Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Tale of a Tree

Once upon a time, there was a tree. It lived at William's Tree Farm in Rockton, IL. It was a happy tree. It had lots of friends, and plenty of room to stretch its branches.

As happy as this tree was, he felt that something was missing. You see, from the time he was just a wee little sapling, he had dreams of becoming the most special of trees...a Christmas tree.
His parents were Christmas trees, and his parents' parents were Christmas trees.

He couldn't wait until that special day when someone decided that he would be the perfect Christmas tree for their home.

Many days, and years in fact, went by. He watched as many of his friends were chosen. And while he enjoyed his home at Williams Tree Farm, he longed to be picked as well.

One day, another rush of families came to the farm. They rode on horse-drawn wagons out to the fields of trees.

As always, people admired him and talked of his beautiful color and stately branches. But, everyone ultimately moved on to other trees.

Then, one family came by. They talked about him, and looked at each side of him. They seemed to really like him! Could this be his special day?

The tree wasn't sure what to think, because the little boy in the family didn't seem too interested in any tree. He just wanted to play with sticks.

After the family looked around at a few of his friends, they came back to him and decided that he would be their tree this Christmas! Hooray!

They cut him down...

...and carried him away. He was so proud!

While he rode on a special wagon back to the barn to get ready to go to his new home, the family walked back.

When he got tired of walking, the little boy rode on Grandpa's shoulders.

While the tree got shaken and bound, so that they could take him home, the family enjoyed lunch.

The baby finally woke up after sleeping through the entire process...

...and they tried to take a family photo.

After lunch (and failed attempts at a family photo), the family put the tree on top of their car (their "tan van car" as the little boy likes to call it).

They took the tree to their home, and decorated it for Christmas. They put lights on him, and some ornaments. The little boy even stood on top of his daddy's shoulders to put the star on top.

He was so happy to finally be someone's Christmas tree.

The end.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving and Stuff

This past week has been pretty busy! Kirsten, Jon, and Evangeline were in town, so we spent a lot of time with the family. We celebrated my dad's birthday, spent time with extended family on Thanksgiving, and played a lot of games of "Celebrity"!

Here are a few of my favorite snapshots from these past few days!

Attempting a family photo...

Uncle Warren is definitely one of Caleb's favorite people...wouldn't you love someone who did this to you on a fairly regular basis? =)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mommy Time...

Daddy Time...

We're all grown up...and we're mommies!

The girls...

Getting some love from their great aunts (Kimmy and Nancy)...

Playing together already...

The whole gang at Thanksgiving...

Today, we took our annual trip to William's Tree Farm. This year, instead of just helping my parents pick out their tree, we picked out and cut down our own as well! It was a lot of fun!
I will post some pictures from that tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandpa M.!

thanks for being so playful....

...and so loving...

...we all love you very much!

Thanks for being such a wonderful Dad and Grandpa.
Looking forward to celebrating with you in a few hours!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


We finally got to meet Evangeline! Kirsten and Jon are in town for the week, and it has been so great to spend time with them. Evangeline is such a sweet little baby, and I am already so sad that they have to head back to Arizona in a few days!

Here are a few photos of the girls from Sunday...

paci pals...

all dressed up...

trying to hold hands?

so cute!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Just when I think that my kids are starting to look less and less alike,

I take a picture like this...

(meredith, 3 months)

...and it reminds me of a picture like this...

(caleb, 4 months)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Florida 2009

We just returned from spending a week at Nana's and Papa's house in Florida! We all had a great time. The kids did really well traveling and had no problem feeling right at home there. Our week was busy, and I took literally hundreds of photos, but here is a quick rundown of some of the highlights:

*Plane Rides! Both kids did great. Caleb really liked being able to sit in his big boy seat with his big boy seatbelt. He also loved hearing all about how a plane works, and expressed special interest in the wheels of the plane. Meredith was a superstar and only had a few "fussy moments" which were short-lived, thankfully!

*Gardening with Papa! Caleb loved to be out in Papa's garden, "helping" him with things. He got to sweep and even planted a bulb!

*Meredith Turned 3 Months Old! It's always fun to share even these little milestones with the Johnson Grandparents, since we don't get to see them often.

*The Zoo! We got to ride on a train and see some very cool animals. Favorites were the big cats, the porcupines, monkeys and lemurs.

*Playing with Nana and Papa! Both kids enjoyed reading with, playing with, and laughing with their grandparents.

*Being Outside! It was nice to just be outside....we took walks, played at the park, fed ducks, and dug in the dirt.

*The Beach! We were able to spend one day at the beach. We all enjoyed the time there.... Caleb had an absolute blast. He got to dig in the sand, and walk in the waves. He was positively giddy about the waves crashing into him. It was great!

Like I said, I took over 300 photos throughout the are a few...

Nana and Papa made us feel right at home the entire time we were there. They had lots of toys for Caleb and Meredith, cozy beds for all of us, and Nana spent lots of time in the kitchen making sure we were all very well fed!

Thanks, Nana and Papa, for a great visit. We hope to see you again soon.

Love you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

God Knows

Exactly one year ago, on November 10th, 2008, I wrote this post.

I had recently gone through my 2nd miscarriage.

I had recently lost a baby who in mere days I had already become attached to...again.

I had gotten myself into a hole of self-pity, and even worse, a hole of doubt that the Lord loved me, and maybe even worse than that, a hole in which I somehow thought that God owed me something, since I had already gone through the pain of a miscarriage once that year. I had completely forgotten that God is sovereign, even when we dig ourselves a pit. And even when we get stuck in that pit.

The short of it? I was not in a good place. I pretended to be okay. But I wasn't. That post I wrote on November 10th, 2008? It was a lot more talk, than it was walk. I was trying to do what I knew was "right", but didn't really believe that doing what was right would have any impact on my life in any way. And I had no intentions of getting to a good place any time soon. I was ready to give up on trusting God.

God knew.

Thankfully, He had different plans. He encouraged me in amazing ways, through my husband, through my family, through my friends, and through my sweet son. Our pastor began a series on trials not long after my miscarriage that opened my eyes to truth - some truth that was new to me and some truth that I had heard before but had forgotten to take with me into that hole I was in.

God knew.

Not long after that, I got pregnant again. I didn't even know that I could get pregnant so soon, after my body had been so "altered" by the loss of our baby.

God knew.

I didn't take a pregnancy test at home. I went to the doctor for some other "issues", and supposed there could be a chance I was pregnant, so I wasn't totally surprised when the test came back positive. The nurse came out with the results and I looked at her and said, "okay". I wasn't surprised. I wasn't excited. I was numb. I was even somewhat bitter.

God knew.

The first 12 weeks of my pregnancy were not great. While I felt okay physically, I was on "pins and needles" emotionally. I had bleeding (sorry if that is too much information) for the entire 12 weeks, so I was on "modified bed rest". From week 5 to week 12, I was at the doctor 6 times. Every time I went in, I was scared of what "could be". While I so badly wanted to be excited and elated and thankful and all those other wonderful emotions a woman should feel when she is expecting a baby, I was filled with anxiety and fear and helplessness more than anything. I was so afraid that I would lose this baby as well.

God knew.

It was during these 12 weeks that I began to have a greater understanding of God, and my relationship with Him. I began to grasp the truth that grace is real. And that forgiveness is real. And that His love is real.

As I sat in church and listened to our pastor's sermons on trials (while he was in the midst of one himself), I became less anxious, less fearful, and less helpless. I became more trusting, and more okay with my need for Him. I was reminded that we can (and are called to be) content and joyful even while going through a trial. And, I was reminded that God doesn't owe me anything. He chooses to give at certain times, yet at other times, He chooses to take away. That doesn't change His awesomeness, His graciousness, or His love for His children.

And I became confident that no matter what His plan for this baby was, I was okay with it. It would be devastating for me to lose another precious baby, but I felt peace remembering that God already loved this baby that was inside of me....He even loved her more than I did...and however He chose to care for her would be best. Hard to hold fast to that, but He is gracious...

God Knew.

Well, you all know how this "story" unravels....exactly 10 months after I wrote that post on November 10th, 2008, Meredith was born.

God Knew.

As much as it hurt losing those two babies, I can't imagine my life without my sweet daughter. As much as I loved them from the moment I discovered I was pregnant, I can't imagine not having Meredith to love. As much as I wanted those babies to continue growing and thriving in my womb, I can't even begin to imagine life without my little girl, growing this side of my tummy. He had a greater plan for us. His plan was for Meredith to be part of our family. And oh how thankful I am for that.

God Knew.

And today, exactly 15 months from the time I wrote that post, Meredith is 3 months old! She is such a happy little baby and I absolutely adore her (as does the rest of our crew!). It is amazing to me to look back on the past year and see how God's plan has played out. Why I ever doubt that He knows what He is doing is beyond me.

He placed such a beautiful, healthy, smiley (and recently giggly), sweet, and precious little baby into our family. All along, He had Meredith in our futures. He had a plan more wonderful for us than I could have imagined.

He knew.

And I can't imagine it any other way.

Though I may not always understand what He is doing,

God Knows.

Happy 3 Months, Baby Girl!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kyle's Visit

Kyle (brother to Kris, brother-in-law to Meghan, and uncle to Caleb and Meredith) was in town this past week. We had a great visit with him and are thankful he was able to spend some of his time off with us!

We always love when he is able to be here.....he is great with the kids, and jumps right into "life" with us. It doesn't take him but a few seconds to get into the groove of buckling carseats, soothing crying children, playing with happy children, and carrying diaper bags. =)

Hanging out with Meredith at the Halloween party...

With Caleb during pumpkin carving...

And, here are the three Johnson "kids".....and Meredith. =)


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