In April, Mike ran the Music City Marathon with his cousin, Chris. I took this picture when they had both just crossed the finished line, along with hundreds of other people. The tall guy in the middle of the picture with the black t-shirt on is Chris, Mike is behind him.
In mid-May we said goodbye to condo living and bought our first home. We have had a blast working on the "fixer-upper" that just needed a little TLC to bring the character and spirit back to a house that sat empty for over a year.
We went to Chicago for our summer vacation this year. We went in late May, so the weather was still a little chilly, but we both enjoyed the city, took in some Cubs baseball, ate some Chicago style pizza and decided it would be on our "to do again" list.
Ben and Sam, our nephews, came for a weekend visit a few weeks later. Boys will be boys...they worked in the yard with Mike and then we took them to play miniature golf and go-carts.
Fall came and so did the anticipated anniversary of Allison and Emily's birth and death. September 4th was a huge milestone for both of us. This is the tree that is planted at the top of the row where their grave is.
In the midst of honoring our daughters, we found out we were expecting again!
Another girl!!! This was our Christmas card picture this year.
Christmas was so special this year. As we gathered together as family, we recognized all that the Lord has given us. The grace and mercy that He has shown us and the love that we share for Him and each other.
For me personally, I have been stretched and tested this past year. I was stripped bare of what I thought I needed and wanted in my life and I was forced, in a good way, to lay down my plans, my hopes and my needs and focus on what the Lord wanted for me. It has been hard, but oh so good. The sanctifying work of Christ in my life is just that...a work. It's daily and hourly, as I have readjusted my thinking and my priorities. Instead of "what do I want?" it's "what does the Lord want of me?"