Note to self: integrity always wins. Integrity will always guide you down the right path. Always. Being the same inside as you are outside, for kind people and those that struggle to be kind, for friends and strangers, no matter what… that brings the greatest peace. No favorites, no walls, no fear. Giving your best to everyone no matter what they give to you. That brings the peace that passes all understanding. ‘Great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion says my soul. Therefore I will hope in Him.’ He gives us a bright lamp every day to light the way. Integrity always wins and joy always follows.

Note to self: integrity always wins. Integrity will always guide you down the right path. Always. Being the same inside as you are outside, for kind people and those that struggle to be kind, for friends and strangers, no matter what… that brings the greatest peace. No favorites, no walls, no fear. Giving your best to everyone no matter what they give to you. That brings the peace that passes all understanding. ‘Great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion says my soul. Therefore I will hope in Him.’ He gives us a bright lamp every day to light the way. Integrity always wins and joy always follows.

Happy four months, sweetness! Oh, what an amazing heart-changing joyful challenging blessed four months! You are my heart. I will fight for you every single moment. Every day I fight for my time with you, to be the best example to you of love and humility and to listen to you with total abandon. Fighting for what’s most important is not easy some days but it is always always always WORTH IT. You have taught me more in these last four months than I’ve learned in a lifetime before that. I didn’t know what real heart change was before I had you. Now, every single day, you open our hearts wide. God is so good to give us His grace and His Grace. Words just can’t express our gratitude and joy enough! I love you!!! Love, Mommy

Happy four months, sweetness! Oh, what an amazing heart-changing joyful challenging blessed four months! You are my heart. I will fight for you every single moment. Every day I fight for my time with you, to be the best example to you of love and humility and to listen to you with total abandon. Fighting for what’s most important is not easy some days but it is always always always WORTH IT. You have taught me more in these last four months than I’ve learned in a lifetime before that. I didn’t know what real heart change was before I had you. Now, every single day, you open our hearts wide. God is so good to give us His grace and His Grace. Words just can’t express our gratitude and joy enough! I love you!!! Love, Mommy

Note to self: Anything is possible. A year ago everything was different. Everything. You doubted. You feared. And God poured on the countless blessings in the storms. Count them!  Blessings you never thought in a million years would happen. But, they did. And the storms were so worth it. ALL things are possible. With every fear you step into and with every ounce of love you give, He opens doors. Big ones. He creates doors you didn’t know existed! He makes miracles happen. Real miracles. So, trust, give all the love you can muster (then give some more) and know that anything - truly ANYTHING - is possible with God. The living proof is right in front of you. ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.’ - Proverbs 3:5-6  He will make your paths straight and AWESOME. And He will blow your thoughts on what’s “possible” out. of. the. water.  ‘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…’- Ephesians 3:20.

Note to self: Anything is possible. A year ago everything was different. Everything. You doubted. You feared. And God poured on the countless blessings in the storms. Count them! Blessings you never thought in a million years would happen. But, they did. And the storms were so worth it. ALL things are possible. With every fear you step into and with every ounce of love you give, He opens doors. Big ones. He creates doors you didn’t know existed! He makes miracles happen. Real miracles. So, trust, give all the love you can muster (then give some more) and know that anything - truly ANYTHING - is possible with God. The living proof is right in front of you. ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.’ - Proverbs 3:5-6 He will make your paths straight and AWESOME. And He will blow your thoughts on what’s “possible” out. of. the. water. ‘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…’- Ephesians 3:20.

I love you. You woke up at 5am to eat as usual and, instead of falling back asleep, you wanted to play. Daddy had to go to work early, so I snuggled in bed with you. I was falling back asleep with you in my arms but you kept talking to me. And playing with my face. It was so funny. After a good “conversation” together, you fell back asleep. I love snuggling with you when you are sleeping. I love your little milky sweet breath. I love holding your hand and having your tiny fingers wrapped around mine. I love when you start to wake up. The moment you open your eyes you smile so big! It’s like you are saying, LIFE IS AWESOME! YAY! I GET ANOTHER DAY! And truly, it is. Life is awesome no matter what hardships we face and we are so blessed to wake up with another day to live to the full. I’m so grateful to God to be your mama, pretty girl! He is so good. Love, Mommy

I love you. You woke up at 5am to eat as usual and, instead of falling back asleep, you wanted to play. Daddy had to go to work early, so I snuggled in bed with you. I was falling back asleep with you in my arms but you kept talking to me. And playing with my face. It was so funny. After a good “conversation” together, you fell back asleep. I love snuggling with you when you are sleeping. I love your little milky sweet breath. I love holding your hand and having your tiny fingers wrapped around mine. I love when you start to wake up. The moment you open your eyes you smile so big! It’s like you are saying, LIFE IS AWESOME! YAY! I GET ANOTHER DAY! And truly, it is. Life is awesome no matter what hardships we face and we are so blessed to wake up with another day to live to the full. I’m so grateful to God to be your mama, pretty girl! He is so good. Love, Mommy

Note to self: Life is too short not to DO IT BIG.  Life is too important to wait and worry and wonder, What if?  Life is too short and too important to waste a second procrastinating and distracting yourself from what really matters.  Life is too short to fear or hesitate - even for a second.  Do the good you know you ought to do and do it now.  Life is too short not to spend time praying your heart out.  God makes things happen when you pray.  Every single time.  Life is too short not to love and give and accept change as a gift straight from above and to listen to that voice inside of you that keeps you up at night, beckoning you to step into the life you were meant to live.  Life is too short to wait.  Really, it is.  Waiting is a waste.  Life is too short to be afraid to dive in.  Life is too short and too precious not to make decisions and know that this moment is all there is.  Nothing is more important than this day and the people right in front of you. Life is too short to focus on anything but what matters.  Life is too short to let your excuses be bigger than your heart.  The golden questions: Will it matter when you’re 80?  Can you take it to Heaven with you?  What are you waiting for?  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  - Matt 7:7-8

Note to self: Life is too short not to DO IT BIG.  Life is too important to wait and worry and wonder, What if?  Life is too short and too important to waste a second procrastinating and distracting yourself from what really matters.  Life is too short to fear or hesitate - even for a second.  Do the good you know you ought to do and do it now.  Life is too short not to spend time praying your heart out.  God makes things happen when you pray.  Every single time.  Life is too short not to love and give and accept change as a gift straight from above and to listen to that voice inside of you that keeps you up at night, beckoning you to step into the life you were meant to live.  Life is too short to wait.  Really, it is.  Waiting is a waste.  Life is too short to be afraid to dive in.  Life is too short and too precious not to make decisions and know that this moment is all there is.  Nothing is more important than this day and the people right in front of you. Life is too short to focus on anything but what matters.  Life is too short to let your excuses be bigger than your heart.  The golden questions: Will it matter when you’re 80?  Can you take it to Heaven with you?  What are you waiting for?  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  - Matt 7:7-8

Oh, Grace.  Your joy makes me so happy.  This morning, I just watched you in awe while you were sleeping.  You were so peaceful and relaxed and no doubt dreaming of sweet things.  You don’t wake up in the middle of the night thinking about worries.  You just are.  You laugh, you love, you cry when you are sad or frustrated, you look at the simplest things with the greatest wonder, you trust us to care for you.  That trust is the largest and most wonderful responsibility I could ever have.  It’s a joy.  A gift.  I savor it every day.  “Sacrifices” don’t feel like sacrifices much any more when it comes to you.  My heart is becoming clearer.  I see exactly where I want to be with you.  Life is too short not to live these days and moments to the full.  I love you so much, sweet girl.  Thank you for blessing our lives with your sweet joy and for changing us from the inside out.  Love, Mommy

Oh, Grace.  Your joy makes me so happy.  This morning, I just watched you in awe while you were sleeping.  You were so peaceful and relaxed and no doubt dreaming of sweet things.  You don’t wake up in the middle of the night thinking about worries.  You just are.  You laugh, you love, you cry when you are sad or frustrated, you look at the simplest things with the greatest wonder, you trust us to care for you.  That trust is the largest and most wonderful responsibility I could ever have.  It’s a joy.  A gift.  I savor it every day.  “Sacrifices” don’t feel like sacrifices much any more when it comes to you.  My heart is becoming clearer.  I see exactly where I want to be with you.  Life is too short not to live these days and moments to the full.  I love you so much, sweet girl.  Thank you for blessing our lives with your sweet joy and for changing us from the inside out.  Love, Mommy

A special note from Daddy : )

Gracie,

Today your mother and I have been married for 6 years. During that time we have had many adventures, struggles, triumphs and laughter. Our marriage has been unconventional at times. We eloped to Vegas (don’t ever do that!) and we were forced to spend the greater part of our second year apart while I was in Iraq. But, together we have come a long way. Your mother has taught me to choose love in times of anger and to always remember that God is with me. There have been some tough times between us, but the greatest thing that your mom ever did for me (besides have you) was to fight for our relationship when I was ready to give up. You should thank her some time for that because you probably would not exist…

After six years of marriage and four months of you, we are very different people than when we met. But despite our changes, our love has grown deep roots and we now are strong enough to weather whatever comes our way (including you when you’re hungry…).

I love you and your mother soooooo much and I am very excited for the next 6 years!

Love,
Dad

A special note from Daddy : )

Gracie,

Today your mother and I have been married for 6 years. During that time we have had many adventures, struggles, triumphs and laughter. Our marriage has been unconventional at times. We eloped to Vegas (don’t ever do that!) and we were forced to spend the greater part of our second year apart while I was in Iraq. But, together we have come a long way. Your mother has taught me to choose love in times of anger and to always remember that God is with me. There have been some tough times between us, but the greatest thing that your mom ever did for me (besides have you) was to fight for our relationship when I was ready to give up. You should thank her some time for that because you probably would not exist…

After six years of marriage and four months of you, we are very different people than when we met. But despite our changes, our love has grown deep roots and we now are strong enough to weather whatever comes our way (including you when you’re hungry…).

I love you and your mother soooooo much and I am very excited for the next 6 years!

Love,
Dad

You are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Gracie. I love you! Happy St. Patty’s Day, happy girl! Love, Mommy

You are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Gracie. I love you! Happy St. Patty’s Day, happy girl! Love, Mommy

Do not overwork to be rich - Proverbs 23:4. Do what matters. Don’t wait until the circumstances are perfect to create a life that means something. The circumstances will never be perfect. You have to choose change. Living a life that matters means making firm decisions, taking risks and making sacrifices (which really are not big sacrifices compared to the end goal). Why are you waiting to leap? Fear or facts? Make decisions. Take change into your life with gusto!  Change is good. Change opens possibilities you never knew existed. You have everything you need. So, let go. Give your all, love what’s right in front of you passionately, share everything, give give give some more, teach and pray without ceasing, listen, learn and use every gift God has given to you for the biggest good you can muster. Get out there! Create a life that matters and be done with all the rest.

Do not overwork to be rich - Proverbs 23:4. Do what matters. Don’t wait until the circumstances are perfect to create a life that means something. The circumstances will never be perfect. You have to choose change. Living a life that matters means making firm decisions, taking risks and making sacrifices (which really are not big sacrifices compared to the end goal). Why are you waiting to leap? Fear or facts? Make decisions. Take change into your life with gusto! Change is good. Change opens possibilities you never knew existed. You have everything you need. So, let go. Give your all, love what’s right in front of you passionately, share everything, give give give some more, teach and pray without ceasing, listen, learn and use every gift God has given to you for the biggest good you can muster. Get out there! Create a life that matters and be done with all the rest.

Oh I love this photo of you, G! We had quite the giggle fest this afternoon. You think it’s hilarious when we put our heads on your tummy and you get so ticklish when we kiss your sweet little neck. Your giggles are so funny! I needed them today as we said a sad goodbye to Miss Whitney. We’ll miss her a lot.  —-  OK pause. Daddy is letting you lick an apple again right now! Sneaky daddy. You don’t exactly know how to lick things so you are making a gigantic slobbery mess! It’s pretty funny but you are super happy. We’re so grateful for you. Time for bath time pretty girl! Love, Mommy

Oh I love this photo of you, G! We had quite the giggle fest this afternoon. You think it’s hilarious when we put our heads on your tummy and you get so ticklish when we kiss your sweet little neck. Your giggles are so funny! I needed them today as we said a sad goodbye to Miss Whitney. We’ll miss her a lot. —- OK pause. Daddy is letting you lick an apple again right now! Sneaky daddy. You don’t exactly know how to lick things so you are making a gigantic slobbery mess! It’s pretty funny but you are super happy. We’re so grateful for you. Time for bath time pretty girl! Love, Mommy