Friday, May 1, 2015

New Old Music

      As Tim and I have been cleaning out some of our things, we've found a lot of old CD's.  He recently whipped out my super old iPod which was quite a trip.  It is so funny seeing a burly, contractor listening to Angry Girl Music from 2005 in a big, red pickup truck. ;)  It's made me realize how much I miss listening to and discovering new music.  The only redeeming quality of my old, nearly hour long commute was the opportunity to listen to really good music everyday.  

So.  Color me inspired.  Let's talk music.  

Maybe I am really late getting in on this, but have you heard of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts?  

Oh my word.  

This one is from Deathcab for Cutie.  Which is, hands down, my favorite band.  Yes. Please.  

When I was student teaching in San Diego (circa 2004), my (very hip) cooperating teacher gave me a copy of Transatlanticism.  I listened to it on the flight home, and I was hooked.  See also, Postal Service.  

Two of my favorite songs begin at 9:23 and 14:00.  

You're welcome.  

Love and what are you listening to these days?  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Your Own Horribleness: a note to my friends who are waiting

So. I know you know the first part of this story, but I need an intro. anyway,  K?

  In January, I started writing about our  struggle to conceive and it opened the door to many, many new connections.  Women reached out... and they were kind and beautiful.  They were smart and brave and gracious.  And I was overjoyed.  I was inspired.  FRIENDS!

One of the most surprising things about blogging has been how it has encouraged people to tell THEIR stories.

And they are stories that need to be told...even if they are just via private Facebook message or email to me or someone else.

And I really love that.

After I wrote about our struggle to conceive, I connected with a lot of women who said,

"Girl. I feel you.  Me too."

And literally, 24 days into this new "club," I found out I was pregnant.   I felt like I had been invited into a room full of starving women, and unknowingly showed up with my own loaf of bread.

So...before I write anymore about this pregnancy, I just wanted to post a ...buffer..(?)...

 I guess.

Or an internet hug?

Because... I dunno.  I'm happy and happy and sad.

Honestly?  I still mourn those days, guys.  There is a weird part of me that still aches.  Like a phantom limb.

The other day, I was out (for the life of me, I cannot remember where this interaction took place), and someone was showing off their newborn, and for a split second, I was really sad.  And then I got happy again.  And I just thought, "Six months ago, this would have killed me.

Oh, my word.  Am I the WORST?  First, I am sad because I'm not pregnant and I'm still sad about not being pregnant when I am ALREADY PREGNANT. Will you guys just quit being friends with me already?  Why are you even still here!?!?!

Oh. And also, I feel guilt. So. There's that.  Guilt.  Hello, old friend.

As women, aren't we wracked with guilt?  I mean...are you?  I am...and I am so intrigued by this.
I think I could give an orphan $1,000 and still find a way to feel bad about it. far we've established that I'm an incredibly generous & humble martyr who would make incredible sacrifices for her friends and feels "OMG so guilty" when good things happen to her.

Oh.  Did I also mention that I'm incredibly humble?  ;)

Do you remember that episode of FRIENDS where Phoebe tries to find a truly selfless act? (The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS).

"I let a bee sting me so it could look tough in front of all it's little, bee friends!"

(Does that Friends reference connect with the rest of this post?  Hm. I don't care.  I'm leaving it!)

So. I say all that because I'm still here. Consider this your Public Service Announcement.

Anytime anyone with babies would say, "Oh...we struggled for X amount of years or we had to have this and that treatment. I know how hard it is."

I would get kind of irritated and think to myself, "You are of no help to me because YOU HAVE A BABY!!!!!!"

So. I say "I'm here" but I also say, "It's ok if you kind of feel like you probably want to punch me. Do not feel guilty about that."

     In all seriousness, I'm not going to write this on the internet, obviously, but in private, I can give you some more details about what I think finally helped me "get pregnant" (Taking Charge of Your Fertility, holla!) and what we were hoping our plan of action was going to look like when we talked about going in for treatments (I have some super close friends who sought treatments and I did a ton of my own research.  Let's chat).

I feel like I was a crazy, horrible person during much of our journey.  Even if you just want to write me and tell me about your own horribleness, I'm here.  You get no judgement from me.

*Also, it must be noted...I have ZERO intentions of turning this into a "mommy blog."  YES!  Some of it is going to be about our adorable baby (again, with the humility), but I was a lifestyle blogger long before I was a mom.  Dog photos and DIY's abound. the words of our beloved NKOTB..."Please don't go, Girl."

Oh my word. Joey.  With a yellow daffodil.  I'M DYING!  He was like, 14 and she was like...23...file this under, Things you could get away with in 1988.

Love and I am rooting hard for you,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Life in Ten Pics.

So. In case you are not following me on any social media whatsoever... 

I told God that if I wasn't pregnant by 2015, I was going to start blogging about our struggle to have a baby.  In Dec., I started a draft.  in early January, I hit "publish."  I was pregnant already and just didn't know it.  God is good...and also slightly insane.  ;)  


We're having a baby! :) 

Trust me.  No one was more surprised by this than we were.  

More later, but for now...bump pics., cravings, and my family's newest rocking chair.  


(not eaten together...)  

Also...on a totally unrelated note...I just really like this dog.  


Love and for the first time ever...heartburn!

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 Things to Say When Your Friend's Not Getting Pregnant

I started this post a LONG time ago and honestly lost momentum.  Honestly.

After initially posting about our struggle to conceive, I suffered from what Brene Brown would call, "A Vulnerability Hangover."

I had bled all over the internet, and I wanted to run away limping.

But I also found that talking about "the crazy" really helped to settle "the crazy."

And this post in my drafts folder kept hanging over my head.

And I have written and erased and written and erased.  And pretty much erased 3/4 of the intro. Which I might add, included calling myself "The Mayor of Crazytown" and requesting cupcakes at my intervention. ;)

 But the one sentence remains...

Maybe this post can be a tiny plank in a very long bridge that connects people who are hurting to people who don't know what to say.

So. Here we are. Lord help us all

1. Use the word family.  People often refer to having a baby as "starting a family."  And they often ask when someone is going to "start a family."  This can kind of stink for people who don't have kids.  We don't have kids, but we have a family, and I LOVE my little family.  I'm so proud of us, and I'm so glad they're mine.  Talk to your friend about her FAMILY.  Say nice things.  Ask questions.  That one seemingly small act that can really be a catalyst for healing.

2.  "I accept your weirdness."  Your friend totally has the unfulfilled need to nurture something right now. And it aches.  Yo. It aches.  So...that need probably gets *somewhat* met in seemingly odd places.  Like right now...I am "overwintering" plants.  Read.  I am stupidly optimistic. I brought some plants in before the first know.  Just hoping for the best.  Things did not go well with the dahlia's.

 I was chatting with Tim the other day, and he looked at my second plant and said,

"Yea.  Your geraniums are gonna be fine."

And I'll be darned if that wasn't like, the most loving thing a person could say.


My favorite thing in the world is when people ask about my dogs.  I was on the phone with one of my friends a few weeks ago, and over the phone, I could hear her husband ask about my dogs. Bless him.

The other day, one of my friends left a Facebook comment and called my dog "beautiful."

Oh my word.  The most loving think you can do for a childless woman is to call her dog beautiful.  I am being dead serious.

People who cannot have babies often become crazy dog people.  Can we all just get over it?

About 18 months ago, I got strangely attached to a stinkbug that had taken up residence in between our plastic and fabric shower curtains.  (((Happy New Year, Lyle!)))

Do you guys remember the article about the tiger who lost her cubs and became depressed so the zoo gave her piglets dressed in tiger vests to care for?  DO YOU REMEMBER?  (Upon further research, I don't think this is the entire truth, but just stick with me, guys).

I'm sure her little tiger friends were in the background like, "Oh MY WORD, You guys! Harriet is nursing TINY PIGS WEARING VESTS!!!"

And everyone else was like, "Hey.  Be cool.  She's in a weird place right now.  Leave her be."

That's right, people.  Leave her be.

3.  Any decision you make is going to be the right one.  Crazy Baby Stuff takes a lot of money, time and EMOTIONAL ENERGY  (fertility treatments, home remedies, etc.).  It's easy to get "stuck."  Sometimes, we just need someone to encourage us to make a decision AND reassure us that ANY decision is going to be the right one.  Even if you're not sure about this.  Please just SAY IT. ;)

Sometimes, the decision not to act itself...a decision.

Last weekend, I had a sweet friend tell me to "Put my big girl panties on and deal with it."  She used expletives and everything!  It kind of frightened me (haha)...but it helped.

4. You are not alone.  Holiest of all holy cows.   Um...loneliest road ever?  For sure.  I tried giving examples, but all the stories made me sound like a bitter, old, childless hag.

4 1/2.  I prayed for you when...  Over the past few weeks, I had several friends say to me, "I was praying for you in the car the other day..."  or... "I couldn't sleep the other night, and I was praying for you."  This is a habit I'm trying to adopt more in my own life.  How many of us have said, "Oh, I'll pray for you."  Only to later forget?  GUILTY!  SORRY!  I'm trying to be more intentional in my relationships as they pertain to my prayer life.

You get the idea.  I think this is applicable in all situations.  Not just infertility.

5.  My kids love you/ thanks for loving my kids.  Sometimes, I feel totally inept around young moms and their babies.  My friends are all like...up at 6am on a Saturday busy keeping children alive, and I'm like...uh...I brushed my teeth and watched Netflix...?

It feels good to hear, "Hey. Childless friend...I would trust you not to drop my infant.  Thanks and good job."  ;)

6.  You are not a horrible person.  Uh...if you have a child under the age of 3, I probably have a voodoo doll of you in my closet somewhere.  I'm totally kidding.   It's a BABY EXPLOSION out there, folks.  My closet is not that big.

All joking aside, one of the hardest parts of this journey is the fact that it gives you somewhat uncontrollable, negative feelings about your mom-friends.   When they have babies, you are simultaneously filled with LOVE! SO MUCH LOVE!  And then you are blindsided with...




Needless to say, it's a very confusing, exhausting time.

I think we walk around feeling 10% heartbroken, 5% jealous and 85% guilty for all of the above.

It's that 5% that will get you down every time, am I right?

We need some grace.  Actually, we need lots of grace.  I have my fair share of friends I need to call back.

7.  You are made in his image and you are perfect.

Your friend feels like a broken, old, busted up mess.

When she stands before The Father, He doesn't see her has broken.  He sees her as whole and highly favored.

Tell her that.  Text her that.  Write it on her bathroom mirror.  Slip a note in her car.

Whole & Highly Favored.  Does a more comforting thought exist?

8. Someday, this won't matter.   Infertility is a hole that is just really hard to see out of.

     I am very much looking forward to my late 30's/early 40's.  Ha.  By then, I know I'll have more peace about whatever has happened.  We'll either have kids...or we won't. And if we don't, I am very much looking forward to being the wealthiest, most well-rested person in my entire circle of friends. ;)

But...I am so glad my marriage is going to survive this.  I am so glad my friendships can thrive through this.  The more the merrier, am I right?  ALL ARE WELCOME TO TAKE RESIDENCE IN CRAZY TOWN! Moms and non-moms alike!

(((And also, when I say "someday this won't matter," I know... heaven and stuff))).

Aren't you glad the this is not the end of the story?  The story ends with The Kingdom of Heaven.  Beauty. Redemption & Grace.

Forever & Ever Amen.

9. God wants to make you whole.  Your faith will make you well.  I recently heard a sermon about how Jesus didn't just want to heal people physically, He wanted to heal them spiritually at the same time.  I really loved that.  He wants us to live full, whole, spiritually healthy lives. He's on your team.

10. Your road is hard and I'm proud of you.  After my November Meltdown of 2014, I had two friends check up on me the following week (if someone is weeping in your car, it's probably a good idea to follow up. ;) )  They both told me they were proud of me.  No statement has ever made me feel more safe in a friendship.

Don't tell your friend, "Life without kids is easy."  Your friend is struggling to have kids, and THAT IS HARD!  No amount of 11am Saturday wake up calls is going to fix that.

It's true, on Saturdays, she gets to sleep in, but she also desperately wishes she had a reason to get up.


*and a giant fist bump to those of you who are struggling.  You are stronger and more courageous than you realize.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Unicorns Make Me Nervous: A post about God & anxiety

Hi. I have issues with anxiety.  I feel like it's just time to call it what it is, you know?

Let's make a list, shall we?

(sidenote: I worry a lot about our unborn kids. You know, the ones we "might not be able to have" / can't afford to adopt) ;)

Oh my word. What else?

That's like, not even 1/4 of the list.

I worry that I am not accomplishing enough at my job.  I constantly second guess my decisions.

     You know when, like...a teenager gets in a car accident because they are driving too fast, and people sigh and say, "People never think it's going to happen to THEM."

Are you kidding me?  People like this exist?

Whenever I am given an anxiety-worthy scenario, I ALWAYS think it's going to happen to ME!

     I also feel like it becomes a problem when something GOOD happens, and I somehow find a way to twist it with worry.

     I feel like you could give me a unicorn that poops 100 dollar bills and somehow, I would find a way to make that situation scary.

     Quick.  Before we move on.  I need you to picture your unicorn.  Mine's white with a turquoise and hot pink horn.  By the way, if your unicorn is anything other than white or pastel, then we need to have a serious conversation.

     And by pooping, I don't mean gross horse poop.  I mean, you walk out to visit the unicorn every morning, and there's just crisp bills lying all over the floor like hay.

You know what I mean?


Do unicorns eat hay?
What do unicorns eat?
I'm thinking donuts with sprinkles?
I don't even know what my UNICORN WILL EAT!?!?

You can see how we have a problem, here.

And I am slowly starting to realize that it's not so much a problem with anxiety as it is a problem with sin.


I feel like maybe if I knew God better, I wouldn't be quite so freaked out.

You know, like I am  99% of the time.

I look at people that I know who are deeply rooted in Christ and I feel like...maybe they aren't rattled by the same stuff that rattles me...?  #bearattacks

I have FACE DOWN in the book of Psalms since November.  Psalm 29 is just ALL about God's power and how He can like, shake mountains...and how His voice can strip the forests bare.

And it kind of blew me away.  I had never read that about God until now.

I am also finding a direct correlation between my tendency to intentionally look for and express gratitude and my anxiety level.  < Lots of words in that sentence (!)

The more grateful I am, the less I freak out.

Here. I made you a blurry line graph.  You're welcome.

See what I mean? Gratitude is a nice distraction.  :)  It keeps me centered.  It helps me focus.

Oooommmmm.... That is the sound of me meditating.

I used to be really diligent about praying with the acronym ACTS (or CATS)... I need to get into this habit again.

Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication

But I often struggled with the adoration part.  It felt cheesy and lame.

Why does God need ME to tell HIM how awesome He is?  Does He just need an ego boost?

But  I do not think the "hallowed be your name" part is for his sake.  I think it is for mine.

God does not need the reminder.  I do.

     Sometimes, I picture myself walking into a coffee shop with all my STUFF.  Work stuff.  Money stuff. Home stuff.  Bear Attack Stuff. And God is there in the booth in front of me, and I just shove it all under His feet.  Out of my line of vision.   I stand up, winded because the bear put up a fight, but I look at God and God looks at me, and He says... "This is all mine, now.  The days is yours."

The day is mine... to do whatever I want with and not worry about a thing.

It's true, you know.

Love & the day is yours,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Whole & Highly Favored: A Post about not getting pregnant

     I do not know how to begin this post, but my macbook keys have been pumping their little fists and chanting "Write! Write! Write" for a long time, and I told God that if I made it to 2015 without a baby, I would start writing about it (a little).  With Tim’s consent, of course.


And I have prayed and prayed and prayed about this.  Should I write about this?  What are my motives?  Do I want pity?  Do I want attention?

And God was kind of like, 

"Holly.  Get humble.  Stop being a weirdo.  
Just start writing about this and stop making it about you."

Duly Noted.


     A year ago, I thought I was pregnant.  I was just shy of one year off birth control.  We had lived everywhere from "Actively Trying" to "Not Trying/Not preventing" in terms of conception, so I shouldn't have been excited.

But my period was later than Mariah Carey at an NBC Christmas Rehearsal (I've heard things, guys).

And I thought that was going to be our story.  All the clichés .  You know, you really aren't supposed to "worry" until after you've been trying for a year, and we were one month shy of that.

"Because, guys.  God's so funny like that, and His timing is perfect..."

And blah. blah. blah.

And Tim was getting excited, too.  I did the whole song and dance. I took 100 pregnancy tests and called the doctor.

But I wasn't pregnant. Throw all the things...cry all the tears. You know the drill.

And I spent the last week of 2013 with my head in my hands and Ellie Goulding's 
"Deadin the Water" on repeat.

And I haven't gotten pregnant since.

     Tim and I often joke that he is very OLD TESTAMENT.  He is the The King of Hard Truths.  He's all HAND ME MY SWORD!  I'm not kidding.  He asked for a legit sword for Christmas.  STAY OFF OUR LAWN, YOU RASCALS!

And I am like allll about The New Testament.  Give me the sweet, soft stories of Jesus.  No plagues.  No beheadings.  I'll take my quail and manna to go, thanks.

On the same side of that, I am very much "Your Kingdom come."  Right now, I am taking the wreckage and trying desperately to bend it into an arrow that will point us closer to Jesus.

I’m also in the “eat all the sugary cereal and weep into the bowl” phase of our baby-making journey.  I'm kidding. Kind of.

If the bowl is mostly 2% milk, but also partially filled with human tears...does that lower the fat content? I'm asking for a friend.

While Tim is very much, "Your will be done." He is drawing a map to get us out of in, "Unless The Lord wills it, we'll never have kids."

You can see how we would have problems there, huh? ;)

And this whole busted up mess is really just about two broken people trying to point each other home.  MARRIAGE, am I right?

Sometime in Mid-November of this year, I kind of cracked.  Ok. I really cracked. Or I don't know...I like, melted or something.

Do Americans have a word for "Lost all hope and wept in all of my friends' cars?"

Cause that's what I did.

At one point, I sent a message to one of my friends that said, “I’M SORRY I WAS LATE PICKING YOU UP... I WAS WEEPING INTO MY CLOSET!”

     The past year has been incredibly lonely, but I’ve honestly never felt more supported or loved by my sweet, beautiful friends than I did when I went absolutely bananas last fall.

And I think the overall message has been, "HELP IS ON THE WAY."


I wrote several of the friends I've met online through The InfluenceNetwork.


     And they came running. They juggled midnight feedings, homeschool schedules, and a hundred other "mom tasks" and built for me a safe and sturdy life raft.  

Lord knows I couldn't do it on my own.

My bestie met me in Kroger parking lot on the way to pick up her baby when I just needed a breather.  

Three of my best pals from college listened intently while I sobbed my way through our 10 year college reunion (but I really did have an amazing time, my friends).  

Sometimes, I think we are the blindfolded children holding the pin and the tail while God is the poster with the donkey.

And he's all "A LITTLE TO THE LEFT!"

And we're all "YOUR LEFT OR MY LEFT?"

Honestly, it has been hard for me to think about "Making Things Happen," and 
"Goal Setting" in the New Year.

     I feel like the approach for 2013 was very GOD GIVES US THE DESIRES OF OUR HEARTS.  For that reason, there's a onesie from The Baby Gap with the words "I Love Mommy" embroidered on the front shoved somewhere in the bottom of one of my dresser drawers.

And there were parts of 2014 where I basically said, “Uh...God? Don’t bother me and I won’t bother you, ok?”

Now...HEAR ME OUT, people...I have sought lots of wise counsel on this one and it’s getting BETTER!

I have a Bible reading plan I love and an ever-growing prayer life.


     For a while, Tim and I had the tradition of writing down the things we wanted in the coming year and shoving them in the toe of our stockings as a way to enjoy and reflect the following year.

It has not proven to be as meaningful or fun as I imagined it would be when we started.

I don't wanna do it this year.  Cause I can't bear to put one more neon colored post-it note with the words "a baby or pregnancy" in the trash.

The other day, I asked Tim, "What are you looking forward to the most in 2015?"

Because I am "the girl" in our relationship and it's my job to ask the girly questions.

And Tim said, "I'm not going to answer because I don't even know what's going to happen."

And I was like, "Boooyyyy, I hear you. I hope we at least make it to the ocean this summer."

     I think I could be in exactly the same spot next year and still be happy.  My tryglicerides and overall cholesterol have dropped. The living room is now this really pretty color of light green that I kind of can't stop looking at.  The coffee's on.  My sister keeps making these beautiful, blonde haired babies.  

And of course, there is beauty in not knowing, am I right? Cliché after cliché...maybe if we just keep our expectations low, we won't be disappointed, yea?

That's like...the opposite of a TED talk.  I should write a book about not caring about anything in 2015. Ha.

I saw this on Tumblr the other day and just had to re-post it.  So sad/funny.

Ok. I feel like this was meant to be kind of light and funny, and it's taking a turn for the worst.  Ha.


I kind of wouldn’t trade this road for anything. Is that insane? INSANITY? YES! 
And also proof that God exists.

Well, this is the part where I get snarky. Are you excited? Are you surprised?

     A while ago, I read a post where someone briefly mentioned redemption, and it was over THE SILLIEST thing. I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s pain but...God does not need to redeem our mistaken coffee orders, you guys. He just doesn’t. Buy a new cup and get over it. That kind of stuff drives Tim crazy. You are not a martyr because the guy at Macy’s told you “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

     All that to say, I am so glad I will experience the depth of God’s power and love and ability to redeem through this struggle. I’m so glad I am outgrowing the “redeem my cold coffee” camp as harsh and egotistical as it sounds.

I seriously can’t find a nicer/less jerky way to write that while still giving it the power it deserves.

     Now, I can look back and see that the loss I felt last year is representative of the heartache God felt when He lost Jesus. I ache for a baby the way the world aches for Christ and He for us in return.

And I’m thankful for that perspective.

     This year has taught me that no matter how absolutely smashed up and broken and shameful and embarrassed I feel, when I stand before The Father, He sees me as whole & highly favored.

     And this year, I can stand next to my husband with empty arms and a weary heart and still believe in the promise and power of Redemption.

     And I am also exhaustedly wise (?) enough to know that Redemption will not necessarily equal "baby."  And the past 6 or so weeks have been about making peace with that.  Even if it friggin' kills me, guys.

Soon, I am posting a list of Ten Things to Say When Your Friend's Not Getting Pregnant.

Kind of like... conversation starters, if you will. 

 I wanted to add my story to it to give you all some context instead of being like, 
"Surprise! Here's this random post about something that may or may not apply to me.  Just act natural."  

And I tried to add my story to it, but was getting long.

So this is...Part 1, I guess.

In closing, this is the last of my snarky-ness, I promise.

     Please be sensitive with your comments. You know, maybe this isn’t the place for “fertility suggestions.” or “I was infertile and then I tried this and got pregnant” stories.  

Maybe there’s not enough relaxing/adopting orphaned babies/green tea/lying on your back for 30 minutes/etc. in the world to get me pregnant, and that’s ok, you know?

Cause all the’s like...hard, guys.

So, please don’t flood my inbox with herbal tea recommendations and directions for how to buy ovulation predictor kits in bulk.

This is not my first rodeo, guys.

And THAT rodeo drove me CRAZY and was not good for my mental health/marriage and I’ll gladly get a little bold/snarky in order to protect those things.

Also, I am smack dab in the middle of the book Taking Charge of YourFertility, and it’s amazing, thank you very much for the suggestion.

Also, I hope I am healthier/faster/stronger/lighter (?) this time next year.

Lastly, I hope nothing in this post has made anyone feel bad/uncomfortable/sad/whatever.

I’m in a really lonely season right now. The last thing I want to do is alienate people.


     I know I joke a lot about weeping.  Sometimes, my "blogging voice" thinks it's funny to exaggerate emotions.  Please do not be alarmed.

I'm very sad and I'm grateful and I'm fine and I am learning that it is possible to be all of those at the same time.

I am so glad that I can be scared/sad/anxious/insane, and God will still work.

Lastly, I would have died 1,000 deaths by now without That Tim.  
Hug his neck next time you see him.

K? Thanks. Love you. Bye.

Hooray! I think it’s ok to say "Hooray" about this! 
You are catching me on a good day. ;) 

I am like, equal parts terrified and relieved just getting it out in the open. 

So. I'll end there.  

Love and a weight has lifted, 

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Very Brief 2014 Update

     Let's be completely honest here, guys.  Any kind of Christmas Card/Snail Mail/New Years letter just isn't going to happen.  And I was stressin.' Which I know is silly. Really.

But I wanted to do SOMETHING to update people far and wide that didn't include an order from Shutterfly and $100 worth of stamps.  And my brain was like, "Quick! To the blog!"

I'm like...I PAY $10 a year for the domain name! Why not make it WORK FOR ME!


     True, it lacks the personal touch and sentimentality of a real life card, and I'm sure people from The Greatest Generation are rolling over in their graves, but I've included an x-ray of my dog in this whole mess should be worth it.  ;)

And...without further ado...I'm giving you A Very Brief 2014 Update. Love you bunches, and Happy New Year!

We'll go in order of cuteness and start with the dogs first. ;)

     After 11 years on this planet, we finally managed to find a bed that Noel deemed "worthy" enough to sleep in.  This was a big deal, guys... as she has much preferred any hamper, duffel bag, or storage bin over the multiple beds we've purchased for her over the years.


She seems to have mellowed out in her old age.  The highlight of her Autumn was attending a "Strut your Mutt" event with almost NO BARKING!  :)

      Scarlett surprised everyone at the vet when we discovered she had huge gallstones!  She had minor surgery in October and has healed nicely.  See if you can spot the extra amount of naughtiness in her x-ray.

     Our vet was able to have her stones sent off to be analyzed in an attempt to figure out what's causing whenever you are having a bad day at work, just remember somebody out there has a job that requires them to dissect my poor dogs gallstones.  ;)

The Girls are a huge blessing in our lives, and we're so glad they're ours.  "Dog people" unite!

     Tim's business is doing well.  He is, hands down, the hardest worker I know.  He spent a ton of time this fall helping remodel our church's "sister campus" about 20 minutes away from our house.  I think it was the most "involved" job he's ever finished, but also the most rewarding.  It was the same church my grandpa (my mom's dad) helped build in the 50's, so we've truly come full circle.  

God is good.

A blurry picture of new paint, lighting, and floors, among MANY other projects. 

     He is still busy with wood-working and various other hobbies.  He built a beautiful speaker cabinet this year and plans to build more in the future.

     The year held lots of changes for me on a professional level.  In August, I accepted a position teaching second grade at a private, Christian School about 10 minutes away from our house.  This job was truly The Lord's Plan- as I wasn't even been looking for a teaching job at the time.  The students and staff have been a huge blessing, and I love teaching there.

     In September, I attended The Influence Conference in Indianapolis for the second time, and loved every minute of it.  It gave me the chance to meet some online friends in real life and listen to some amazing speakers.

    Another highlight was attending my 10 year college reunion at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.  It gave me the opportunity to see some of my favorite people on the planet, and it makes me smile just to write about it!

     Twenty-Fourteen was certainly a blur.  In fact, as I was writing this, I felt like August 2014 was AS FAR BACK AS MY BRAIN COULD GO...haha.  No matter what, we're glad for the time we have together in our tiny, little house with a red front door.  We're never sure what the future holds, but we know that God is on the throne, and He is a dad who takes care of His kids.   We wish you the very best in 2015.  May His peace, comfort, and joy ring true in your hearts this year.

Holly, Tim, Scarelett & Noel