Full Up

I wish this picture did justice to what I actually saw, but it pretty much sums up the last month.  Every time I've felt like the darkness and fog are going to surround me, suddenly there's this light glowing through it all.  It's breathtakingly amazing!  (If you had actually been on my porch with me that night you would have an seen the most unbelievable purple shining through the extremely dense fog.)  Here are a few of my captured blessings from the month.

The month has been full of outings, including two date nights with my amazing husband!  On our second date we were able to go see new "Wonder" exhibit at the Renwick Gallery, followed by a short walk to the National Christmas Tree, that had been lit about an hour earlier!
After a few very exhausting days around Thanksgiving a wonderful friend surprised me by leaving this beautiful bouquet on my doorstep to cheer me. 
 This little girl fell in love with a beautiful nightgown that was shared with her by a much older cousin.  She's my very own old fashioned dress up doll.

We've been full of treats, including some special deliveries from Australia, Cookie Monster, and my personal favorite, our very own gingerbread turkey.  I was even inspired to create in my kitchen and make yummy apple nachos.  Creating in the kitchen is on of my favorite things, and after a batch of really discouraging days, it felt so good to create.  My kiddos were over the moon to help me make it, and then stick there fingers in and enjoy it!

 Our yard was FULL up with leaves, and then one Saturday we were blessed to have about fifteen people from church descend on our yard with leaf blowers, rakes, and bags.  By the time they finished there were close to 50 bags full of leaves.  They accomplished more in 45 minutes than we could have done on our own in four hours.  When I asked if we could help they told me to go in and rest instead.  What a blessing!  
 We've also been full of celebrations.  Of course we had Thanksgiving, but my favorite celebration for the month has been the life of this precious angel!  I don't remember what life was like without her.  It's certainly brighter with her. 
We've also had full dumpsters as we continue to eliminate the unnecessary, and the tissues from wiping eyes at early goodbyes, and some other hard moments.  Thanks to a very wonderful and dear friend the heavens have been filled with prayers, and my gratitude list is getting fuller as I choose to slow down and focus on all of these blessings.

I hope your days are full of the good things too!


Where We've Been and Where We're Going...

Shall we do a quick catch up?  Since my last post we've...

 had a joyful Christmas season...
and the baptism of this beautiful girl! 
We've taken tons of fun field trips, like this one to the Monocacy National Battlefield, 
or this one to our house.  Yup, we're still working on it. 
We've spent lots of time with family, 
and ran a 5k together.  I did a Couch to 5k program, and my family joined me on my color run.  SO FUN!! 
We started our summer off with an indoor reading pool party. 
Then enjoyed some more field trips, like this one at the National Zoo in DC,  
or this one to one of our library's summer reading programs.   
The rest of our summer was spent swimming, playing, and visiting our local parks.  This was our first family mini-golf experience. 
We started our school year off with some more field trips.  We went to the local Piscataway Museum, 
and apple picking. 
We've done some arts and crafts.  (That's a pig nose, elephant trunk, and mole nose in case you couldn't quite guess.) 
Everyone was really excited to gather firewood for our camping trip.  Luckily that huge branch missed the house when it fell down, but it sure kept us warm at our camp fire! 
We went to the pumpkin patch with Grandma and Grandpa on the coldest day of the year.  (It's a tradition!) 
Normally we avoid trick or treating like the plague, but we made an exception this year to go downtown to Embassy Row.  One word, AMAZING!!!  
Oh, and we even carved those pumpkins we picked from the patch.

I think that about hits the high points...except for the one that explains my noticeable absence.  About two years ago, you know, when it felt like our lives were being completely upended, because they were; well during that time hubby and I got some pretty strong inspiration about what was coming next for our family.  We kept it to ourselves and a few very close friends who prayed and waited with us, and now we're ready to share.  

Just after baby J was born last autumn our lives became a whirlwind.  There was an six hour job interview, clearances, a wait list, an official offer, and then finally a bid list.  After 18 months of waiting with no real progress, all of that happening in 6 months was mind boggling, literally and figuratively!

So, where exactly are we going?

Well, we're going to Montenegro!!

And we're really excited!!

In the three months since we've found out there have been medical clearances, customs forms, passports, lots of training for Steve, and plenty of lessons in Serbian.  

In the next two months there will be immunization, movers, hotel stays, and a fourteen hour flight.

Through all of it there's also absolutely been the hand of the Lord.  We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the State Department, and to represent our country in many other lands.  This is right where God wants us, and we couldn't be happier!!

P.S.  I'm still working on how exactly to journal our journey, but this change has definitely inspired me to do a better job of recording our experiences.  In theory I'll be doing that here, but I may also do it privately to better protect our little family.  I'll keep you posted.


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