Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Valentine's Decor

I've totally been into all these adorable "crafty" blogs lately.  They have me completely inspired.  Oh how I wish I could be like one of these girls.  But unfortunately, I don't have one creative ounce in me but what I can do is copy... well, most of the time... if it's easy enough :)

I don't know how I stumbled on here but I found this and thought, "now THIS looks like something I can do!"  And with all the testosterone floating around my house I needed something a little girly and since Valentine's Day was right around the corner... why not!  So off I went to JoAnn's.  That in itself is another blog post but I'll just remember that outing in my head- it was hilarious... I have maybe been in a craft type store twice in my life :)  Sweet girl that got roped into helping me had some funny stories to tell that day during her lunch break I'm sure!

Isn't she CUTE?!?  I think it turned out so cute and I'm incredibly proud of myself :)

I also downloaded this subway art from the same site and had it printed.  Just a little something to freshen up our guest bathroom in time for Valentine's day!

And lastly, last night I just whipped out (smile) this little cutie!

There are so many things I want to do now.  I've had fun imagining myself going back to JoAnn's or Ace Hardware in search of the materials that I need for my next project.
Stay tuned... this may be the year I become "crafty"  :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

He is Faithful!

I have been really thinking back on the year 2010 lately.  I found myself the other day looking through gobs and gobs of pictures on my computer.  I found myself laughing and crying.  But mostly I found myself thanking Jesus for what he allowed my family to go through last year.  Jesus proved Himself faithful over and over again.  And He will this year as well- I'm sure of it :)

I think if I had to put one song to last year it would have been Faithful One by Selah.  Read the words with me...

"I find no hope within to call my own
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone
But deep within my soul is rising up a song
Here in the comfort of the faithful one

I walk a narrow road through valleys deep

In search of higher ground, on mountains steep
And though with feet unsure, I still keep pressing on.
For I am guided by the faithful one.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

I see your wounded hands, I touch your side

With thorns upon your brow you bled and died

But there's an empty tomb, a love for all who come
And give their hearts to you, the faithful one.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

And when the day is dawned and when the race is run

I will bow down before God's only Son
And I will lift my hands in praise for all you've done
And I will worship you, my faithful one."

Enjoy a little "picture journey of His faithfulness" of 2010.

We started off the year with 2 less teeth!  As minor as it was, He got me through my child being put under general anesthesia.  Oh how quickly I fell in love with Jake's new smile!  :)

A McWilliams wedding!

We were able to spend about 6 weeks in Dallas in March and April.  Here my dad is dedicating Pierce (6 months) back to the Lord.  What a blessing Pierce is to us and we are so thankful for him!

I got to spend Easter with my family in Dallas and was able to see my grandfather during that trip for the last time.   How he and Jake loved each other!

Jake survived MDO for the first time... and mommy was so happy!  :)

The Lord so graciously spared my sister's life the night of her accident.  Just a mere 5 days from her wedding!

The very next day my dad got his cancer diagnosis.

And just FOUR days later we watched my favorite person in the world, my sister, get married!

He allowed Mark and I to have a little getaway to Chicago.  There is nothing sweeter than a time to refresh your love for one another!

Mother's Day 2010!  He is faithful to get me through times like this with a smile :)

Faithful throughout 32 years of life!  Happy Birthday to me!

My dad got to come visit between his cancer surgery and his total knee replacement.  What a special time with him... and Thomas the Train!  :)

We all survived the "potty party" and potty training- hallelujah!

Sweet Jake started preschool!  
His first day of school was also the first day my grandfather was with Jesus!  I miss him so much!

Read here about his funeral (the picture i wanted to put here wouldn't upload)

Someone turned ONE!!!

Someone turned THREE!!!

Texas for Thanksgiving.  So many things to be THANKFUL for this year!

 Right before Christmas in Tahoe.

Well, that was our year... more or less!  Thanks for hanging in there with me.  My favorite line in the song is this, "And I will lift my hands in praise for all you've done
And I will worship you, my faithful one."

The Lord did great things in my family's life in 2010.  Not all what I would have chosen though.  There was heartache.  There were anxious thoughts.  But there were lots of laughs and lots of love 
My Jesus is faithful.  He was in 2010.  He will be in 2011.  He will always be.  "Faithful till the end"

Praise Jesus for His promises.
Lamentations 3: 22
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness. 

Here is to a great 2011!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Christmas this year was SO FUN!  I love watching Christmas through the eyes of a child.  Jake was definitely into it this year.  We spent the weeks before talking about Jesus' birthday, Santa Claus, obeying or else our little elf friend would report back to Santa, talking about what kind of cookies to make, singing all kinds of Christmas songs, playing with our nativity scene and really just enjoying the season and what each new day brought.  While I missed being in Dallas it was nice waking up just our little family and spending the morning together playing and just having fun.

On Christmas Eve, we went to our church and then over to Ben and Tatiana's house for dinner.  Tatiana's whole family from Colombia was there and we all had a great time.  Right before bed, we put out the milk and cookies and candy (what Jake wanted to add) and picture for Santa and then we planted our "donut tree" (a first tradition for us) and all went to sleep happy and completely anticipating tomorrow's FUN!  :)

Planting the "seeds"

Christmas morning!

 It worked!  Our seeds magically turned into DONUTS!!!  :)

 Afterwards we headed to Al and Janis' house for the rest of the day.  Santa had of course come there too and had brought the most awesome John Deere "gador."
I love seeing Jake hold his hands like this- so sweet!

"Is this thing really for ME?!?"

And they are OFF!

 Are they having fun or WHAT?!?

This was our dessert!  Have you ever seen anything cuter?!?

It was a fun and special day!  I enjoyed every moment of being with my family, treasuring the reason we celebrate Christmas and so incredibly thankful for everything that I have been blessed with!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lake Tahoe

The week before Christmas the whole McWilliams clan drove to Tahoe to spend a few days.  The snow was unbelievable (we got 8 FEET while we were there!)  I had never been during the winter and to see the beauty of it all was incredible!  The first 2 days it rained alot while snowing gobs so we didn't venture out much.  We stayed indoors in the ginormous house we rented- thank you Al and Janis!!!  Lots of games and lots of videos and lots of watching snow plows made for fun days.  

The third day we were there it just plain dumped snow!  We did manage to get out for a few hours though.  A sleigh ride was number one on our list!  "Dashing through the snow- on a one horse open sleigh..." took on a whole new meaning for us :)  We had a ball!  After that, the ski resort had opened the gondola and so up we went!  Not to ski but just for a fun ride and for some hot chocolate at the very top.  Jake LOVED LOVED LOVED it!
Mark got to ski one day and I chose to stay at home in front of the fire instead of battling high winds and snow and frigid temps.  The mountain ended up closing early because of the wind.  Mark and I have never skied together and I was really looking forward to finally being able to ski with him.  I was a little disappointed that I didn't go but hearing him talk about how rough it was at the top made me realize that I made the right choice :)  Next time!

The next day we decided to take a drive around the lake.  It was still snowing and truly gorgeous.  We woke up the fifth day to the bluest sky and sunshine!  Too bad we were packing up to go home otherwise it would have been the perfect day to just play outside.

In my mind I had all these great pictures that I wanted to capture during the week.  I quickly realized that wasn't going to happen.  Whoever said that going to the snow with 2 small kids is a vacation doesn't know what he is talking about!  Here we have 2 kids still completely dependent on us to put on their snow boots, jackets, hats, and mittens (trying to explain how to keep their thumb apart while putting them on was near impossible- I just had to laugh to keep my sanity!).  Then you basically have to take everything off to put them in their carseats only to put everything back on when you get out of the car.  Made me break into a sweat every time!  The absolute LAST thing going through my mind was to grab my camera.  But we have a few great pictures and I have about a thousand in my mind :)
Here are a few-
It was a great trip and I can't wait for next year!

ok, so it really wasn't a "one horse" but a "two horse open sleigh"

on the gondola

I bet Pierce climbed the stairs about a thousand times a day!

Jake played pool with his uncle Ben

The McWilliams- so blessed to have been married into this family!
Back row: Ben (brother #2), David (brother #3), Jake, Mark, Al (dad), Scott (brother-in-law)
Front Row: Tatiana (married to Ben), Janis (mom), me, Pierce, Mary Katherine (sister)

The most beautiful day!
(This was the view from our deck- really the first day we could see the lake.  The snow was so thick that we couldn't see it most days)