To my beautiful daughters on your 13th birthday

I wanted to have this perfect letter written out to you – this concoction of love and inspiration and truth all mixed into one – words you would treasure for a lifetime. Yet, looking into your beautiful eyes and knowing your lovely hearts on this very first day of being teenagers, I’m at a loss.

The words seem stuck somewhere deep inside, for they’re far too much and yet no where near enough.

thirteen

Alyssa is 13!

Elliana is 13!

Oh, sweet Alyssa Marie and Elliana Grace, do you know how much you are loved?

If I had to choose just one thing to tell you, this is what it would be: You have been, you are, and you will continue to be fiercely loved! Don’t ever forget.

Your amazing daddy and I have adored you from your first heartbeat, and that love has only grown as we’ve gotten to see the young ladies God is making you to be.

And the God that I see you drawing closer to? The one that is working in and through you in breathtaking ways? There is nothing that compares with His great love!

And this great love of His?

It’s this beautiful Story of redemption and grace, immense power and never-failing goodness.

Even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Even when siblings are bothersome, parents are far from perfect, you look in the mirror and wish you were someone else, and the world seems to be falling apart around you.

Keep holding tight to Him, dear ones.

And remember that you need Jesus and His glorious grace on the good days too.

You are loved the most all of the time – when your heart is ugly and when you’re doing all the incredible things that you do so well and every time in-between.

beautiful birthday girls

Alyssa's 13!

Elliana's 13!

Thank you for making this journey of being a mom such a precious one. Thank you for letting me see glimpses of God in the way you, Elliana, help this mama and love on little ones; and how you, Alyssa, graciously give and beautifully create. What a precious gift you are to us.

my birthday girls

birthday meal

happy 13th birthday

Happy 13th birthday, Alyssa and Elliana!
We love you deeply.

The Start of our School Year

Today was our first day of school for the year. We’ve got first, second, fourth, sixth, and seventh grades going on at out home. And I’m barely able to believe the words in the previous sentence are true. I find it this incredibly beautiful mixture of happy-sad. Oh, I am so grateful for a God who goes before us, who walks with us, and who never leaves us.

And these kids – they have my heart!

first day  of school 2017-2018

Ariya - 1st grade

Annabella - 2nd grade

Isaiah - 4th grade

Kayla - 6th grade

Elliana - 7th grade

Alyssa - 7th grade

first day 2017-2018

And, just because…

silly first grader

crazy kids first day

Ahhhh – the cuteness! Love them. What a fun, imperfectly perfect day it’s been.

We’ve been organizing books, getting a glimpse at how we can (maybe) make things work this year, baking apple crisp, visiting the library, and smiling for this mama that loves to take pictures.

We have some new, exciting things going on this year. I look forward to sharing more when I can.

Happy school year!

God goes before you, walks with you, and will never leave you!

Words on your 8th birthday

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What words could I express to my daughter on her eighth birthday? Oh, sweet Love, there are no words to truly convey all that I long for you to know. But with happy tears streaming down (because how is it possible that it’s been eight years already!?) I humbly scratch out a smidgen of my […]

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Today My Baby Turned Six!

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Half a dozen years ago we held this beauty for the first time. Who knew that our love could multiply so much that day after celebrating the years of marriage & love & time & faithfulness!? But just after the sun shone brightly that June morning our precious Ariya Faith was born. And this sweet […]

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This Man I Love

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It’s been fifteen years with this man I love, and he just keeps stealing my heart. Oh, I love him and our life together – the everyday, ordinary, digging in the dirt together moments, & the wonder of watching our children getting older and us getting older too. I love you, Gabe – your heart, […]

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This Girl

Love This Girl

This girl – She turned 11 yesterday. It was a beautiful day celebrating this beautiful girl. Her smiles and love and tender heart. Her joy and fun and creativity. The way she adores her friends, cares for animals, cherishes her family, and loves God. She has this quiet strength, amazing perseverance, and glorious way of […]

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Joy and Sorrow

Joy and Sorrow

I’m this splattered puddle of emotions today. There’s this sweet surprise of joy found right here squished between scrubbing bathroom floors and shaking whipping cream to concoct this buttery science experiment. And there’s this ache of missing my daddy that – after eleven years – I know will always be here in the way her […]

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The Day My Boy Turned Nine

The Day My Son Turned Nine

It’s been nine years of this crazy adventure of raising a little man. Nine years of courage and passion, joy and strength. And my heart swells looking upon the man God is growing this now nine-year-old of mine to be. Oh, Isaiah Gabriel, our lives are so much richer and more glorious because of you. […]

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On Your 12th Birthday

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A dozen years since that day in the hospital when our worlds changed forever. These two tiny, precious babes came and made their ways straight to our hearts. Who ever could’ve believed the fragile, beautiful, terrifying, heart-molding, glorious days to come? Oh, Alyssa Marie and Elliana Grace, how can it be that you are twelve […]

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Slow Down (School Pictures 2016-2017)

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Slow down. Just for a little. I want to just sit here and breathe in all the moments that God has orchestrated for His glory. Today – Today I will marvel at the beauty and the mess, the first steps and the closed chapters, the tears and the joys – each one strung together by […]

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