January 3, 2014

Happy New Year, Housekeeping and a Giveaway

Happy New Year!  Ready or not 2014 is here.  I have to admit, I am struggling with leaving 2013 without accomplishing many of the goals I set last January.  However, I did in much adversity, reach many goals.  Like successfully giving birth to a healthy strong Addison and running five miles a day.  We graduated our second daughter and replaced our trusty suburban with a fifteen passenger van.

I am also struggling with leaving a year behind in which I was less than the person I want to be emotionally, spiritually, physically.  But I am also working on accepting the grace God, and my family, afford me every single day.

I am struggling with a year filled with missed opportunities, unfulfilled dreams and more questions than answers.  But I am also fondly looking back at the Lord's leading, answered prayers and many miracles.  As I enter this new year I am gripping the Lord's goodness, blessings and promises tight in my hands and heart.

I am looking forward to a fresh start filled with dreams and promises yet to be imagined.

Last year, my blogging took a serious nose dive as more important things moved to the forefront.  I missed that.  Blogging is not just chit chat for me, but therapy, ministry and a way to record those precious moments of raising my family.  Moments that are slipping by way too fast.  We never know when we will have our last year together as a family.  And I don't want to miss a single moment.

One goal I set was to actually blog in December.  I had planned to post at least one picture every day.  I was actually doing rather well, until sickness came through and wiped out blogging and our holiday.  (Yes, I may be whining a bit.  We seriously just gave our kids their Christmas gifts yesterday.)

Hopefully, in the next few days there will be an influx of posts to catch up.  Or maybe not.  I am trying not to set my sights too high.
A few years ago I took part in the 365 photo challenge.  I loved it.  I had actually forgotten about it until New Year's Eve.  The kids pulled out a bunch of family videos.  We sat up until midnight laughing and crying a bit.  One of the videos was a compilation the girls had made from the 2011 photo challenge.  I am going to try it again.  I will have the camera every day, but I probably will only post every few days.  You can check that out at The Photo Challenge Blog.  These photos will not be works of art but simply snapshots of moments we hope to remember.  I am looking forward to Brianna updating that blog when she is not too busy sitting around eating bon bons.

Okay and I just have to mention the crazy weather we've had the last few weeks.  On December 22 it was 70 degrees.  70!  With a house full of sick miserable people and the rain pouring too hard to open the windows we turned the air conditioner on!  Not so odd for those dear readers in Texas in California.  But folks, we live in MARYLAND!  We've had major blizzards on December 22.  So yesterday we had a beautiful snow storm and today the high is somewhere in the teens.  Which, I am definitely not complaining about.  I love curling up by the fire on a good cold winter day.  But it sure is crazy how the weather has been fluctuating.

With sickness and the crazy thing we called holidays, I didn't get this giveaway up on the first as I had planned.  I did put a quick note on google+ but I wanted to share it here, too, for those of you who don't follow me over there.

My friend, Jenn, is hosting a giveaway over at her blog, Applegate Summers.  You can start the new year with a new blog design by Bree Holloway.Applegate Summers
And, while you are there checking out the giveaway, be sure to take some time to peer into the heart of this wife, mama, home school teacher and child of the Lord. I always leave her blog refreshed by her desire to love her family deeply and glorify God in all things.  I usually get a little nostalgic, too, as I watch her young family on the beginning of their home school journey. Take a minute or twenty... You will be glad you did.

With a new year upon us and my blogging resolve strengthened, I often get questions from readers on different topics they would like to see here.  If there is something specific you would like to read about leave me a comment or drop me an email.

So with all that bit of information out of the way, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  I am out of here to write some real blog posts.  Stay tuned for more pictures than you will know what to do with!

Happy New Year!

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