We took these photos at Morris Farm Market in NC, and I love them so much. My sweet children’s personalities really shine through, and I’m so happy I have these pictures to look back upon forever (no matter how ridiculously hard it is to get them smiling at the same time).

On another note, this post is about to get real. Although I’m wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, this has been the most difficult Thanksgiving for my family so far. We’re still mourning a few recent deaths that have taken place, and when I think about them, it’s hard for me to be grateful. We’re also praying for serious health concerns for a few people we know. If I wasn’t a Christian, I’m not sure I’d be able to get through this season very well.

However, I’ve learned through the years that life is precious, and it is short. I really don’t like the idea of a single day going by without enjoying a few things here and there. That’s how true gratitude works. Seeing the good things in the midst of bad situations. When I begin listing off the things that the Lord has blessed me with (a loving husband, Christian friends, a supportive family, wonderful children, a roof over our heads, and plenty of food to eat) there’s little room for anything but thankfulness.

Whatever you’re going through right now, my hope for you is that you’re able to give thanks for the good things in life, whether there appears to be a few or a lot of them.

Happy Thanksgiving.

It’s hard for me to imagine that these photos were actually taken 8 weeks ago. I was around 12 weeks, which is why my belly appears so freaking small… Well, it isn’t anymore!

With thanksgiving around the corner, I have a lot to be grateful for. One thing in particular is the health of my children. We don’t seem to have many issues regarding their physical or emotional well-being.

Another thing I’m grateful for is my family’s help and support during this difficult time when Shawn is away. A lot of really sad and terrible things have taken place in the last 3 months, which I won’t go into right now, but I know my entire family has been praying.

I’d like to end on a good note by saying that I’m not sure I would be able to cope with the pressures of school and life in general without my Savior. He gives me peace, refreshment, and joy in the midst of sorrow. He’s the reason I’m most grateful this season.

This week is full of reminiscing for me. I look back on this past summer and marvel at the traveling we did (keep your eyes peeled for our trip to TX to visit Shawn’s family, coming soon!!!) and the time we spent with family. I especially want to take the time to thank the most awesome, selfless, giving mom anyone could ask for! This past June, my mom flew out to Colorado Springs this past summer JUST to help me drive back to NC (30+ hours) so my family could help me watch the girls. We had one day to rest before our trip, so we decided to make a trip to the Stanley Market in Aurora. What a cool place!! We had a lot of fun looking around at the cool shops and eating in the trendy restaurants. We loved it!

While I have you here, and while I’m bragging about my amazing mom, I also want to thank my entire family – mom, dad, Tiffany, and Chanelle – for helping me with the girls when Shawn is traveling. They take turns watching the girls while I run errands, catch up on school work, grocery shop, and have the occassional moment by myself. Nobody ever complains.

My family will also feed Marlowe and Fletcher when they need to, change the most disgusting diapers, give baths, pick out clothing for the day, play with them, and give them swimming lessons, among so many other things. The best part? I never have to awkwardly ask my family to help out, they just do it. They see a need and they do what they can to fulfill that need.

During this difficult time away from my husband, I could not have asked for anything as amazing as my family. They take a load off my shoulders and make my stay here in North Carolina not only pleasant, but completely stress-free. I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to juggle my intense work-load while caring for my girls. I don’t have to worry about childcare when I start my internship next week, either! God is so good to me, and He has shown me unfailing love and encouragement through my family members! Thank you mom, dad, Tiff, and Chanelle, I love you guys!!!