Dayla 7th Birthday Garden Fairy Party

This year’s theme was “Garden Fairy” for Dayla’s birthday party.

You know how I love to decorate, but this year Dayla was so super excited to see what I would come up with. She kept saying she wanted it to be a surprise and couldn’t wait to see what I would do! With that kind of love and support, how could I not enjoy doing it?

I really do love creating and doing these fantasy parties for her.

Welcome to the fairy forest…

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Crawl through the hole in the tree to shrink down to fairy size…

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…and welcome to the magical forest!

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We had fairy snacks…

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…fairy friends…

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Top row, left to right: Charlotte, Adalee, Tabitha, Dayla, Ellie,
Bottom row: Maya, Kaitlyn, and Lucy

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…a fairy brother…

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…and ended the party with a garden pinata!

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Dayla was over the moon about all her party decor, snacks, and friends. It was a perfect celebration for our amazing 7 year old little girl.

Happy 7th Birthday sweet Dayla!

Like a Sleeping Baby

I noticed tonight how when you pick up a sleeping baby, they don’t cling to you at all. There is no grabbing your shirt for security. They don’t even really lean in, they just lay in your arms. Utter trust.

As I carried him to bed and saw that trust, my heart became overwhelmed with emotion. I think that is how God wants us to trust Him…just lay in His arms. Utter trust.

I hope one day I will be able to trust God like that.

Boy Vs. Boy

I love the baby comparisons. I just can’t help myself. I know they are two unique individuals that God has made, but they are also siblings. It is just so fun to see how they are both the same, and different.

The other thing I have noticed is that I have used the same descriptions for both Sebastian and August at 3 months old. Both very happy, mellow, and laid back. However, I wouldn’t say they are the same baby at all. I can’t put my finger on it with descriptions, but when I look at these pictures…it completely captures it.

I did miss the being in the same month for this one, but I think it is still fun.

Top: Sebastian at 2 months old
Bottom: August at 3 months old

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11 Years

Today I seem to have many random thoughts on marriage.  I feel like the may not make sense to other readers, or may not seem cohesive, but I want to write them all down today.
 
 

Today we celebrate 11 years of marriage. Keith, Daniel’s little brother, got married in July. In the wedding I got to have the moment again of walking down the aisle toward Daniel (I was a bridesmaid and he the best man). As I walked, I reflected that I would choose to do that walk again in a heart beat. I am more and more in love with him each and every year.  This year, not only am I falling more in love with him, I am learning.  This is what I have been learning.
 
When I married Daniel 11 years ago, there were many reasons I loved him, but most certainly toward the top of the list were these two reasons: 1. He made me happy 2. He made me feel loved.
 
This year I feel like I have learned that marriage isn’t about me. It never really was, and over the last 11 years I have been in the process of learning that,  but this year I feel like  I am finally really getting it.  I realize that marriage is about serving the other person. Serving is not being a servant to or a slave to…serving is love in action. Serving is like love with gloves on. I used to serve him because I feel I had to, now I serve him because I want to make him smile, I want him to feel loved, I want to help him. That is what I have learned this year.
 
I am also still learning these things:
 
1. I realize that my happiness is not dependent on him, it is my choice whether or not I am happy. Yes, he does many things that make me happy, but I can choose to be happy too, even when he forgets to do things for me.
 
2. He loves me for who I am now, but he also inspires me to be even more. I think this is a even more of a gift than just loving me for who I am.
 
3. I see now that it is our differences the refine me and make me a better person, like sand paper those differences round me out and take off my sharp edges. In the beginning I was attracted to how he was different then me, it inspired me. About 5 years in it was those same differences that drove me crazy. Now 11 years in, it is those same differences that I have come to be thankful for; they are making me better, stronger, and more flexible.
 
4. Marriage to me is no longer how it makes ME FEEL…but more about the fact that I GET TO HAVE THE HONOR of serving another person daily and making a difference in their life. I get the joy of serving another human and hopefully helping him feel special, important, amazing, smart, funny, kind, and most importantly… helping him feel Christ’s love through me.
 
 
As I am sure Daniel would verify, I don’t have it all figured out and I am by no means a perfect wife, but I AM learning. Only took me 11 years. 😉
 
Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you…so very much.
 

Daniel and I in April, 2014

Simon’s Texas Funeral

Daniel flew to Texas to attend Simon’s funeral on the way home from a work conference. I wish I could have gone, but there was just no way. I will get to say my goodbye’s here at his California service.

Daniel said it was different than other funeral’s he had been to….400 or so people in attendance, formal, and everyone in the church community showed their love and grief through lots and lots of food. After the funeral there was a lot of Simon’s friends spending time together to celebrate his life and honor his memory through doing some of the things Simon loved. There were tears, but also laughter. It was a sweet and perfect goodbye.

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He Is Gone.

Our San Diego skies are grey and rainy on this summer day. It is like the sky is weeping with us today.

He is gone.

I haven’t told the kids yet. I feel like I needed to be alone with the news for a bit. I am so glad I made that choice. There was something really peaceful and beautiful about being able to just sit by myself with the news, letting it soak in, enjoying the new perspective it brought.

When it started raining, the kids squealed in delight. They loved the unusual summer rain. I on the other hand felt like the rain was a whisper from God. I felt like the earth was mourning with me; it felt like God was reaching out His hand in comfort, saying, “It is okay to cry.”

So as it rained, I cried.

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Then the kids asked if they could have a “dance party”. We haven’t done that in ages, but they asked to dance today. I didn’t want to say yes. It seemed wrong to dance today, but I knew that I could never explain that to them. So they danced. As I watched them dance and laugh with delight I couldn’t help but feel such peace. I felt like God whispered into my heart, “It is okay to dance too. We are dancing up here.”

So I even danced a bit too.

Simon…I cry for my loss…for our loss…but I am dancing for your gain. I know you are with Him now.