On Your 12th Birthday

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 already!?

baby girls

12th birthday

birthday girls

Half a dozen years ago you were the tenderhearted girls who peeked big, round, smiling eyes in at this mama who lay sick in bed pregnant with the littlest of your baby sisters.

Six years before that you were the babes in the NICU with all the wires and cords and preemie diapers that were still too big.

Six years from now you’ll be adults all ready to live out your dreams.

And I can barely breathe thinking of how fast the time is going.

But what I want you to know today – today – is that you are so very loved.

I’ve loved you from the moment you were wrapped in my womb; I’ve loved you something fierce and strong and beautiful for all our yesterdays; and that love will continue for all of our tomorrows.

But I don’t want you to miss how much I adore you today.

baby Alyssa

Alyssa's 12th birthday

baby Elliana

Elliana's 12th birthday

Alyssa, with your compassionate, helpful, caring personality, and the way you laugh, the way you bring joy, the way you show glimpses of God to those around you.

And Elliana, with your quiet, thoughtful, kind heart, and the way you serve, the way you work hard, and the way you surprise us with beauty from within.

And, yeah, some moments are hard. Emotions reign, words slash, and we’re all still learning how to live together through these awkward, scary, amazing days. But I love, love, love that today you are the girls that have grown to be my friends. You are the young ladies who stay up late watching Fixer Upper with me, the beauties that share my favorite coffee-ish drink, the precious ones that giggle with me over the quirkiness of the little ones and the daddy that we get to do life with, and the dear souls that lead me to the throne of God.

birthday girls and mama

Oh, I am so honored to be your mom. And I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than here – by your side as you grow and learn and love and change.

God is working something lovely.

It’s breathtaking.


Happy 12th Birthday Alyssa and Elliana!
You are so very loved!

Slow Down (School Pictures 2016-2017)

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 His mighty hand.

For I know it won’t be long before I look back on these new, different, magical days in wonder of all He has done.

“School” Pictures 2016-2017

 school picture 2016-2017
(Elliana, Annabella, Alyssa, Ariya, Kayla, Isaiah)

Alyssa Marie
Alyssa 6th grade

 Alyssa - 6th grade
Alyssa is 11 (for a few more days) and in Sixth Grade. She has such a beautiful, loving heart. She’s a leader, a hard worker, and an incredible friend. And she has a heartfelt way of etching words out on paper. I am in awe of the ways this first-born of mine loves God. Our days are so much sweeter with her in them.

Elliana Grace
Elliana - 6th grade

 Elliana 6th grade
Elliana is 11 and in Sixth Grade. Oh, how I love this girl. There’s such beauty in the ways she loves on others and cares for little ones. She is bright and kind, and she humbles me with her dedication and love of Bible reading. I will forever be grateful for the captivating ways her life surprises and brings joy to mine.

Kayla Ann
Kayla 5th grade

 Kayla - 5th Grade
Kayla is 10 and in Fifth Grade. She is breathtaking. Her blue eyes glisten as her smile and compassion light up the room. She has a big heart – for animals, for people, for drawing and creating and cartwheeling and having fun. But it’s her sweet love for Jesus that is most dazzling. Oh, how I love this girl that keeps bringing joy to my days.

Isaiah Gabriel
Isaiah 3rd grade

Isaiah - 3rd grade 
Isaiah is 8 and in Third Grade. He continues to be my handsome hero that loves all things boyish, yet always has time to stop and give his mom a hug. Such passion and life and energy are brought to my days through this boy. I don’t know what I’d do without him, but I’m so thankful for the mighty work God has done in both our hearts through him.

Annabella Love
Annabella 1st grade

Annabella - 1st grade 
Annabella is 7 and in First Grade. She’s such a precious girl that melts my heart every time with her big beautiful eyes and her gentle strength. She captures the beauty around her and is always ready for some fun – especially if it involves gymnastics or horses. And her sweet voice singing to Jesus? It’s the most precious sound I hear everyday.

And last, but not least… Ariya Faith
Ariya kindergarten

 Ariya - kindergarten
Ariya is 5 and in Kindergarten. She loves to be a part of the action. Just thinking about this precious girl makes me smile. There is so much life and joy wrapped up in this little one. I find myself stopping more often to treasure these days of five-year-old-ness and to stand in awe at how God made this kindergartener of mine so spunky and beautiful, bright, brave, and kind.

I am so blessed by these precious children that God has placed in our family. None of us are perfect. We have days that are tiring and long and hard – days where I feel like giving up as a Mommy and teacher to these wandering hearts. No, we’re not perfect. We’re truly a handful of sinners, striving to live and love and learn together for the glory of God. But, I will hold onto each and every one of these moments, before they too – are gone.

kids 2016-2017

silly kids 2016-2017

Just for fun… :)

Back to School(2010)

our class of 2011-2012(2011)

Our Kids 2012(2012)

School picture 2013(2013)

 back to school picture 2014

 favorite school picture 2015

 school pictures - kids 2016-2017

Oh, my heart – I love these kids!

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the words every mother needs to hear

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