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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

a MUCH Brighter Day!

I mean that literally, in every sense of the word brighter!  Yesterday was not so bright.  In a lot of ways.  It was cold and dreary here, Walker gave me fits all day, I spent a good part of the afternoon in tears, thinking of jobs I could apply for, schools I could send Walker to, calculating ways I could just get away!  If you've never been there, then don't judge me, just let me vent!
At the end of the day I was exhausted, done, finished.  The kids ate pb&j for dinner, and were bathed and in bed as early as I could manage.  I plopped down on the bed, so discouraged, thinking "I just can't do this anymore".  Enter a full night of rest, and a little morning devotion--"cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" 1 Peter 5:7.  
ALL of my anxieties.  The ones that don't have any eternal value, the ones that are temporary, the ones that brought me to tears, all of them.  I have read that verse over and over.  Even memorized it with Walker 3 weeks ago.  But today I read it and applied it.  Was today perfect?  No way!  Was today brighter?  Yes!  I just needed a reminder from Him that He is my constant, my hope, my joy.  These little people are out to "cut me down wis swords" and "poke me in da eye". But He is faithful every day!  

So all that to say, today has been much brighter!  We ran a few errands, met some friends for lunch and even got a little play time outside.  No tears or fits today...but I know, the day ain't over, right?

If you follow me on instagram, some of these pics aren't new.
Have you seen the picture of the lady with her boobs tucked into her pants?  It could have started at an early age;) 
Walker playing outside
driving (parked in driveway)
and picking his nose  
 Marlee had been carrying this tightly sealed jar of Vicks Vapor Rub around all day long.  If Vicks wants to send us some free products, we will gladly accept!
 If I'm not the only one that has these days, I hope that 1 Peter 5:7 is a great reminder and encouragement to you, that you're not alone, He is there, always and forever.  Hand your anxieties over and give Him the Glory.  He does care for you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Photo Shoot - Family of 13!

I had the awesome opportunity to have a little photo shoot with this family - of 13!  3 College friends - married 3 brothers and now have 7 kids!  I was nervous - as this was my first family photo shoot, but when it was all said and done, I had a BLAST!  These guys were all so wonderful to work with and the time really flew by.  Since I consider all of them friends - they have to still like me even if they don't like the pictures--right?
Getting all the kids together was so much fun.  One of the moms brought these little chalkboards to mark the order that all the cousins were born.  What a fun idea!
Hope you enjoyed looking at all these sweet faces as much as I did:) 

Monday, November 26, 2012

thanksgiving and the perfect family photos

As tradition, we gathered for a family reunion in Monticello, GA.  Don't know where that is?  Me either.  Aaron and I were up ALL night with sick, coughing kids, so it was a miracle that we even made it this year.  Thankfully everyone was kind enough to wait on us for the big feast.  There are no food pictures here.  I can only imagine that we have all seen as much turkey as we can stand - until next year!

fake smile, so very fake
 "uncle beeul" decided to sit in the smallest chair on the porch.  Then he was stuck - literally.

 Marlee swiped my necklace.  Kept her content.  I'm ok with that!
 Walker and his mountain man daddy.
 Yaddi and Papa Ayan (Alan)
 Walker LOVED watching everyone play cornhole.  He was great at picking up all the beanbags that didn't land on the platform.  You can see his excitement!

 I loved looking at everyones family pictures from Thanksgiving.  You are all MUCH more photogenic that we are.  I mean - no matter what we do, we just can't get a "normal" family photo.  I guess we just aren't normal - and crazy is whatcha get!
 This little bundle is the newest family addition.  He's just 3 weeks new.  I held him, smelled his sweet baby smell, loved on him - then GLADLY gave him back to his mama!
Thankful for Thanksgiving, some extra time with family, lots of great food and most of all, just the opportunity to celebrate it another year!

Side note - Marlee's hat and hair bows are from Birdie & Peanut.  She is having a 50% off sale this month.  Check it out!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our 7th Anniversary Celebrated in Hiawassee, GA

Aaron and I celebrated our 7th Anniversary in Hiawassee, GA.  To be totally honest, it wasn't our first choice, we searched and searched for cruises online, but decided to "live within our means" and travel more wisely!  GREAT DECISION!!  
We found a deal on Groupon Getaways, booked the weekend and were on our way.  We stayed at The Ridges Resort and Marina on Chatuge Lake.  We were welcomed with warm cookies, a roaring fire and a souvenir blanket.  Our deal included 2 dining credits and s'mores by the outdoor fire each night. 

Our friends, Josh and Donna live in Hiawassee so we decided to make them part of our weekend too!  We rarely see each other so it was a real treat to spend time with their family.  They have 2 little girls, beautiful and full of life!
Friday we hit the road and stopped at nearly every thrift shop and antique store from Hiawassee to Blairsville.  I came away with some awesome finds though!  A hand-made quilt top for $7 (photo prop), some chacos for $1(sibling love) and this little cabinet for $40 (kid craft/school storage).  Ignore my face - again, I'm a dork.   
Saturday we headed to Brasstown Bald for a hike and some more Bennett time:)  I asked Aaron to say a prayer for me that I wouldn't die on the way up.  Oddly enough, I made it to the top, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined.  The views at the top are seriously breathtaking.  Fortunately, Josh knows every valley and mountain peak as far as the eye could see...so we had a true tour guide!

We were truly blessed to enjoy a few days away.  Just to be able to talk, reconnect, laugh, relax and enjoy each others company for a few days was awesome.  We ate some wonderful food, got to spend time with wonderful friends and really took in every minute that we were gone!  No one got sick so that's a win in my book!  November is one of my most favorite months of the year because it's the month that I married Aaron, and each year, it's the month that we get to celebrate this marriage we have been given!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Lunch for the little ones

Last week we were invited to a kid-friendly Thanksgiving Lunch at our friend Lyndsey's house.  We all brought a side dish and she provided the rest!  She thought of ALL the details, which is no surprise at all!  
Each of these little boats have a rice krispie treat inside, each place setting had a set of crayons and a Thanksgiving coloring sheet. 
 Lunch was SO delicious.  I might have had seconds...or thirds!

 The pie ladies with their masterpieces!
 After lunch we released the little ones to run wild and play.

 and they played, and played, and played!
 Ashley busted out with the Turkey hat and Thanksgiving story time.
 The kids were absolutely thrilled.  I really love seeing the looks on their faces.  And it looks like some of the adults were too;)  I don't think that Natalie has ever seen a turkey hat before.

When we moved to Gwinnett in January, I told Aaron that I didn't want any new friends, I didn't want to meet anyone, don't ask me to join a small group or a moms group...I wasn't having it.  What a rotten attitude, huh?  Well, I caved, one thing lead to another and before I knew it I had met this group of moms, started building relationships and now they are such a huge part of my life.  We are involved in Bible study together, the occasional craft night, park dates, taking meals to each other when life isn't so wonderful and just being there for a good laugh or a nice vent session!  If you're one of these girls, and are reading this, thanks for being so awesome!