Santa 2012


"Let's go see Santa, Mommy!!  Pleeaaase?!!"
Jonah was so excited to go see Santa this year.  We took him to the annual wing Christmas party where Patrick works, and Jonah couldn't wait for his turn to sit on Santa's lap.  He did wait patiently, tho, and enjoyed talking to Santa once it was his turn.  After much thought (evidence in the photo below), Jonah told Santa that he wanted cars, a helicopter, and train tracks for his trains.  It's so fun to see Jonah at this age, and get to experience the joy and wonderment that Christmas brings through the eyes of a two year old. 


I pulled up photos of past years with's so fun to compare and see how much Jonah has grown. 


A month of 'thankfuls' -- November 2012

Throughout the month of November I committed to writing something I was thankful for each day on Facebook.  Being a firm believer of personal reflection and gratitude and the joy that comes from it, I gladly accepted the opportunity.  I wanted to make sure to document  here on our blog, so I can reflect in later months and years. Without further adieu..

Day 1: I am so thankful that God continues to make himself present in my life. He quietly reminds me He is always near and hears my prayers of worry, anxiety, and fear. He grants an indescribable peace when needed.

Day 2: I am thankful for my husband. I am so blessed to have such an inspiring man, amazing father and best friend forever by my side.

Day 3: I am thankful for a strong physical body. Exercise has a lot to do with breaking down our physical barrier in order to look at our mental barriers. Being physically active provides an escape for me and relieves stress that I otherwise would carry. Often when I am running I think about all the muscles working to get me to where I am at that moment. Without a healthy heart, and strong lungs I wouldn't be at that mile marker--for that I am grateful. :-)

Day 4: I am thankful for a warm place to call home.

Day 5: I am thankful to live in a free country. Despite what this election has brought our country to--the turmoil of different political views, I am proud to say that I am an American and thankful that I have a chance to vote.

Day 6: I am thankful I get to experience and see the bond my son and husband share. I love that Jonah is so excited to spend every moment he can get with his father, tell him everything about his day; share a new idea, word, or ask to play with him the moment Patrick walks in the door from work. Witnessing their happiness makes me happy.

Day 7: I am thankful God is the One in control. Always.

Day 8: I am thankful for God given friendships that I know will last a lifetime:)

Day 9: I am thankful that I get to be a mommy. Being called "mommy" is the best name, hands down.

Day 10: I am thankful that God gives us seasons--I've seen so many beautiful fall colors lately. It's God's work that is vividly around us every day, and it's breathtaking.

Day 11: I am so very thankful to all who have served our country so we can enjoy the freedom we have.

Day 12: I am thankful God protects my husband when he's flying. I hear the sounds of jet engines over my house frequently, which often lead to silent pleas to God for my husband's protection. I am so thankful He faithfully hears and answers them.

Day 13: I am so very thankful for family traditions and the lengths that are taken to make them occur year after year:)

Day 14: I am very thankful for the much needed "me time" given to me today:)

Day 15: I cannot express how thankful I am for the amazing NINE years of marriage God has blessed me and Patrick with. Nine years ago, today, I married the love of my life and best friend. I cannot wait to see what the future years bring. I am so grateful I get spend forever with him. Happy Anniversary, hunny--I love you!

Day 16: I am so thankful I have most of our Christmas shopping done and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!! I have stayed one step ahead this year...woop woop!

Day 17: I am thankful that God hears my prayers. I am pretty sure I've already noted this thought on day one, but I think it's worth mentioning again. He knows our hearts and minds and always here's us. He is always here and I love that.

Day 18: I am thankful today and in awe of the way God works through others in my life to uplift and encourage me. God's love is visible in so many ways.

Day 19: So very thankful for the funny moments I get to experience with my family--We have recently discovered that Jonah is very serious and particular about his dancing and singing..quite comical--these moments of joy and laughter make my heart full.

Day 20: I set out to make my Grandma's famous crescent rolls today for the dinner my family will enjoy come Thursday. A thanksgiving meal isn't complete without Grandma Reimer's rolls. Its tradition--and with this tradition, it always brings forth remembrance of my Grandma and her legacy; holding a strong faith, gentle spirit, and grateful heart. As I cut the cold butter into the flour today and roll out the dough come tomorrow..she will be in my thoughts, as she is every Thanksgiving. So today-I am thankful for the chance to remember her-her faith, the memories we shared together, and her infectious smile--all while striving to perfect her 'buttery, melt in your mouth, perfect for getting every last drop off your plate' Thanksgiving rolls.

Day 21: I am thankful for beautiful, sweet and loving friends who happily watch Jonah when I need a few hours of time for myself, or when Patrick and I would like a date night out. They all hold a nurturing kind spirit that leaves us feeling confident Jonah is in good hands when away. I don't know what I'd do without you Rosa J. Rodriguez, Rosanna Head Rowland, and Ashley Michelle Serry! You all are truly a blessing in our lives:)

Day 22: I am thankful for Thanksgiving!!! I am thankful for the delicious food I get to prepare, smell, and devour, smiles I get to see, laughter I can hear, and time I get to endure with my family today. May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Day 23: I am thankful for Christmas decorations!!..the smell, look, taste, sounds of Christmas are echoing in my house and I am like a little girl again..I love it!

Day 24: I am thankful for good sleep:)

Day 25: I am thankful for God's plan and provision. Jeremiah 29:11 speaks volumes.

Day 26: Today I am thankful for modern medicine. Colds, flus, and upset stomachs would be so much worse without modern remedies:)

Day 27: Just when I think my baby boy is growing slightly more independent, getting to be a big boy(which he is undoubtedly so), he wakes up at 4am whimpering and the only request he makes is "Rock me, please'". I couldn't resist the urge to embrace his need for comfort. I sat there rocking Jonah this am smiling, because these are the moments of being a mom that are so very worth it. So today, (I am sure I've noted this in earlier days this month..) I am thankful to be a mommy, thankful that I am needed and can be present where God has called me to be--even if its in a rocking chair at 4am :-)

Day 28: I am thankful today that God is teaching me a lot about patience.

Day 29: I am thankful I get to enjoy and do what makes me happy--baking cakes, and decorating them! It's so fun (and such an escape) to find that I have been working on some gumpaste flowers for a little over 2 hours..and it hasn't gotten's fun and so worth the result! :)

Day 30: I am so thankful for this past month--each and every day has allowed me much needed reflection and thought. Looking forward to December and the gratitude within.

Halloween 2012


Spiderman, Spiderman...does whatever a spider can...

Jonah was Spiderman this year for Halloween.  He was so excited and into the whole experience this year. After a few houses of trick or treating his words were, "Let's go get some more trick or treats, Mommy!"

Here are a few photos and a short video we captured last night before we headed out to trick or treat.

showin' his muscles
spinning his web..


candy check
Our friend Monika (Jonah's Godmother) came to help celebrate in the festivities.  Her husband, Aaron (and Jonah's Godfather) wasn't in town, so Jonah made sure to say hello and include him in our Halloween fun...

a common motion


This past year I have really learned a lot about the importance of family.  I smile at that statement. For that word –family--has made itself present yet again in my life.  It seems as though the idea of family and all that it entails always finds its place amongst my yearly reflections.  Come to think of it, it seems that the more I get older, the more important family becomes and the more it sinks deeper into a much needed foundation and basis for my own personal growth.

I have realized I need it.  Judging from its habitual reputation, it’s no surprise that this realization is a constant one.  Clearly, not every day is perfect.  Let’s face it; there are days that are undeniably difficult. Downright  hard.  We all face them.  We all can relate to that one bad day where everything is up in shambles, and the domino effect is in full motion. The house is a mess, the constant cries for attention, or something to drink, ‘my blanky’ , or ‘my toy!’, the car won’t start, you are late for swimming lessons, and dinner..what’s for dinner?! And the only thing besides a desperate cry to God that helps me through is the simple love and comfort of those in my life—my family.

There are moments where I think of the ‘what ifs’ and the unknowns.  I allow myself to face the fear of uncertainty for just a split second.  And the question that is always dead center in front of me is, “what if I didn’t have my family?”  What if that love, happiness, laughter, and comfort that I live for went away.  It leaves me breathless.

Family understands hopes, frustrations, aspirations, struggles and fears.  Family offers to listen to our rants, give a hug, send an inspirational text, post that reassuring emoticon on fb to say, ‘hey-I get ya, I’ve been there’, make a joke, and ultimately pick us back up and provide a happiness to move forward.  Each day is a gift God graciously gives, and when those days aren’t perfect in our eyes, God graciously grants us another gift-a presence of family to help us learn and move forward.

Sure, this past year has brought obstacles and I survived the first six months of this year without my husband.  But the idea that I still held that security, despite it being a text, or voice rather than a physical comfort, gave me hope.  This drive to persevere through the months ahead was a direct reflection of the existence I call my family.  It gave me something to work towards and look forward to. I knew he’d be home sooner than later, and I dreamt of spending our family vacation together on the NC beach.  I imagined Jonah building sand castles while my mother-in-law told me stories of when she was younger with Patrick.  I dreamt of lazy Sunday afternoons with nothing to do but be together.  I smiled at the thought of seeing Jonah’s joy while playing with his daddy at the park, and feeling that embrace of my husband after being apart for far too long. 

With all that being said--A while back a friend of a friend posted a picture of a staircase wall project she had been working on.  It displayed an ancestry branch, each part of the branch marked photos of relatives and kin. This image was the perfect interpretation of a family tree. It shed light on the importance of heritage.  The photos aligned the staircase; giving the image such depth and the flourished branches a beautiful paralleled meaning.  It was inspiring.  I had that moment of realization that said I want to do that.  I need to do that. I need to do it to physically acknowledge what this past year has taught me.  

It was one of those nights where I couldn't sleep and this moment of realization turned into a moment of proclamation.  Several days were spent pondering and tweaking my vision.  I spoke with relatives, ordered photos and spent countless hours at the frame shop tweaking and configuring the perfect photo mats and frames.  Many emails were sent to the vinyl branch decal artist, and our living room floor became a canvas for frame mapping on more than one occasion. This past weekend the postman delivered my branch and with the help of my amazing husband, my vision came to life. 

Family is what makes me go. It’s what I need and live for. Whether it’s a simple hug to get me through the afternoon,  the vacation planned for next year, the imagery of a larger family, or a glance on the family wall staircase, it all generates a common motion; an extension of growth. 

a season of change


I have always loved fall.  Giving reason why our wedding anniversary lies within the fall months. There's always something about fall that makes me happy.  This year isn't any different.  If anything, I have  noticed more in this 2012 season that makes me utterly giddy with excitement than I have in past years.  One of the reasons lies in the mere idea of change. It's something about the colors of the leaves.  It's the one tree that stands out from the rest of the others- expressing such a bright yellow color, that proclaims 'fall is here'. It's the one morning that I feel a sudden crisp cool air in my lungs that wasn't present the day before.  Instead of berries and barbecue, it's the smells of apples, cinnamon, cloves, and even a warm cooked meal inviting us all to share in each other's company.  Fall is clearly a season of change.  That change is not only reflected in the leaves and weather, it gives much opportunity to reflect on the growth and change in our own lives. My happiness lies in the photos taken each year--capturing memories now and reflecting on ones we've taken in the past.

With that, here are a few years of comparisons--

And that makes me happy. 

Scholz Farms 2012

Caswell Beach 2012


From the time I've met my husband he's always told me stories about his vacations to the beach. Every summer his family would go and stay a week at his Nana's Caswell beach cottage in Oak Island, NC. He'd tell me about the sleeping and shower arrangements(boys and girls), how they would spend countless hours in the sun, run quickly on the boardwalk to avoid burnt soles, and take the best naps on the porch hammock. His imagery never failed to mention the way it smelled, the sounds the waves sang, and the over all feeling of many childhood memories made there.

This past week our family had the opportunity to experience such bliss. The beach cottage is no longer owned by Nana, but our family was able to rent the exact one, and vacation where those said childhood memories stem from.  Over 20 of our family members came together this past week, some of us from across the country. This trip was so memorable, as it has been a long awaited vacation, and unfortunately the "busyness of life" may prevent it from occurring again.

I sit here on the plane reminiscing over all of the memories we made this past week. Jonah experienced many firsts on this trip-his first airplane ride, he heard the sounds of the beach, splashed in the warm ocean water, and felt the grittiness of the sand. He enjoyed meeting  relatives--which included countless hours of fun with his cousins. He saw turtle hatchlings, swung sweetly on the porch swing, and experienced the hot humid air and heat of the NC sun. Patrick acknowledged the similarity of his past experiences to the ones made this past week and happily embraced it. 

And me? I took it all in. Every ounce of it. The heat and breeze of the morning ocean air on my skin, the excitement  I saw in the eyes of my baby boy every time he ran down the  boardwalk, and the overwhelming closeness I felt holding Patrick's  hand while walking along the ocean shore. I saw contentment in my mother in laws eyes as she stated several times she was in heaven seeing all her grandchildren together. I indulged in the vast amount of southern cooking and story telling, and took the definition of relaxation literally. It was all I had imagined and more. I smile knowing our own memories have been made-the experiences Patrick enjoyed while young have now become our own.

A couple days before we headed to the beach we stopped at a local park in Burlington, NC.  They had a carousel and some fun rides for the kids to ride on.  Jonah loved the 'horsey' and helicopter. 

 We took some family photos on the beach as well--such a great memory.

Caswell Beach 2012