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It’s hard to know where to start. I run out of words trying to describe 2016 and life for today. Globally and in our home there have been changes that have shaken life up, but my unchanging God has and will continue to see us through all the change around us. One of the things I’ve most been called to that I encourage is prayer. We need to pray for our families, but we also need to pray for all that is happening around the globe. Just because something is not in our backyards today doesn’t mean that we aren’t responsible for interceding in love. 

This year we have so much to be thankful for:

  • Rob turned 30! We had a great birthday bash to celebrate. 
  • We got to see our families multiple times here in Kansas City. 
  • We found out we were pregnant! 
  • Lauren finished her first full year of preschool & made her first best friends. 
  • Ethan turned two & began to really discover his own likes and has developed an amazing heart and super-fun personality. 
  • I completed my first year of Graduate school while adding another Master’s Certificate to my degree plan and keeping my 4.0 GPA. 
  • We were able to travel back to Texas several times. These trips were filled with joyous celebrations, time with those we love, and new adventures. 
  • We found out Joshua was a boy at a gender reveal party in Texas surrounded by family and friends. 
  • Rob celebrated his 5 year milestone with CalTech. I can’t say how proud I am with what he has accomplished in his time there. The business that has been built in this new market has come with cost that has been counted (LOTS of travel, many late nights and early mornings, & some grey hair to name a few), but I could not be more proud because in every challenge Rob has worked unto the Lord. He laid down his yes in being a part of building up this new office, and he has honored that so well. God has blessed his and Trent’s efforts, and it has been an honor to lift them up and to have a close-up view to watch it from. 
  • We went to Colorado & had a phenomenal time with the Grissom’s and getting to know some of Rob’s favorite customers. 
  • Lauren started her last year of preschool after playing soccer over the summer and earning her first medal. 
  • Both kids started gymnastics & both of them took to it really well and have had so much fun with it. 
  • We had a family invite us into joining them in ministry and in helping with a church campus plant. We have searched for a church and community to do life with for so long that the blessing of being able to be invited into that- in the most “God moved this” way possible.
  • Ethan discovered Paw Patrol. It’s his first serious favorite thing! 
  • Lauren has a new love for music. She really loves playing music at school, playing music with Rob, and singing. 
  • I turned 30, and the next day Joshua was born. At the end of a really hard pregnancy, I could not have been more relieved to have him join us & I never could have received a better birthday present. 
  • Lauren turned FIVE! I’m still not sure how that happened. She was just born a blink of an eye ago right? The highlights of the party for her were that Tante got to be here & that Elsa came to her party.
  • We prepared for our first Christmas as a family of five while setteling into what that looks like now. 
  • Joshua celebrated his one month milestone by growing off the charts! He is the sweetest baby with such a kind and peaceful temperament. 

It’s been a year! I could never say how thankful I am for who I have become at the end of 2016. I could not say enough to express how truly blessed we’ve been or how much love I feel resting in God’s grace that covers us. I am looking forward to Christmas celebrations the next few days and a new year. 

I hope to pursue the heart of God more for myself in this year. Time with Him is surely what roots and sustains my soul. I hope to continue to grow into the gifts He has given me for my good and His glory. I am excited about what lies ahead, and I am thankful for what we have walked and stumbled and sometimes crawled through. An ugly finish is still a finish y’all!

Thank you to anyone who reads these words and cares to know my heart. It means so much today and has meant so much in this new place that made me feel so lonely and disconnected from the world for so long. Your kind words and support are cherished.

Keep your eyes on the lookout. I’m sure there will be plenty to write about and share in the coming year. 

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. May God bless you and keep you! May you find yourself more thankful than ever and truly aware that you are loved.