I wrote the following words last February, and I could have well have written them yesterday:

       Ministry wise, this month has been full of the "behind the scenes" work that is necessary to prep and prepare for the rest of the year. Training teams, buying tickets, planning meetings, building new partnerships, taxes, follow up, and so on and so forth. You know...the tasks that aren't exactly picture worthy. Yet, I know how everything else that happens the rest of the year hinges on these things, and so we find joy in the important yet unromantic work that is filling our days. Besides, Jeremiah is out of the country for a portion of every month starting in April through the Fall...so I'm just enjoying having him around while it lasts!

Word for word, people.

I've learned that moments like these are built in months like these.

We are thick into the meaty section of our school season. The rhythm has been found, the end of year is a bit off, but not too out of sight. Overall, despite some challenges, it has been a great year! I think I have finally and really and truly found a good groove for each kiddo (and myself!) with their curriculum and schedule.

Well, except for Zoe...but that's a whole other blog post. 

Once upon a lifetime ago when school involved just one kiddo and my biggest challenge was keeping Ezra from eating the math manipulative's.

All three big kiddo's are playing basketball this season, and oh-my-goodness, I had NO idea how much fun basketball was to watch when you have a dog in the fight! And Zoe is cheer-leading. Sort, of. But that's a whole other blog post.

In general life, we are in the process of buying a house. We have a contract on a house in the area and if all goes well are set to close and move the middle of March! I can barely contain my excitement at the thought of having my own house again after years of transitions. Barely. I wanted to fill up at least five lines with exclamation points after that first sentence. True story. 

I wrote this time last year that the biggest challenge in my life was the elusive quest for balance. I learned a hard lesson last Spring about the difference between a good yes and the best yes. But, the key word in that sentence was learned. I'd like to write about about that learning process for myself at a later time when I can actually cohesively think through it...but for today, I'm just thankful that I am able to look at my calendar without an internal feeling of panic and dread. 

And so, in this season which is both repeat and brand new, I can't help but feel a sense of excitement of things to come. And contentment for where I am. 

With a side order of wishing for one more good snow storm before the Spring arrives?!

No problem.

No problem.

No problem.

If she decides she wants to, 
she does.

Sleep, that is...


On an airplane.

On a bumpy Haiti road.

Lots of bumpy Haiti roads.

On a walk, while riding on some shoulders.

On tile floor.

On carpeted floor.

Or, on an airport floor.

In the middle of Universal Studios.

In the middle of lunch at the local Mexican restaurant.

During reading time.

On the couch.

On a bike ride. (At least she wasn't alone for this one!)

At the brother's basketball game.

"I have a dream that my four little children will will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character...

... and little black boys and black girls will he able to join hands with little white boy's and white girls as sisters and brothers."

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963, Speech at the March on Washington

It's Winter. 
As in, the deep, dark...brown, Winter season. 
When the snow has melted away and the yard is a sodden, muddy mess. 
And the next snow is yet to come and cover it all away again.

We are inside a bit more, and pushed to our limits to stay creative and keep the cranky away. Some days we (I) fail and some days we win.

Books, Keva planks, and the unlikely combination of cranberries and toothpicks have been the saving sanity of the week.

The first snow of the year.

Six glorious inches of pure frozen slow down.

An invitation to take some deep breaths, watch your husband transform into a shiny-eyed ten year old, remember how succinctly satisfying it is to put a puzzle together, wear pajama's all day, and cook up food that warms beyond the stomach.

Forget about the mountains of sweat and snow soaked laundry that's coming. 
And, oh, it's coming.
Focus instead on cheeks red from exposure to wind, snow, sun...fun. 

My favorite pictures of 2016.

They tell the story of life.
Real life.
Our life.

Nobody is posed. 
Hair is not perfect. 
Outfits are not coordinated. 
And (big gulp) some of the pictures aren't even edited.

But, as I wrote last year, I'm convinced that a big life, experiencing a big God, who is writing a big story is really just a collection of small faithful moments.

May your 2017 be filled with little big moments.

Happy New Year!