Wednesday, December 31, 2014

my new year plans

The beginning of the 2014 year we had big plans!
You know that saying 
"If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans."
Yeah that was pretty much what this past year started out like.
we dreamed of taking the girls to Disney world. It has been a long time goal for us and we were all set to go. We planned out the hotel and parks we would visit. 
 just before we plugged in our credit card number to purchase the package,
my van caught on fire!
Thank the Lord everyone was safe
but I remember watching the firemen hosing down my destroyed vehicle and all I could think about was, there goes Disney world.
I was so devastated. 
All the money we saved had to go into purchasing a new van. (We only pay cash for our cars so we don't have to worry about monthly payments. And we didn't have fire damage coverage on our insurnace plan.)
And since I believe everything happens for a reason I found out two weeks later what that reason was.
You see if we would have booked our Disney trip we would have booked for the month of October. We would not have been able to go because Hazel's due date was the beginning of November and we probably wouldn't have gotten all of our money refunded. Instead of unknowingly throwing all our money out the window, we purchased a much bigger, nicer safer van and now have fire damage coverage :)
And of course Hazel is a greater gift than Disney.
so for this coming 2015 I have plans but I am also OK if those plans don't happen because I am trusting God and his plan is bigger and better than anything I could come up with.
happy new years!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Weddings of 2014

I hate that I got so behind of photography post but I really wanted to make sure I get something out there!
here is a recap of all the weddings I shot in 2014!

It was a kind of a last minute rush to find a photographer for Winnie
She contacted me through a friend of ours and she made it clear she had a very simple wedding planned in less than 2 weeks!
she was so sweet I couldn't turn it down.
I got a few shots of them getting ready and all the details. probably less than 25 people were at the ceremony BUT it was a wedding that was full of more love than any I had ever witness before!

 Mark and Maram know how to throw one huge party!
this day jammed pack with lots of celebrations!
These two are perfect for each other and I am so glad to have been there and to capture some extremely sweet moments between them.

 Then last but not least 
an absolute stunning couple!
it was a blast meeting these two and their families.
and I was bawling yet again during the dances.

 Congratulations to all my couples! best wishes and lots of love!

 if you know anyone planning a wedding send them my way! this past year I took a back seat to booking weddings but I want to pick it up in 2015! I promise to be better about blog posting them too :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

top family pictures of 2014

When I put together the top family pictures of the year
 I always set out to narrow them down to my favorite 10 pictures
My family makes it extreemly hard on me.
they take some great pictures!
so instead here all my favorites, that I photographed in no particular order.

gosh it's been a great picture year full of great memories.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

top post of 2014

 2014 on my blog has been full of big post. Lots of fun, Happy life changing ones and some heart breaking ones too.
here is the big list of top viewed post of 2014 and an update if one:

10. New school, new hair, same Julia
update: She is doing awesome! she's so busy with Volley ball, girl scouts, preparing for her first holy Communion, staying on honor roll and lots of new friends! so proud of her!

9. Home school preschool
absolutely loving home school preschool! Miss Belle is learning so much and I am learning just as much about her! so excited to continue the rest of the school year with her but makes me really nervous about her starting kindergarten, I am going to miss her so much.

8. Frozen
it's so weird now to see The Julia with long hair!

7. Last day of last pregnancy
some of these feelings carried on to mothering my littlest one but I am doing better and and still so grateful for all my blessings!

6. Omaha
so glad we were able to go! it was in Omaha that I first realized I was pregnant and I got to share that with my cousin.

5. our christmas card
we didn't have the money this year to print our cards and mail them but glad everyone did get one from the internet

4.moving up and out
lol nope we did not actually move but Stella did move into the big girl room and besides for the first couple of days of falling out of her bed, she has adjusted well and now all three older girls love having "sleep overs".  Hazel hasn't officially moved into the nursery yet but all her things are there.

3. Decades of maternity pictures
so glad we did these!

2. Hardest post I have ever had to write
This family is still in need of lots of prayers. some good happy things are coming in the new year but the pain of losing their little girls still so hard on all of them.

1.Welcoming Hazel Gwendolyn
not only the top post but the top memory from 2014!

at the start of the year I would have never guessed any of this would have happened but that's the beauty of life. we don't know whats coming and God's plan is better than anything we could have planned.

Monday, December 22, 2014

the best way to get out of the Ba-hum-bug feeling

my kids know front and back all about the story of Jesus's birth (no one has confessed to including a little bathroom humor to the nativity scene)
and they fully embrace the true meaning of Christmas

But for me this year I just feel like I am letting the stupid things get to me more than I should.
and as the days ticked by and Christmas was getting closer I was feeling worse. You watch the news and hear the horrible stories of killings and riots. I belong to a Facebook group for people in need to ask for help with random things like clothes, furniture, food ect and it came to light that some where taking advantage and making up their sad stories or selling the items they were given, then I listened to someone talk about all the gifts they are getting or the money they are going in debt for trying to one up the other parent. combined with having a few personal bad days I was feeling very ba-hum-bug.

Then one day we came home to a note on our front door.
and we found a bag full of gifts for our girls!
I couldn't believe it!
tears were rolling down my face.
my kids are not in need and will have plenty of presents
but to be on the receiving end of a random act of kindness was just such an eye opener to me.
someone somewhere thought about us and really took the time to make us feel special.
it's hard to explain
Julia immediately started guessing who our secret Santa was.
she begged me to let her go ask a few of her guesses
but I told her I think if they wanted us to know they would have put their name on the letter.
I think the best thing we can do is pay it forward
take their random act and do something good for someone else in their honor.
The feeling you get when helping someone else is better than any other feeling.

 My husband and I knew from the very beginning we would have a big family. and we also knew with a big family money isn't always in abundance and so we never wanted to set our kids up to thinking this would be a great Christmas based on the amount of presents they got. We wanted a great Christmas to be based on great memories made with family outings or staying up late watching Christmas movies, going to Christmas carol concerts, visiting the live nativity, making cookies and crafts.
our secret Santa reminded us how to make this a great Christmas by giving to others what we can. They went through there outgrown clothes and donated them to foster kids, made a bag full of goodies for a homeless man, collected can goods for the foodbank and made Christmas cards for retired nuns.  
My girls are so grateful
my husband and I want to say Thank you!
 I want to hug the life out of you.

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