Hi friends!

What. a. year.

It's been a crazy one around here with lots and lots of changes. Some good, some sad, some exciting, some terrifying. I've started about a hundred posts to write about it, but never got so far in any of them to actually clicking 'publish'.

We started the year with my sweet grandmother going into the hospital (You can see her in this Stop and Smell the Roses vlog with me here - Oh, how I treasure this video now, southern accent and all). I was thankful to see her on Christmas Eve as her sweet, usual self, but shortly thereafter she got very sick and never really snapped back. She had just celebrated her 90th birthday, so I'm thankful for the long life she lived, but in April we lost her presence in this life, and friends, it has rocked me. Growing up she was literally my second mother, the one who took care of me while my mom worked, made my pancakes, tried to convince me I really should try to eat something besides PB&J's, and tickled my back for what seemed like hours. She knew how to love, even in the hard times, and it still doesn't seem right that I can't pick the phone up and call her. Good grief, I miss this precious woman.

The day we were planning to leave Tennessee after my grandmother's funeral I got a call from my dad letting me know that my grandfather, who we call Pops, was ok, but his house had caught on fire during the night and was most likely completely gone. Sure enough, as the day went on and we were able to go visit him, we found out the house was a complete loss. This house has been in our family for many years, a beautiful place on the lake where we would spend holidays growing up. Really, my biggest thought was just how grateful I was that my Pops was ok. He's now getting ready to start rebuilding any day, and hopefully, he'll have his new home in a few months. Although nothing can replace the sweet memories I have in this house, I'm anxious to see the new one and make more memories with my family there. The picture below is of what use to be the kitchen and eat-in area. To the right where it looks really bright is what use to be a bathroom that no longer had a ceiling due to the fire.

April was also when Dipal started a new position with his company, a role that would need us to make a 2 hour-away move back to St. Louis from Southern Illinois. It's been so bittersweet. St. Louis is pretty special to us because it's where we started life as a married couple and where both our boys were born, but Southern Illinois definitely made it's way into our hearts as well with some of the most wonderful people we've ever met. Thankfully, it's not too far away and we've already been able to go back for a lake weekend with some super great people.

We started looking for homes when my husband started his new position, (in between his surgery and recovery of a torn meniscus in his knee, because there was that too) but weren't able to find the one that felt right for a few weeks. We closed in June, did some work to the house, and finally moved in on July 11th. It felt like the longest transition ever, especially since Dipal had to travel to St. Louis for his new position multiple days a week throughout that whole time. We were all ridiculously exhausted, but we've finally started to all come around now.

Part of the reason it took so long to find "the one" when we were looking for a house was because of my crazy research I was doing to make sure we landed in a great school for Jayden to start kindergarten. I'm happy to say we were super successful! We have one happy kindergartener on our hands, which makes for a happy mommy!

Jackson has also started at a new preschool and he's loving it as well!

We also took our first family beach vacation right before starting school! So crazy that as much as we travel we've never taken a family trip to the beach... Dipal's manager literally told him he needed to take a vacation with the family and get away from work for a few days once we got settled, so we decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Gulf Shores, where we had some great friends already vacationing. It was a much-needed getaway for us before getting started in the school routine.

You know, I've really been beating myself up about not being able to keep up with a lot of things lately, but after writing this post I'm reminded that we've been through a lot this year. I really feel like God was preparing me for all of this as I kept landing on scriptures and devotionals in the first months of 2013 that talked about keeping joy and faith through the hard times. Honestly, I've not been great at doing that... Joy has been hard to come by naturally, and I've spent a lot of time telling God how much I can't handle all of this, but I also know that none of that surprises Him.

And let's not forget that there has been a lot of good mixed in between these things too. There's been hard and there's been good.

I still know God has great things in store for our family and I'm excited to see them unfold. And as I read in my She Reads Truth devotional yesterday, I'm praying that God "grants each of us strength and patience and gives rest to our weary souls."

1 comment:

  1. Just had to tell you again that I love reading your words. Praying for strength and rest for you. You are awesome! Can't wait to have some Chaudhari time this weekend! :)


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