Monday, September 26, 2011

09-24-11

Well, the day that we had been planning for and dreaming of for so long finally came and went (like a blink of an eye really).

Saturday was Brian and Alli's big day and although I'm biased as her sister, it was one of the most beautiful and sentimental weddings that I've ever attended or been a part of. I know I'm repeating what Courtney already said, but it's true.

My only regret is not stopping to take more pictures.

Taking lots of pictures would have been pretty difficult though. There were a lot of children (nieces and nephews of the bride and groom) involved in this wedding so we had to keep our eyes on the little ones instead of behind cameras.



So, I had to steal a few photos from family and friends that attended the wedding. I stole a lot because there were so many great pictures. Ha!

I've never seen Alli more beautiful and radiant. She was one stressed out bride in the days leading up to the wedding. It seemed as though the moment she saw Brian she was completely at peace, and she almost glowed. She was breathtaking really.





Everything- from the dresses, to the gorgeous weather, to the AMAZING flowers, to the ceremony, to the toasts (way to go Court), to the dancing, made for a pretty perfect day. It was all so beautiful.

Here is our family (my sisters and parents with Alli and Brian)



Here is a few of my family (Caleb, Ellie, Ethan and me). We can't figure out why, but somehow the camera angle made Ellie's head look HUGE in these pictures. I swear, her head isn't really this big. ;-)





The two men that I can't live without (Caleb and Ethan)



A few of the wedding party







The 3 younger flower girls. Aren't they sweet?! There were 5 flower girls. All nieces.





And of course I had to add a few more of my little ones. :)






Courtney's toast was so sentimental, touching, and straight from the heart. There wasn't a dry eye in the room after she was done. And as if we hadn't already cried enough, my dad caught all of us off guard and stole the mic to read a few verses from Ecclesiastes 3. After reading those verses he said "We have mourned, but now is our time to rebuild, to laugh, and to dance." Talk about making your 4 daughters cry!

Then when it came time for Dad and Alli to dance the father-daughter dance. The tears really flowed. Dad and Alli had a song that became theirs during the years of Alli's eating disorder. Anytime Dad heard it on the radio he would crank it up and we would all cry just knowing how it was tearing him up inside to see his daughter so sick. This was the song and it was so fitting for a father-daughter dance. Yeah. We cried a lot during their dance too.





I simply can NOT wait to see the professional photos. If family and friends were able to catch photos like this, I think the professional pics are going to be nothing short of amazing.



Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Bachelorette

Did you think I was going to talk about the show? Ha! I have admitted before that watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is one of my guilty pleasures.

But, that's not what (or who) this post is about.

My dear sister Allison is getting married in just 6 short days (it's coming up so quickly now). Isn't she gorgeous?!



Both Jenn and Courtney (the other sisters) have posted about how this wedding is somehow different. Somehow bittersweet. It's getting all of us choked up for many reasons.

First of all, Alli is the last sister to get married. It's like closing the final chapter to our childhood. It's made all of us very nostalgic lately. There have been many conversations in recent weeks talking about our childhood. The things that made us laugh, the hard times, the many ways we saw God's hand working in our lives, both individually and as a family.

That brings me to the second reason this wedding is a little more emotional than the previous ones. It's a long story and I'll really try to summarize it for you. Alli became anorexic in her early teens. She was very sick, in and out of hospitals and she got down to a scary 58 pounds at one point. We thought we were going to lose her.

Although it sounds strange, her sickness saved our family. After it was obvious that the hospitalizations weren't doing anything for Alli and her eating disorder, she was sent to Remuda Ranch, an inpatient center that specializes in eating disorders out of state. In order for Alli to be fully recovered and free to return home, a week of family counseling was required.

It was one of the most intense, hardest weeks of our lives. We cried. A lot. We watched our Dad break down many times. Our parents marriage was saved because of that week of counseling too. SOOO much healing came from that week.

And after a couple long months of being at Remuda Ranch, Alli was healed. For good!

Now, 13 years later, Alli is living a happy and healthy life. And praise God, she's getting married! We are all SO thrilled for her and her fiance Brian.

Alli's bachelorette party was last night and we had a wonderful time! We started out at a martini bar in Old Town. At first it was just the 4 sisters and our very close friend Annie who we often call our 5th sister. Annie lived in our neighborhood and grew up with us. She was always with us. :)







After the martini bar, we walked to my favorite restaurant of all time and had dinner at The Melting Pot. I would say that was the best part of the night. ;-)



We played a fun game where we each had to buy Alli some panties and she had to guess who bought which one. She did amazingly well.



We were joined at dinner with 3 of Alli's close friends. There was 8 of us total. At first I thought that sounded like a really small bachelorette party, but it turned out to be the perfect number. We were really able to have great conversations because we all fit perfectly around the table.





We talked and laughed a lot. It really was the perfect bachelorette party.



I'm so glad Alli had such a great night honoring her. I praise God that Alli is where she is today and that he brought Brian into her life. I just know her wedding is going to be so beautiful and sentimental. I think there will be plenty of tears shed on Saturday. The good kind. :)



Monday, September 12, 2011

What do you think?

I can't get over how much I think Ellie and Ethan look alike as babies. My sisters don't believe they do. So, I decided to pair up a few of their photos side by side. They are roughly the same age in these photos. I think they look a LOT alike (male and female version of course). What do you think? (Please ignore the fact that the quality of Ethan's pictures is SO much better. I think I took most of Ellie's pictures with my phone.)

1 week old. This one REALLY gets me. I think they're identical in this one.





They are both 4-5 months old in these pics.




Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"I'm Not Scared!"

I always thought that I would have a daughter just like me in every way (silly, I know). She would have my temperament, my hobbies, and we would get along just fine. Discipline wouldn't be a problem because she would be so well behaved and she would be such a sweet, quiet little girl. Ha!

Then Elliana was born. From the very day she came into this world I knew she would be a challenge for me. She rattled every preconceived notion I had. She was incredibly strong willed right from the get-go. Dr's even commented at 2 weeks old how strong willed she was. As an infant she was also colicky.

As she grew older I learned other things about my Ellie. She was loud (I am not), incredibly extroverted (I am not) and at times, quite a tomboy. I also learned as she grew older that disciplining her would NOT be easy and I would have many embarrassing moments as I tried to tame my wild Elliana.

I remember calling my mom many times asking for advice and even just some help. Then one day mom said something to me that just stuck. I'll always remember this piece of advice. She said "God gives us the children he does for a reason. It's not just because you're the right parent for them, but they're the right child for you. Our children teach us and make us grow in many ways too."

My mom was right. Elliana is only 2 1/2 years old and I've already grown in so many ways because of her. I'll get to what I've learned from her, but I had to share this story;

Every year our small little town holds a Harvest Festival on Labor Day weekend. It's so much fun and family oriented. There are rides, jump castles, music, fair food (unfortunately, I love fair food) and many booths.

We went this past Monday and had a wonderful time. Just as we were getting ready to leave, we discovered the kiddie rides at the edge of the park. Everything was about to close down but Ellie desperately wanted to ride some of the rides. I quickly obliged. After all, you only live once.

Although Ellie was the ONLY child on a lot of the rides, she had a great time.









Do you see that very tall, very steep slide in the background? That's where our story continues.

After riding a few rides, Ellie noticed the very tall (I think it was like 25-30 feet tall) and very steep slide. She insisted that she had to go down it. (I have to note that there were much older children crying because they were too scared to go on this slide and their friends were trying to coax them into sliding down it.) I was quick to point that out to Ellie and tell her it was too big and too scary for her. Without skipping a beat she looked at me and exclaimed "I'm not scared!" Then she marched right up to the man who was letting kids through and handed him a ticket.

As she began climbing the just as steep ladder, I realized that she may not have been scared, but I was. I kept waiting for her to fall of the ladder, or I just "knew" she would get to the top and change her mind. But every few steps she would turn around and yell "Mommy! I'm not scared!"

Once she was at the top I couldn't see her anymore. Again, I was waiting for her to cry out for help or say she wanted down. But I never heard that. Just a few moments later she was at the bottom of the slide with a big grin on her face. She exclaimed "I want to do that again!" Of course!



I was so proud of Ellie in that moment. I loved seeing how fearless she was. It was one of the many life lessons she's already taught me.

I have no doubt that God chose me to be her mom or that he chose her to be my daughter. She is nothing that I dreamed my daughter would be-and I am SO thankful! My dreams of a daughter seem so boring now. Honestly, my life would be so boring without Ellie. Yes, Elliana is just what I needed to make me grow into a better person.

Every day I thank God for giving me Ellie and for making her who she is. I can't wait to see what other lessons I'm going to learn from her. And just think of all of the fun we're going to have! ;-)

About Me

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I am a daughter of the King. Saved by grace. Follower of Christ. I love my God and I believe that he is faithful and true to his word! I'm still figuring out and trying to follow his plan for my life. I am a wife to my best friend Caleb, a mother to my miracle babies (they are my greatest joy and challenge), a sister and best friend to 3 passionate women, and a daughter to 2 amazing parents that continue to teach me what it is to be real and faithful to God and his word. I am lucky to get to be a stay at home Mom (thanks to God's provision). I love music, singing, coffee, cooking, baking, traveling, our beautiful state of Colorado, and mostly being with the family and friends that I love!

Husband, Caleb

Husband, Caleb
Caleb is an amazing husband and father. He is always so good to me. He is my best friend. He is the romantic one. We love to laugh and spend time together. We've been married for 7 years and I just love that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

Our 1st Miracle

Our 1st Miracle
Elliana Faith... God blessed us with our first miracle little girl in December 2008. She is sweet, smart, spunky, funny, strong willed, precocious, extremely outgoing, vocal and so full of life! She brings us so much joy.

Our 2nd Miracle

Our 2nd Miracle
Ethan James,.. God blessed us with our little boy in March 2011. Ethan was a bit of a surprise and an even bigger miraclle. Ethan is ALL BOY! He is very active, into sports and running around. He is also sweet, introverted, affectionate, and laid back. These days he often has us laughing, he's starting to show a little bit of "clown" in him. He makes our hearts happy too. :)

Our 3rd Miracle

Our 3rd Miracle
Emsley Jeannette... Our surprise baby girl was born on June 11th, 2013 and came into the world 4 weeks early. Her first 2 weeks of life were spent in the NICU, but due to God's hands and the prayers of many people, she grew quickly and came home to join our family! She is an easy, sweet baby and we are enjoying getting to know her personality.

Sisters

Sisters
We fight one day and then the next day we're fine. We're always loud and crazy when we get together. We're very passionate. We've been through it all together, lots of ups and downs. We're eachother's biggest supporters.

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