Last week we got to take a trip to California!  It was awesome to visit with family and friends that we love and miss so much!  I tried to do some documenting of our trip through Instagram.  Having a camera phone is so convenient!  Here are some photos of our time out there :)

The boys on my sister’s front steps after the 17 hour car ride :)  They both do awesome in the car and I’m so thankful, seriously!

Most of our nights there were filled with talking, laughing, and singing ~ just a general happiness :)  Here’s my brother being the rock star that he is!  For reals, he’s amazing :)

Dear roach coaches, please come to Colorado and bring me some tacos!

The fish market, always a pleasure :)

So if you don’t know what ube is, it’s a root vegetable.  A purple root vegetable that Filipinos make into lots of things including ice cream :)  Yum!

Ah, the beach!  We took a drive down to Hermosa Beach, which was beautiful!  Sand, waves, sunshine – I miss you all already!

And look, I found the guy from Bourne Legacy there :)

Beach baby

Of course I had to get me some In-N-Out!

And I got to go to my first basketball game ever!  We went to watch my brother, Christian play.  Another amazing brother – super sweet, great guy who also happens to be a ridiculously talented athlete!

And we got to visit these sweet people!  You know those friends who are a perfect fit, where all your kids like each other and your husbands like hanging out and you and the wife/mom are pretty much like sisters – well, that’s the Reeds :)  They moved from Colorado to California last summer and we’ve missed them everyday since!  It was such a blessing to spend a day with them!

Their boys and our boys :)

And of course, their sweet princess!

Palm trees against blue skies!

We got to spend a night with my cousins and met the newest additions to the family!  Such sweet babies!

My sister Lovey generously agreed to watch all our kiddos and gave us a night out (thanks Lovey!!)  We paid a visit to an amazing buffet and got to walk around a few shops.  It was really nice to have a night out!

Date mates!

On the last day, we had lunch at a Filipino restaurant before getting on the road.  This is a Filipino drink called gulaman; I hadn’t had it in a really long time!

My brother’s a photographer too :)

Silas and his cousin Anton hanging out, playing video games :)

Cousins being silly and hugging it out for the last time :/

Well, after that we got in the car and drove home.  We actually hit some rough weather and ended up being in the car for 22 hours, yikes!  But it was definitely worth it :)  It was a great trip, such a sweet visit with people we love so much.  I miss them all already!

our family pics

our family pics

Happy New Year’s Eve everybody!  I’m so excited to share these pictures  with you!  Every year (like many people) I like to do family pictures. What I want to capture is my family like it really is – not stiff and posed and unnatural – but us enjoying each other and being ourselves!  Well this year (thanks to some Pinterest inspiration) we did something totally different :)

I told the boys, “We’re going to do some painting together.”  They love painting and creating, so they were automatically interested.  But what made them really excited was when I told them they could splash paint on their Daddy!  We had so much fun and I could not be happier with how these came out!

So, without further ado, here are our family pictures for 2012 – enjoy!!

I’m not sure how we’ll top this next year, seriously! What I love most is that the boys remember this and how much fun we had!  I sometimes worry that me constantly having the camera out will turn them off to having their picture taken, but this session made for a really happy memory – for all of us :)



I know I’ve been absent around here lately.  That wasn’t my intention.  I honestly hoped to be blogging a lot more in December, with holiday festivities and catching up.  But alas, today is the 19th; Christmas is right around the corner!  Then the new year will begin and we’ll tuck this one away.  Man, it seems like time is going by faster and faster!

I can’t promise much more blogging before 2013.  In the next week and a half my sister will get married, Christmas Eve and Christmas will take place, there’ll be another wedding in our family on the 27th and we’ll start the new year!  It’s going to be a whirlwind!  In the meantime, we are finishing up Christmas present making and trying to enjoy this sweet time of the year :)

I did just want to take a minute and write though.  The last couple of blog posts were really heavy and I know I left some blanks to be filled.  I was honestly just getting down my thoughts, sharing where I was.  Thank you to those of you who texted and messaged with concern. For anyone wondering what was going on around here, Branden was let go from his job a week and a half ago.  It wasn’t completely unexpected as the company he was working for has been struggling for some time now, but it still hit us pretty hard.  I feel like there’s so much going on right now, a lot of difficult things.  So many things in the lives of those around us that make our situation seem completely bearable.

I have to say that when we first found out about Branden’s job, I had a couple really hard days (hence the heavy blog posts :)  I wondered what the Lord was doing.  (I’m still kind of wondering)  We find ourselves in a place where the Lord, because of His faithfulness, has to show up.  He must because He promises to take care of us.  But I had my doubts.  How would He take care of us?  Not like, “how could He possibly do it?” but I truly wondered “how?”  In what unexpected ways would He provide and teach and bring us through?

I have recently been surprised, and humbled.  In the week and a half since Branden has been home, there’s been an incredible outpouring on our family.  People in our lives have been coming to us, blessing us in so many ways, ways that are providing for our needs.  Prayer and groceries and gift cards and so much more!  It truly has been amazing, and so incredibly sweet.

Last Sunday, a lady that we serve with at church pulled me aside.  She started crying before she could speak (which meant I was crying too!)  She said she had been talking with the Lord about us and that He told her she could give us a gift.  She said it wasn’t much and placed a folded bill in my hand.  Her love for us was great, she said, because it was the Lord’s love.  “He’s thinking about you,” she told me though her tears.

And so even in the unknown, I am full of gratitude tonight.  Not just for the provision of our physical needs (though that is amazing enough!) but that the Lord is using His people, His sweet church to surround us and bless us so abundantly in this season.  I am blown away at their kindness, at their generosity.

I can hear the Lord now, saying as He did to the disciples after a miracle, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  His voice gentle, I find myself speechless.  Why do I doubt Him?  He has truly only been faithful.  There are still a lot of unknowns right now, but I’m finding there is peace as I set my heart only on Him.  He is good and He is faithful.  It’s who He is; He can be nothing else.  In the face of uncertainty, I can put my trust in Him.

And with that, I’ll end this post.  Merry Christmas to you if I don’t get a chance to post before then!  This Christmas will be different for sure, and one to remember.  I am looking forward to it!

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