Monday, December 30, 2013

Introducing Miller's Remington Steele....

Our girls were so determined to have a puppy this year for Christmas. They started in on their dad right away. It's been over a year and a half since our beloved Rocky passed away. We all were ready to hear the pitter at of sweet puppy feet in our new house. Well, not all of us, but all the females in the house. How's that for not naming names?! Ha! 

 Obviously, the girls won in the end and wore their dad down. Who are we fooling...he's a softie when it comes to them. He eventually started looking at puppies and dogs that were a bit older and trained. We both felt that might work better with our lifestyle right now but the girls were determined to have a puppy. So guess what...
That's right...they got a puppy. He's 4 months old and is the most bashful pup we've ever experienced in our lives! He runs at the drop of a feather, an adult walking through the room, his own shadow! Ha! Not really, but he is quite fearful or anxious about most things. However, we have noticed he is starting to warm up to the girls quite a bit. He loves playing outside with them and cuddling up with them on the floor. 

For the first two days, this pup would not leave his blankie we put on the floor. We seriously had to carry him outside to go to the bathroom and back inside when he was done. I think we were all a bit worried that would last. But thankfully it did not. We then went to opening the door and letting him head out when he was ready. Took him 20+ minutes the first time. Now he goes right out most the time, unless the girls are gone and I have to let him out. Then he takes a bit longer. 

So with his attachment to his blankie we considered naming him Linus. We figured that seemed fitting! Yet we hated to dub him a name from his puppy days that he will outgrow or shall I say we pray he will outgrow! So we started down the list of name possibilities...Spencer, Stanley, Oliver, Moose, Murphy, Snoopy, Samson...none seemed to stick with all of us. Then I mentioned Remington. Not sure if I was doing my hair and saw the curling iron or maybe caught a glimpse of my husband's hunting gear, but Remington popped in my head and then I thought of the old tv show Remington Steel, which I loved! So we voted and soon we were loving on our Miller's Remington Steele....aka Remmy. 

And although he protested for a year, no matter what he says...Matt loves this dog. I think this picture says it all, don't you?! Love it! 

So here he is...sitting pretty in his cage. Remington Steele Miller. What a sweetie! Welcome home, Remmy! We look forward to many more years with you in our family.

Reflections on 2013

As I take time to reflect on our year, I realized that I had not opened up my blog in an entire year to write a new post. That says a lot. I've been so busy with life that I didn't have time to just sit and be. I LOVE journaling what our family is up to. It is a great way for me to capture moments in time and make sure the lessons we learned or challenges given or words of encouragement received are not forgotten in time. I adore it. So with the new outlook for 2014, I desire to get back into blogging and really see how God is using our family and growing each of us as we start this new year of adventure!

In retrospect, I must at least go through my top 10 memories of here we go:

10. Seeing Alaska with entire family on my husband's side. I have never seen such beauty!

9. All the "firsts" that this year has brought, Doodle dancing in her recital on pointe, Bean swimming in a new age group and doing great, Doodle learning to drive, Doodle going to her first prom with friends, Bean getting her ears pierced, Bean cutting off her braids, Doodle started a new co-op where she attends two days a week without us, all of us walking or running in our first Drumstick Dash with the Perkins and cousins, Christmas at our new house and a new puppy to boot!

8. Matt turned 50! We had a card shower for him and had a few friends fly in to celebrate! :)

7. With having lots of firsts, we obvously have some lasts as well. Some of my favorites have been:
   ~sitting in the rocker in the girls old bedroom before they painted over the flowers we painted when we moved in....oh the tears of joy remembering bringing each girl into that room and rocking them.
   ~Watching the girls swing on the swingset Matt built them at the old house for the last time. sniff.sniff
    ~Watching Doodle dance at the recital with a dear friend who was stepping out of dance and also her instructor who was retiring the same year. It was bitter sweet to see her cling to what was and venture out to the new. Such sweet memories!
  ~ We quit our old co-op after 6 years. Little did I know what God had planned for me to know how much He protected all by making this matter how tough it was!

6. Sunsets and sunrises....each of them I soak in and can't get enough. God's creativity never gets old.

5. Bean turned 13!! Yes, that's right, my baby is 13! She is a beautiful, young lady who loves quietly serving
    others. She adores babies and truly has a knack for baking.

4. We moved! We sold our house we lived in for 13 years and moved next door to Matt's parents. This was not a planned move but very sudden decision. The opportunity came and we jumped on it. That was a lot of work to prep our house for sale and then to clean a home that had been sitting for a year. I have never painted so much in my life! We were blessed by all the people who stopped by to help us each day as we prepared the new house for our family. I was humbled by friends I haven't seen in years just stopping by. God touched my heart to let me know that sweet friends never stop being friends no matter how long it has been. I pray  I can repay the love shower we received to each of them one day. It is humbling beyond words and so grateful!

3. Since the move, my favorite thing has to be seeing my father-in-law riding my husband's bike from when he was a kid over to see the girls. It was so stinking cute! He just pedaled over here like it was no big deal to see a grown man riding a bike with a banana seat and flag! Hilarious!

2. Doodle turned sweet 16! We've always known she was sweet, but to see her continue to grow into this amazing woman of God is just humbling beyond words. She has a heart for God that makes others pale in comparison, including my own. We are excited to see her flourish at her new co-op and to see her enjoying her friends so much.

1. My favorite "memory" of 2013 has to be God's healing of me! I had no idea how much I had let myself go until we returned from Alaska in August. We had moved in early July, left for Alaska two weeks later. Returned home and my body unleashed war on me. I suffered from panic attacks the likes I've never experienced.  I couldn't leave my home. For two weeks, I struggled to get a grasp on my emotions, health and irrational fears/thoughts. All the while, right by my side sat my family...Matt, the girls, my precious parents, sister and brother and in laws. Everyone dropped their plans or such to pour into my life and get me well. Being a gal who struggled to see her worth from time to time, this brought me to my knees. I was humbled at how often my mom and dad would drive over to our house, drag me out the door to walk with them and bring me back all the wall cheering me on to good health. They sat with me at countless doctors appointments, helped me walk through a store or leave a birthday party when I felt uneasy. They did not make me feel belittled or as if I was crazy ever. My sister spoke truth into my head...reminding me that God speaks to us loudest when we are still. Since I had been on the go for so long, He needed to get my attention to hear Him. So she encouraged me to look at this time not as me going crazy, although it did feel as such, yet instead to see it as a time of soaking in God's words and being still so He could guide me. I wept considering that while others were telling me to swallow a pill, my sister knew what to say and what my soul needed. I'm not against meds if I need them at all. I just think it was amazing to see that although we may not see each other as often as I like, when it came down to it, they were all there and knew exactly what my heart needed to hear.

It turned out that I was struggling with a major change in my life...perimenopause. Oh the joys! This was causing my hormones to be out of whack and caused the panic attacks but we had a few weeks where I feared I was dealing with a heart condition, diabetes, mental illness. I was a broken woman. And oh, the joy that comes from being completely broken, bare before your creator! God met me in a way I can never put words to adequately. His Word brought me comfort. Singing praises to Him brought me comfort. Praying with my family brought me comfort. And finally, listening to His leading on getting me to the right doctors brought me comfort.

I'm thankful for the journey God took me on as I healed the next few months. I was forced to really look at my life,my heart,my activities and see what mattered most and what was causing me to sink.I was forced to ask for hard for me to do!  I was forced to look at my body as  temple of God. How I chose to care for it or ignore it was up to me, but it would not withstand being abused or ignored without side effects. So I started walking with my parents in August and kept going. Being outside in creation, walking..clears my mind. Allows me to focus on my creator and know He is bigger than any of the stuff I'm facing. I get clarity on that silly trail. The panic attacks started to vanish and instead came peace.

The more I dug into God's Word and into the areas of my life that He was ready to tackle, the stronger I became. I am thankful for realizing I put myself last to the point of not taking care of my body, spirit, mind. I needed to hear that it is ok to take time out of the busyness of life to just sit or walk. I need to sit or walk and be still so I can hear Him. I need that. That is no longer a desire in my life but a need. And to be honest, I think a lot of women need that but are so busy doing things for everyone else, they sink. So I am learning to speak up when I need time and to be diligent about my work when I am busy. Balance is the key.

The perk of all this has been that as I tackled each area God brought up to me during this time, the weight melted off. It was like an awakening of my spirit was burning off the layers of crud I had held onto or stuffed for years. What a glorious way to start a new year! No longer bound to  old ways but free to experience life the way God intended...focused on Him, walking with family, supported by friends. I can't wait to see where He takes us next!

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