Monday, March 31, 2008

40th anniversary

Love is what you've been through together.

I found that quote recently and thought it perfect for this picture. My wonderful in-laws, Don and Linda, just celebrated 40 years of marriage. I know they've been through much joy, loss, great blessings, some heartaches and a lot of love in that time. By the time they were 30 years old, all four of their parents had passed away. By the time they were 34, they had 5 children. Now they have 10 children (as they count us in-laws as their own) and 11 grandchildren. Their love is a wonderful example and encouragement for all of us.

better late than never, right?

easter in pictures (and a few words)...
cute, sleepy little easter milesy

ella was so happy the easter bunny brought frog bath toys

my aunt came for the weekend - easter lunch was at the lake at Sinclair's

no she's not walking on her own yet, my babies like to be well beyond 1 before they whip out the walking skills, but she enjoyed this aided walk by the water

my three handsome, silly boys
Later we visited with Jonathan's family also. As you know Easter was also on the anniversary of Dad's death (which is also Jonathan's parents anniversary, his sister's birthday and our nephew's birthday). A day that's always loaded with celebration and remembrance, but this year shared the joy of celebrating the resurrection. It was a wonderful day as we were surrounded by family, filled with the love of Jesus, encouraged with sweet words and we felt as though Dad was near to us. My sister-in-law Alinda told us she started her day (her birthday) in prayer for Mom and me and my mother-in-law told Mom she thinks of March 23rd as a day of joy for my dad because he went Home on that day. Yes, we were saddened because we miss him daily, but we were uplifted and encouraged as well.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

In bloom

My dad loved a certain blooming vine in their yard called the Cherokee Rose. He was always excited when it started blooming and was sure to let us know so we could enjoy it, too. It started blooming during his last week after he was too weak to get to the window to take a look. I told him the vine was in bloom and how beautiful it was. He smiled. Last Sunday, on the second anniversary of Dad's death, the Cherokee Rose started to bloom. Mom had taken notice of it the day before and it was not yet blooming. So last Sunday evening after we left and my aunt left, Mom looked over at it and saw a bloom. We see it as anything but coincidence. A sign from someone or somewhere offering hope and beauty. And the realization that there is joy even in sadness.

I was a little curious about the name of the vine (since I have a bit of Cherokee in me) and this is what I found...

The Legend of the Cherokee Rose

No better symbol exists of the pain and suffering of the Trail Where They Cried ("Nunna daul Tsuny") than the Cherokee Rose. The mothers of the Cherokee grieved so much that the chiefs prayed for a sign to lift the mother's spirits and give them strength to care for their children. From that day forward, a beautiful new flower, a rose, grew wherever a mother's tear fell to the ground. The rose is white, for the mother's tears. It has a gold center, for the gold taken from the Cherokee lands, and seven leaves on each stem that represent the seven Cherokee clans that made the journey. To this day, the Cherokee Rose prospers along the route of the "Trail of Tears". The Cherokee Rose is now the official flower of the State of Georgia.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Two years ago today...

I started the long process of giving my dad back to God.

I just can't find the words to write this one myself, so I will use the words of others...

I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death.
They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make.
Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories.
We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.
Leo Buscaglia

I would not exchange the sadness of being away from you for any imaginable delight in which you had no part.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Kahlil Gibran

I thank my God every time I remember you... Philippians 1:3

And this is what I long to see...

For my birthday, Anita gave me this picture. It is my dad holding my daughter. She created this image by using a picture she had taken of Dad holding Miles as a baby and one of Ella's newborn pictures. I am so grateful for this gift, because otherwise I never could have been able to see this. When she gave it to me, I had an overwhelming feeling that Dad really did cradle Ella at some point, somehow. One day I will see him with my boys again and with Ella for the first time.

How I long to be in his arms again, feeling small and safe...

And the long process of giving my dad back to God? It continues...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Some bunnies love me...

Happy Easter!

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
John 17:24

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It is finished

The King swallowed...He looked at the Prince of Light. "The darkness will be great." He passed his hand over the spotless face of his Son. "The pain will be awful." Then he paused and looked at his darkened dominion. When he looked up, his eyes were moist. "But there is no other way."

The Son looked into the stars as he heard the answer. "Then, let it be done." Slowly the words that would kill the Son began to come from the lips of the Father. "Hour of death, moment of sacrifice, it is your moment. Rehearsed a million times on false altars with false lambs; the moment of truth has come...

"Oh, my Son, my Child. Look up into the heavens and see my face before I turn it. Hear my voice before I silence it. Would that I could save you and them. But they don't see and they don't hear.

"The living must die so that the dying can live. The time has come to kill the Lamb."...God must have wept as he performed his task. Every lie, every lure, every act done in shadows was in that cup. Slowly, hideously they were absorbed into the body of the Son. The final act of incarnation...

The throne room is dark and cavernous. The eyes of the King are closed. He is resting. In his dream he is again in the Garden. The cool of the evening floats across the river as the three walk. They speak of the Garden, of how it is, of how it will be.

"Father..." the Son begins. The King replays the word again. Father. Father. The word was a flower, petal-delicate, yet so easily crushed. Oh, how he longed for his children to call him Father again.

A noise snaps him from his dream. He opens his eyes and sees a transcendent figure gleaming in the doorway. "It is finished, Father . I have come home."

from Six Hours One Friday by Max Lucado

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

backyard picnic

The kids and I had a sweet little backyard picnic for lunch today.

100th post

Well, here it is, the ubiquitous, long-awaited 100th post. I know you are all very excited and sitting on the edge of your seats. Maybe you are even gripping your computer with anticipation. Maybe not. I am not going to put you through some long, boring list of 100 details about me. Those that know me well enough should already know more than 100 things about me. Others can check old blog posts and find out just about all you'd ever want to know. You see, I'm pretty much an open book. Sometimes it's really unfortunate, but I just can't hide my emotions or what I'm thinking. I try, it just doesn't work. Poor Elijah is the same way. There's a Sara Groves song that she must have written for Elijah and me:

You're A Lot Like Me
  • Baby I'm afraid your a lot like me
  • You can't help feeling everything
  • I can see you trying to hold it in
  • I see your eyes and your trembling chin
  • And for you and myself I will pray
  • let our weakness become our strength
  • baby there are some holes you just can't fill
  • you try and try but you never will
  • baby I believe a God who can
  • he loves the boy and he'll love the man
  • And for you and myself I will pray
  • let our weakness become our strength
For this very important 100th post, what I want to share with you about myself is a scripture that I have recently found, fallen in love with and am trying to make it the basis for my life. Why I do the things I do. How I love and try to guide my children. How I love and support my husband. The kind of daughter, sister and friend I try to be. It all comes down to this:

"The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord." Psalm 45:11

He is enthralled by me. Stop and think about that, because he's also enthralled by you. I am to honor him with my life because he is my Lord. During a time in my life when I don't feel so beautiful anymore (which I lovingly, somewhat jokingly blame on Ella but mainly on hitting 30), this verse has really struck a chord within me. But it does not speak merely to physical beauty. I mean, I'm sure God sees all of his children are beautiful just as we all think our children are. He can especially see us in this way because, thanks to the sacrifice of the Lamb, when God looks at those who believe he sees Jesus. What kind of beauty does God desire his daughter to have? "Your beauty should not come from outward should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3: 3-4 My prayer will be that this is the type of beauty I will concern myself with and that God's good work in me continues just as he promised.

Friday, March 14, 2008

and the winner is...

As promised in my 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party post, a winner has been determined in my little giveaway. I asked Elijah to help me, and have the picture to prove his random selection. He really enjoyed this, but was disappointed that the winner was not one of my friends that he knows and adores. They already received this great little gift if they have March birthdays, anyway.
So, here is the little homemade goodness the winner will be receiving. Thanks to Jessica over at how about orange for the free downloadable template for these sweet little button note cards. That's right, a free download. Go check it out, make your own, and you can be a winner, too! Her blog has several great free downloads and lots of neat ideas. I go there often.
My winner will receive 8 of these cards and matching envelopes. So, ready to find out who won? It's Janice, who happened to be the very first to make a comment on my party post. I promise, it was very random, but I guess the early bird really does get the worm sometimes. I've really enjoyed this blog party - from hopping around to other blogs, to finding out who enjoyed mine, to checking out their blogs. I've found several that I'll be keeping up with.

spring break

This has been spring break from preschool and, except for a couple of rainy days, the weather has been wonderful. We've gone on walks, played in the backyard, and we went to the zoo with Gammie. It's too bad that we can't keep these mid 70s, slightly breezy days throughout the summer. Pretty soon we'll be sweating as soon as we step outside.A hug for Gammie and Miles.
One of the many reasons that I think Gammie hung the moon? She'll buy the ridiculously expensive giraffe bottle with lemonade in it. How fun is that? Mom would say no if I asked her...
Ella really enjoyed the animals this time. She growled at most of them. They were all very intimidated. Her favorite were the little monkeys.
A short glimpse of the love they have for one another. Deep down. I think they have to dig for it, but every now and then I'll witness it.
Miles fell and scraped both knees as we were about to leave. Last night he was telling the story to me as if I had not been there and he said, "I fell at the zoo today, and now I have a hurting." He's so much better today that he declined my special mommy kisses for his own. That will never work...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

how long has this been going on?

Have you noticed my new ticker on the sidebar? The one with the pinkies locked together and the huge number of days? That's right, we've been together for 5,479 days. Today is the 15th anniversary of when we FINALLY started dating. I say FINALLY because, as you high school friends may remember, I had to first trick him, then chase him, then almost give up on him, then listen to my mom and brother say, "don't give up on him," then wait and wait and wait until he finally got his license, and finally asked me out. So, March 12, 1993 was the first date he drove us on, and it was some ride. We just went back to his house to watch a movie, but there was a torrential downpour all evening and water was puddling on the roads. And I think he was a little nervous because his mom had given him a "driving other people's children around (in the rain)" speech.Looking back, I'm surprised our worried moms let us go out that night. I guess they were exercising letting us go a little. When we got back to my house, he stopped the car and for the first time, very sweetly told me he loved me. I decided that even though we had been out several times (once with my brother driving and once with his sister driving and a few times with me driving), that this was the real beginning of our love. It's sort of hard to believe it's been 15 years. We've been through so much and changed and grown. We've made three little people who look and act (uh-oh!) like us. We have a mini van. We've gone from two young and naive kids to a family. I wouldn't have it any other way. Even the mini van. So now I wonder, what will life be like in another 15 years? Because of my experiences, I'm glad I really can't know. All I can do is hold on tight, and pray. Happy Anniversary, Love. Here's a blast from the past for a few of you. This is from 11th grade and that's you in the green shirt behind us, Rebecca. We really were just babies back then...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Love Letter From God


press play if you want to hear a narration
My Child …

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1…I know when you sit down and when you rise up…Psalm 139:2…I am familiar with all your ways…Psalm 139:3…Even the very hairs on your head are numbered…Matthew 10: 29-31…

For you were made in My image …Genesis 1:27…in Me you live and move and have your being…Acts 17:28…you are My offspring…Acts 17:28…I knew you even before you were conceived…Jeremiah 1:4-5…I chose you when I planned creation… Ephesians 1:11-12…you were not a mistake, all your days are written in My book…Psalm 129:14...I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live...Acts 17:26… You are fearfully and wonderfully made…Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb…Psalm 139:13…and brought you forth on the day you were born… Psalm 71:6…I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know Me…John 8:41-44…I am not distant and angry, but the complete expression of love…1 John 4:16…And it is My desire to lavish My love on you
1 John 3:1...Simply because you are My child and I am your Father… 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could…Matthew 7:11…For I am the perfect Father…Matthew 5:48…Every good gift that you receive comes from My hand…James 1:17…I am your provider and I meet all your needs…Matthew 6:31-33…My plan for your future has always been filled with hope…Jeremiah 29:11…because I love you with an everlasting love…Jeremiah 31:3…My thoughts towards you are as countless as the sand on the shore…Psalm 139:17-18…And I rejoice over you with singing… Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you…Jeremiah 32:40…you are My treasured possession...Exodus 19:5…I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul…Jeremiah 32:41…And I want to show you great and marvelous things… Jeremiah 33:3…

If you seek Me with all your heart you will find Me…Deuteronomy 4: 9…Delight in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart…Psalm 37:4…for it is I who gave you those desires…Philippians 2:13…

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine…Ephesians 3:20…I am your greatest encourager…2 Thessalonian 2:16-17…I am the Father who comforts you in all your troubles…2 Corinthians 1:3-4…

When you are broken hearted I am close to you…Psalm 34:18…As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart…Isaiah 40: 11…One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes…Revelation 21:3-4…and I will take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth…Revelation 21:3-4…

I am your Father and I love you even as I love My son Jesus… John 7:23…For in Jesus My love for you is revealed…John 17:26…He is the exact representation of My being…Hebrews 1:3…He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you…Romans 8:31…And to tell you that I am not counting your sins…2 Corinthians 5:18-19…

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled…2 Corinthians 5: 18-19…His death was the ultimate expression of My love for you…1 John 4: 10

I gave up everything that I loved that I might gain your love…Romans 8:31-32…If you receive the gift of My son Jesus you receive me…1 John 2: 23…and nothing will ever separate you from My love again…Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen…Luke 15: 7…I have been and will always be your Father…Ephesians 3: 14-15…

My question is – will you be My child? … John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you… Luke 15:11-32


Your Dad, Almighty God

I found this on a sweet little blog called Pink Paper Peppermints.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

What is love?

I found this sweet little post while I was party hopping other blogs at the Ultimate Blog Party (see last post). I found this so sweet, I had to share it. Children are so profound at times, and as I've said before, are obviously prompted by the Holy Spirit with ways to comfort others. Enjoy what the results of a survey asking 4 - 8 year olds "what is love?"...

  • 'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' Rebecca- age 8
  • 'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' Billy - age 4
  • 'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl - age 5
  • 'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.' Chrissy - age 6
  • 'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri - age 4
  • 'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.' Danny - age 7
  • 'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss' Emily - age 8
  • 'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
  • 'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
  • 'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' Noelle - age 7
  • 'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' Tommy - age 6
  • 'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy - age 8
  • 'My mommy loves me more than anybody You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.' Clare - age 6
  • 'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine-age 5
  • 'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.' Chris - age 7
  • 'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.' Mary Ann - age 4
  • 'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.' Lauren - age 4
  • 'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image) Karen - age 7
  • this one 'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.' Mark - age 6
  • 'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica - age 8
  • And the final one The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

Friday, March 7, 2008

Getting my blog on!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting their 2nd annual Ultimate Blog Party, and I just had to join in the fun. The blog party is a way to find other great blogs out there while also introducing your own to some new readers. Head on over to do some party hopping, after you visit me for a while. If you are new around here, let me introduce myself. I am 3 for Momma, or Kristin as I am known outside of the blogosphere. I have been blogging since last September and I love it, love it. I use it to share pictures and stories of my 3 little loves with family and friends. I also use it as an ongoing memoir of sorts to recall a wonderful man who has gone Home - my dad. Blogging through my memories of him and sharing bits of my day to day life, I am learning so much. About who my dad was, about who my children are (and who I hope they will become in God), about myself, and about my Father who gives new mercies every morning. Now that you know a little - let's get this party started...This is my third little love, Ella. She is 13 months old. Her hobbies include charming her way into the lunch conversation of total strangers, being jealous when one of her brothers has my attention, and holding off on walking as long as possible. This was her in the partying mood just before nap today.The picture above is my first little love, Elijah. He is 5, although he's SURE he is much wiser than that (and sometimes he is). He is NOT in the partying mood today because he wants to play Nick Jr games and I'm blogging instead. His hobbies include playing said computer games, learning to read, and watching Veggie Tales.
And this is my middle little love, Miles. He will be 3 in June. His hobbies include sabotaging many efforts of his baby sissy, antagonizing his big brother, and warming hearts with his sneaky, yet sweet ways.

I love to sew and try to be crafty. I also love being a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. Speaking of being crafty, leave me a comment and I'll do a random drawing from those names. The lucky winner will receive some cute, little handmade something made by yours truly. I'll post the winner on March 14th.

Finally, a good southern girl must always offer her guests a special little treat to eat, so here is a recipe that I love. I served these at Ella's first birthday party and they made everyone happy!

Raspberry Almond Bars

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 package white chips(10-12 ounces), divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
In saucepan, melt butter. remove from heat; add 1 cup white chocolate chips (don't stir!). In a small bowl beat eggs until foamy; gradually add sugar. Stir in chip mixture and almond extract.
Combine flour and salt; add to egg mixture just until combined. Spread 1/2 the batter into a greased 9 x 9" pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

In small saucepan over low heat melt jam; spread over warm crust. Stir remaining chips into remaining batter; drop by teaspoonfuls over jam layer. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Yield: about 2 dozen bars. Yummy!

The prize list for the Ultimate Blog Party giveaway is great. If I could choose for myself my top picks would be (in no particular order):

  1. 1 Rocking Horse Provided by: A Rocking Horse To Love
  2. 7 — Bead Dangle Photo Tile Necklace Provided by: Elemental Memories
  3. 11 — $40 gift certificate to Good For The Kids Provided by: Good For The Kids
  4. 15 — $50 gift certificate to Kids Magical Wonder Provided by: Kids Magical Wonder
  5. 20 — $50 gift certificate to Paperlicious Provided by: - Hip Invites & Notes
  6. 28 — Uncommonly Cute tees Provided by: Uncommonly Cute
  7. 34 — Custom Tutu Provided by: Live~Love~Dance Boutique
  8. 78 — 50 Custom Photo Cards for Any Occasion Provided by: Polka Dot Bumblebee -Custom Photo Cards & Personalized Stationery
  9. 80 — Scripture Doll Provided by: Jill
  10. 103 — 7 Pink Brick Box Play Sets Provided by: LEGO
  11. 119 — Personalized Lunch Box Provided by: Girl, That’s Cute
Well, that's it for this party. It's been fun. remember to leave a comment for the little surprise drawing and I hope to be seeing you around again soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Rescued by a Meme

I've been running a bit low on bloggy ideas, so thankfully my friend Mama Mia sent this meme my way. Since you are all so very curious let's get on with it...

A.The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.

B. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago: I was busy as an Auburn student (War Eagle!) and getting ready for our wedding. We will celebrate our tenth anniversary in June. And we are going SOMEWHERE! I don't even care where it is, but somewhere without our little ones.

5 Things on my To Do List today: It's soon going to be bedtime, but if I weren't doing this I'd need to be cleaning the kitchen and doing some laundry. Tomorrow has fun on the to do list: Anita will come over and we will make some iron on patches while the kiddos play. Or while they scream. Or both. Then tomorrow night a bunch of us will be having ladies' night after a bible study!

Snacks I Enjoy: How much time do you have? The short list of favorites includes Cheez-Its, peanuts, natural cheese puffs (natural means good for you, right?), and cookies. I snack way less these days than before I had Ella. Some of that pregnancy seems to want to stick around. I wish I could say I like the green grass drink that Christine (my sister-in-law) and Anita feed their kids. But, I'd rather have no snack than a green grass snack.

Things I would do if I were a Billionaire: I agree with Mama Mia on this one. I have no desire to have that much money. If I had it, I'd give much of it away - to our missions ministry at church, to the Malawi orphanage our church is involved in, to pancreatic cancer research, and Helping Hearts Hospice. When much is given, much is required. Hopefully, I would give much if much was given to me.

3 of my Bad Habits: A recent and super bad habit that I have broken is ebay. Continuing habits are staying up too late to blog, popping my knuckles, drinking too many coke zeros. I know, it's coke ZERO, but I should be drinking water.

5 places I have lived: Only two places - both in Sweet Home Alabama.

5 Jobs I have had:Parisian sales associate, retail sales at a local baby boutique, university speech and hearing clinic student assistant, speech language pathologist in a public school district, and stay at home momma. The last one is my favorite.

So there you go. More about me than you wanted to know, but isn't it fun? I tag Crazy Mama, Mom of Two, Our Golden Pond, The Joys of My Life, and Betsy and the Boys (because where in the world is Betsy in the blogosphere?).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A cord of three strands...

is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

This was the scripture that our wedding ceremony was based on, and is still one of our favorites. It reminds us that our marriage is a three way partnership with God. Jonathan gave me a book for Christmas called Each for the Other based on a quote that says, "Home...where each lives for the other and all live for God." What a precious idea and goal to have for a family. This is how we strive to live and teach Elijah, Miles and Ella to live this way also. Only with God filling up a home can it thrive and grow and love.

It also now makes me think of our three little ones. Of how strong the bond between the three of them will always be. "Poor" Miles in the middle fights with Elijah but loves him terribly and really misses him when he's not around. Elijah picks and picks on Miles, but no one else should or else. Miles loves Ella even though he doesn't quite like her yet. Elijah loves Ella and is her protector. I wonder what their love for each other will look like as they grow up together. What a sweet, amazing experience it is to grow up side by side by side. I pray they will have a huge, huge love for each other.

And finally, it also makes me think of Mom, Kevin and me. Caring for and losing Dad changed us. Challenged us. Strengthened us. Broke us. Hurt us. Made everything different. Dealing daily with his loss still does all of these things to us. We are still broken and hurting. But we are stronger and different. And we are strongest when we are together. It's almost as if when the three of us are together Dad is a little bit closer.

My blog's been pimped!

Thanks to Lindsay over at Splat Creative Designs for my super cool new header and template. She was great to work with and is very talented, as you can see. Give her a visit if you want your blog to be as lovely as mine.