This year has left its mark for sure. There were some seriously joyous times and great celebrations for our family....and most of the year was a celebration, for our little family of 4. But we were surrounded more than ever by grief, loss and devestation by people we love and care a lot about. For that reason, I am more than happy to see 2012 turn to 2013.
We have been BUSY this year, and here are a few highlights, a few memories and a few moments that will forever be etched into our hearts and minds.
In February the girls and I flew home for Vanessa's wedding shower. It was a big trip for us and we were so excited to be celebrating her upcoming marriage to Evan.
But just a day before heading home, my sweet Grandpa passed away. It was a blessing to be home for the funeral and be able to be a part of his celebration of life, but he is so dearly missed.
Just a few weeks after getting home we learned that sweet Joey's cancer was taking over his body and there were mere days before he would meet Jesus.
I cannot explain in any way how much Joey's life impacted our life and how much his absence from this world still affects us. I will forever remember Joey and Clare sitting on the couch just days before he passed sharing a snack and a smile. I did not know the impact Joey's death would have on Clare, but it was not what I expected. It lead to a ton of conversations about heaven and still almost weekly Clare talks about Joey and how she misses him.
I also did not realize the heartache it would cause both LD and I. When we met Joey we were not yet parents. And now, expecting our own little boy in 3 weeks, Joey's life has changed the way we love our children.
In March, the girls and I headed out (ALONE) to Vegas for Vanessa and Evan's wedding. LD later joined us, but that was the biggest adventure of my life for sure!!!
It was a beautiful wedding and we were all so honored to be a part of it.
LD and I have prayed since we met for the man Vanessa would marry and God is so faithful and it is so awesome to see the way God brought them together.
A week after getting home from Vegas we moved into our new home!!! God has been so good to us.
In May Clare had a ballet recital, which definetely makes the list!!
Clare also moved to a real big girl bed, which she was thrilled about. And in May I turned the big 30! Also the end of May we found out we were having another baby!!
All summer was spent at the pool and Elle mastered a few tricks ;) In June, LD joined me turning the big 30!
In August LD took me overnight to Greenville, SC, which was a huge treat to spend some time with my hubby!!
The end of August we headed to Kentucky to spend a weekend with my college roomies and their husbands, and I believe that will go down as one of the best, most fun vacations our family has had to date.
In September my baby girl started PRESCHOOL....what?!?!
And to celebrate the girls birthdays we took an insane trip to Michigan from Friday to Monday (DRIVING!) and went to the circus with our family.
My big girl turning 4....
and my little girl turning 2!
In November we headed back to Michigan,
to spend more time with our beloved family!!
In the last 3 weeks we have lost a sweet and beautiful 16 year old girl from our church who was incredibly special. And just last week we lost a 37 year old mom of 3 to a drunk driving accident and will attend her memorial on Thursday. Those two losses on top of what happened in Conneticut at Sandy Hook Elementary has left our hearts heavy as we close our 2012. Just today our very dearest friends packed up their home and are in the process of driving to Boston to start a church. That is a huge celebration, but feels like a loss today for only selfish reasons.
It is so good to reflect and see all the ways God has provided and proved faithful over this last year, even if he has called us to a time of trial and heartache today. I have no doubt he will be faithful in 2013 as well.
We are a mere 3 weeks from adding a sweet little boy to our family, which will forever change our lives! Happy New Years!