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Thursday, January 24, 2013

catch up.

The last few weeks/months have been such a blessing. We really got to spend a lot of time with family over the holiday break and then got to see our sweet niece AND sweet nephew for a whole weekend in Nashville!!! Just playing catch up with some of the pictures we took. 


Sweet Grandad and Granny.  We went to visit Granddad over Thanksgiving break and Christmas Day and it was so good to all be together. Baby Girl LOVES her Great Granddad and he seems pretty fond of the angel too :) Not the best pictures, but super sweet moments.


We went to see the Rockettes with our sweet friends, Jill and Logan. They are such a blessing in our lives and we are so thankful that we are such kindred spirits! and if you know me (or Jill) at all, you know that we LOVED the show. (including the live animals which had us ROLLING by the end)


Celebrated Christmas at the White House on the 21st and was so thankful to spend some time with these special girls. So thankful for these women in in my life and sad that we couldn't ALL get together. Missed Louisa and Kaitlynn, but got to spend some time with them after Christmas :)


The 21st was mine and Andrew's 'Christmas Eve' together and we took one of his families traditions of looking at Christmas lights!!! It was so so so fun and our first Christmas was a blast :) So thankful that we are MARRIED. (married. married. husband and wife. crazy.)

Baby girl's first Christmas Eve and first Tiffany's box!!! It was so sweet and fun to watch her open her teaset!


Christmas Eve!!
The pictures below were on self-timer... you should SEE some of the outtakes. Hilarious. I literally laughed out loud when I uploaded them to my computer today.




SNOW!!!!!



Love this sweet Angel.  (Sorry for the lack-o-hairbow here, Tara)



Christmas with the Hutchens family! :) :) The girls LOVE Andrew and literally would play with him all day long. They love me too, but they LOVE their Andrew. The girls were so sweet and we love spending time with our sweet sweet friends. 
(Meri, did we actually get some decent photos? no way.)



So thankful.


After Kentucky, we came back home for a few days then headed up north to Cinci! :) Stopped at Perfect North on the way (ish) and skiied for the day!!! it. was. so. much. fun.  Josh and April were there too and we got to ski with them some!!!! Perfect end to a great day :)


Made it to Cinci and had such a relaxing and fun time being with Andrew's family. Tons of snow, sugar cookies, Barrett, everything. It was awesome and we were so thankful!!



We love this little boy so so so much!!!



Last (for this post) but not least, Stacy competed at the Farm Bureau Young Farmer's and Ranchers discussion meet in January!!! Last year it was in Hawaii... this year? Nashville, TN baby! haha Even though it might have disappointing for them, we were SUPER excited that they were in Nashville for the weekend!!! We had LOTS of snuggle time with this little one, and my parents got to stay at our apt. for the weekend :) Stacy did AWESOME and made the top four (in the nation, I might add). It was so fun!!!




I think this is hilarious. She LOVED the lights at the Opryland Hotel and was such a champ being sick and still being such a trooper.

Overall summary: We had a GREAT first Christmas. We loved spending time with our sweet families and it's been a great (but busy) 2013 so far! :)

Next up? Gramps' 94th birthday party! Way too many pictures to add to this post.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

dreams.

I have some catching up to do on holidays, discussion meets, birthday parties, and more... for now I'll focus on today.

I have a really amazing group of women that I spend Wednesday morning's with and it has been SUCH a blessing in my life. We have been reading The Good and Beautiful God series and are a little over halfway through The Good and Beautiful Life. SUCH a blessing, so challenging, encouraging, everything. 

This morning it was just a few of us and we really just spent some time together without really focusing on the book and it was so fun :) We talked about alot of wonderfully random things but one thing really held my attention:  dreams.

I have vivid dreams almost every night. Andrew laughs at me because as soon as I wake up, I want to tell him everything that I dreamed about, and normally they are ridiculous things (like last night I dreamed that robots were stealing my car at McDonalds and turning the parts into evil fairies... yes, that may win for most ridiculous).

But sometimes they are heavy, or sad, or beautiful, and challenging, or terrifying.  If I'm honest with myself, I don't really know how much weight or belief I have in dreams, specifically dreams from God. I am surrounded by people that claim God's voice speaking through dreams constantly, and yet I find myself living in doubt and fear that it's not really true... that He doesn't speak to me in that way... or even that other's don't really know and may be stretching their dreams to fit another idea that they have (if I'm being honest, I feel the latter more than I should).

I've prayed for dreams... Prayed to God that He would speak to me in dreams.. Prayed that I could meet Him in a dream and that He would whisper His plans to me or remind me of His love for me. Prayed that He would let me dream of heaven and walking up to Jesus... but through all of those prayers, I've never had a bright light that calls my name in a deep voice, or sat in God's lap while I slept soundly.

I have people, that I trust, in my life that firmly believe one of two things... 1. That believing in dreams is always out of the question and that God doesn't speak that way, or 2. that it's absurd not to believe that He does more often than not... Two, sure but opposite, opinions are really helpful, huh?

This morning we talked about some of our reoccurring dreams... I often dream that I can't open my eyes. I can hear everyone talking and I want to open my eyes and see and run and walk, but I can't. I can't get my eyelids to open and I feel so helpless and confused and FRUSTRATED the entire time... my most recent dream like this was last week... except it was a little different. I dreamed that I was driving in Nashville (lost, shocker) and had glasses on that I couldn't see through. It was the same feeling as normal... frustrating, defeating, agonizing since I couldn't find my way.

I also have a dream where I'm running and never run out of breath or energy.  I dream that I have to go get something (last time I dreamed I was a nurse trying to get some supplies) and I ran for miles and miles and remember thinking in my dream "wow, I'm not even tired and I feel like I could run all day" (if you know me at all, you know I'm sucking wind after running the fridge for ice cream out of shape, so CLEARLY this was a dream haha). Along the same lines I mildly often dream that I'm swimming in the ocean and I don't ever have to come up for air. I never run out of breath and I'm VERY aware of it.

What if this is God letting me get a glimpse of heaven? Letting me see how someday I'll get to swim in the ocean in Heaven (will there be an ocean in Heaven?) and never need to come up for air. The feeling of completeness is something I only feel in my dreams... and what if the days I prayed to see Heaven, were the same nights he let me be aware of how I was running and never got tired?  and what if my blindness in my dreams, which is so terrifying, is maybe him revealing to me that I can't see on my own, or that I'm naive or maybe that I spiritually need to open my eyes!?  I've said for years that I feel like I'm going through life with my eyes closed because I look back on so many times and think "I had no idea what I was doing or what I was thinking"... hm.

I don't really know if every dream means something from the Lord... I think that may be unrealistic and unfair to expect.  I, also, don't really know if every dream doesn't come from God and His voice speaking into our hearts while we sleep. I don't know.  But I think that's the beauty of it. I think that we don't have to know... or make other people KNOW what we know. I know that some of my dreams are heavier than others. I know that when I'm swimming and don't have to come up for air, it's an unimaginable feeling, and I know that I will keep praying and believing that when I fall asleep, I'll get to meet Jesus in my dreams.

Happy Wednesday :)