Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hello 2014!

It's been idyllic around here for the past few days ... 
and let me tell you why.

You see, I have a 'perfect' December in my mind.
It goes something like this.

ALL month long, I would enjoy my Christmas trees & all the decor
whilst listening to my beloved Christmas music.
I'd be wearing my apron & there would be a baking frenzy going on in my kitchen.
I would have plenty of time to read while sitting by the fire.
The shopping would be complete & the gifts all wrapped.
I'd be surrounded by my family & we'd spend our evenings watching Christmas movies,
sipping hot chocolate, & eating the cookies that I'd been busy baking.

Pretty close to Norman Rockwell, if you ask me.
That would be my perfect December.

However, it really goes a bit more like this.

I do always enjoy my trees & the decor, all whilst listening to Christmas music.
I also do a fair amount of baking & I usually have on my apron.
So far, so good ... right?

As for having plenty of time to sit by the fire & read, well, seems like one thing
I NEVER have during December is PLENTY of time.
Secondly, I have NO fireplace ;)
Buuut ... if I did, I'd be sitting by it.
Although I start early with my shopping & I stay up on my wrapping,
there's always a few last minute gifts to purchase.

Here's where the monkey wrench gets thrown into my 'perfect' December plans.

It's the 'surrounded by family' {& all the other stuff that went along with that} part.

James, Garrett, & Gunnar all work pretty long hours, with much unpredictability.
They don't have 9-5, clock in, clock out-type jobs.
Everyone leaves & comes home at different times, so keeping a regular routine is nearly impossible.
We give it a valiant try, though & having dinner together at the table is very important to us,
so it's something we try not to budge on.

This December, however, was even busier than normal!
James had lots going on at work, accompanied by suffering with gout & other problems with his foot,
which led to several DR visits, lab work, and an MRI, etc.

Gunnar, in addition to his day job, landed a couple big side jobs
which kept him working both day & night.
He even recruited the help of his dad & brothers at the end.
He also traveled out of state for 3 days of training.

Garrett had a profitable month in real estate which kept him occupied, as well.
He too had a training event... 3 days of broker training classes.

Course, James & the boys all had holiday parties with their respective employers
& the political/volunteer groups they participate in.

Now, throw in church activities, extended family gatherings, a couple birthdays (the twins turned 19),
& other random things here & there, we found ourselves in the middle of a BUSY December month.
Although it was full of fun things, it was not quite my 'perfect' December.

We snatched every moment of togetherness that we could snatch ...
& somehow amidst all the madness {lots of which wasn't even listed here},
we were able to sit down together as a family & watch two Christmas movies ... & I was tickled pink.

Let's fast forward to NOW for the good stuff, how 'bout it!
Remember how I said it had been idyllic around here for the past few days?

Well, it really has been!
I've gotten just what I wanted ... just a few days late!
All the things that would've made up my 'perfect' December,
have been going on since New Year's Eve ... and especially this weekend.
Well, all except for the Christmas gifts ... those were all opened on Christmas morning, of course.

James called home on Friday afternoon & said we were having family movie night ...
& at the request of all the boys, cheeseburgers & fries.
{I added some homemade chocolate cookies to the mix & it was a great evening.}

He also said we'd be having our annual 'family goals & plans 2014' meeting the next morning ...
& we'd be having a big breakfast of pancakes & sausage to go along with it.
He said for me to send him the list of what we needed for both meals
& he'd bring it all home from the grocery.

That made me so happy!
Not only did he formulate the plan, he was executing it, as well.
I love it when he takes initiative & makes plans for all of us.

That kicked off our wonderful looong weekend of rest, relaxation, good food & family time.
Every one's schedules were clear {shockingly} & truth be told,
I think they were all needing some down time.

I've cooked our favorite meals.
We've watched movies & had extended times of family worship.
We've enjoyed the Christmas trees {yes, our decorations are still up ... yay}
& Christmas music {yes, my favorite channel is STILL playing it!
OK, in all honesty, I may or may not be the only one still enjoying the Christmas music at this point}.

And as of today, we are snowed in!
We've gotten close to a foot of snow & it's beautiful.
It's made for a couple fun sledding trips to the big hill that's close to our house.
It's pretty much the icing on the cake.

We've had just the slow down & the family time that we needed.
And you know, that's just how God is.
He gives us what we need, even if it's not right when we want it.
That's been exactly the topic of discussion around here lately too ... our expectations vs. God's timing.

We must weigh our hopes, dreams, & ideals against God's Word.
We have to keep ourselves in check, not asking for more than we should ...
not demanding, not seeking our own outside the spectrum of the scripture.
At the same time, we must always to step out in faith, clinging to His promises,
trusting the God who can make the impossible possible, according to His will.
And then we trust.
We trust in the One who is able to do exceeding above what we are even able to think of ask.
He holds our world in His hand ...
and I feel so safe knowing He does.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think ...
Eph. 3:20

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, 
to give you a future and a hope.
Jer. 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Prov. 3:5-6


Who doesn't love a party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday     DIY Home Sweet Home    The Girl Creative    Make It Yourself Monday     C.R.A.F.T     
Tuesday    A Delightsome Life   A Bowl Full of Lemons    Titus Tuesday      A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style         Adorned From Above
                   Women Living Well    The Thrifty Home     A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch   Making Home Base      Serving Joyfully     Lamberts Lately
Friday    The Dedicated House   Rooted in Thyme    French Country Cottage
              The Thrifty Groove     Farm Blog Hop
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things    Suburbsmama    Sew Many Ways


  1. It all looks so perfect! There are always things that don't quite go our way, but when we look back, the memories are just wonderfully perfect. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family x

    1. You are exactly right. Thanks for sharing that insight, Chel. Hugs to you.

  2. Looks beautiful! Enjoy your snow days! :) Warm thoughts going your way, sweet friend!

    1. We had another 3-5 inches last nt ... this winter has been a snowy one, indeed. Hope you are doing well, Ashley.

  3. I loved seeing all of your beautiful pictures! And so thankful God gave you the desires of your heart...even if they were a few days delayed! I'm sure the waiting just made them seem more sweet! May God's richest blessings rest upon you and your dear family in this new year! Love and hugs to you, dear friend.

    1. Ya know, He is always on time, isn't He?! Sure appreciate every time you visit & leave an encouraging comment, Cheryl.