Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of 2014...

I am glad to see 2014 go. There were a lot of good times it is true, yet it is marked by tragedy and trials as well.

The biggest trial that struck me personally was in the summer. In July we were surprised to discover a third little Blythe was on the way. This was great news and from the start we couldn't wait to meet our dear child. However a bitter edge quickly followed that joy. Morning sickness struck fast and it struck very hard.  I watched up close as my family suffered both through and because of me. Paden carried the extra burden of not only having a sick wife, but having an absent wife in all but body. I couldn't pick up my baby that just really needed to be held. I couldn't give my husband the embrace I knew he needed. I couldn't find amusement or joy in anything. I experienced depression that hung heavy and unyielding. I will never forget the first morning I felt well enough to sit up in a chair and hold a cup of coffee. I think I only took about three sips, but it was the first time that I had experienced even the smallest kind of pleasure in what seemed like forever and I almost cried.

Friends close to us have gone through much harder trials. One young friend was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer and looks forward to painful and intense treatment. Another discovered cancer had returned after an all too brief respite. Then there is the tragedy you don't get over but simply must learn to live with. A friend lost their unborn child. A teenage girl was killed in a car wreck. And now this morning, on the last day of 2014, we wake to hear death has stolen a dear family friend after a sudden illness that hardly left his family time to say goodbye.

Because of sin our lives are plagued with tragedy and grief; the hardest being death. We are promised that God will one day wipe away those tears and that pain and death will no longer be a part of our lives. But when you are in the midst of these trials, it is almost impossible to feel the comfort of this future hope. We feel the pain, hurt, and loss and are swallowed up by it. All we can do is mourn with those who mourn, knowing nothing we do or say can heal what death has broken.

But Christ has promised to heal even what death breaks. We are carried through the trials and are given joy again though we may remain broken. We will sit and enjoy that cup of coffee. We will hold our babies and watch them learn to take their first steps and say their first words. We will enjoy the love of our spouses. The fellowship of good friends. The job promotion. The excitement of new opportunities. The long awaited vacation. The laughter of good company and wine. The beauty in life around us. The quiet evenings of a peaceful home. Although trials may leave us broken, God gives joys and promises to one day take away all pain and death.

So while at the end of 2014 I, along with so many others, mourn an untimely death, in faith I know I will begin 2015 comforted by Christ. Our brokenness will be healed and we will be given joys in the meantime.

This is the comfort of Christ.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014...

This year we spent Christmas up in Canada with my side of the family. It's fun watching the cousins get older and start to be able to play together. Dad decided to give Olivia and cousin Jeannie the experience of getting to make homemade ice cream. It was a pretty big hit.

There was lots of eating, gifts, and family making for a great Christmas. Then Olivia decided to come down with a case of croup Christmas night which then turned into bronchitis and now a hefty double ear infection. However, being the hearty trooper that she is, she is mostly just super excited to be allowed to watch Shaun the Sheep all day long. Hopefully now we that have antibiotics we'll have a healthy Olivia to ring in the New Year.

Meanwhile Paige is perfecting her walking skills and picking up some vocabulary. Since being home she has dedicated most of her time to walking around the house with a ball repeating "Ball. Ball." I think these past two days have been the happiest days of her life.

Here's to a future of blurry Paige photos.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Paige Turns One...

We are currently in Canada visiting the family for Christmas and today is Paige's first birthday.

This little, early Christmas bundle has done a lot of growing up over the past year and just started walking last week.

She is our passionate, chubby cheeked, daddy loving little girl. To celebrate I made our sugar loving child a chocolate bear cake.

"Why is everyone singing?"

Initially suspicious at first as per usual.

"Yum! Sugar!"

Happy birthday Paige!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Girls in Advent Dresses...

Advent season is a great excuse to get new dresses for the girls.

Taking a good picture of just Olivia is always easy. After I figured out my camera setting and added Paige to the mix, things quickly turned blurry. After taking many shots, here are the two successful ones.

This year I bought a chocolate advent calendar that Olivia looks forward to every morning. After getting her piece of chocolate she says "Christmas all done." At this point Christmas means chocolate. That's not a bad start I figure. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Week 2014...

Thanksgiving week was a good one this year. The week before we all succumbed to a stomach bug, to ensure we were extra thankful for good health this year.

Here are some highlights of our week.

 Paige learnt to draw on the doodle pad.

Then later taught Devon how to play ball.

We went on a Thanksgiving day walk and no one was left behind.

The meal of the week (and possibly the funnest of the year) was trying crawdads.

Now we are looking forward to the Christmas season!