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Archive for December, 2008

just keep swimming

I shared this story on Dennis’ blog two summers ago.

I’ve been doing lots of reflecting on 2008.

Love, Laughter, Loss…it’s all there.

But, what stands out to me the most is, this has been a year of perseverance.  God has stretched me in so many areas, both privately & publicly.  There have definitely been times when I’ve questioned “Why?”  And while I don’t have answers to all my questions, I do know that I’ve had to unconditionally put my faith in Him and trust Him through all the waters we go through.

Because I know I’m never alone.

It feels like it sometimes.

But, I know He’s there, swimming right along side me.

◊◊◊

I’m a terrible swimmer.  Seriously, if you ever want a little boost, race me…you’ll win.  My parents signed me up for a swim team when I was 10.  I went to the first practice just to try it out & that very night the team had their first meet.  They were down a swimmer so guess who got to fill in?  Yep, me.  So, the race I competed in was the front crawl, in other words, your basic swimming stroke.  All I had to do was swim down the length of the pool & back.  Should be easy, right?  The race began & I did okay at first.  I kept up with the other girls about the first fourth of the race.  After that though, everything fell apart.  By the time I finished my first lap, everyone else had already finished the race.  Picture now if you will, me, still trying to swim back & the next set of swimmers on their stands ready to begin the next race.  I mean, everyone was in their ready position & waiting for the whistle.  Nobody realized I was still in the water!  Finally, through what had to be divine intervention, someone realized I was still swimming & they stopped and waited…and waited…I could have easily stopped & gotten out of the water, so the next race could start, but I didn’t.  There was no way I wasn’t going to complete this race.  I thought, “You put me in this water & I’m going to finish!”  By the time I did (yes I did!), my arms were so tired I couldn’t even pull myself up.  My coach had to literally lift me out of the water.  And then he did something that surprised me.  He started cheering!  I thought he’d be embarrassed, but he was just proud that I didn’t give up.

So, why do I tell this?  Well, I thought you might enjoy a cute story.  Just kidding!  I tell you this because even though I’m a terrible swimmer, I’m awesome at treading water.  I can stay in one place for quite a bit of time.  But, the point is, I don’t go anywhere.  I just stay in one place.  I find myself doing this spiritually from time to time.  I’m not going anywhere, just staying afloat.  But, that’s not the way I want to end my race.  I want to come in, just like I did in the story I shared, with the Lord lifting me up at the end.  I want to come in tired & exhausted, knowing I used everything He gave me.  It’s hard & at times I struggle, but I remind myself that He put me in this water for a reason…

So, to this day, I still have the 6th Place ribbon I received from that race and I smile every time I see it.  I may not have come in first, but I finished.  My prayer is to one day hear the Lord say, “Well done Kelly.”

◊◊◊

“…But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.  No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  Philippians 3:12-14

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Fun with Santa?

We took the kids to see Santa.

Like our picture?

I think it rivals our 2006 visit as one of my favorites…

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Ava & Garrett were ecstatic the whole time we waited in line.  Grady wasn’t really paying attention to what was going on…until it was our turn.  He took one look at Mr. Claus & freaked.  After the picture was taken, Santa gave Grady a candy cane.  Instantly, he was all smiles (as he slowly backed away…).

Who knows?  Maybe it’s a 2-year-old thing with my boys.

I just love these shots.  I laugh out loud every time I see them!!

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Merry Christmas!

We have so much to be thankful for today and my heart is truly overflowing with joy.

To all my wonderful family & friends, I wish you peace & happiness as we celebrate our Saviour’s birth.

Merry Christmas.

One of my favorite clips ever

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our snowy night

Yea – it snowed!!

We had lots of fun playing with the kids last night.  They loved the snow!!

Ava, Garrett & Grady getting ready to head into the snow…

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Adam, the shoveler-extraordinaire!…

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Grady, shoveler-extraordinaire in the making…

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Making snow angels…

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We don’t have any hills to sled down in our neighborhood, so instead, we race along the sidewalks.  Here’s Ava in the sled Grandma Paula & Papa Randy gave her…

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Garrett had a blast throwing snowballs.  He was sneaky – he always managed to get us when we least expected it…

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Adam & Grady getting into the snowfight…

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Ava thought of a clever way to help shovel.  She hopped on the sled & held the shovel steady while I pulled.  It worked pretty well!…

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The kids all tried to catch snowflakes with their tongue – they learned that one from “Charlie Brown”…

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After the kids went to bed, Adam & I spent a quiet evening together cuddled under a blanket.

Here’s a view to my left…

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A view to my right…

(he’s a little camera shy 😉 )

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What’s behind me…

(you can’t tell in this picture, but the snow was indeed sparkling)

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And what’s sitting in front of me…

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PRICELESS EVENING!!

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catching up

It’s been a while!  My rhythms have been all over the place these past two weeks – gotta love the holidays!

Adam & I finally started Christmas shopping on Saturday.  This is not normal for me at all.  I typically have all of this done by now.  Honestly, I’ve felt a little off lately.  Normally, I can’t wait to start shopping or baking.  I should have taken the kids out by now to see all the Christmas lights.  They love getting in their jammies & driving around at night.  Usually, I feel such  excitement as each day brings us closer to Christmas morning.  I haven’t quite felt the same lately.  This whole year has been hard, so I shouldn’t be surprised by these feelings.  So, it’s something I’m working through & praying about.

But, back to shopping…

Adam & I spent the majority of Saturday alone, which was something we needed.  We drove up to Oak Brook & did some shopping.  It was nice, walking around outside hand-in-hand (with a hot cocoa in the other hand!) & visiting the various shops.  We finished all our Christmas shopping for the kids.  We still have some more Christmas presents to buy for our family, but I feel better now that we’ve started.

The presents are all tucked away & the kids are looking forward to their visit from Santa.  Ava & Garrett are having lots of fun counting down the days until Christmas.  We have an advent calendar on the refridgerator & a Santa picture where the kids glue on a cotton ball for each day of December until the 25th.  Our favorite though, is a little manger that we keep in our entry hallway.  Each day the kids put a piece of straw in to the manger to prepare for our Saviour’s birth.  On Christmas morning, the first thing we do is place baby Jesus in the manger.

Garrett has been enthralled by all the Christmas decorations – especially in the grocery store.  We went shopping, just the two of us, & he kept saying, “It’s so magical Mommy!”  I love watching my kids’ faces in moments like these.  I adore their innocence & their excitment.  It takes me back to my own childhood & those are some real sweet memories.

You know, a little snow would be nice.  The kids got to play outside only one day so far.  They’re dying to make a snowman – I even have a carrot nose waiting in the fridge!  🙂

I have a funny little relationship with snow.  I hate driving in it, but I love watching it fall.  Do you ever notice the way snow sparkles in the moonlight?  It’s so beautiful – especially when you’re sitting next to a warm fire, sipping a cup of hot cocoa chock full of marshmellows.  Yes, Kelly loves her hot cocoa…

Well, I think that’s a good start for now.  I think this post has been quite random, but that’s where I’m at right now.

I hope your days are sweet.

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A “Grinchy” Day!

Ava, Garrett & Grady got their annual appearance from The Grinch today!

For the past three years, my father-in-law, Randy, dresses up as The Grinch & brings presents for the kids.  Ava loves it, Garrett is freaked & Grady doesn’t quite know what to make of it yet.

I’m been promising footage for a year now…

And, here is this year’s visit!

While editing the footage, I learned that I need to keep a steadier hand while filming!  Every time I looked at the kids to see their reactions, the camera turned with me.  Oh well…it’s still cute.

Randy, here’s your chance to see all the commotion that occurs in our house every time The Grinch pays us a visit.  By the way – Ava made “thank you” presents tonight to leave out for The Grinch.

Thanks so much to you & Paula for making the trip out – it’s always lots of fun!

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the kidney stone saga continues…

I spent the morning & early afternoon with Adam yesterday.  He had outpatient surgery for the kidney stone.  The doctor used sound waves in an attempt to break the stone apart.  Adam will hopefully pass the stone fragments within the next few days.  This whole ordeal has been strange.  There’ll be days when he feels fine & then other days when the pain is severe.

My mom came out to stay with the kids.  I am so thankful for family & friends who have been so supportive these past two weeks.  They’ve helped us out so much & we are so grateful!

We arrived at the clinic early in the morning.  I stayed in the main waiting room while they prepped Adam.  I tried reading a book, but I was too close to the TV & “The View” was on.  All I heard was 5 women trying to talk over one another & I started to get a headache…

Luckily, they called me back to his room soon.  I stayed with him until they took him for the treatment.  The doctor was an hour late, so he was in that room longer than they anticipated.  The nurse’s station was right outside his room, so we could hear them calling around trying to locate the doctor.  At one point I smirked at Adam & said, “Your doctor’s not late…he’s lost.”

While we waited for the doctor, Adam would drift in & out of sleep.  Every now & again his mouth twitched into a bit of a half -smile.  I spent a lot of time simply watching him.  The iv bag was slowly emptying as fluids dripped into his body.  He even had on little paper booties.  Adorable.  There was a constant beep of heart monitors droning in the hallway & doctor’s were speaking to their nurses in what sounded like a foreign language (lots of miligrams, fancy medicine names & “doctor-talk”).  I think just about everyone was wearing a head cap but me – even Adam had one on.  I was a little jealous.  😉

After they took Adam back, I went back to the main waiting room.  This time “Maury” was on.  My goodness, what a trashy show!  The subject was ridiculous.  At one point, people were fighting with each other on the stage & even the audience was loud & obnoxious.  I had had enough by then, so (in what was a bold move for me!) I got up, walked over to that TV & changed the station.  Unfortunately, I only had three other stations to chose from…all soap operas.  But anything was better than “Maury.”

The procedure went fairly quickly & the doctor came out to talk to me while Adam was in recovery.  He is pretty confident that this will work.

Adam spent the rest of the day taking it easy.  This morning, he said he feels much better, & is heading in to the office.

Hopefully that’s a good sign!

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