Hello, 2016

Another New Years Eve, another year leaving us behind. While it is exciting, it is also extremely bittersweet. My toddlers are growing older, I'M growing older, and well, I can 100% now relate to the quote, "The days are long but the years are fleeting." Pierson is three and Reese is two. As trying as they are, I would bottle up their toddlerhood if I could. I've seen those mini-me dolls, like legit dolls, that are 3D versions of people. I joke, but I sincerely want one of each kid. Don't judge, I read about them in our classroom Scholastic magazines and soon as we finished, I exclaimed with excitement to my fourth and fifth graders that this HAD to happen for my kids. They thought I was crazy and yeah... I suppose I am. But toddlerhood, as exhausting and frazzling as it is, is the sweetest stage I'm convinced (yet) that I'll ever get to experience as a Mom. I know kindergarten is going to be pretty dang mind blowing (and terrifying), entering middle school, the sports they'll play or clubs they'll join. Drivers licenses and high school graduations, but good gravy, two and three is magical.  

Some of our re-caps:
2015 was pretty free of drama. I made some huge mistakes and had what I call my 'mid-quarter crisis' in 2014. That wasn't my best year, at ALL. So this year was a road of recovery, fresh air and rekindling our marriage. We went to North Carolina in July and that was pretty frickin sweet. A few days in the mountains, with some really great friends, experiencing a sense of freshness that we hadn't yet ever grasped.
Pierson had a hernia repair and hydrocele surgery in March. Seeing him in a hospital gown and getting drugged with laughy-gas had me in an internal puddle of hysteria BUT, he was the strong and brave boy that we knew he was. It went so well and after his nap back at home, he was back to his energetic, hilarious self. Praise GOD for that and as amazing as he was, I really pray that's the worst of his medical experiences (though who am I kidding... he's all boy!) 
We listed our house for sale in May and then had it taken off the market within 3 weeks. YUP! It was a complete whirlwind. And getting two kids, two cats, two dogs OUT of the house while it was being shown was well... our own little slice of hell. Within 5 days someone made an offer and when they did, I sobbed my eyes out hysterically. I should have known THEN that I wasn't ready to leave this place. We had several more offers come in but the biggest challenge was that there was no place to move INTO. NOTHING on the market was appealing to us. Believe it or not, there wasn't a decent sized home on 2-3 acres within city limits within our budget!? Ha ha! I mean, I only want an old barn, one that can house 2 or 3 or 6 horses, a barn full of cats, that has a heated office where I can sleep, and a functioning tack room. I'm kidding. (I'm not. But this is the dream). So we will re-assess this coming spring. Ideally yes, I do want a couple of acres, with a barn, and maybe even an old run down house that we can renovate over time. Does that exist here? NO IDEA! And that will be the exciting part of 2016 for me; where will God take us?   

I'm not the type to make resolutions with the start of a New Year, but through reading my Grandma's journals, I was inspired to bake one new pie a month. "Baked another blueberry pie today," it reads. Or, "Baked FOUR pies today. Put 2 in the freezer, ate one, and gave one to Beth for the kids. Hope I can get at least four in the freezer. They're so nice to have ready in case of unexpected company." She was amazing. She left a far greater legacy than 'just' pies, but this something quirky I always loved. SO, I actually followed through and accomplished meeting my 2015 New Years Resolution--the first resolution I've EVER been able to keep :) 

I love what Bob Goff says in his book Love Does: "Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It's not a trip where He sends us on a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He's made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over, He whispers, 'Let's go do THAT together" (130). Can I get an a- to-the-freeking- men?! What feeds your soul? For me, it's opening the back door and hearing the trees, seeing some land stretch before my eyes. I want to hear a whinny in the background, for my children to sit bareback on their very own pony while I lead them around a pasture. I want a blanket in an open field, my journal beside me and a pen in my fingers. That is a dream that lies deep within my heart; something that has been a part of me since my earliest memories. But God called me to Louisville, where I graduated college in four years, have worked some really cool jobs, made my home in one of the worst zip codes in the nation, and it is here too that I feel at home. The neighbor boys come to our porch for homework help, they used to climb our fence (before installing a privacy one, oops) and walking around the park saying hello to the people in this community gives my heart an extreme sense of happiness. Home is here; for now. It is here we are raising our babies; laughing, crying, praying and singing- and I owe it all completely to HIM. Here are some sweet images we captured today, on the very last day of 2015. Here's to a New Year. One to launching this blog, writing more, baking more, and embracing whatever our Creator graciously blesses us with.