Christmas is here

We got out the Christmas decorations tonight while listening to Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb". It doesn't get much better.

Justin Smith


Myrtle Beach 2011

Today's highs were in the 70's. Unbelievable for November. With the warm weather I feel it is fitting to blog about our family beach trip in late July. I think the last time I had been to Myrtle Beach was in high school. But we had free hotel points to use and this hotel was the closest Hilton oceanfront with a pool and suites. Turns out it had about 4 pools plus a full blown water park along with the beachfront access and a daily free buffet breakfast. Sign. Me. Up. Now don't get me wrong, Myrtle Beach is a crowded beach for sure. But this hotel was great.

We basically spent a few days in the middle of our moving houses madness to spend time together just the four of us. Thankfully all those swim lessons where Grayson cried and screamed about going under water finally paid off. We gave her some goggles and under she went. Jumping in full force from the side of the pool even. Which of course Finley had to try as well and loved it equally. Grayson was also not afraid of the ocean this year. She would jump the waves and go under water, a huge improvement from last year. Finley did not like the ocean so much but loved the sand and shells.

Click on the collage below to enlarge the cuteness:
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Costumes, part 2 & funny stories

We headed over to the Chesney's for a small group dinner and Trick-or-Treating adventure. The first miracle happened when all six of our families were in one place at one time with all of our children to even have the chance to take a picture. The second miracle was that all the kids either sat or stood in one place without crying or screaming or pushing or running away, for so long that we were able to snag about 10 pictures and then tell them they could move because we were done. Miracle I tell you. And yes, that right there is 11 children ages 4 and under. All dressed up in super cute costumes by their super fun parents and dear friends of ours.

Then there was this bunny hopping on the trampoline (below). Looking all innocent and cute. You can't see it here, but in this picture she has on different tights and a different undershirt. Because only 30 minutes earlier, after we ate dinner, while all 11 kids were running around playing and us adults were trying to have some conversation, Justin walks in with Finley held out in front of him, soaking wet from her shoulders to her feet. He loudly announces while he is cracking up, "I found her IN the potty!!". As in IN the toilet water people. Half-sitting, half-standing there, crying or he would have taken her picture. I had thankfully taken off the bunny suit for the chili dinner but she apparently decided that it was time to go swimming and climbed right in to test the waters. Seriously. Let's just say I was thankful we were with close friends as she was dripping through the house. I about passed out from laughter as I got her changed. Thankfully Annabelle is the same size so we had clothes to borrow. I think she learned her lesson though as she has not tried (yet) to pull that trick at home.

Below is a cute picture of Grayson (black cat) and Anna (Olivia). The older kids led the charge trick-o-treating around the neighborhood. Let's just say we got a lot of candy. That I have slowly been eating and the kids have been begging for in the last few weeks. Finley was hilarious. At home, when we go on walks, after about a block she asks to be held. That night, she just put that bag over her arm, walked right up to all of the doors and held out her hand for candy, walked right down and did it again at the next house. Like she had been trick-or-treating for years. She walked around an entire square block of houses and never asked to be carried. It was a fun night with friends!
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Costumes, part 1

With a mask from ShuShu and a borrowed bunny suit, we pulled together costumes for the cutest black cat and white bunny rabbit I have ever seen.

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Pumpkin Carving

The girls were excited about this, even though it was mostly a "daddy" job.

This year's choices were a cat (above) and then a replica of one of Grayson's drawings (below).

They both turned out great because Justin is so good at carving pumpkins but my favorite is the one Grayson drew!

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The Glider Sisters

They giggle when they hit the wall...they're going to be something else when they hit 15 and 17. Here's praying they'll be a force for good.

Justin Smith


Where to begin...

After taking a bit of a summer blogging break that has now lasted into fall, I thought a great kick-off-welcome-back-to-blogging-world entry was going to be celebrating an announcement that we were expecting baby number three. Instead, as my own heart broke in two, I had to watch as the ultrasound tech could not find the baby’s heartbeat at my 10 week appointment. Since then, I’ve been debating about what to write on this here blog. I have missed writing. Although I often feel one step behind in keeping up with it all, I have missed capturing photographs and tidbits of what goes on in our often crazy life with two small children. To pick that back up without mentioning our heartache felt wrong. But to not blog about Grayson turning four, or our recent fall family beach trips, or about how Finley has grown into a toddler in the blink of an eye, to not blog about all of that felt wrong too. We want this blog to be a place where we document our family life. Where we can look back and say, remember how the Lord was good and faithful to us?

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18. Six weeks ago I made a choice when I had to wait for the midwife to explain the ultrasound, that no matter what she said when she walked in that door, I was going to stand firm on the truth that the Lord is good and that He loved me (and our family) no matter what. Since then I continue to battle for that choice, to focus on what I know to be true and right, and to not get caught up in what I can’t understand. It is a battle for sure. So here we are. I want to get back to blogging again. Even in the middle of all of this, the easy days and the not so easy days, I want to write about the little things so I can teach my heart to be thankful. Because it could use a little teaching on that right now. We are celebrating that one day when we get to see Jesus face to face, we will also meet this little one. We will continue to celebrate here in the everyday moments of our life together as a family until that sweet day arrives.