I want to start off this entry by congratulating one of my favorite friends on the news of adding a little girl to her family. Drea, I am thrilled beyond words for the gift God has given you and Orlando (and Sammy too!). I pray that you savor EVERY moment in the days to come and that God blesses your faithfulness to Him with children that have a desire to please our Jesus! It seems as if you do everything just a little bit ahead of me. And so, I hope this too is a sign of things to come and that one day I will be asking for advice on how to raise a Godly daughter in this day and age! I am so thankful for you AND our friendship!
If I could describe my life in one word lately it would be bittersweet. This weekend we celebrated Austin with a family birthday party. It was so fun and the perfect way to celebrate his first year of life. We did the usual stuff...watched the little man eat his cupcake, open presents, and play with his new toys. All in all I feel like it was an enormous success even though I think it officially wore all 3 of us out! :) One of my favorite parts of the day was sharing a little slideshow of Austin's first year with the whole family. I cannot tell you what a blessing it was to work on the story of his first year with pictures from our first days with him to pictures of his silly antics just a few days ago. It opened my eyes to 2 things.
First, time is FLYING! Was it just a year ago that he fit perfectly on my chest snuggled up in his blanket? While I will admit that sometimes I wish I could just jump in my car and run errands without the hassel of strollers and shopping cart covers, I can't even remember what it was like to shop for groceries and other necessities without my little buddy. Sure, there are days that my head is aching and I just want some peace and quiet, but then again life was kind of boring before his little voice echoed throughout the halls of our home. His sweet smile and fun personality brighten my day. I cannot and DO NOT want to imagine life without our little gift from God, which is why the pace of life scares me just a little. All to soon, I will realize that my little boy is a grown man and the sounds that echo in our home will be those of his family when they come for a visit. It's a bittersweet feeling. I can't wait to see what God will do in his life as he continues to grow and change, but I'm not ready to let him go even in just the small things these days. So I rock him a little longer and play with him a little more in an effort to savor each moment and memory.
Second, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of love for our families. They fill my heart with joy to overflowing. If a picture is worth a thousand words then there must have been a million represented in Austin's slideshow when it came to family. Their love for us is deep and ours for them deeper still. They have made some of the "bitter" days of life a little sweeter and the transitions a little easier. There is not a special memory I have in my life that does not include our family in some way and this weekend was no different. Thank you to all of you, present or far away, that bless us in countless ways on a daily basis! To say that we thank our God each time we think of you is an understatement! Here is just a glimpse of the day and those that could make the celebration. We certainly missed those of you who couldn't come but hope your day was as special as ours!
Like I said, my life is bittersweet these days and that fact is no different when it comes to my two sisters. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon helping my sister pack for her honeymoon and life in College Station with the man of her dreams. No one could rejoice more for her than those of us in her family, but oh how we will miss her when she "leaves and cleaves." How many conversations did we all have about the man God would bring to complete her amid broken dreams and a confused heart? Too many to count. But praise Jesus that those days are over and now we sit and shed a few tears over the sometimes painful transition of sending her off to a new chapter in her life! My heart aches just a little when I think about living here without the knowledge that she's just a two minute drive away, but I'd trade a two and a half hour drive over a NINE hour drive ANY day. (And don't think I won't pack up my little family and head that way the moment she calls ready for company!) We've come a long way in our sisterly relationship and I hope she knows how much I love being her older sister.