Monday, December 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye...

I'm not a fan of goodbyes. In fact, I don't like saying that word at all. And yet here we are, New Year's Eve and it's time to bid adieu to 2012. This has been by far, my favorite year. God's hand has been so evident in every aspect of this year and I almost hate to see this year go. However, I can rest assured that He is faithful and His plans are far better than my own, so bring on 2013!

Have you met my husband? Or seen him lately? Probably not. You know why? Because he is the hardest working son-of-a-gun I know! Michael graduated from Medical School in May and was given a two week break until he began his residency at the beginning of June. And that was the last time I saw him. Okay, so I'm kidding...kind of. He continues to work looong days and even looonger nights, with many weeks resulting in 80+hours worked. And do you know what? He hasn't missed a moment of our family time. When Michael is home, he is our's. I am so thankful for this man who diligently works harder than anyone I know, without complaint and always, always makes time for his wife and family. I am honored to stand beside him and walk this journey together.

Thank you, Michael for your time. I know you don't have much it, yet you freely give all you have to the three who love you most waiting for your arrival each day! I fall more in love with you every day and you are such a blessing to me!

Of course, we said a big "hello" to the newest member of our family, Abel James, born on August 1. Abel's birth was a beautiful gift by the hand of God and I pray those moments never leave my memory.
It's quite possible that Abel is the most perfect, happiest baby on Earth. You may be tired of hearing me say that by now, but I promise you, he is an angel! He has fit so perfectly into our family that I just don't know how we got along without him! His larger than life grin warms my heart and his laugh brings me to tears. He is a blessing and I praise God for his life and the gift of a being a mother to a precious, perfect boy.

Now, if only time would stop and he could be my sweet, butter bean baby forever! :)
You didn't think I would forget the most life changing moment of my life, did you? April 3 will go down in my life history as the day I saw the true love of Jesus here on earth. Most of you know, my sister in law, Carrie selflessly gave Owen his new beginning, his new life, his new (slightly used) kidney. Carrie did what I had longed to do since Owen's birth. It is absoutely impossible to even remotely express my gratitude and thankfulness for her gift, her sacrifice, her act of love.
Because of her, my baby became a bouncing, busy, crazy toddler in what seems like overnight. Because of her, I can now order from the kids menu for a hungry boy, who has learned to eat by mouth. A simple act I had so longed for. :) Because of her, my house is an absolute wreck. And I absolutely love it. Because of her, I rarely sit down, due to chasing a very busy boy throughout the house. Because of her, I can sing, I can dance, I can pray, and I can play with a boy who loves every minute of every day.
Because of Carrie, Owen lives.
Carrie, I praise God for you everyday. Each bite Owen takes, each word he says and each step he takes, I praise Him for you. Thank you, Carrie, you have shown us a love unlike another and your sacrifice has given Owen a life that was impossible without your gift. I love you, Carrie.
We are so thankful for the love and support we have received throughout Owen's journey. Please know, your prayers are felt and so appreciated. Thank you for adding our family to prayer lists, sending encouraging messages and prayers and loving us from afar. I pray over Owen every night that his story is used for HIS ultimate glory. That Owen's life will be used for the glory of the Lord. Thank you, thank you for loving our son. We are so grateful for the outpouring of love we continue to receive. We pray that Owen's life blesses you as it has blessed our's!
So even though I hate saying goodbye, and I have loved everything this year has brought my family. I know that 2013 holds more blessings and adventures! It is my prayer that this blog will continue to encourage you, not through my words, but through the story of a boy who is only here by the grace of God. That through our story, you will see the faithfulness of a God who loves to bless His children. And that through the greatest struggles come the greatest blessings.
So here's to you, 2012, it's been a great year and we look forward to a new year full of new life and new blessings!
And just for fun...some of my favorite 2012 moments....in picture form!
 Owen stood for the first time, using his stander!

 Match Day, Daddy got his #1, Tampa!
 Owen's BIG announcement! :)
 The best day of Owen's life.
 Daddy became DR. Daddy!
Owen's first trip to the beach. :)
Owen met his biggest prayer warrior, his Great, Great Aunt Katie. Who passed away shortly after our visit. We are daily blessed by the legacy of  Aunt Katie's life.
 Sweet Baby Abel made his debut!
 Owen kissed Abel, a rare occurrence!
 Our first ever group picture of ALL the cousins!
 Owen learned to eat by mouth and hasn't slowed down since!
We are so blessed by my parents, who continue to go above and beyond in showing their love for us. I just don't know what I would do without them!
Psalm 138:13
"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the "gods" I will sing Your praise. I will bow down toward Your holy temple and will praise Your name for Your love and faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word. When I called, You answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying."