Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Moment Like This

I remember when I chose the name of this blog, it was at a time when my husband & I had just found out we were going to be parents. Over the next few years, every moment of our lives, good or bad, has been reflected right here. No, not every SINGLE moment, but the big things...the ones I feel worth mentioning & wanting to remember. 
The vacations, plans & fun times. Projects, DIY & decorating. Holidays, surprises & most of all FAMILY.

*All 4 Grandchildren in the same house! L-R (Everlee, Karliegh, Nana, Rilynn & Greyson)*

I have enjoyed going back over the entries I've made & seeing what we learned along the way. 
We had quite the summer! It was jam packed... I got a little too busy to blog, and at the very end, as August made its appearance, I also got more news that would change everything. 

*Sister in law - Richelle & sweet niece Everlee*

*Sister in law - Mindy, Cousin Julie supporting the cause =)*

MY mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

From the beginning of my blog, I was already experiencing what cancer could look like. We were in the beginning stages of going through it with my mother in law & while her's was a much more aggressive kind, it was something I was still not prepared to handle. Over her long battle I experienced things I never thought I would at my age, never had the kind of responsibility I would have either, & I never imagined that it would test my faith & my abilities as much as it did. 

*Papa & Greyson caught a fish!*

*My older brother Matt & his little girl Karleigh*

To make it to the 1 year anniversary of my mother in law's death, I was NOT prepared to be told that it was now a part of my mother's life. 

BUT something miraculous happened. Yes, I was upset, emotional....all that comes with being told this kind of news...but the biggest thing I noticed was the amount of PEACE & comfort I felt moments later. Why do we have road blocks in our lives? I don't always know the answer, but I do know that knowing GOD & the PEACE that only He gives makes all the difference! 

Do you know how many people my parents have influenced over the years? Do you know how many people are praying for her right now? I could probably say without doubt that there are 100's of people & churches all across the country praying for my mom & this moment in her life. How does that happen? From KNOWING Christ...and MAKING HIM KNOWN! It makes all the difference when God's people come together. They may not even know her or me personally but the prayers that go to the Lord on our behalf is unfathomable to me. 

*sweet cousins*

What would I do over these last few years without knowing who holds the future! 

My family is strong. My mom is strong. She is able to face this with God on her side. We don't ever know the outcome, but whatever it is she will be on the winning side! 

*Nana loving being with her Grands!*

In September, we were able to spend some time all being together. Over the years, marriage & jobs have taken my siblings & I all across the country. We have managed to try & see each other at least 1 time a year....that is NOT often but if its a priority, then we make it happen. 

*Mom in her new wig!*

I was able to watch my mom, who is usually the one in charge, sit back & let us help her. We may have taken over her house, the food, the cleaning & laundry...but we were together & she was doing better than I could have imagined. We got to go shopping, eat out, & have little outings with the kids. One of the highlights for me was picking out her new wig! You have got to try & have some fun in the middle of these things. What could be more fun than seeing my mom get a "makeover" with one of the most drastic things ever! She may have changed her hair a few times over the last 30 years, but she has never worn it down, had it cut super short OR colored! It was definitely something NEW & quite fun to try on ALL styles & colors of wigs. 

*fun at the corn maze* 

We had a great time! It it always worth the much as we travel, what's another 13 hours here & there. 

*enjoying quality time together at the corn maze*

I know what my mom is facing can't be easy. She has her good days & bad. I don't doubt that we all wish this never would have happened...but it sure is teaching me a lot. 
Its teaching me to be a better mom, a better wife, a better Christian & to learn that it's worth it to live in the moment, kind of like....

My beautiful mother! You got this! =)

*My cousin Ryan got all of us these bracelets*

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Monday, August 31, 2015

18 Months!

Because our computer was down & I hadn't been blogging much this year, I missed updating you on Rilynn's 18 mo status! Before too long, she will be 2 so I thought I better catch up =) 

   so far you...

*weigh 25 lbs & are 33.5 inches tall! 
*nursed all the way until 18 months! You would have gone longer, but were too distracted with SUMMER & traveling! Mommy was ready to be done did a good job! =) 
*have 16 teeth! You know how to use them -_-
*aren't always a picky eater, but like to inspect everything that goes in your mouth. You only eat when you are super hungry & that seems like all the time...except lunch & supper. You are what the dentist calls...a grazer! We have to keep the snack bag up but even then you seem to find it, pull things out & eat whatever you can find. I have caught you with a powdered donut bag a few times! You definitely prefer sweet stuff to anything else & can sniff it out a mile away. We don't know how you know...but whenever someone has chocolate you come looking..haha
*have lots more hair to work with! We love to do little pigtails & pony tails! 
*sleep all night from about 9:30pm - 8am. Your naps are usually 1-3 hrs in the afternoon & you sleep just about every time you ride in the car
*can walk, run and climb! You can figure out the best or quickest way to get from are all over the place & my biggest mess maker. You can climb anything & push anything to use as a device to get anything! 
*hate hearing the words no no but now you repeat them back to me. You are very independent, stubborn & strong willed. If you are caught doing something & get in trouble, you don't really cry, but if you just want something & we take it get MAD & let us know how you feel.
*are talking quite a bit & taking after Greyson when he lets you get a word in. You can say sentences like "I love you" and "where are you", You call Greyson (sha-sha) & have been working on extended family names. Uncle B is just "B" but Poppy, Nana & Papa are super easy. There are lots of other words you say but your favorite is "Baby!"
*love your big brother, but definitely know how to push his buttons. You CAN play well together & love to cuddle in the mornings & be very sweet...but as the day goes on, there is lots of screaming & carrying on & I have to play referee
*love to read, play with toys & pretend. You have a bright imagination! I love to see you play Mommy with your babies. You comfort them (shhh shh shh) let them know when they need a diaper change & like to put them to bed with a blanket.
*have been learning to say the blessing at dinner time. Right now all you do is fold your hands & say "Ameeee" (Ah-me) but you know when its time to pray!
*are in size 4 disposable diapers, & still wearing our cloth diapers. You have started to potty train just a little bit but don't seem quite ready yet.
*wearing 18-24 mo size clothes depending on brand and in 5-6 shoes. Your feet seem to be growing the fastest & we cant keep you in shoes very long 
*traveled to New York to Black Lake on our family's fishing trip! You love playing with cousin Everlee & are learning to share toys & play nice with kids your age
*love being outside, loved the boating we did in NY & then spending time with Nana & Papa in PA. You are a Papa's girl! but love to talk to Nana on the phone
*you love to ride horses & take mule/kabota rides. Your favorite is riding in the pasture with daddy
*don't have a fear of water...which can be nerve wracking! You could swim all day if we let the kiddie pool you love the slide & learned how to go down on your belly. In a big deep pool, you like jumping off the steps to go under. We have had lots of sun & you have the cutest little tan lines.

What we are looking forward to: 

*Visiting family in a few months
*Fall festivities!

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

2015 has been about 6 months since my last blog! Why you ask? 
OH and the fact that the hard drive on our iMac went out in March causing me to lose everything...even all my pictures!! AND since we are the worlds WORST procrastinators, we still haven't sent it off to get recovered. Someday it will happen. I'll make sure of it. BUT it's already been 6 months so I'm hopeful by the end of the year we will get that stuff back.

Anyway, 2015 has been quite the year so far! Here is the last 6 months in a nutshell =)

It started out with a happy occasion.
{Jac & Jacinda's wedding}

We got to spend a couple weeks in florida the end of January & it was wonderful!! Having another sister in law to share life with has been so fun & I'm not sure how I managed without her those 8 1/2 years before she came to Alabama =) We are so excited to be living close to each other & have enjoyed watching their house progress from plans, to digging & now on to building! I can't wait to see the finished product.

We stayed another week into February to be a part of the dedication for my mother in law at Friendship Hall. It was a very meaningful time for family & friends to come & see all the new & improved updates a long with a memorial for Lela. 

After that, we took a weekend to go to the Dixie Nationals in Jackson, MS and as always..had a great time with our fellow horsemen.

We came back a few weeks later in March to be with my family! We even got to see my Aunt & my 2 cousins who happened to be in Florida at the same time.

After all the traveling, we came back & had Jacinda's Bridal Shower at our church....and got to host some awesome new friends- Aaron & Danielle Wardlaw! We love little miss Amelia too =)

then we celebrated Matt's 32nd birthday =) 

April brought Miss Natalie's first birthday celebration & Easter festivities! We had an Easter egg hunt at our church, with stories, prizes & games! Easter Sunday is always a favorite time for us. The kids get to find their Easter baskets & of course, we dress in our Sunday best =)

 I turned 29 in May & a few days later my best friend's little girl Juliet Elise made her arrival! For my birthday weekend, we went to TN to Dollywood & ate at Paula Deen's. It was so much fun! We had a special Mother's Day but it wasn't without a little sadness.  We got new flowers for my MIL's grave & Jacinda & I had this arrangement made. We know Lela loved these bright colors & it turned out pretty =)

We finished off the month with a Hobe Sound Bible College Alumni BBQ in our barn! We had a great turn out...lots of activities, horse rides, games etc & a hayride! We had so many friends come & it was a great time of fellowship.

June found us traveling once again to PA & on to NY on my family's Black Lake fishing trip! I hadn't been since high school & it was a lot of fun to share this with Matt & the kids.

Matt flew back home for work & I ended up getting to stay a couple more weeks with my parents in PA. We did lots of fun things with the kids =) 

Since I was up north, we fit a LOT of events into this one month. My best friends got to be together for Jodi's baby shower & we all got to meet little Juliet!

Finally, it was time to go home. Nana & Papa came with us so they could spend a little bit of time at Camp Meeting in Alabama. We missed spending Father's Day with daddy so we gave him his gift when we got home...Matt got caught in a rain storm running up from the barn & was soaking wet! His gift was an AW root beer that said "You're an AWesome dad!" too cute!

It was sad to say good bye, but we had gotten to spend the entire month of JUNE together! 

July 4th was another fun Holiday at the Shirah's! We have made this a nice little tradition getting together with friends from camp as well.

Then we celebrated more birthday with friends! We got to celebrate Courtney's at Red Lobster & the kids got to touch one of the live ones =) Then our little friend Kylee turned 3! She had a "Frozen Paw Patrol" Party! It was so cute! The kids had so much fun playing & swimming. Gmama got to spend her day with multiple visits from family & friends. All of us went over after church for cake, ice cream & presents!

A few days later, the kids got to attend their first VBS at our church! We chose the theme "Following Jesus" 
The decorations went along with the story about Peter & the other disciples who went fishing, then Jesus told them to cast on the other side & their nets were full of fish! They left to follow Jesus. We had lots of fun with the fish theme!

And to tie up the month, our great friends Matt & Emily moved out of their town house into their first house!! It is SO nice & I couldn't wait to get over to help. We did quite a bit of work, but I was bummed we couldn't do more between our busy schedules. I can't wait to see how far they have come setting everything up =)  

August 1st started out with another fun celebration for Baby Ronan! He is supposed to make his appearance in another month & we can't wait to meet him. We had a great time at the baby shower =)

During the summer, we also have been traveling out of town for Horse shows. We went to GA & TN & Matt won first place 6 times out of both shows which put his horse into the superior status! 
We have had an extremely busy year so far & it doesn't look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. We have more trips coming up...possibly back to Florida & 1 or 2 more trip to PA before the end of the year. 

One thing is for sure. We have been blessed more than we could ever imagine! I love living this life with my amazing husband who does more for me & works harder than anyone I know...for my 2 little loves who are full of life. They keep me on my toes & I look forward to each day of new surprises, sometimes challenges, but most of all...LOVE from each one of my family members. This has been a full year with it's ups & downs...but knowing God makes it all worth it.

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