Friday, November 30, 2012

December Traditions

Though short sleeves and flip flops make it more difficult, we've been getting into the Christmas spirit down here.

In August, we showed up at our furnished Florida apartment with only the stuff that would fit into our cars.  Our boxes of Christmas decorations are still safe and securely stored away in storage in New Mexico.  I did, however, manage to make room for our twenty five Christmas books and the little set of Jesse Tree ornaments I made last year.

You can read a little more about both traditions in my other posts herehere, and here.

I love this season.

This year's new addition

If you're looking for ways to keep your Christmas
centered on Christ this year,
I love this book...
am intrigued by this...
and am looking forward to checking out this.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I am up to...

This is a screenshot of my computer tonight.

I am finally attempting to make a book of Jude's life...
using the daily posts I wrote here during his 67 days.
While I am so thankful for this blog and its daily recordings of his life,
I want to hold something tangible in my hands when I feel like remembering.

It is something I have been wanting to do since last fall...
but it's a project I haven't had the motivation to tackle until now.
It's a process that is difficult on so many levels,
and I would thoroughly appreciate your prayers.

Please pray that the Lord would lead me as I work on it...
that I would finish it in His timing...
and that the Lord would continue to work in our hearts as we miss our baby boy.

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Thanksgiving Tree

This year, we did a Thanksgiving Tree...
similar to this one that is commonly found on Pinterest. 
Finding sticks in the land of palm trees was rather difficult,
but we eventually found some.

Instead of buying scrapbook paper, we used what we already had. 

We painted the leaves using a technique that I think is really fun...and dries really pretty.
I found it years ago in this wonderful book

Give thanks to the Lord, 
for He is good; 
His love endures forever. 

1 Chronicles 16:34

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

60 Years

One of my very favorite people in the world turned sixty recently.
My dad.

Caleb and Grandpa before the party

This weekend, Caleb and I flew briefly to Indiana for his birthday party.
To celebrate, my mom booked an old favorite of his, Henry Lee Summer,
and the local Civic Theater was filled with friends and family.

My mom and dad danced all night.

I am so blessed to be the daughter of such wonderful people...
who love each other so much...
and who know so well how to enjoy life. 
I love you, guys!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election Day in Florida

Good thoughts: 
by Russell Moore
by Richard Stearns
by Matt Pearson
by Randy Alcorn

Cute kid: 

How Caleb would have voted...based on a coin toss.  :) 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Season of "This time last year..."

Today marks one year since Jude's burial service in that small Indiana cemetery.  It was a day that changed my world forever...a day of grief and pain and loss...yet saturated in hope.

For the past several months, we have been walking through a new season of grieving...a season of "This time last year."  For example...

This time last year, the most traumatic experience of our lives began.
This time last year, I saw my precious child's eyes for the first time.  
This time last year, Jude was being transferred between hospitals.
This time last year, Caleb met his brother.
This time last year, our sweet baby was in the operating room.
This time last year, we had to decide to place our whole hope in Jesus...not in a number or test result.
This time last year, we were celebrating Caleb's birthday via video.
This time last year, God loved us through this person.  Or that person.  
This time last year, we saw His faithfulness in this way.  Or that way.
This time last year, we were completely dependent on God to get through each day.
This time last year, we witnessed our baby leaving our arms to be held by the everlasting arms.
This time last year, we flew across the country to let Caleb know his brother had gone to be with Jesus.
This time last year, we were grappling with our loss, looking at tombstones, and trying to figure out where to go from here.

On Jude's birthday (August 15), we went to the beach.  It was Caleb's idea, and it was a perfect way to spend the day (being so far from his hospital and the cemetery).  It was beautiful, and the Lord met each one of us as only He can.

On the anniversary of Jude's death (October 21), we were in the mountains.  Last year, after his burial, we took a few days in the Smokies to be together as a family.  So, it seemed like a good way to mark the date this year.  It was sad and difficult, but we experienced the Lord's love in sweet ways once again.

As an example of one of His sweet gifts, Caleb and I found this while hiking:
Written on the tombstone of a baby who lived just about as long as Jude was the phrase:
budded on earth to bloom in Heaven 
I couldn't have said it better myself.