Thankful Thursdays: family

I really should be tackling some housework right now.

The dishes are piled up, toys are spread around the house, and things are in general disorder. BUT I have so missed this little practice on the blog and wanted to take time out of my hectic day to breathe and write something I am grateful for.

Because there is always something to give thanks for, it is a good practice to be in, and hectic/crazy days are the days we need it the most. Right?!

Today I am so incredibly grateful for family.

And we are blessed to have a great one – on both sides. I remember being blown away by how wonderful and welcoming Brance’s dad and brothers and extended family were when I first met them. I am still blown away.


You guys, I have the best parents. This is probably the hardest thing about living in Boston – being so far away from them. This may be one of my favorite pictures of the two of them. We took it while they were visiting us a couple of years ago.

I just love it when my brother Bryan and I chat on the phone. We could talk for the longest time about all of our projects and business plans and hopes and dreams. He is a designer/photographer. Isn’t it funny, how a little brother can grow up and become a wise confidant and sounding board? I love it.

IMG_1030And I LOVE it when family comes to see us! Here is a picture I took of my sister Holly and her husband Matthew during a recent visit. Aren’t they the sweetest?! Recently I talked about Brance and my sort of “arranged marriage”. Well, these two have a similar story (involving several years of my mom praying they would end up together). Maybe I can get them to tell you their story someday ;).

PaPa posing for a photo

This is a picture of Brance’s father Rodger who will always remain in our hearts. I am so thankful that I was blessed to know this kind, loving man. He was a great father, grandfather, and father-in-law. We couldn’t have had better.

What are you thankful for today?


Thankful Thursdays: we love the ocean!

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It’s funny. Since moving to our Boston neighborhood 4 years ago, one of the questions we get on a regular basis is if we like it here – and if we miss VA.


For sure, there are many things about the beautiful Blue Ridge Mts. that we miss. And of course, we miss all of the lovely people we left behind – especially our family. But we’ve come to love our new city too. A lot. Boston really does feel like home now.




One of the things that we love about being in Boston, especially our neighborhood, is Continue reading

Beautiful Virginia

imageAs the girls and my visit to VA draws to a close, we are taking every opportunity to soak up God’s special beauty here. There is something lovely and unique about anywhere you go. Here it is the mountains and the grassy rolling hills and all the majestic trees. Most of all, I love that there is so much green everywhere you look. Even now in December! We are soaking it up to take back home. Continue reading

Finger Puppets

Finger Puppets

I just had to share the most adorable thing with you! I am not a crafty person, by any means, but I enjoy all the beautiful things that other people make with their hands. I especially love all things crafty for kids!

Finger Puppet Friends

Puppet Fun

During our holiday visit, the girls’ “adopted” great grandmother gave them these precious hand-made finger puppets. Continue reading

Enjoying a Painting in the Sky


I saw a beautiful and unusual thing a couple days ago. The girls and I were riding together with my parents in the vehicle and Haddie said that she saw a rainbow. I kind of laughed because I thought she was being cute and explained that rainbows only appear when it rains or is misty out. A minute later I peered out the window into a sunny, mostly blue sky and was surprised to see a small rainbow nestled between two clouds. And of all things, it was almost circular in shape. I have never  seen anything like this before! I apologized right away to Haddie for not “believing” her and we both sat and soaked up God’s little painting in the sky. It was a fun moment!

You might be wondering where the rainbow is in the picture.  So am I! I tried to capture it, but for whatever reason it did’t show up.  It only looks like a pinpoint of white light, instead of the magnificent colors we saw. Oh, and I wasn’t driving, in case you were wondering!

I am curious, have you ever experienced seeing anything like this?  I wonder if this is an unusual occurrence? Also, I would love to hear what kinds of things you have enjoyed recently!

It’s A Wonderful Life: The Story Behind the Name

When Brance first suggested “It’s A Wonderful Life” as a website title, I thought, “yes that’s perfect”. It encapsulates so well what we hope to convey and encourage with this space. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the movie just happens to be my all-time favorite one, Christmas or not!


movieIt is our desire to live lives that enjoy every moment: lives that savor the everyday regardless of our circumstances. And to help other people do the same. I have to tell you that I didn’t always feel that this was possible in my life. I have had some really big obstacles along my journey, mostly connected with my health, that in the past made this seem like an impossible mountain to climb. You may feel that way now. If you do, know that this effort is dedicated especially to you! Continue reading