Our autumn leaves have been so vibrant this month. I am loving it, and feeling a bit sad that they are quickly falling. Look at this picture from Saturday!
I didn’t use any filter.. it was super rainy and dreary, but they are still SO bright. Agh. Please never leave.
We also got some giant snow flakes on Saturday. What on earth? It was so gross outside, but I am so thankful to have a warm coat that keeps me super warm. If you are in need of a WARM and cute coat, go buy this!! Only, maybe wait for a better sale if you can? It’s not super puffy.. which I love. Who needs MORE fluff? Not me.
I am really excited for this week. I get to host Thanksgiving for my parents and Scott’s mom and brother. Our families have done SO much for us (especially this year) and it feels really nice to be able to do this… and to have our families together will be really special; especially this year.
We are really struggling with this being the first holiday without Papa here. They used to come visit for Thanksgiving really often, so it will be hard. We have a sketched picture of him in a frame. Addi made him a birthday hat when it was her birthday. He is now wearing a pilgrim hat. I think we’ll just dress him up for all of the holidays. If you think that its inappropriate, you really need to know him. He would have loved it.
We had our Thanksgiving feast at church yesterday. Our pastor has always allowed plenty of time for people to give testimonies of what the Lord has done in their lives. I wanted to so badly to say something, but every time I thought about it I would choke up.
My parents opened their home to my family without batting an eye. We gave them two weeks notice that we were moving in with them, and they went right to work making space for us and renting a storage unit for us to store our “life” in. They fed us and spoiled our girls rotten through a difficult transition. My mom helped me sew some projects I had been working on. We laughed and loved our time together. I miss sitting up at night chatting with my mom and dad. But, I live less than two miles from them and can go see them any time I want! I am always thankful for my parents, but especially grateful to them for this. My mom’s knee surgery went really well. She had surgery two weeks after Jim passed away. My uncle suddenly passed away after hip replacement surgery, so I was a nervous wreck. Not only did she make it through surgery well, but she is thriving with her recovery! My dad had to have a heart cath and there was a possibility of more risky procedures on Friday. I was so worried, and am so thankful that everything went really well and he is feeling good.
My mother and father-in-law also played a huge role in helping us get back here while we are in this transitional time. This house we live in is all because of them. My father-in-law really fought hard to get us back to IL, and I am really grateful that he did. We got to spend his final months with him. We also got to be close enough to spend his final days with him; something I will never forget. They are some of the most selfless people, and have always done so much for us also. My mom-in-law has loved on the girls and been so strong through all that she has been through. I loved Jim dearly and love Denise dearly. I’m so thankful to have known them for the last 14 years.
My older sister stepped up for me and dropped everything to watch my girls while we dealt with a lot. She let us go on a date night. She let them stay for a sudden slumber party while we said goodbye to Jim. Her and my brother-in-law loaded up six kids and took them to a parade. They kept life fun and lite for our girls during a difficult time. Amy has brought me coffee and always stops by when I need a lift.
My younger sister had been farther away, but was a huge help. She has always been an encourager to me. She was always there when I would call or text her. She still is, even though she just went through a big move. Her move has gone much like ours did last year.. where everything goes wrong. But, she has continued to pray for me through it all.
Being close to family the last 6 months has been the biggest blessing.
I am so thankful to be back with our home church for this season. They truly are the hands and feet of God. They welcomed us back in as though we had never left.
This year has been hard. If I sit and list all of the reasons why 2017 has been awful, that list is long. But, the blessings really do outweigh the bad. It is just hard to see it sometimes. I will be glad to put this year behind us, don’t get me wrong. But, I am trying really hard to focus on all of the good. Because there is SO MUCH. I have so much to be thankful for, and I know that I am only scratching the surface with this list.
I pray that no matter how hard the year has been for you, that you can look for the good. If you are grieving and hurting, know that you are being prayed for.