We Celebrated Lots of Birthdays!
~ Andrew's 3rd and Daddy's 61st ~
I love that they share a birthday ~ I cherish these pictures every year!
~ Jonathan's 9th Birthday ~
He is so blessed that his great grandfather got to celebrate with him!
My favorite guy celebrated his 50th birthday!
Although quite hard to believe, I celebrated my 40th birthday! I am SO blessed!
Mama celebrated her 62nd birthday (with Batman and Spiderman!)!
Lauren celebrated her 13th birthday at Chris and Brooke's wedding! They were so sweet to sing "Happy Birthday" to her ~ she felt special!
The next weekend she celebrated her special day with her "besties"! Her daddy made a bonfire, they made s'mores, played flashlight tag and hide and seek in the dark, and then enjoyed a sleepover! Lots and lots of fun!! Sweet girls (and boys ~ Jonathan had a friend over too!)!
~ Grayson's 4th Birthday ~
We Celebrated One Very Special Anniversary!
My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary! Such a blessing!
We Enjoyed a Variety of Sports Activities!
Andrew absolutely loved his class at The Little Gym!
Basketball was Jonathan's favorite team sport this year.
Aunt Jenny and Uncle Anthony came to
embarrass cheer on their favorite basketball player!
Lauren loved playing soccer for Pop! Never a dull moment!
~ Running Cross Country for her school team ~
She absolutely loved it!
Jonathan started Tae Kwan Do in the fall, and he loves it! He has now earned his orange belt!
We Enjoyed Bike Rides as a Family and with Friends at the Biltmore Estate
We Enjoyed Time at the Lake!
Andrew LOVED riding the jet ski with Grandpa!
Jonathan and Lauren enjoyed a lot of slalom skiing! I am SO proud of them!
The Newton family is great company at the lake! We always have fun together! (Yates looks exhausted ~ poor little guy! Andrew was asleep in my lap!)
We also enjoyed spending time with the Wolfe family ~ lots of fun and laughter!
Visiting the Weddines!
The kids and I took a trip to see my sweet college friend, Amy, and her family this year! I cannot express just how much fun we had! The kids just really enjoyed one another ~ I enjoyed precious time with Amy! They are a precious family ~ we adore them SO much!
Meeting Karyn Williams and Brian White!
One of my greatest blessings this year was meeting two unbelievably talented Christian artists ~ Karyn Williams and her husband, Brian White. Karyn has a gorgeous voice, a huge heart for God, and a gentleness with people! Her father battled cancer this year ~ I truly believe God led me to meet her that day! Her debut album, Only You, is filled with encouraging, uplifting, hopeful music! It is a favorite of mine, for sure! I can't wait to see these two again!! They truly love the Lord and are using their gifts to glorify Him!
Andrew Celebrated a Few Firsts!
~ First day of preschool ~
How did this happen?! My sweet baby is growing waaay too fast!
He was invited to his very first friend birthday party! He had SO much fun! This is when he started asking for a Spiderman costume!
He went on his first class field trip to Taylor Ranch. He and his best friend, Seth, are just too cute together!
He had his first true playdate. We always have lots of kids at our house, but Brooks and Anna Claire are HIS friends! They were so precious! Most of my close friends have older kids like Jonathan and Lauren ~ I am so very thankful for new friendships ~ I love their mommy!
We Enjoyed a Clemson Football Game!
(a very, very special day!)
My sweet Daddy was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer early in the spring. He endured eight weeks of grueling radiation/chemotherapy treatments. Just before this game, we found out that God had truly granted us a miracle ~ there was no sign of cancer in his throat!!! Several weeks later, a PET scan revealed that there was no cancer in his body at all!!!! The doctor credited God, telling Daddy that he had been granted a miracle! I am SO thankful for the many, many prayers that carried him through the most difficult time in his life (and ours!)! God is so incredibly good!
This was a day of celebration! Clemson football games are one of Daddy's greatest pleasures! I will cherish this day always!! It was truly a special day!!
We were so excited that Anthony and Jenny were there to celebrate with us!
Beautiful Family Weddings!
Our niece, Caitlin, got married in October. She was a gorgeous bride ~ everything about the day and the wedding was perfect! I absolutely love Catholic weddings, and the cathedral in Bardstown, KY is beautiful! I think she and Joe are perfect for each other!
Our nephew, Chris, got married in November. The wedding was outside, and the view of the VA mountains was stunning! It was another perfect day, perfect wedding ~ one of the sweetest, most romantic weddings I have ever been to! Brooke was a stunning bride ~ her dress looked amazing on her! I believe, they too, are perfect for each other!
A Fun Halloween!
Mother/Daughter New York City Trip!
Lauren and I were SO blessed to see NYC all decorated for Christmas! My dear friend, Jenny, planned this mother/daughter trip, and we had SO much fun!! I am still amazed at what all we did in four days! We stayed in a very small, but perfect NYC apartment, and we played from mid-morning to midnight every day! Some of the highlights ~ Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Gardens, Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center, The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, Mary Poppins on Broadway, shopping in Times Square, seeing all of the department store windows decorated for Christmas (Macy's, Bloomingdales, and Sak's Fifth Avenue), visiting Ground Zero, taking the Staten Island Ferry and seeing the Statue of Liberty, Central Park Zoo, subway rides, New York style pizza and cheescake, and lots of Starbucks coffee and hot chocolate!!
I just feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends ~ God blessed us with one another!! He also blessed us with precious daughters!! We made such wonderful memories!!
A Very Special Christmas!
Christmas is always my favorite time of year ~ God's love abounds in the birth of Jesus! This one was even more meaningful to our famiily ~ we were SO blessed to celebrate the health of Daddy and Papaw ~ it was such a rough year for both of them. God answered our prayers, healing them, and blessing us with another Christmas together! I couldn't have been more thankful!!
The excitement of children is also such a blessing! God's love and the true spirit of Christmas abound in them! This is just a glimpse into our Christmas celebrations ~ Grammy really surprised the kids with extra special gifts this year ~ an iPad for Lauren and a TV for the boys' room! They were ecstatic! Joe also surprised Daddy by making him a Clemson Corn Hole game! So much fun!!
I should change the title of this post! That was A LOT of favorite moments!! :)
It was a difficult, yet wonderful year! My family was faced with many challenges (really more than I would like to count!), but God never left our side! I feel closer to Him than ever before ~ he truly carried us through some hard days, weeks, and months. I feel SO BLESSED to have experienced His miracles! I am truly thankful for every moment shared with all of the family and friends He has so graciously blessed us with!