Sunday, December 30, 2012


Where has 2012 gone???? Seriously. I know they say time flies, but I never believed it until I had a child. This morning I spent some time thinking about this past year--the ups and the downs. I came to one conclusion--I am blessed far beyond anything I deserve. I'm going to take some time now to review this past year

We started 2012 off celebrating our little beauty turning 3--yes that means she will soon be four, but we'll discuss that later! January 5th--our little New Year baby. She had an amazing time at her horse party (and yes we are still horse obsessed). I love that we get to start off every year celebrating Audrey, even if it does mean she is another year older. I'm still looking for that pause button!

This year, Audrey and I took our first road trip together back in March. We went to the beach, just the two of us. Here is a recap I had written of our trip down there:

So this is mine and Audrey's first trip with just the two of us. Easier said than done. We made eight stops on the way down. The first stop was at Goco's in Gilbertown only thirty minutes into the trip. Audrey, who was already asleep, woke up as we were coming through Toxey and began frantically screaming that she could not find her purple unicorn that she began the trip with. SO we stopped and I looked EVERYWHERE for that dang unicorn. I couldn't find it so finally I was like "you'll just have to get over it, can't find it". Well we get to Silas just a few more minutes down the road and all of a sudden she ceases to cry. She says "Mommy what if my unicorn was in my pocket?". Me: "I'll be slightly irritated". Audrey (reaches in pocket): "Oh here it is! I told you I found it!" she says as she pulls purple unicorn from pocket. Sighhhh. So we continue down the road and at Spanish Fort we stop b/c after three diet cokes mommy absolutely has to potty. My child has an irrational fear of public restrooms comparable to my fear of clowns and cows except about 100 times worse. Normally I would leave her with Brent while I went but not possible, obviously. So I literally drag her into the bathroom as she screams bloody murder. Literally women were coming into the bathroom to check on her. I was seriously afraid McDonald's might call DHR on me. But we made it. When we got to the condo she had to go to the beach like right then. So we head down there and Audrey informed me that the white stuff in the ocean was not foam, white caps, or water, but was, in fact, soap. Just an FYI for you. Today we went to hear the move "The Lorax" because as Audrey taught me today you go to hear a movie, not see it. She loved the movie because the girls name was Audrey and so therefore, Audrey thought she was actually in the movie. Then, in true Audrey fashion, she stole the show at the end of the movie when she stood up and danced for everybody to the credits song. Literally people stayed in the theater to watch her. Repeat horrible public restroom experience at Books A Million after movie...I'm a little clueless on how to fix that one. Then I take her to Lambert's to eat. Her first experience here. She catches a roll and then thinks she needs one every time the guy starts throwing them. While she is eating she tells me that she is a shark because she has sharp teeth (?). She then sweet talks our waitress into a pink balloon. The waitress decides to play a trick on Audrey which I was hoping they sad I didn't get it on video. She brought a wooden box to her and told her it had candy in it. Audrey, of course, opens the box and a plastic rat jumps out at her finger. Her eyes were as big as golf balls and her mouth wide open as she literally tried to jump across the table. Can't wait to see what other adventures we have over the next two days...making memories :)

On April 7 of this year, Brent and I tied the knot. Brent and I have been together for five years, but for those who don't know our background, I will give you a little briefing. I had Audrey when I was eighteen. I was a teen mom, and while I am not proud of all the decisions I made during that time in my life, I am not ashamed of telling anyone I was a teen mom. Audrey blessed my life and was a turning point for me at a time when I was running from God. I was trying to run from God, but He never left my side and continued to bless me all along the way (Talk about mercy and grace!). He blessed me with a beautiful daughter and PRAISE GOD an amazing man who is her father, and now my husband. I wanted to finish college before we got married. I graduated December 10, 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education after 3 years of school and dove head first into a new job and wedding planning. If you look through our wedding pictures you will notice a common sight--laughter. Even at points when most people were crying, I am the one laughing as I tell my mom to stop crying. I was just thrilled to finally call this amazing man my husband.

I can never say thank you enough to our amazing friends who stood by us through a crazy five years of being full time college students, full time parents, and full time in the work force all at the same time. You find out who your friends are when you are toting a little one with you everywhere you go (and I do mean everywhere--I hated to leave her!). Thank you to my amazing friends who helped with our wedding planning, who made sure we had all of those laughs, and who made sure I got some fudge before the wedding when I felt quite sure I would starve to death before my vows. Thank you to my amazing husband for loving me and always standing by me even through the most difficult times.

I had a health scare in March (seizures that I still don't know the cause of) and had to make some adjustments to my life, as driving an hour to work was no longer safe for me. This was a blessing in disguise because God put me right back where I needed to be. I am so blessed to say I love my job and I look forward to going to work everyday.

A month and a half after our wedding, two pink lines gave us the news that our family was growing. Excited does not even begin to describe. I was going to be a mom again! At 7 weeks into my pregnancy we told our parents and grandparents. I waited until I was 12 weeks to announce it to the world, because I thought it was safe then. At 15 weeks into my pregnancy, we learned we were having a boy--Barrett would be gracing us with his presence shortly after 2013 began. I couldn't believe I was getting my little boy!

On August 22, my husband and I endured the hardest thing we have ever been through in our 5 years together. Less than five months into our marriage, we were crying in a hospital room waiting for our son to be born sleeping. Less than five months into our marriage, we were burying a child. Barrett taught me so many things. Barrett has taught me that God can use anyone. Barrett has taught me that my time should be spent investing in others. Barrett taught me how to be a better parent. Losing my son brought me closer to God than I had ever been in my life. In that moment, God was all I had. I learned what it is to be completely dependent on Him.

On September 14, Barrett's Blankets was founded. Blessing doesn't even seem like an adequate way to describe what this ministry has meant to me. The people that have been brought into my life because of this are friends that I hope I will have the privilege of knowing the rest of my time here. Your stories and your words of encouragement have gotten me through so many hard days. Your stories of how Barrett's story touched you have given me confirmation time and time again of my son's purpose in this life. Every life has a purpose. I am humbled by my son. He did more in 18 weeks inside of my womb (not even walking the earth) than I have done in 22 years of life. He inspires me everyday to get up and do something that matters--to make a difference every single day.

I lost my grandfather shortly after losing Barrett. I hope Barrett was waiting to meet you and imagine that he had lots to tell you about all that he has learned. I know you will watch over him until I can.

About two weeks after losing my grandfather, we said goodbye to another precious child. A "see you soon" that still doesn't make sense and at times still doesn't seem real. Look up!

I've had other things going on that have tested me recently. It is in these times that I cling to my Bible and read, read, read! This year has been incredibly hard. I can't lie about that. There have been many days I just wanted to say "I give up. I'm tired". But we all know that isn't an option. It was on those days that God carried me through it. It is because of Him that I can sit here right now and type that I am blessed beyond measure. This year was difficult, yes. But let's shift our focus from that to what came out of those hard times. Personally, this year I have grown closer to God than ever. I have been privileged to talk to many others who have grown closer to God through some of these difficult times and people who came to know Him for the first time. This year has been trying and incredible all rolled up into one.

Here are the top 10 blog posts from this blog for the year, according to our statistics:

1). The Post I Never Wanted to Write

2). The Big Reveal

3). The Truth

4). We're Expanding! (Pregnancy Diary)

5). The Dreaded Question

6). In the Shadow of Your Wings

7). A Letter to My Son

8). Praise You in this Storm

9). The Challenge

10). Dear Barrett

Thank you to everyone who joins me here--you have no idea how much it means! I love sharing my family with you and I love sharing my Jesus with you. Thank you to those who take the time to read, comment, email, or Facebook--you all are an inspiration and I do try my best to answer everyone!

Thank you for helping to make 2012 the blessing it has been for my family--you all are a HUGE part of that! 

A few more pictures from 2012!

Weekend with the girls before the wedding

Our wedding song

Most amazing group of girls ever!

My gorgeous sister at rehearsal dinner

Laughing, AGAIN!


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