Saturday, December 10, 2016


woke up to this scene one morning
2016 has brought both sorrow and joy into our lives.

Sorrow that we're still trying to work through.  Joy that we're fighting to hold onto.

(All while knowing that at the same time, we're living some of the best days of our lives, too.)

So if this post seems disjointed, it's because our life right now is, too.
Highs and lows.   From one thing to the next.

In the course of a day, I wear so many different hats: mom, RUF wife, worship director, home designer, hired musician, landlord, leader of a band, cook, maid, wife, etc.  I'm doing too much, but I also kinda love it, too...  (Mid life crisis?)

Caroline and Jameson are hands down THE joy of our life.

Their love for one another is so apparent one minute, but like any siblings, can grow oh-so-sour the next.

Lots of tattling.  Lots of screaming.  It feels like we'll never get out of the door when we need to leave the house.  I'm a constant record loop of "use your words" and "stop provoking him."

saw this happening around the corner
There are lots and lots of opportunities for sanctification and reconciliation in our home each. and. every. day.

And to catch them doing the tough work of apologies and forgiveness on their own.... oh, be still my mama's heart.
She fell in love and paid for Maeva herself.
Caroline is in love with American Girl Dolls (or 18" dolls of any kind, really!), singing, piano, writing stories and journaling.  She loves learning about anything and everything, and she's particularly obsessed at the moment with doing handstands and splits.  (Gymnastics, here we come!)  She loves Jesus and truly has an understanding of her sin at times that gives me assurance that Jesus is at work in her little heart.

Learning how to do hair!
Academics continue to come very easy for her.  But we've entered into the school-age girl drama with some friendships this year, (3rd grade) and much of our focus has become helping Caroline to navigate the world of relationships.

Sometimes I already feel like I'm dealing with a pre-teen, y'all.  It's hard to keep my cool when she's learned all the buttons to push.  But as hard as the days can be, at bedtime when I'm singing to her and massaging her back, the last thing I often hear before she drifts off to sleep is "You're the best mama.  I love you so much."  


Jameson continues to amaze me.  As rambunctious as he typically is (he is ALL BOY!), he's also the most tender hearted, empathetic little boy.  If one of us cries, he's crying with us, rubbing our back and telling us it's going to be okay.  If he feels like we've spoken harshly to Caroline, he charges at us ready to "defend her honor."  (funny/not funny)  

He's got a sharp imagination, and right now, he only thinks about Star Wars.   

Next year he'll officially go to preschool, but this year he's continued to go to Mrs. Maria's house one day a week.  And it's the highlight of his week.  ("Mom, is today Tuesday??")  
trying the mini pumpkin pies he & Mrs. Maria made together
Mrs. Maria does a preschool curriculum with him, and she's taught him his letters, numbers, catechism questions, scissor skills, Bible memory, gross motor skills, manners and so much more.  He can now write his name and read a few words thanks to Mrs. Maria.  

Jameson sometimes calls her "Grandma Lynchburg" because she's the closest thing we have to family here and I'm so, so grateful for how she pours into my children. 

Marc preaching at RUF large group downtown
It's been a difficult semester of RUF for us.  That's hard to admit after 16 years of campus ministry with RUF.   There's been some really outstanding highlights for us like gaining an incredible female intern, Audrey, and moving to our new downtown location, which has built momentum for students from all the city's colleges to be involved.

But this semester proved to be tough between things like losing our male intern, Taylor (who took a leave of absence to go compete as a singer on a new reality television show in Nashville), and trying to minister to our students at Liberty University throughout all the stress of the election season.  My grandfather passed away in October.

(It was at my grandpa's funeral we discovered alopecia was in our extended family!) 

Marc visiting his dad on Thanksgiving
It was Marc's first Thanksgiving without his dad.  We are still very much grieving his passing.

Jameson & cousin Julius
Time with the cousins is always sweet for our kids.  Thanksgiving was no exception.
Caroline and her cousins have formed a singing group called "The Three Musketeers" and each time they're together, they perform a show for the family.  Sweet, sweet times.
"The Three Musketeers"

On Thanksgiving, we drove from visiting Marc's family to visit some of my family who flew into Raleigh to see my dad's extended family.

Just this week, Taylor (the intern who was competing in the tv show) completely surprised us by coming back to Lynchburg for a short visit before the holidays.  I seriously cried when I walked into my living room and he was sitting on my couch.  Had.No.Idea.

Live on the radio!
It was perfect timing because our band was preparing a Christmas show, and with him back, it meant we could rock out on alot of our fun old tunes again!  We were invited to go on the radio the next morning to preview our upcoming gig.

(By the way, if you're interested in following our band, you can check us out on facebook or instagram: Cabell St Collective)
Cabell St Christmas show
The show was so, so fun having Taylor back!  Though I haven't had time to blog much about it, starting this band has probably been THE highlight of 2016 for me, next to purchasing the River House.  (between those two projects and raising kids and being in ministry, there's been no time to blog!)

We love our manager, Judy!

Cabell St Collective

Aaaand that's it for now.  I told you this post would be disjointed!  

Just snippets of life, simultaneously full of joy and sorrow.  

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