Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas, Emmalyn!


You are still asleep in bed right now and I am wide awake.  It's Christmas morning!  I am treasuring this (most likely) last Christmas where everyone sleeps in but I'm about ready for the fun to start.  You are amazing.  I love spending time talking with you about Jesus' birthday, but I'll be honest.  I feel so inadequate in helping you understand the magnificence of this day, of this truth.  Sweet girl, how can I explain to you that God came to earth as a tiny baby who relied on his mother to change his diapers and nourish him.  God, who created everything, depended on a woman to nurse him when he cried.  God did that.  And more, he gave his life for us.  Darling, I pray that you understand this truth from the tips of your staticky hair to the bottom of your little toes.  Jesus came for you. 

You have been making us laugh so hard lately. You love to dance around the family room with your hands over your head, and love to entertain our family.  You are learning about pronouns right now.  The other night, as our car turned the corner to our street, you said "My house".  I said, "Yes, it's our house Emmalyn." "No, my house.  I share it with you, Mommy.  I share with Mommy and Daddy.  "  What a generous girl you are to share your house with us Emmalyn!  When you want to do something on your own, you said, "I help you, Mommy".  So say, you're climbing down the stairs, and I ask "Can I carry you?"  You reply, "No, Mommy.  I help you!"  Or you want to do something on your own. "Help you, Mommy!  Help you!"

The other day, we were shopping and an older woman called you a cutie-pie.  What trouble - the rest of the day you kept saying, "I cutie pie".  Yes, girl, you are my cutie pie.  I can't wait for you to come downstairs and make us some pie with your new kitchen - so hurry up! Merry Christmas; I love you.

Dear Amy: Merry Christmas

Dear Amy,

You are a 4.5 months old now and such a joy. Just a few days after you turned three months (on November 10), you rolled over!  You've done it once since, but really don't like to be on your belly at all.  This makes practice hard.  Somehow you still manage to squirm all over your crib, which has created a cute little bald spot on the back of your head.  Speaking of cribs, you are sleeping in yours every night instead of in that rock 'n play that we love so much.  After you transitioned to your crib, you did great.  And then, you decided to fight sleep for a while.  Every time I laid you down, you would wail as though I was laying you in a bed of needles.  As soon as I picked you up, you would hush.  I'm not going to lie - I like being able to soothe you so easily, but I'm glad you gave up that little gig.  Three hours of that every evening was a little much for me (but thanks for only making it last a week - you're amazing).

More than anything, you are SO smiley.  You respond to every voice you hear and flash the brightest grins to even strangers.  I. love. it.  You are amazing.  Along with those smiles, we are blessed with lots of baby talk.  Like me, you clearly love the sound of your own voice.  You are such a happy baby!  When I walk in your room after a whole night of sleep, you melt me with the biggest gum-bearing grins.  It makes it such a joy to take care of you.  You are starting to take quite an interest in your big sister, too!  She loves to cuddle and kiss you and you love to smile at her and often follow her around the room with your eyes.  I can't wait to see what happens when you're mobile!

Today is Christmas morning, and everyone is still asleep but me.  For Christmas, we got you an awesome gift: your toes.  You just discovered them and seem to think they are the greatest thing ever. You're welcome.  Everyone in the house is still asleep, and I am so excited it's Christmas.  There are so many more of these to come for us, and I can't wait to enjoy every one of them with our family.  More than anything, I hope that we can be the best stewards of the gift God has given us in you, in showing you Emmanual, the God who is with us and came to be with us just like you as a tiny baby.  We love you, sweet girl.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I'm not going to lie; I love the paci.  Emmalyn took to it instantly.  It was her first day home from the hospital and she was suckling constantly - even in her sleep.  My mom said, "Here, try this." And the rest is history.  We have lost so many pacis with her.  I can tell you what stores carry her brand and what aisle they're in.  She never had a security item other than her paci.  This summer, we knew it was time to take it away from Emmalyn during awake hours, so we tried.  Twice.  The first time resulted in a broken cell phone and the second in a horrendous play date. Both involved an exhausted and defeated mama.  Good times, people.  I was scared to try again.  But third time's a charm apparently.  Because after we talked about it, I put it away in her nightstand drawer and we agreed it would only be for naps and bedtime.   And it clicked.  There were times she begged for it.  Times I begged Eric that I could give it to her.  But mostly, she did great.  At the same time we were weaning Emmalyn off her paci, I was forcing one on Amy.  Praying she would take it.  And for now - she does.  I love the paci.

And now, every morning, I know she's awake because I hear her nightstand drawer open and shut as she puts her paci away.  "Paci drawer, mommy". Good job, baby girl.

(Last night, we heard the paci drawer close in the middle of the night and figured she thought it was time to get up.  Eric went in to negotiate with her and she was crawling on the bedroom floor looking for paci and had just checked her nightstand. "Where's paci, Daddy?"  Don't worry; it was discovered tucked in her bedsheets)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dear Amy: 2 Months

Dear Amy,
You are two months old!  At about 6 weeks old, you gave me your first smile when I went "la la la" as you were looking at me.  You love to sit laying on our legs with our knees bent so you can see us right in the face.  After you started to smile, you began to starting cooing occasionally.  Between one and two months, little sounds started to come out of your mouth and I think you were just as surprised by them as we were!

I thought that you might have a little bit of colic because between 7-10 p.m. every night you only wanted to nurse or cry.  We have spent a lot of evenings on the couch watching Netflix while you nurse.  But it must be okay, because you are in the 70th percentile for weight and the 80th for height!  We're not used to having such a growing baby!  After six weeks, you started to calm down in the evenings and spend a lot of time awake and looking at Daddy and me.

You give smiles easily.  Whenever someone talks to you in a cheerful tone, you smile for them.  It is so precious.  This month, you also discovered your playmat and you love it.  Mainly, you like to look at yourself in the mirror.  Emmalyn loves to lay with you and sometimes requests for you to lay on the mat so that you two can be close to one another.  I'm sorry for all the times she has already steamrolled over you.  Good news: you still have all your limbs though!

In the past month, you have started to sleep almost through the night.  We swaddle you up around ten p.m. and you sleep until three or four a.m.  Thanks girl!  You're making this thing easy! ;)  When Emmalyn would wake up crying as a baby, your daddy and I would often try to fix the problem or get into arguments trying to diagnose her.  With you, Daddy generally changes your diaper and I then nurse you.  We're a bit more calm this time, and we don't argue about how to care for you.  I know that your dad is a much better swaddler than me, and he knows that it's okay for him to fall back asleep while I'm feeding you.  The only time we really get worried about you is when you spit up a lot.  You sure surprise us with that sometimes, but it's okay - nothing a good wash won't fix! 

Thank you for the past two months - for the new smiles and good sleep, for the beginning coos, and the open eyes.  We love you!

Friday, September 6, 2013

One month of joy

Dear Amy,

You are one month old this week!

Last night, I remembered your birth (which is a bit of a comical story), and how I saw you being born.  They announced you were a girl, the doctor laid you on my belly and then I just held you on my chest.  Another baby girl.  I was so thrilled.  There was never a moment of wishing you were a boy or a hint of disappointment.  It was sheer joy.   With your sister, labor had me shaking too fiercely to feel comfortable holding her immediately.  But with you, I got to hold you tight and secure - loving the fact that you had made your entrance so perfectly (right on time, too!).

You love to nurse, and after that really rough first three weeks (um, ouch!), it's a joy for both of us.  You eat every 2-3 hours during the day, but let me sleep for 3-4 hours at night.  Thanks for that - you rock.  After your middle of the night feeding, you often like to look around and those are some of the moments where I see your face and personality come out.  I hate putting you back to sleep after that, but well, I love sleep and can't nap all day like you.  You don't take to your pacifier as easily as Emmalyn did, but you fall asleep without it easily.  I'm not going to sugarcoat it: you've got some gas issues.  But I know you're working on it, and we'll just keep giving you gas drops and holding you real tight until you get things straightened out.  Anytime would be great though.

Emmalyn loves to look at you and tickle you, lay on top of you, and be burped beside you.  I'm sorry if you're claustrophobic - she just likes to be close.  When you first came home, every time we left the house she would say, "Amy come?" as though we were going to forget you and she had to remind us. As she got up from naps, she would have to locate you immediately to check on you. And when you cry, she goes "Amy, you okay.  Amy, you okay" to soothe you.  She likes to touch your face and insists on kissing you goodnight.  It's not all roses and sunshine, but she is pretty proud to be your sister.

You, Daddy, and me have watched a lot of Netflix together.  It's kind of our evening ritual since you like to be held all evening long, and eat most of the time between 8-10 p.m.  You have been to church three weeks, and other people have held you during the service for two of those weeks!  You are loved, darling!  We have gone to the zoo twice, the bunny park with fountains twice, the mall, lots of dinners out, and many, many walks.  You sleep in your carseat so peacefully and love to be in motion.  We celebrated Grandpa's 60th birthday at a big party, and Aunt Emily came to visit from Louisville just so she could meet you!  It's been a busy month!

Looking at you right now, it's clear our little newborn is growing up already!  But I'm so excited - the four of us are going to have a blast together, and I am already thrilled at what's ahead for us.  You weight 10.5 pounds right now, and I love every bit of it!  They say you're tall too - but don't get used to it; the genes aren't really working in your favor there.  Know, sweet Amy, that we love you so much and pray you'll know Jesus' love more and more every day of your life.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


during the first three weeks of maternity leave, i watched a lot of tv and movies.  netflix and hulu were my jam.  and it was good to rest and not have to think about anything as i was nursing a baby in my lap or bouncing her to stop the fussing.  but i decided that i probably needed to engage my brain a little bit before it turned to complete mush.  and i think i also found the end of facebook and pinterest. twice.  so i've turned to reading; the kindle app is my new best friend.  a few days ago, i finally finished "one thousand gifts" by ann voskamp.  while i didn't love every page of it, there were some great thoughts that are continually to stir in me.  and today, i just finished a book about sabbath.  and aside from having me think a lot about how much i need to create space for a true sabbath in my family's life, i was reminded of something that i truly believe.  stopping and looking for God's presence allows us to see Him and His work.
We must listen for God in the narrative of life ... God speaks through his Scriptures and the lives contained in them, but he also speaks through our lives, wives [husbands :)], children, parents, friends, nature, music, food, trials, and triumphs. (24/6 by Matthew Sleeth)
writing has always served as a release for me.  and while i care a lot about punctuation and spelling, i don't care much for capital letters.  sorry if that bothers you. :) or if smiley faces bother you.  sorry about that too. ;)  i don't want to write about ME all the time, but about what makes my days delightful.  even when they're not filled with pure happiness and only good things, there is delight to be found in every day.  i need to treasure those things and moments, snapshots of His goodness.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Bible Book

We often read to Emmalyn before bed, and tonight Eric told me the most precious story.  As he was putting her to bed, she kept asking for the "Bible book" over and over.  He gladly brought over our Jesus Storybook Bible (the best kid's Bible ever), and asked her what story she wanted to read.  Her only response?  "Jesus".  Way to make your parents proud at 26 months, kid.  We love you!

Monday, July 22, 2013

9 Reasons to Love the 9th Month of Pregnancy

I realize lots of women don't love pregnancy.  And I also realize that lots of women abhor the end of pregnancy. There are lots of reasons to dislike this stage (I mean, do I have to wake up every morning feeling like I just got beat up by a thug through the night?!, Am I the sweatiest human being that has ever lived?, Why is the bathroom always so far away from where I'm sitting?) and I know lots of you are truly miserable - but I want to savor the last bits of this comedic ride that just gets funnier every day.  These are the nine reasons I think we should love the ninth month of pregnancy (many also apply to the other months as well!)

1. You can exercise your right to be crazy.
I try to use this one sparingly, but there are instances where it comes in handy to be far beyond super-pregnant.  For instance, dear McDonalds worker, do not even THINK about making me pay for that large water.  Do you see me?!  Does it look like you should charge me fifty cents for water right now?! I don't think so.  In general, you don't have to say anything - there's a general vibe that you're a little crazy and people want to appease you.  So, that's nice.

2. You get to have conversations with every single random person you see.
I realize this one could be hard for introverts.  But seriously, when you're 9 months pregnant, everyone in the world is your new best friend.  Eric and I were at Bob Evans last week, and after a conversation with a woman, he said, "Did you know her?  I honestly thought she was going to kiss you."  She was a close talker and incredibly interested in my pregnancy, and no, I had never met her before in my life.  When you go in public, people will randomly smile at you and feel sorry for you, and they seem to clear an extra large path as you walk down the aisle in a store.

3. Go ahead, touch your belly.  This is the last time it will be rock hard in a LONG time.
Pregnancy encapsulates the entirety of my life with rock hard abs.  I know that technically, my abs are below my baby and still are weak.  But leave me alone.  When I think about how big my belly is, then I think, "well, at least it's hard". In a few weeks, that will not be true.  At all. B And when those Braxton Hicks kick in - I might as a well be a super hero.  I am considering trying to demo something with my belly during a Braxton Hicks contraction.  (As a side note, this is why it never bothers me when people touch my pregnant belly.  I mean, if people did that to me normally, I would tell them to BACK AWAY from the flab.  But there is a human in there ... who wouldn't want to get a chance to feel that thing kick?  It's craziness!)

4.  You get compliments for being huge.
"You look great!  You are so big!" ... "Are you sure there aren't twins in there?!"  My dad started a rumor that I'm having triplets but didn't want people to know.  Everyone knew he was joking ... I think.  This is funny stuff!  Take it in stride.  Outside of pregnancy, these comments merit a punch in the face.  But when pregnant, don't get annoyed - chuckle at it.  When else do people get to tell you that and when else do you get to be okay with it?  It's like a Weight Watchers meeting, but opposite.  People love it when you get bigger. Big = healthy to a lot of people, and they're trying to be nice.  Big = lots of ice cream in my case, but that's our little secret.  This leads to point 5.

5. Feel free to eat without judgment.  
I was driving to an appointment last week and thought, "Oh man, I could really go for a DQ twisty cone with crunch coat right now".  As I considered the thought, I realized it was 8:30 a.m. and they were closed.  Darn DQ with their ridiculous non-morning hours.  This is totally normal 9th month thinking.  Also, this is the only period of your life when you can sit down with a sleeve of Oreos and a glass of milk without feeling like you need to count how many you've had.  Dunk away, my friend. You want ice cream for lunch?  Go for it.  You need an afternoon snack of a milkshake?  By all means.  Even better, send someone to get it for you.

6. You never pick anything up off the ground.
You may be extra clumsy during pregnancy.  Or like me, you may be clumsy all the time.  But those things that you drop, they're gone.  Just let them be.  Maybe someone will be close enough to bend over and pick things up for you, maybe not.  But seriously, you cannot be expected to pick up anything that falls down there.  Don't people realize how far away the ground is?!  On this note, I'm grateful for summer babies.  I tried to lace up a pair of tennis shoes and it took about ten minutes and three breaks.  Per shoe.  Please ladies - slip ons, only this month.

7. People treat you like a ticking time bomb.
People are a little on edge when you're super pregnant.  I've been on two trips this summer where people (generally men) have pulled me aside and asked, "No, seriously, what am I supposed to do if you go into labor?"  Fair enough question.  I appreciate their concern.  I left the church service because I forgot something in the hallway last week, and multiple people asked if I was okay, clutching their car keys and cell phones to be prepared for an emergency.  Every time I make a call to a loved one, my first words are "I'm not in labor" (this especially applies before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m.)  But still, why not have some fun?  Every once in a while, just grab your belly and start to get really tense. Fix your eyes on the clock and look like you're timing something.  For the ultra-brave, pour your bottle of water on the ground (when Pam tried that on The Office, it didn't work so well, but hey, it may for you!).  Have a little fun.  Just not too much.  Nobody wants to be the girl-who-cried-labor.

8. Enjoy your free time.
You probably have pared down your schedule for the last four weeks of your pregnancy.  Isn't that nice?  Enjoy it.  Take a nap.  Bake some cookies.  Take a nap.  Watch some Hulu.  Take a nap.  Paint your fingernails.  Take a nap.  Talk someone into painting your toenails.  Go to work if you must.  Take a nap. Go to a park.  Take another nap because you know you're going to be up for at least four pee breaks in the night.  Watch a movie - but not one that will make you laugh too hard or cry too hard: both of those are very dangerous in the 9th month.  If you haven't lightened your schedule, that stinks for you.  I recommend trying it now (yes, Mom, I'm listening)! But really, this is a great time to enjoy the last days of your current life stage - so do it!

9.  Savor the last moments of having a life inside of you.
This is partly practical - it is much easier to feed, entertain, and not forget your baby when they are inside of you attached via umbilical cord.  Seriously.  So enjoy that.  But also, this is an experience that happens so very rarely in life.  Even if you're feeling horrible, try to focus on the miracle that is a living being growing and being nourished by your body!  Soon enough, you will get to hold that baby, feed him or her, and cuddle through the day and night.  I am so excited for that day!  But today, I try to focus on loving every kick, every move, every toe in my rib or roll over my bladder - because I don't know how many times I will ever get to experience that miracle again.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sowing Seeds in My Life {Ephesians 4:2}

A couple of years ago, I was convicted about some sin that hit me hard.  It hurt bad.  Not surprisingly, it had to do with the words I say and the way I say them.  Thankfully, the people around me showed me gallons of grace and walked with me to start new.  At that point, I wrote out this verse and hung it in my office to see daily.

Be completely humble and gentle.  Be patient; bearing with one another in love. - Ephesians 4:2

I need reminded of this verse so often.  I have found myself slipping into old habits sins lately, and I don't like it at all.  I know our Father has been trying to nudge me on this issue, and move me into correction rather than good thoughts about changing.  I am doing Beth Moore's Stepping Up  with some other young women right now, and today we all agreed about the impact of these words.

"Why have many of us read books on forgiving people, knowing the teachings were true and right, cried over them, marked them up with our highlights, yet remain in our bitterness? Because we ate the seed instead of sowing it ... the Word of God can fill our stomachs and give us immediate satisfaction and still not produce a harvest - that's when we eat it but don't sow it" {Stepping Up, pg. 81}

Instead of just saying, "Yes Lord!  I want to change!", I want to sow the seed of change in my life and do something.  My instinct in interactions with others is often judgment instead of grace.  I respond out of emotion instead of deliberate love.  I get annoyed instead of being patient.  I overlook my failings while seeing others so quickly.  As I've considered this, the verse from Ephesians came back to mind.  I removed that sign a while ago, but I knew I should do something to keep it in front of me - to remind myself to sow seeds of the change instead of just talking about it.  I made a lock screen for my phone so I can see these words over and over each day - when I'm sending emails, when I want to tweet something snarky, when I am annoyed by someone on Instagram. Sow the seeds, don't eat them.

Maybe I'm the only one that struggles with this.  But if not, here's a little reminder for you too:

Monday, April 8, 2013

On Style

Note: I write this as I wear dirty capris, a hoodie, and a t-shirt with a stain on my belly (it's starting to get in the way these days!).  So clearly, I'm an authority on fashion.

Pushing past my laziness or rushed mornings from sleeping in, I want to look nice when I go out.  I feel so much more ready to tackle the day when I'm showered, my hair is done, and my clothes fit and even match.   Lots of times, I have felt like this is a character flaw of mine - wanting to look nice and putting effort into what I wear.  Those moments when I tear through the closet and start crying because "I have nothing to wear" (this scene may mark the first time Eric knew I was crazy after we got married) aren't ever going to play in my highlight reel.  I've noticed that I set myself up for a good day when I feel put together and confident: wearing clothes that actually fit - regardless of label size - and maybe even put a little makeup on. Even if it requires a little effort.  Today wasn't one of those days.  I felt fine in the morning, okay through afternoon, and lousy tonight.  Dumpy.  I've learned I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy is the first blogger I knew to feel the same way. She realized that she was wearing yoga pants and her hair up every single day and decided to change that.  To hold herself accountable, she decided to take her picture daily and share it through What I Wore Wednesday each week.  Now, hundreds of ladies join in and show their outfits for the week.  I've never been brave enough to actually photograph and post my outfits, but it has made me think intentionally about putting myself together to start each day.  Am I expecting to have a lazy day or am I expecting to actually accomplish something?  How I dress affects what I do.

I have always been a bargain shopper.  I think that working at Gap during college caused my brain to forever do funky math.  We got a great discount when I worked there, so I was always looking at price tags and immediately taking a large percentage off the ticket price.  Now, I feel like I should still get to do that in stores.  An extra 30% or a clearance sticker entices me.  Even better, an extra 30% off the clearance sticker - those are the best!  However, I'm also learning that just because something is a good deal, doesn't mean it is actually a good deal.  Will I wear the piece?  Is it quality?  What purpose does it serve?  These are questions I'm forcing myself to ask (and clearly they've been on my mind for a while, as mentioned here).

Blair from Wild and Precious has amazing style, and through her blog, I learned about a service called Stitch Fix.  It's a subscription program where you receive five items of clothing every time you request them.  You fill out a styling profile, customize your preferences (even requesting something specific), and ask for a box to be sent to you.  It's $20 for each box, but if you keep anything, that cost comes off the piece's price.  I love following them on Instagram to see the adorable stuff they have.

I've only received two fixes, but both of them have been amazing, and I know I'll be requesting more boxes when I'm looking for good transitional post-baby belly clothes this fall. Each piece comes with a card that shows you different ways to wear it.  I love the ideas and the permission to wear something differently than I traditionally would. I follow them on Instagram, and love to see the fun pieces they are sending out!  This has been a great way for me to add quality pieces to my wardrobe, and I've really enjoyed having someone else pick out clothes for me!  If you're interested, you can sign up here.  You can cancel at anytime, so if you hate it, you're out $20!  To the left is a picture of me wearing a sweater I received from them.  I absolutely love it, and Eric does too, because he knows that I'm looking at clothes that will actually add something to my closet rather than cheap deals that will probably not hold up by next year.

Finally, the last thing that boosting my style is The Small Things Blog.  I love this blog.  You may have seen Kate all over Pinterest, and for good reason.  I cut my hair in November, and while I don't majorly regret it, I'm growing it back out.  The main reason? So I can do more of Kate's tutorials on her blog.  Most of the hair/beauty tutorials on Youtube are hilarious, and worthless, and a little bit sketchy.  Kate is super professional but also keeps it real.  I've started painting my nails, wearing foundation, and wearing more than just a ponytail thanks to her blog.  Go check it out.  And then do something awesome to your hair.

All three of these websites have helped me to kick my boot-ay in gear and put effort into the way I look.  All three of the ladies I mentioned are Christians, and I love their balance of caring about style and fashion without becoming obsessed.  I'm completely fine going out without make-up or done hair, but I know I don't feel my best when I do.  I usually can't remember if I put make up on or not in the morning unless I start crying during the day - so I don't remember what other people are seeing.  Sure, there have absolutely been times when wanting to look nice has been about wanting to look nicer than others - and that's a problem.  But wanting to put my best me out there?  I think I could use an extra reminder to do that daily!  So go ahead, curl your hair tomorrow.  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

We had the joy of hosting Easter for Eric's side of the family this year, and it kicked me in gear to get our home ready.  We have red Christmas dishes, and well, those dishes have been in regular use since November of 2011.  It was time to sort through some things.  Eric is the major cleaner in our house, and made everything shine so I could put knick knacks all over it.  The day before Easter he started to count the number of fake/real flower arrangements throughout our house, but eventually gave up.  I would love an unlimited supply of beautiful flowers because I love the brightness they bring to our home.  (I've heard that people get those from things called gardens, but I don't see that happening anytime in my near future).  Here's what our house looks like ready for spring.

Of course, I attempted the now-famous Pinterest Easter bouquet.  My mom did one and it's even cuter.  I'm pretty sure the candy cost more than the flowers - oh well, it's still cute!  Eric's waiting for the flowers to die so he can get to the Peeps.

Here is a view from our kitchen to family room.  We love the way this house fits a lot of people in one area so it was great to be able to use that!

 Our new artwork!  We worked on it this winter, and absolutely LOVE having it above our mantel.  It only weighs about three thousand pounds.

Here are some pictures of our family enjoying time together.  My family maxes out at about 20, so it's still a little crazy to me that between 25-40 people will gather for holidays with Eric's family.  I love that they all get together for holidays, even as a big family.

Our family of four!   Emmalyn looks less than thrilled about Easter ... it was a little strange to wake up from nap time to a house of 30 people!  Poor girl! She recovered as soon as they started reading books to her.

We had a great time with Eric's family and then hopped to my parents to spend the rest of the afternoon eating their leftovers, napping, and playing with cousins.  We are so blessed to have an incredible family to share the resurrection of Christ with!  I truly felt the joy of Easter and the hope we have this Sunday!