2012, it's been real...

What a fabulous year 2012 has been! Despite the emotional roller coaster of our failed match in April, this year has been packed full of great memories. Work has been a windfall of blessing which has lead to us finally being debt freeeeee (cue Dave.Ramsey music) and allowed us to fulfill the dream of building our new family home. Though we were super confident baby #2 would come to us in 2012, it has been fun to be our little crew of 3. A little look back....
We took a Vegas trip with my office which was a huge highlight of a normally boring month.
 We had an abnormally small amount of snow this winter but there was one big storm in February and Declan milked it for all it was worth. :)
 We had lots of fun outdoors in March. It was so mild. Our first sunburns came from a fun day at the baseball stadium.
 Ah, April. We got a little beat up in between meeting our potential birth mother, creating a sweet nursery, meeting our precious potential daughter and learning that the adoption would not happen. Such heartache. But, God is good and we held each other a little tighter and moved forward.
 After nearly 5 months of training for my first half marathon, I ran the last 4 miles only (because of injury) with my running partner, Sara. Even though I didn't get to complete the whole half, the experience was amazing.
 My brother got married to my sister-in-law Heather. It was so fun to see family and share their special day. It was also a whirlwind month of crazy busy work (but we slipped in pool time nonetheless). Check out Declan the photo bomber:
 We were able to hang out with a lot of out of town friends the month of July. In addition, we hosted a 4th of July party, hit up some outdoor concerts where Declan fearlessly danced and made friends with strangers and, again, took up space at the local pool.
Mr Decs turned 4 in style with a Sonic birthday party. We also took a little family vacay to Great.Wolf.Lodge. Declan threw out the first pitch at a Saltdogs game as a rep for Nebraska.Children's.Home. 
 Such a fun month like usual! My sister was in town and ran her first 5k, Declan played soccer again, and we had a blast at Mahoney.State.Park.
 Ahh, I love Fall! We spent the day at Valas.Pumpkin.Patch and another at Roca.Berry.Farm with family. Our little Luigi hammed it up like expected.
 November was a blur. I had too many closings to handle this month. Got it done but I don't think we did much except visit the new house and just get by. We did have family pics, though!
Halle-lu-yer (in my best Oprah voice)!! December slowed us down. Work was slow, sickness was plenty and boxes began getting packed. 
Our 2012 was blessed. Very blessed indeed. I still believe God's plans for us are big. Can't wait for their reveal. Next year will be a fresh new year to grow as a family. My prayer is that we stay in the center of God's will. With our jobs, future children and with our marriage.
Thankful for what has happened and excited to see what is to come...

And, this guy, he is THE BEST.


DPP :day 25:

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!




After 310 snowless days (a rarity in Nebraska) we finally had a big snow!! Boy did we take full advantage. Decs was a big fan!


DPP :day 22:

So many things I love about this photo.


DPP :day 21:

Little helper today..(alternatively titled "I'm going to miss that snagletooth")


A different Christmas story...

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA


DPP :day 17:

Mama needed 30 minutes of silence. Solution? A "movie tent". I got about 19 minutes. Ha!

Christmas Card Carousel

I am linking up with Faith's Christmas Card Carousel again this year. I loved so many of Tiny Print's cards that I ended up pulling up the post where I showed you some faves and chose the card that the majority voted for! Takes the deep thinking part out of the equation. Also, the hubs chose the pics. So basically I completely got off the creative hook this year. Oh, and did I mention I LOVE them? Tiny Prints knocked it out of the park like usual. 

Use your imagination because it's a tri-fold. You pull out the card and it's just Declan's adorable mug.
The back. 
If you have an hour to burn, click over to the card carousel and soak up all the other cute cards in blogland! 



I have missed a couple days of DPP.  I've just been stunned and saddened by the tragedy in Connecticut. The senseless killing of innocent children is something I can not wrap my head around. My heart aches for those families and I am holding my sweet boy even closer. The song "Jesus, Come Quickly" plays on repeat in my head. So, so sad.

DPP :day 16:

A little holiday shellac...


DPP :day 13:

I got to snuggle with this little nugget tonight (my best friend's 2 week old little girl).

DPP :day 12:

Lots 'o stripes.


DPP :day 11:

Impromptu dinner date sans Decs.


DPP :day 10:

Late night cocktail for one sort of day....


Christmas Program

We couldn't decide whether we'd participate in tonight's kids program at church. Declan had undeniable enthusiasm about it so we decided to venture out in the bitter cold and attend. I'm so glad we did! Decs did great and we randomly ran in to his birth dad (who we haven't seen for a year). Double bonus!
before we left the house, a little cheese by the tree:
 top right. cuuuute!
 "hiiii mom!"
 love this boy!

DPP :day 9:

Whoa dimples.



Our vision is coming to life in front of our eyes. Every Saturday we make our way over to the new house and leave covered in drywall dust. It's getting closer.....end of January can't get here any slower quicker.

DPP :day 7:


DPP :day 8:

10 years later and still my favorite ornament.




DPP :day 4:

Thanks to my fabulous landscaper (my dad), we were able to have trees spade in before winter. I love the life they give already to our unfinished home!


DPP :day 3:

Hot coca chugging.


DPP :day 2:

Instagram gracing the fridge. Happy heart.

It's here, it's here! DPP :day 1:

I can't wait for Rebecca's yearly December Photo Project. Wanna join? You know you do!!! I always review my past projects (this is my third year participating) and it brings a smile to my face.
December Photo Project 2012
I've always wanted a sweet front window for my Christmas tree to sit in front of. Unfortunately, our rental house is probably the only chance we'll get. Our new house we are building only has a bedroom window on the front of the house. So, day 1, I had to capture the glow from the street.