Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016

     My Love and I returned home yesterday from a lovely adventure of Christmas and family and all such good things. It was good to spend time with my side of the family. All of my siblings made it except Jesse who unfortunately couldn't make the trip this time. Though, we are looking forward to seeing him in March when Baby Williams arrives. We also got to spend a couple days with my Kinney Grandparents and my Uncle, Aunt, and cousins from Missouri. I was reminded though of the saying that, "There is no place like home." It was wonderful to adventure and travel and see people, but I am quite happy to be home in our own little world once again.

We don't get to see Jordan nearly often enough. 

My Grandpa is a craftsman. On Monday we went out to his shop for a bit. He had found some cute chairs for Luke and I. We ended up sitting out there talking for awhile. 

 Grandpa is also a lover of red plaid and he likes to spread the love. I think Luke looks spectacular in his new lumberjack gear. 
This man is truly a wonderful blessing to me. I've been thinking lately about how very nice it is to be cared for. Luke is a great carer. He takes my arm across the icy driveway so I don't slip. He asks me to please stay home because the roads aren't good. He knows how tired I have been lately so he tells me to sleep in and rest when needed. He is ok with me waking him up in the middle of the night when I get a charlie horse so bad that I can hardly move my leg. I am so blessed. And Baby Williams doesn't know it yet, but he is too because Luke is going to be the best Daddy.  

   Speaking of Baby Williams he and I hit 31 weeks tomorrow. It is crazy that that means there are only 9 weeks left until he makes his appearance. I can't wait to meet him. Though I was thinking the other night that he and I are going to have to have a discussion about the hours he occasionally keeps. There are days where I don't feel him move or kick much until the end of the day. Specifically the other day, when he decided 11:30pm was the time to wake up and start dancing/kickboxing/gymnastic routining. That's all fine for now, but I would much prefer if he does those things during the day once he arrives.

Jordan is pretty excited about being an uncle and Baby Williams certainly benefited. Those tiny red shoes are simply too adorable. When I was a kid, my dad was known for his red tennis, now Baby W. can literally follow in his grandpa's footsteps. 

     And now the New Year with all it's adventures and surprises is just about here. May the rest of your 2016 be delightful!

"A new year is on the way and the possibilities are endless." ~Unknown

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve 2016

      There is a lemon pie baking in the oven, pie crust for two pecan pies chilling in the fridge and a ham just waiting to go into the oven. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I love it. The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. This year we will be having dinner at Luke's sister Abbi's house. I was told to bring a side and got carried away. Luke's favorite is pecan pie and my favorite is lemon so what is a girl to do. Plus last night I was sadly bemoaning the fact that we rarely have ham for Thanksgiving. Luke then logically suggested the idea that we take one as a part of of our contribution. He is so smart! And then I'm also taking a a hot orange and cranberry spiced punch which my mom starting making years back and I've been making ever since.

    Now the pies are out of the oven and a big pot of curry is bubbling on the stove simmering its delicious flavors together for supper. So now I am on to other delightful, afternoon off, sort of activities.
    I am so very blessed in this life and therefore I have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for this guy. He is gentle and kind, wise and forgiving. He pushes me to be my best and has helped me grow in my faith and understanding of who God is. I remember a Thanksgiving about 6 years ago when we were just at the beginning of our story. My brother Jordan and I were still in school and were planning on heading south for Thanksgiving. I remember secretly wishing that it would snow really bad and we would be stuck in town, thus getting to spend the holiday with Luke and his family. It didn't happen, but it was a nice thought. And I've spent every Thanksgiving with him since. He is my favorite!

     I'm also incredibly thankful for the little guy who is getting bigger every day. He makes me smile with his sturdy  kicks and wiggles. I remember the days of longing for a baby, any baby to call my own. And now that longing is replaced with an intense love for this little guy specifically. He has a name already and he is his own little person and we haven't even met him yet. About 3 1/2 more months!
     My list continues on... I am thankful for this house and its beautiful blue roof. I am thankful for my job at Heartland Christian Academy and what a crazy blessing and joy it has been to be there. I am thankful for my family and many friends. People who are incredibly important to me and constantly remind me how good God is. And I am thankful for the snow that is ushering in the holiday season in the proper Minnesotan way. 

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

"Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." ~William Arthur Ward

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hunting Season With a Twist

      The past few weeks have been deer, hunting, season here in the Minnesota Northlands. I have friends who have been out sitting in trees, anxiously awaiting the appearance of the perfect specimen of future venison and antlers. Blaze orange and camouflage are totally in and the radio has discussed how very warm it is for the hunt.
      Here at the Williams' home, we've been doing a little hunting of our own...Of a slightly different variety. Mice! Once again the creepy little things have decided to move on in and torment me. I know that I am not alone in this hunt. Many of my friends know that the struggle is real as they are dealing with it in their own homes. In fact, I mentioned tonight that perhaps we should form a club and call ourselves The Sisterhood of the Great Mouse Hunters. I have a trapline throughout the house and have had considerable success, and yet they keep coming. Don't mess with me rodents, don't mess with me. Happy Hunting.
(Disclaimer, I did not use the muzzle loader on any mice. As much as I despise the critters, I like my cabinets more...)

"To live will be an awfully big adventure." ~Peter Pan

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Maintenance of the Heart

     Saturday is a such a lovely day. A day to be home. A day to be busy or not. A day to sleep in and then have coffee and muffins with your love. A day to really just appreciate the simple life we live.
     Luke is up on the roof for what is hopefully the last day of this project. A project that started in May is finally wrapping up at the end of October. I didn't realize just how long this would take, but that seems to be how projects roll. The soffit and fascia still needs to be put on, but that is going to be next summers project....And since I started typing this this morning, Luke has officially finished!
     This past week, we hit the 2 year anniversary of when we bought our house. It sure has been a good 2 years. We have crammed the days full of memories, company, dinner parties, family, house projects, and so much more. Our house is unique in its design, put together piece by piece over the years. Crooked in many ways but so full of character. I have loved how it has become ours and continues to change and morph with each project. And soon it will be home to 3, a place of love and memories.

     My family did foster care for around 10 years and so my Mom had loads of baby stuff in both genders. She brought it to me this summer and I finally got around to looking through it today. I pulled out an entire laundry basket full of baby boy clothes and am getting it all washed up and put away. We have a growing collection for this little guy and I so can't wait to meet him. It is just such a awe inspiring thing to think about this little baby and to feel his little kicks and wiggles. We are so blessed.

    I also spent part of today cleaning the house. Saturdays just seem to be the best time to really tackle that stuff. As I was pushing the vacuum around, I thought about how, in order to keep a house neat and tidy, you have to do regular maintenance. If I fail to vacuum, sweep, or clean the bathrooms the mess starts to build up and be annoying. And so, I take time to pick up, put away, wipe down, and generally clear away the clutter.
      I thought about how the same concept applies to our minds and hearts. They need regular maintenance to stay neat and tidy. And if we fail to do that maintenance things pile up and start to hinder our joy, peace, and sanity.
     Maybe it's some sneaky sin we let in and fail to deal with or perhaps worry or doubt has begun to settle like dust on your soul. We are humans, it's bound to happen. And so, we do maintenance. We need to make a regular habit of clearing out the clutter, wiping off the dust, straightening up the shelves and taking it all to The One who designed us.
    Don't let that worry sit too long on your heart, it will only build up and become a film that clouds your joy. Regular maintenance, it's good for the soul!
Happy Saturday.

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that action." 
~Mother Teresa 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Most Lovely Long Weekend

       It was MEA this week, meaning that I had Thursday and Friday off from school. Such a lovely long weekend. It has included breakfast out with My Love, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, visits with friends, quite a few movies, knitting, and butchering chickens.
      So far, one of the best parts of it was on Thursday. Last week I had my 20 week ultrasound, but Little Mr. Williams wasn't being cooperative and so they didn't get any good images of his heart. So, they called me back in. Since I was there anyway I asked the ultrasound tech if I could have any of the profile pictures she got since they didn't really get a good one last time. She got the required heart pictures and then just began taking fun pictures for me. Once again I was blown away to watch my little guy, in all his tiny perfection, wiggle and move. Such a miracle. He is pretty adorable if I do say so myself.
My personal favorite, sucking his thumb. 

 Snuggling with his hand up by his face

 Little toes

Little legs and feet


And the weekend still has one day to go. HURRAY!!! Happy Saturday. 

"A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results." ~Wade Boggs

Saturday, October 15, 2016

IT'S A....


      Yesterday Luke and I went in for my 20 week ultrasound(Half way there!) It was amazing. I knew I was excited to find out the gender and see the baby, but I didn't realize just how cool it would be to see him moving around. His little feet were one of my favorite things because they were so easy to pick out, tiny and perfect. At first we wondered if we would be able to find out the gender because he had those perfect little feet crossed at the ankles. It was pretty cute. According to their measurments he is about 12 oz. That's almost a pound already. Little chunky monkey!
     Afterwards I texted my friend Allison to let her know the gender and she texted me back "How good is God!!!" And you know what, that comment sums it up perfectly. The One who is creating this little baby is beyond wonder. Psalm 139:14-16 says,

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from 
You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought 
in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed
 substance; and in Your books were all written the days that 
were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."

     The other day I was teaching Bible class and we were reviewing the stories of Abraham and Sarah and how they so desperately wanted a child, and God had promised them one, but it seemed to them that God had forgotten. This made me think about the many days I longed for a baby and wondered if it was ever going to happen for us. I doubted and yet God is faithful. And now in just 20 short weeks our baby boy will be here. We are so blessed. 

20 week baby bump

Little Mr. Williams' face

Front view


"A new baby is like the beginning of all things--wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities."
~Eda J. LeShan

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Family, Weddings, and Road Trips

      Last week, My Love and I hit the road after work on Thursday. My youngest brother Mick, was tying the knot with his fiance Payge and so we were headed for a weekend with my family. We had decided to head out Thursday night and stop at Luke's sister Anna's to spend the night. We pulled in late and as we were doing so, Luke began to notice an unpleasant sound coming from the car.       Unfortunately, the axle was just about broken, fortunately, we were at Anna's house. So, Friday morning Luke and Travis(Anna's husband) took the car to the local mechanics and they set to work on fixing it. It ended up taking a lot longer than we hoped and so we didn't make it to the rehearsal like we had planned. I am thankful that we were with people we loved however, because if we had had to wait around with nothing to do all Friday, I may have gone bonkers.

We checked out a local coffee shop. Gregory, Bea, and Anna

    We missed the rehearsal, but we did make it to the dinner. After the dinner my family loaded into our various vehicles to head to my parents home a half hour away. We were cruising down the highway when we were suddenly thumping and bumping. Luke pulled off to the side with dismay. We had blown a tire. Thankfully, my parents were right behind us, so they pulled over as well and Dad helped change the tire. We realized the irony of all this car trouble happening to the newest car we own, the one that shouldn't have problems. Oh well. 
    Saturday morning we got spruced up and headed to the Church where we hung out, took pictures, and spent time with family. All of my siblings were there(something that rarely happens) as well as both sets of my grandparents and 2 sets of aunts and uncles. I quite enjoyed it. 

My brothers. Mick(The groom) Jesse, and Jordan

My daddy, looking all spiffy, and myself

Mick and his new wife Payge...Or Mr. and Mrs. Shearer(Photo credits to my dad Rohn)

Mick and Jesse(Jesse was the best man)

My Dad and Mom...Rohn and AmyJo(Photo credits Aunt Janelle Shearer)

Mick, Payge, Grandma Shearer and Grandpa Shearer(I have no idea what was so funny, but I love this picture. Photo credits to Aunt Janelle Shearer)

Grandpa and Grandma Shearer and Lydia

Jordan and I

Luke and my Uncle Dan

    Not only did I get to see my family, but my dear friends Amanda and Emily were there with their families as well. It is always great to see them. They are my oldest friends(Meaning, our moms were friends before any of us were born and hours of our childhood were spent together) and we don't see each other nearly enough. We took a group picture and I'm so glad we did. It made me think of another group picture we have from when I was like 13 years old. 

Amanda, Lydia, Emily, me, Jesse, Mick, and Jordan

Back row: Amanda, me, Lydia, Emily
Front row: Jesse, Mick, and Jordan

    At the reception they had a s'mores bar. However, instead of going to said s'mores bar, Jordan decided to roast his marshmallow over the tea candles on the table. It required a lot of concentration. 

 Lydia and Claire(Emily's daughter), me, Amanda, Jordan and Emily

Claire and I. 
Emily and I discussed how awesome it would be if my baby is a girl. Because, Baby Williams and Claire will be just about exactly as many months apart as Emily and I are. A true friendship in the making. 

Speaking of Baby Williams, he or she is getting quite big. Tomorrow is my ultrasound and I can hardly wait to find out if it is a boy or a girl. I've also started to feel some occasional kicks and it puts a smile on my face!

Happy Thursday!

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you as you are to them." ~Desmond Tutu

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Happy October

     Happy October! Today is full of Autumn's beauty and goodness. Fog hangs low over the ever changing trees with a touch of coolness in the air. Leaves litter the ground and the trees are just about at their peak of color. We started a fire in the stove last night, and had tea and muffins for breakfast. Really, I do believe that Fall and Saturdays were made for each other.
     Life has been good. School is settling into the swing of things, the roof is still in progress but getting closer, and friendship abounds. May your day be lovely!!!

Mr. Ephraim is on the move...

And cute as can be!

The red barn is such a nice pop of color in any season's photo.

And this awesome guy continues to steal my heart. I am blessed indeed. 

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the Autumn tree." ~Emily Bronte

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Life In The Northwoods

     A couple weeks ago we bought a new car. We had decided that a 2 door and a car seat were a combination we didn't feel like dealing with if we could help it. It is a 2004 VW Passat and the newest car we have ever owned. It's a pretty sweet ride and we named her Stella, because every good vehicle needs a name. I'm looking forward to the backseat having someone special buckled in.

    Today, Luke got back to work on the roof. This has been one long project and slowly but surely, it is reaching it's end. Just in time for the changing of the seasons too.
     The first day of Fall is here and gone and the world around us is welcoming the transition. The leaves are starting to change and the crab apple tree in the front yard has already lost most of its leaves. I had a giant pot of chili bubbling on the stove today and relaxed on the couch for a bit this afternoon with a cup of creamy, hot cocoa. It's delightful and I love it. Happy Saturday!

"Life fails to be perfect, but it never fails to beautiful."~Unknown