Wednesday, January 14, 2015

One Little Word 2015


Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; 
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. 
When other helpers fail and comforts flee, 
Help of the helpless, abide with me.
Thou on my head, in early youth didst smile; 
And, though rebellious, and perverse meanwhile, 
Thou hast not left me, though I oft left Thee, 
On to the close Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence, every passing hour. 
What but Thy grace, can foil the tempter's power? 
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be? 
Through cloud and sunshine, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless 
Ills have no weight, tears lose their bitterness 
Where is thy sting death? Where grave thy victory? 
I triumph still, abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross, before my closing eyes; 
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies. 
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee; 
In life, in death, Lord, abide with me.
This hymn spoke to me during my times of deepest despair. I couldn't sit through it at church some Sundays without crying. Sometimes I let the words wash over me, and sometimes I had to flee to the privacy of the bathroom. And while those days are past, this hymn and this word, abide, have stayed with me. 
Those who've kept up with our family happenings on the blog over the years will know where this idea of One Little Word comes from. For those who are new, this is my version of resolutions for the new year. The word isn't prophetic; I have no idea what the year will look like. It tends to be more of an intention, something I'd like to embrace or see change in myself over the next twelve months. In years past, the words that I've picked have sometimes fit my year perfectly, and sometimes they haven't. The words tend to come to me in the shower, where all great thinking happens. 
My true intention for this next year is to delve deeper into prayer. To have a rich, meaningful, life-giving prayer life. I pray all day long, snippets here and there as events occur or thoughts pop into my head while I'm folding laundry and reading books to the littles and cleaning up the gazillionth mess that day. What I'm longing for, though, is to become a woman of prayer. To become one who knows how to pray, one who prays deeply, one who prays humbly, one who prays faithfully. Lord, teach me to abide. 
2014  2013  2012  2011

A (Quick) Look Back on 2014

1. We welcomed baby Jack into our family! What a joy he is, and we are all so delighted by him - you can't help but smile when Jack's around.

2. We enjoyed our second year in our new home, knocking out just a couple small DIY projects, like getting the nursery ready. One day we'll tackle the big stuff, like when we aren't paying hospital bills for having babies.

3. Avery finished up an awesome year of preschool and started kindergarten. We love her new school and will be returning next year.

4. Luke started a new job; he's still at Dell, but finally out of finance, much to his relief.

5. We went on our first family camping trip, survived the worst thunderstorm I've seen in a long time (in a tent, naturally), and Luke and I are still married after that epic weekend.

6. Luke decided a mustache was the way to go. Shortly after the first, he shaved it off, as well as all of his hair. Phew.

7. Eleanor declared a love for Superman that is deep and abiding.

8. We have settled into a really nice rhythm at home. Many days are crazy and chaotic and the house is often a mess, but I finally feel settled. It's a good thing.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Christmas 2014

This year we celebrated Christmas at home, just the five of us. Our first Christmas at home, and it was just what we needed. We opened presents and stockings, with Avery playing Santa. She passed out all the gifts before settling down to open her own, which surprised me at first, but really, it lines up with her desire to savor the good things in life.
I spent the entire week before Christmas sewing an Elsa dress for her, even dragging my machine to Houston for our visit with my family. I'd say she loved it.

It was all Frozen on Avery's end, and all Superman on Eleanor's. Sometimes they couldn't be more opposite.
Fun fact: Jack is exactly the same age (plus two days) that Avery was at her first Christmas. He managed to stay awake through all of the present opening however, while Avery needed a nap partway through.
Pancakes for breakfast, a nap for me, and then hours in the kitchen cooking Christmas dinner. I think we'll go simple next year so I can play with the kids more. Or we'll be home the days leading up to it and travel after so that I can do food prep.

A quiet day with my most favorite people in the world, celebrating the birth of Christ.


buddy cousins

You'll notice this is a theme these days....

See what I mean?

early one morning before school

I should do a post on the Carseat Chronicles

I'd include this photo in it

at the office

November 4 is always a hard day - this was the night before, stuffing my grief down with ice cream

and then on the actual day with sushi and beer

a trip to the allergist requires full uniform

that's her rocket

another one for the Carseat Chronicles - school pick-up line, probably quite cold out that day, and she loves to change into her jammies halfway through the day