Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Reflections

As we approach my very favorite season (three cheers for fall!), I wanted to take a minute to reflect on our summer, especially since I didn't really blog the past few months.  When I think about this past summer, I have to give thanks to God for blessing us with some amazingly fun, quality family time.  This really was a special summer!

Our summer fun really started on Memorial Day weekend.  Thanks to dear friends with amazing discounts, we completely shocked the kids and had a two night "staycation" at a Disney hotel.  Jimmy and I are both really into surprises, so the kids had absolutely no idea this was happening.  We actually got them ready for school that Friday then drove right past the school, much to their confusion.  We made it about halfway to the parks before we told them we were going to spend the day at Hollywood Studios instead of school.  There was lots of squealing - but not as much as when we "happened" to bump into some of our best friends at the park...and asked the kids if they'd all like to stay together at a Disney hotel that night...then went around the corner and there were our dear friends from Maryland, hiding in front of Pizza Planet! Honestly, that weekend goes down as one of the best times we've had as a family, and we were extra blessed to spend it in the company of dear friends.  Surprises galore, hours at the pool, roasting marshmallows in the evening, movies on the lawn at night, and Magic Kingdom happiness...I will cherish that weekend forever!

We were also blessed by more dear friends with the use of a gorgeous condo for a week for another "staycation."  Jimmy and I spent the first few nights alone as an early anniversary getaway, then the kids joined us.  The place was gorgeous, and it was a week of date nights, amazing food, games around the table, quiet mornings on the balcony, and cooling off at the pool and water parks.  I tell you, God truly gives abundantly more than we could ever ask or think!  It was a week of laughter and priceless quality time.

I turned 34 this year, and had an exquisite birthday week with amazing food and unique celebrations!

Homemade macadamia nut ice cream at Bern's Steakhouse...can't even describe!!

This birthday lunch shared with friends at the Animal Kingdom Lodge was a one-of-a-kind experience!

On our anniversary, we were able to eat at a favorite restaurant - Ohana, at The Polynesian.  What at treat!

Camp was amazing as usual this summer, with one of our dearest friends as the speaker and a theme I loved - Rooted.  Dave and Jimmy encouraged and challenged the students to become rooted in God's Word and in their faith.  It was a fun, adventurous, spiritually uplifting time in the mountains.

July blessed us with a visit from my brother and his family.  The kids so enjoyed their cousin time, and my parents loved having all their grands together.  They blessed us with two nights all together on beautiful Clearwater Beach.  Such a gorgeous place!

There were also a lot of ordinary days spent at home and simple summer pleasures - summer reading, cooking, softball games, celebrating birthdays, and just living at a slower pace.

I must say the biggest thing that happened this summer was...we found out we are having another baby!!!  The news took us by total surprise, but we are so excited. Life is such a sacred gift from God, and we feel blessed that He is at work forming new life and adding to our family.  I have spent much time covering this growing little life in prayer, and praying that God will help give us the wisdom, strength, and energy we need to raise another child in His love and grace.  It's something to be starting all over - will write more on that I'm sure - but I feel abundantly blessed.  

God, You were so good to us this summer.  Thank You for the time spent, memories made, gifts given.  Thank You for new life and for being all we need.  Thank You now for fall and all the goodness and coziness it promises.  Oh, my favorite time of year is upon us!  I am so excited! May we honor You in this and every season.  That is truly the prayer of my heart.


  1. I love this post! I was enjoying looking at your pics(especially in how the top 2 pics, you and your son's expressions are the same.. So Cute!) and just thinking what a full and blessed summer you Guys had. God is so good to you all.... Then I read your big news!! Congratulations!!! I love seeing awesome families and mommies blessed with more children! He will give you want you need. I desperately rely on Him for grace everyday.
    I can't wait to follow your journey. :D

  2. I am new to you blog and have enjoyed reading some of your past posts. You have a beautiful family...and it looks like you had a wonderful summer. Looking forward to visiting again soon.

    I love the post with the wreath you made. I may have to try to make one for our new home.