As I think about 2011, I think of all that we have seen- sickness, restored health!, birth & new life, joy, good health, answers to prayers, and more love and a much more alive heart than I’ve ever known.  So thankful for the year that has passed.  Looking forward to year of 2012 and all that God has in store for us this year.  May we seek Him, know Him, and dance daily in His grace.

And because I can't help it, here's a video of one of Jack's first times crawling forward.  He's a man on the move now!  And please don't mind my voice in the background.



What a glorious time celebrating our Savior's birth!  It was so wonderful to be around our family.  So nice to be here, to live here, and to get to be immersed in time with them.  Loved being able to sit back and relax without thinking that we would have to leave in a few days.  Again, lovin being back in Knoxville!

Christmas was so sweet having Jack with us this year!  He brought more smiles and child-like spirits to the celebration of our Lord.  It's a wonderful thing to see grown-ups get down on the floor and play and be so silly.  Love that God reminds us to be child-like.

We ate so many delicious meals.

We played and talked and laughed and hugged and kissed Baby Jack again and again and again.  Such celebration. 


 Wishing you all had a beautiful Christmas!


our house.

I have done many posts in the past about our house, but this one is different.  Our house is for sale, as I'm sure any of you reading know, and it's on my mind.  We've been through many different emotions since putting the house up.  We had the hope of it selling right away -- didn't happen.  But we still have hope!  We know it will sell in God's perfect timing.  We ask for the patience to wait, and we do ask that He brings the perfect family for the house quickly.

Our Christmas tree our first married Christmas.  And Little Lady Lou keeping watch out the window. 

Our house has its own website.  Check it out here, if you feel so inclined. 


step one.

While I'm not boycotting sweets and treats yet-- it isn't even Christmas yet, I'm not the Grinch, I am getting pretty tired of eating so poorly.  I know it would be unrealistic for me to say No More Sweets right now, so my step one is to add fiber.

Every good diet needs fiber.  One of my college professors loved to say, "fiber is your best friend".  Fiber does a lot of good for a lot of body systems.  Fiber even helps fight against diabetes.  Pretty great if you ask me.  I am going to increase my fiber intake to start getting on track with a healthier diet.   Lasting changes don't happen over night, and I know that.  So I will start with fiber.  I know by having a goal of getting more fiber I will automatically increase my intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  I never recommend for anyone to jump-kick their fiber intake overnight-- that'd be rough!  Also, I am a huge fan of getting fiber from foods rather than fiber supplements.  Fiber from supplements does not have all the same benefits as fiber from food.

That's my step one. Sorry my post is so full of words and no pictures. 


those Christmas sweets.

I'm getting a little nutrition motivation back-- thank goodness!  My mind needs it but more importantly my body needs it!  I usually tend to avoid the holiday season weight gain and excess sweet consumption problem because of my food allergies.  At parties and dinners and get-togethers I avoid desserts because of my no-eating-dessert-out-because-it's-too-risky policy.  I am still doing that; however, there has been a lot of baking going on here at mom's house.  She is giving such a sweet gift to her employees of homemade goodies, and I have been munching on every thing she has made!  Cookies, cookie dough, peppermint bark...

Chocolate chip cookies 

Peppermint bark 

My body is starting to revolt...  need. healthy. food.  Still struggling with finding good foods and a good schedule for eating with sweet baby around.  Not wanting to gain back all that weight I just lost.  I will be working on getting a good basic meal plan together with lots of healthy options, and I will be back to share them!


santa baby.

This statement has a new meaning for me this year.

I couldn't resist the Santa diapers.  If you're changing that many diapers a day, might as well have fun with it, right?  Plus he just looks so cute!  And yes, I am well-aware that he looks huge in those top pictures.  That's my boy!  :)


trouble sleeping leads to reflecting.

Lately I've been having trouble sleeping.  Lots of reasons for this...  a baby who has trouble sleeping sometimes, a wandering mind, too many questions, and probably a lot less faith than I should have.  Last night I was up about 2:30 am, got Jack back to sleep and then could not go back to sleep myself.  I definitely had a middle of the night encounter with God -- there's no way I could think so clearly at that time of night on my own.  I was reminded to enjoy this season of waiting.  I'm so anxious to be on to the next thing, to sell our house, to buy a new one, to see where life has us in 6 months, but last night I was taught an important lesson.  Live and enjoy and praise in the waiting.  The new will come -- enjoy this "before" time.

So in my new perspective today I thought I'd do a little reflecting on how different our lives are now than they were six months ago, and we NEVER could have imagined this!  It is much richer than we could have dreamed up.

Our sweet, sweet Jack with his precious facial expressions from the beginning.  Jack at 6 weeks. 

July 2011 -- Jack at 6 weeks 

September 2011 -- Jack at 3 months and the personality is growing. 

Thanksgiving weekend 2011 -- Jack at 6 months and quite a stud in his baby suit.  

Tommy and I are so blessed and are so thankful for where we are.  Excited to enjoy this time.  Excited to be where we are.  Excited for the new to come.


taco soup.

My mother-in-law gave me a great taco soup recipe, and I gave it a try for dinner the other night.  It was so easy to make and very filling!

I love how healthy it is, too.  Lots of veggies and beans.  Low-sodium taco seasoning for less salt.  Low-fat cheese and sour cream.

Please excuse my horrible picture but I took this of my half eaten bowl.