents are being crammed down her throat everywhere she goes.  Annabella has a pretty good understanding of Christmas this year, as well.  She loves the Christmas tree, lights, and the stack of presents under the tree.  They watch Christmas movies every day and dance to Christmas songs.  This week they finally started having conversations with each other.  Actual conversations where Madelynn asks Annabella a question and Annabella answers her.  Up until now it's been a lot of jibber jabber on Anna's part and a lot of unanswered questions on Madelynn's part.  They have the same exact laugh and when I hear it, it lights up my heart like nothing I've ever experienced. I catch myself frozen, just watching them.  Watching their smiles, unstoppable laughs, arguments, seeing them learn, and talk to each other.  It's what I wanted for them from the time I found out we were having another little girl.  True sisterly love.  Their bond is so strong and it's a blessing to see them together.  Noah is more active than ever and we're all getting extremely anxious to meet him.  Madelynn tells complete strangers at the store that it's almost Christmas, then it's January and after that her little brother will be here.  She kisses and hugs my tummy and says she's kissing Noah.  They are going to be such great big sisters to our little guy.  My heart is overflowing with love for my family and gratefulness for our Savior.  This Christmas as we celebrate Jesus' birth and ultimately the sacrifice he was sent here to make for us, I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude for such a gift.  Since Jonathan has gotten his new job, he has been able to spend more time with us this Christmas season than ever.  Tomorrow we get to start new Christmas Eve traditions and then we have Christmas Day together.  Our last Christmas as a family of four.