Friday, January 27, 2012


Oh, what a week.  Crazy busyness at work (which is such a blessing, but WHEW) and a million other things going in a million other directions.  But it is Friday.  HALLELUJAH.

But, in the midst of the madness, I look at this on my desk or on a shelf in my den at home and smile.  Is there any way you couldn't?  These people are, pure and simple, my happiness...

Again, 8 very flexible, patient mothers and one fabulous photographer let me bring an idea to life.  Cookie pops brought in from Knoxville, 19 kids ready to roll (and absolutely ADORABLE to boot).  Some medicine I was on had blown my face up like a mylar balloon, which is no fun, but I wasn't about to cancel.  Even 20 minutes of these kids together in one place, and in getting them in one photo, absolutely melts me.  Check out those rock star boys towards the top with those moustaches.  If that's not the best ever...

I sat in the middle of them all that day, mayhem with some of them (someone cries in this situation - it's what happens), jackets strewn all over the sidewalk in front of us, moms wiping noses, fixing bows, handing out treats, cute little blue jeans everywhere...  I just loved it.  It's totally inconvenient for everyone, which I am keenly aware of, but it means the WORLD to me.  Last year's was cute, but this one will likely be framed in my house for the rest of my life.

One day my own children will ask me about who all of these kids are.  I will sit them down and tell them 19 long stories.  About Jack, Will, Spencer, Will, Ford, Jay, Sam, Ella, Vivi, Ben, Sophie, Gabby, Caroline, Olivia, Maggie, Nora, Jack, Will and Lulu.  They are each so different, each have their own very specific things that make them who they are, that make then all so easy to love.  It is one of my absolute, hands down, dearest blessings in life to know and love these kids like I do.  Always will be.

(It should be noted that all hell broke loose (pardon me) after they were given the official green light to eat the cookies once we had the shot.  That blood red and coal black icing running down their little faces was absolutely atrocious.  My request to have them all in white shirts all of a sudden terrified me.  I quickly saw what was starting to happen and got the heck out of there.....  Oops!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Here's to 2012...

Well, I am about a week and a half late, but Happy New Year!  I'm not usually so behind on things like this, but that is just the way the cookie has been crumbling lately for this girl.  On the plus side, since I didn't rattle off some grand post on New Year's Eve, I am able to share with you my cute Nora Bug in her fun, sparkly 2012 glasses.  And you can't see it in her tight little fist, but a noisemaker that she just couldn't quite get the hang of using at first.  So her little cheeks are tight as ever as she tries.... :)  These kids are SO my joy.

2011 was far from my favorite year ever.  Not all of it, because no year is ever that way completely, but in large part, not a fan.  Maybe it is just that every year that goes by as a 'grown up' brings more and more STUFF.  Friends have parents that start to have more and more health issues, as that's just the way it goes...  With more and more friends trying to start a family, there are some in there that find out it's just not going to be that easy for them...  Getting older starts to mean that friends (and their dear, precious children) will see the pain and struggle of divorce...  Perhaps more painful than any of it, is that folks will say goodbye to people that they love very unexpectedly.  That happened more times this year than I ever thought I'd encounter.  None of it is fair.  You find out that your life isn't as Leave it to Beaver as you've maybe always thought.  You get more and more restless nights of sleep than you do restful ones.  For things you have going on for yourself as well as things that are heavy on your heart and mind for others.

Like I said, not all of 2011 was negative (regardless of the fact that I just covered the sky in dark clouds - sorry about that....)  I went to fabulous weddings and met new babies and celebrated birthdays with friends and family members and some awfully cute kids.  I cheered for folks I love as they landed great new jobs.  I finished a year of a great new job myself.  I saw miracles in folks that learned they were now cancer-free.  I saw sweet baby Clara beat the odds thanks to the immeasurable power of prayer and true faith - she's now one very happy (VERY happy), sweet, healthy 9-month-old.  Praise the Lord for ALL of these wonderful things.

But, if I had to put it on a scale, I'd say I'm pretty darn excited that it's a new year.  As I told a dear friend, I hope 2011 didn't let the door hit it on the way out.

So here's to 2012.  I'm no idiot, I know that every year has its ups and downs.  Good and bad, nice and ugly.  This year I will be more intentional.  I will try to get back into the swing of staying in better touch with people, with checking in on friends and family and making a bigger effort to spend time with folks I don't see as often.  I've historically been wonderful about this, but I'm the first to admit that I crawled into a hole the latter part of 2011 and let a lot of this fall by the wayside.  But when I really think about it, doing this makes me happier than anything in the whole world.  Just this weekend I spent a tiny little hour watching some of my favorite kids play basketball on Saturday and it easily made my whole day.  I need to do more of that.  Life's too short.

Here's to 2012 for all of you, too.  May it be full of more happiness and blessings than you've ever experienced before!