Monday, November 29, 2010

thanks for the love.

I'm heading to bed but wanted to say a quick but
to all my dear family and friends!!

Thank you for making this girl feel special
and loved on her 31st birthday.

Today, I enjoyed a quiet home.
I folded laundry, washed dishes and took out the trash
all. by. myself.
In case you're not sure -- this was a GOOD thing!
I love my precious family to death but sometimes I love being alone.
I can think, pray, sing as loud as I want -- I love it!!

Andy was off hunting (he got a nice buck by the way),
and the girls were on the annual Philadelphia trip with my family.
My pregnant self couldn't handle the Philly trip so I opted to stay home
(as opposed to riding in my grandmothers wheelchair).

I was a little bummed to miss the trip but my mom
{I mean, my awesome mom}
was sure to make my birthday happy!
This morning she delivered a suitcase I had my eye on at a yard sale
a few weeks ago but I was too cheap to buy it (imagine that!).
She then told me, there was a gift in each compartment of the suitcase!
I opened a gift every hour or fun:)
(and dad, even though I'm sure you have no idea what you got me )!!

My day was also full of phone calls, text messages, facebook shout outs, and cards.
Thank you all!!

I am grateful for the 31 years I've been blessed with so far
and look forward to what the Lord has for me and my family in the years to come!

Blessings to all of you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

o tannenbaum

Today we picked out, chopped down, and decorated our tree!
This year our tree is filled with colored lights,
a homemade paper chain,

ornaments the girls have made through the years,
and a crooked star.

Not my usual 'perfect' tree.

Our tree is usually filled with white lights, rustic stars,
old santas, ribbon and garland. A country/primitive look.
Perfect, right!?


The kids wanted a FUN tree.
(I guess my rustic stars weren't fun enough!?)
I'm not enjoying the tree quite as much as the kids
(honestly I miss MY tree)
But I will suck it up and enjoy their giggles and smiles
as the
y admire their work and the pretty colored lights!
(maybe next year we can get 2 trees?)

So here it is

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

turkey and the tree

We are thankful...

Sarah ~ for a husband who is committed to this journey of life with me, 3 healthy kiddos, a kitchen stocked with food, hot showers, my body pillow

Sophie ~ for my sister and my dad and my mom and my dog Charlie
(we gave the dog away but she's in denial...)

Ruby ~ for dinner, thanksgiving, snow, art supplies

Andy ~ for a healthy family and baby, my job

We are feeling blessed and thankful this Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to spending the day with The Byler family, eating delicious food prepared by my mother-in-law who is a fabulous cook! I can already taste it!! Mmmm.

I'm also really looking forward to Friday --
Every year the Friday after Thanksgiving marks the official start of Christmas in this house! We pick out and decorate our tree, turn on the Christmas music, and deck the halls!:) We'll be going easy on the decorating this year since the decorator (me) has not been feeling all that great. But I'm still excited to get out the ornaments and watch the girls go to town! This is something that can actually be hard for me (letting the girls go to town decorating). I love a perfect Christmas tree. I love every ornament spaced perfectly and every light placed in just the right spot to illuminate the ornaments in front of them. I need to remember the kids don't want a perfect tree. They want a tree that is 'OURS'( not mine). A tree they had a part in beautifying! And they love every second of it. So no matter how hard it is to see all the ornaments clustered in one spot at the bottom of the tree, I will not fix it! (pray for me on friday..)

I'll be sure to post pics of the tree Friday! Until then..
Enjoy your families and remember your blessings this thanksgiving!
Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

my birthday with brooke fraser

Last night was a good night!
Andy, myself and two dear friends headed to Philly to see

What a fun night!
The show was in a small cafe'
where we were able to enjoy a fabulous meal
while b
eing entertained by the lovely Brooke.

We were so close to the stage that I think Brooke may
have spit on us a time or two!?:)

I have a mild obsession with Brooke Fraser,
which has now grown into full on obsession!
(not really but I do love he

Why the obsession?
Well her music is f
(and she sounded great live)!
She is hilarious--she reminds me of a few of my girlfriends.
And she is obviously in love with God and reflects that not only in her music
but in her life.

If you're not familiar with Brooke check o
ut my playlist.
All the songs are Brooke Fraser or from Hillsong w
here Brooke is a worship leader
(another reason i love her).
I wish I could put more of her music on here but you can only post certain songs on your playlist (boooo).

Here are a few pics from the show.
And don't forget to crank up my playlist!

ps my birthday isn't until next week but this was my gift from Andy:)
Enjoy this beautiful day friends!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

laundry and flowers.

So I might be a tad behind on laundry this week...

In my defense I have not been feeling well
But still..

On a brighter note
these were waiting for me when I returned home
from the doctor last night
Thanks Andy:)

The little things you've done this week to help me have actually been HUGE!
Thanks for busting your butt to help around the house and with the kids.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tis' the season

Well Christmas is fast approaching! I love Christmas. I love the music, decorations, cookie baking, and time spent with loved ones.

But I also struggle this time of year. I cannot stand what Christmas has become. It has become about "things". I typically love giving to others but something happens to me a Christmas. I'm secretly a "Scrooge" (gasp)! I get so frustrated with what Christmas has become that I've allowed myself to have a bad attitude in recent years. I cringe when my kids open ANOTHER board game or when I see commercials that say "show her how much you love her with this diamond ring." My husband has not bought me a diamond since our engagement but I know that man loves me because he shows it with his actions and words (all year long)..not with something he bought.

My children do not need one more toy, or board game, or doll. I do not need a thing (well I could use a butter dish).'s CHRISTMAS so we spend too much money, we buy things we don't need, we stress over what to buy our in-laws, we wait in line for hours for the newest toy, etc. Why do we do this? Why can't Christmas be simple? Why can't it be about celebrating the birth of JESUS (remember him?) with our loved ones? Why do we (I) allow myself to be pressured into the hustle and bustle of the holidays?

I am determined to keep Christmas SIMPLE this year! I'm not saying my children won't get gifts, or that there will be no Christmas music or tree in my home. I just want to be more mindful about what this time of year is really about. I also want to be mindful of those around me. Christmas is not a happy time for many, many people. Whether they've lost a loved one, or lost their job, Christmas is a time of sadness for many.

What if our focus was not on shopping and material gifts but on loving those around us? What if our gift was spending time with the lonely widow from church? Or baking cookies for our neighbors (do you even know your neighbors? I don't.) Or packing a box of Christmas gifts for a child who will wake up to nothing Christmas morning. What if loving people, spending time with people, giving our genuine attention to the needs of others was our focus? I for one think that is what this season is about--Showing love to people the way God showed his love to us.

I'd love to hear how you and your family keep your focus on the real meaning of Christmas!

If you've lost sight of the real meaning what can you do this year to change that?

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?--Bob Hope

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Remembering Mommom Keim
I was just looking at my calendar to see what next week holds and how I need to prepare (i like to plan ahead).

As my eyes scanned through the week I saw 'Mommom' written on Nov. 16th
2 years ago this Tuesday, my grandmother passed away from pancreatic cancer.

Mary Jane Keim
(who we lovingly called MJ, much to her disdain)
She loved shoes and shopping.
Loved being doted on.
And most importantly loved her family.

She definitely added some spice to the fam!
I miss spelling everything I said because she couldn't hear me.
I miss the question she asked EVERY time I saw her.."What do you know?"
(Umm, that's a pretty broad question...)
And I miss receiving the birthday cards with the familiar cursive writing and the generous $2 inside (teehee).

All jokes aside Mary Jane was a woman who everyone remembers as their favorite kindergarten teacher and as a woman who loved the Lord and wanted nothing more than to see her family (ALL of her family) come to know the Lord personally. That is the one thing we both shared...

We loved you and we miss you Mommom.last picture with mommom, mom, and my sisters
i cannot look at this photo without bursting into laughter!
this was the first time mommom held sophie...and probably the last:)
ruby and mommom shared the same birthday.

"What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see..."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

thankful for dirty dishes? yes.

thank God for dirty dishes
they have a tale to tell
while others may go hungry
we're eating very well

i will smile today as i wash my dishes with a full belly.
have a good one!

Monday, November 8, 2010

going once, going twice, SOLD!

Amidst all my pregnancy woes, a fire, and the stress of everyday life, we have MUCH to be thankful for!
Today we sold our house!!!

I thought I'd take a minute to update those of you who don't know what the deal is with our housing situation. This evening we sold our house at Public Auction. The auction could not have gone better! We actually got more for it than we had hoped (a total answer to prayers). Another huge thing is the guy who bought it is a young amish man with no wife or family, so he is in no rush to move in..which means we can live here until our new house is built!!
(another answer to prayer)

We will be building our new home just down the road from where we are now. After we square things away at the bank, and get those permits we will break ground!
Oh man, I cannot believe I'm writing all this!! I never thought I'd see this day:)

So the plan..
Have a baby mid March
Move into our new home mid March

I think March might be a tad crazy for us but a
GOOD crazy!

We are more than blessed.
We are so thankful to our Father for his favor and provision.
We are thankful to all our friends and family who have been covering us in prayer.
And we look forward to enjoying this season of blessings.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

pregnancy woes

I feel like my body is falling apart.
Being pregnant 4 years ago with Ruby was a breeze, in fact it was a great experience!
This pregnancy...not so much.
Everyday seems to bring a new pain or challenge.
Today my legs are in excruciating pain. I either crawl to where I need to go or Andy carries me (not an easy task these days).

I'm frustrated.
I have not felt like myself in weeks.
I often hide that fact because I feel bad to complain
(I of all people know what a miracle pregnancy is).
I also don't want to show my weakness.
I want to be one of those pregnant women who just glows as she totes her big beautiful belly in front of her.

I'm realizing I just need to admit that I'm not feeling well.
I'm semi miserable.
And I'm wearing compression stockings (talk about sexy).

My apologies if I've been rude to you or if you noticed I was avoiding you at church
(or if I avoid you again next Sunday).

All this complaining to say,
Your prayers would be appreciated.
Andy would appreciate them too:)

Much thanks and love.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's a...


We are thrilled to announce that we will welcome a little boy to the Byler family in March!:)
Poor little guy will have 3 moms and may receive a manicure or two courtesy of his big sisters.

Can't wait to meet our little man!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

setting up the pins

~ It can feel simple but it's really profound, setting up the pins for knocking them down ~

This little song made me smile:)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 1, 2010


I woke up in a tizzy this morning. I knew I had a lot to do today and I knew our week was jam packed. I don't like that. I don't like rushing my family from one thing to another. I don't like being so busy that I can't stop to enjoy my family or my cup of coffee or notice the beauty around me, like the leaves changing color on the trees (I'm literally surrounded by beautiful trees but only seem to notice the annoying leaves that have already fallen).

So after huffing around for the first 20 minutes of my day, I stopped and said a prayer, gave myself a pep talk and apologized to Andy for attempting to make him miserable as well (he always wakes up cheery and it's semi annoying when I wake up cranky). He was quick to forgive and he even did the dishes before leaving for work so I could cross that off my to do list. (THANK YOU ANDY!!!)

I am quick to get overwhelmed and consumed by all that needs done in a day. I literally need to say "OK stop and eat". That's what I'm doing now. Taking a lunch break. Why shouldn't I? Anyone who works full time gets an hour lunch break. Why can't I SIT to eat my lunch and update my facebook status or blog (or both). Or flip on 'A Baby Story' for a half hour? I don't know maybe I'm lazy? Or maybe I'm a better mother and wife when I STOP. I'm much less cranky, stressed and overwhelmed when I take those little breaks throughout my day. And I know my family (especially Andy) appreciates a happy, pleasant to be around wife and mommy as opposed to an immaculate house. You know the saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" HA! This is true in our house:)

Andy and I are attempting to live a life that isn't over scheduled and hectic--something that seems impossible in the year 2010--everyone is busy ALL the time! Soccer, dance lessons, PTA, homework, church activities, it goes on and on and on....We do our best to find the balance in everything, but I'm realizing more and more that stopping needs to be a priority. Whether that means sitting down to dinner together every night and talking about our day, or watching a movie with Andy after the girls are in bed (which we just did last night), or just simply taking a lunch break! We need to STOP. Rest our bodies. Enjoy our families. Enjoy LIFE.

Well my lunch break (which has been interrupted about 50 times by a four year old who is having 'quiet time') is coming to a close. Time to finish the laundry and clean up the house before our company comes tonight! Have a fabulous day! Don't forget to STOP and enjoy it!