2013 was a challenging one for us. It was FULL of change on so many levels. FULL of growth, learning and just a whole lot of hard work.
We began the year by getting our house ready to sell. This meant a lot of finishing up remodeling projects. It took us five years to finish remodeling our first little foreclosure when we had only expected it to take one or two. But life did what life does and threw us quite a few curve balls and surprises along the way.
Penelope started walking and changing at warp speed from a sweet little baby to a spunky little toddler. As she grew out of being a baby, her and Keegan grew closer and closer and loved playing and fighting with one another only as siblings can.
Then we began our journey into adoption. The journey actually began long ago, before Nathan and I even got married. It was a dream and a hope that God had placed in our hearts even back then. We researched and researched and shed tear after tear over the overwhelming plight of the orphan. We found our agency, gathered endless paper documents and completed our home study.
I hosted my third photography workshop at Ashley's studio and spent the day with some of the most amazing and inspiring photographers. Helping others to follow their dreams is on the top of my list of best things in life.
Spring came and we put our house for sale and sold it within the first two weeks. All of the energy that we poured into that little house over the years paid off and for that we were so very grateful. We celebrated.....then we kicked it into high gear and scrambled to pack and find another house. On the day that Keegan graduated Pre-K, we came across another foreclosure that had lots of room for potential. We had also found another house that didn't need hardly any work, with land and a pool. (I'll post more on that decision process later.) We decided to go ahead and make an offer on the foreclosure on that same day. We found out the next morning that we had just signed up for another home renovation. ;)
With the help of family and amazing friends, we loaded up the Uhaul and moved. We closed on both houses on the very same day so we had to live with our in-laws while we ripped out 1975 carpet and installed new flooring. Oh and our Uhaul also got broken into in our new neighborhood before we had the chance to unload it. It was a huge bummer but it could have been much worse than it was. It was only stuff and stuff we can live without or replace. We were just thankful that our family was safe.
We moved into our new house about a week and were thrilled to all be together in our new (to us) 1975 brown dingy house. We quickly got to work on project after project to make this place our own. Hours and hours and more hours of blood sweat and tears (well, maybe not blood but lots of sweat and definitely lots of tears.)
Then came the whammy.
I found out I was pregnant. You can read more about that in this post.
We then had to put the brakes on our adoption and change lots of our plans.
We continued working on our house, Keegan turned five and we began home schooling. All the while Nathan was putting in long hours of work in the emergency room and I was shooting weddings like crazy. My busiest season hit smack dab in the height of morning (more like all of the time) sickness and extreme fatigue.
It was a hard season but God was still with us. And now we are in a different season with its own challenges. And you guessed it, God is still with us. With each passing day there are less and less surfaces in this house that are brown (or mustard) and dingy. And with each breath, each prayer, my heart is healing and getting used to the idea that HE has control, HE has a plan.
I am looking at this year ahead full of so much hope and excitement for what is yet to come. It might be hard, it might hold surprises but HE will be with us and it will be good.