Family Photos (and Halloween) 2015

(Scroll down if you’re here only looking for family photos!) πŸ™‚

The weekend of Halloween, we drove back to Norman during naptime so our kids would sleep in the van. We just couldn’t miss the annual Murder Mystery…Luau-style. Morgan and Jeff hosted a fun party!

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Somehow Joey’s character always ends up looking creepy…

Turns out I married a murderer…Joey (Robbie Peters, the Hollywood actor) killed Dustin (the fisherman) over something…I can’t remember at the moment.

Our kids were over-the-top adorable for Halloween this year.

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Finn was Captain America/Super Finn.

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Apparently the suit was itchy.

And Paisley wore Finn’s old elephant costume. I thought she’d kick and scream, but she loved it and didn’t want to take it off.

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Finn on the left and Paisley on the right!

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Also that weekend, Laura, our “family photographer,” snapped a few pics of us for our Christmas card. Considering that it was rainy and cloudy and cold, we came away with a few great shots. Thanks, Lala!Β  Enjoy!

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Thankful for our little family!

A Conversation At Lowe’s

We are insane and have begun the arduous process of painting our kitchen cabinets white. My MIL and I did it before in our Norman home. 3 coats of Behr Pillar White. Now we have twice as many cabinets with beautiful crown molding trim, less time and two kids. “It’s gonna be awesome,” we keep telling ourselves.

Top cabinets off; sanded and ready for primer...

Top cabinets off; sanded and ready for primer…

Any trip to the store these days begins with negotiations between Finn and I. He wants to use his wheelchair; I would rather him be contained in the cart. We both want control. So we agreed, per usual, that he could use his wheelchair if he stayed close and obeyed “quickly and happily.”

While we waited for two gallons of Valspar Dove White, a kind older couple noticed Finn. They asked if he could walk. (“Yes, he can. We just play ‘wheelchair’ sometimes for fun.” –sarcastic inner monologue.) “No, he was born with Spina Bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down, so he uses a wheelchair to get around.” They told me about some family member they have who also has a disability and then reassured me that with technology these days, surely he’ll be walking soon. I smiled and mumbled something awkward like, “Yep, we’ve sure come a long way. Alright kids, let’s keep shopping.”

So we went outside to get mulch. As I was heaving a couple bags into the cart, I heard Finn say, “spine bifda…” He repeated it, trying the words out on his tongue. He’s heard us say, “Spina Bifida,” hundreds of times, but this was the first time I’ve heard him say it. I asked him if he knew what that was. “No.” I told him he was born with it and that’s the reason he has trouble walking and why he’s in a wheelchair and why we do physical therapy with Miss Brittany and…blah blah blah.

This was a conversation I’d played out dozens of times in my head, wide awake some nights worrying about how he’d respond. I was just about to tell him about how special he was and that God spent extra time creating him even though he’s different in some ways…

But he asked for another animal cracker and spun around in his chair.

I know he heard me; he’s super smart. But my rant didn’t really interest him. I laughed and took this picture.

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Not the reaction I was expecting.

Finn has been surprising us since I was 6 weeks pregnant with him: bleeding profusely on a family vacation; the ER doctor told me I was having a miscarriage. Nope; the ultrasound showed a strong blinking light (Finn’s heartbeat), as if he was in there saying, “I’m still here mom and dad! I’m fighting! Don’t give up on me!”

Through Finn God has taught me to expect the unexpected.(Good and bad.)

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“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory…” Ephesians 3:20, 21

Good Company

Joey and I get excited about checking on our kids before we go to bed. They’re splayed out silly in their beds, covers thrown off and long, dark eyelashes resting on their chubby cheeks from a hard day at play. Last night I prayed this over Paisley: that someday she’d have the kind of friends I found in college at OBU.

OBU 10 yr college reunion

OBU 10 yr college reunion

Yesterday we celebrated our 10 year Oklahoma Baptist University reunion back on Bison Hill. We are old.

The Name Tag Maker (whoever you are, you are funny) played a prank on Joey and made his name tag pic a picture of him sucking a baby bottle at Barnyard Olympics. :)

The Name Tag Maker (whoever you are, you are funny) played a prank on Joey and made his name tag pic a picture of him sucking a baby bottle at Barnyard Olympics. πŸ™‚

Jane and Lindsey couldn’t make it, but it was fun to relive some of our favorite memories with some familiar–albeit 10 years older–faces. We missed seeing so many of our dear friends and wish you all could have been there.

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Micah, Joey and Matt

Micah, Joey and Matt: buds.

Joey, Micah and Brad reliving their epic team triathlon victory.

Joey, Micah and Brad reliving their epic team triathlon victory.

These four girls (below) are the kind of friends my mom prayed for over my sleeping form many years ago.

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They are the love-you-for-better-or-worse kind of friends. The friends who recognize you’re not the immature self-centered 19 year old you once were because Jesus has done some work on you since. They expect more out of you. They love your kids. They sacrifice (because it truly is a sacrifice) two weekends a year for the past TEN YEARS to spend time with you. Usually it involves shopping and pedicures and yummy food.

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Jane taught us how to make a delicious, traditional Indian dish.

But always it involves tears, and the kind of laughter that makes you pee a little. One of us is always pregnant…this time Lindsey and Jane. Well, every time it’s Lindsey… πŸ˜‰ These girls are a blessing. A good and perfect gift from a good and perfect God.

A couple weekends ago it was Jane’s turn to be showered.

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Intimate brunch at Brennan’s

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Taylor used her rad calligraphy skills to make the invite and place cards.

The Roomies and Kay, Jane's sis, and mom, Mary Ann

The Roomies and Kay, Jane’s sis, and mom, Mary Ann

Her first child, a baby girl, is due on Christmas Day. We had so much fun partying in her honor in Houston.

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Alicja composed the sweetest poem for Jane.

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Kay gave Jane the prettiest earrings and an even prettier story to go along with them. Jane comes from a long line of beautiful (in and out) women.

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Writing

Writing “wishes for baby…”

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“I hope you ignore those voices inside that tell you you aren’t worthy, good enough or less than. You are enough because He is enough…”

And it was so much fun to finally meet Ralph, her husband. He is the beautiful Indian man who pursued her and showed her what love looks like in human form.

Jane is a special one.

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Her closet is full of designer shoes and her heart is full of Christ’s love and redemption. She has been Jesus to me so many times over the years. She sent me flowers “From: Jesus” when my heart was broken, sent money when the medical bills were stacked high, and sent texts when I needed them most.

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Our book, God Loves It When...

Our book, God Loves It When…

Jane, I love you. And that baby girl in your tall, tiny belly will be a beacon to the world: the hope of Christ. She will represent beauty and kindness. She is destined for great things, simply because of who her parents are and Whom they serve.

“Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Cor. 15:33)

Thank you God, for my good company.