“Look for me in the orange butterflies”

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Today is one year since we lost my dear friend Madison. Its taken me awhile to find the words to write this and for a long time I didn’t think I wanted to share my last days with her. Selfishly this past year I wanted to keep them to myself. Even now looking at this screen I’m praying this will turn out as beautiful as she was.

I have never lost someone so painfully before. My dads parents passed away when I was pretty young and though I have known loss this was a first for me. Something I had hoped I would never have to experience, and something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

I was lucky enough to spend her last few days with her and lucky enough to spend my last day there listening to her tell me whatever she wanted. She spoke beautifully and said things that will stay with me and bring me peace forever. I think if I hadn’t had that time with her I would not have been able to grieve in such a healthy way. I am positive that God made a way for me to be there because he knew I needed it. Madison was so calm and so centered the whole time we were there, like she didn’t have a care in the world. I was able to ask her some things here and there when we had alone time but mostly I just listened. I knew in those pauses that I wouldn’t need to carry conversation because I could hear God telling me to give her the free will to direct it as she pleased and I am so glad that she did. I was getting her ready for bed and was so blessed to be able to pray over her and just ask for his peace and comfort. As I was praying I was so hoping that my words were meaningful to her. You know when you are just so desperate to say the right things? Gosh I can still remember I was just so fixated on God guiding my words. I wanted this prayer to be the best for her. She was so gracious and just soaked it all in and it seemed that in all of this what she wanted most was to be a comfort to ME. I could tell she was so at peace with Gods timing of her life. We shared a lot of things I have chosen to keep to myself but one thing she said to me means more to me every day. More now than when she said it then. I had just prayed over her and was sitting on her bed next to her trying to avoid the inevitable, that I had to leave. She smiled so big at me and said “Kathleen I am so excited.” I must have worn my confusion all over my face because she started to laugh at me. I could not fathom what she meant by this so of course I had to ask her why to which she replied,

“I am so excited because I get to meet your baby before you do.” 

I was floored. She knew we had been having trouble and wanted a baby so bad and here she was at the end of her life and ready to meet our child with so much joy. This year has brought me a lot of pain in experiencing such a huge part of my life without her. Not being able to call her when we had first kicks, first sonograms and an incredible birth and gender reveal. Its hard for me sometimes to remember that she is still seeing it. But there is no coincidence here in my mind. She said this to me in August and at the end of September I got pregnant. So I know she has met Blair. I also know she has met Emery. My daughter was fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who died to know her. This God of mine gave Blair the send off of a lifetime, with someone who was so anxious to send her to me. Every day I fall more and more in love with my daughter and every day I selfishly wish that I would have been there to see them meet. I wish she was here to see me be a mom, and that we could do it together. I think of her constantly and though I can never replace her I am so lucky to have so many people who remind me of her. Reese and Rhett are such small pieces of her in such beautiful ways. The way Reese laughs and the way Rhett blushes. I am so lucky to love them. I am so lucky to know Taylor, Kristina, and Cole. For the relationship I have developed with Maddies mom Tracy, who is such an amazing example of Madisons love for others. She stepped right into the role Madison played in my life. She is always giving me the advice I know Maddie would, she checks in on me in the same selfless ways and she’s a little piece of someone I miss terribly. Someone who though she lives far, loves my daughter like I know Madison would. For that I am blessed and eternally grateful.

Madison told Taylor that if she missed her to “look for me in the orange butterflies.” It seemed fitting that after she passed away there was an outbreak of orange monarch butterflies in south texas, and only Madison could have sent one of those to me in florida.  So although I miss her every day that passes I know she is just patiently waiting for us to join her, because if you asked Madison about heaven she would tell you just as she told me.

“Kathleen, if people only knew what heaven was like no one would be afraid to die, and I am not afraid.”

 

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When and Why the Burtons got Oily.

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So I’m sure by now all my friends and family have seen that Dean and I have started incorporating Essential Oils into our life and with so many questions about them I feel led to share why.

Almost a year ago I lost my sweet friend Madison. We had just bought our house and then shortly after found out Maddie was being transferred to home hospice. Dean and I decided that we were going to do whatever we needed to do to get to Texas and see her. So that evening we booked our flights and spent 3 days saying goodbye to someone I loved very much. Though I have no regrets and we count our blessings every day that we were able to see her before she passed away, it happened very quickly and required some last minute expensive purchases on our credit card. Let me just reiterate, worth. every. penny.

The following weekend I was invited to an essential oils party that I had already rsvp’ed to and if you know anything about me you know I HATE canceling on something I’ve committed to, it seriously drives me nuts. So I arrive at this “sip and sniff” party with all of these strange hippie oils to be polite and I start to smell these delicious scents and I think to myself “well I guess these seem fun, like a candle”.

I was wrong.

My now wonderful friend Frankie told all of us she was going to “scan” us to see what oils we could benefit from on her Zyto machine. So I’m thinking ok sure why not. I scanned for 2 oils. Oola Family and Oola Finance. Not only was I a mess internally but now everyone knew and I was shocked how spot on this silly machine was.

Before I could compose myself I was a pile of tears. I started to spill out all of the stress and heaviness I was feeling from all of our recent expenses, the hurt from losing one of my very closest friends and the overall frustrations of trying to have a baby for years with no success. YALL I NEEDED OILS!!! If my coast guard friends didn’t know me before they surely knew me then haha. (Shout out to all the women who were there that night who completely loved on me in a way I desperately needed.) God is seriously amazing in how he provides.

I told Frankie I was convinced and wanted to try oils myself because lets be honest, I had nothing to lose. Shortly after starting to use oils we got pregnant with Blair. Perfect timing because when your pregnant you literally can not use ANY medication and it seemed that oils were a great option to turn to to help support the systems in my body.

Pregnancy was ROUGH on my body. I was so sick for most of it and my immune system was taken over by this little one who needed it for herself. Enter oils! I had the flu twice before I realized I wasn’t taking advantage of these wonderful oils that I had at my disposal so I decided being that they were really my only option to help support my body (again, not allowed to use drugs while your preggo…) I better start taking advantage of them. Starting then I was using thieves on my feet and spine, lavender on my pillow, and peppermint on my tongue! Call it a coincidence but my immune system felt better than ever and with the addition of these little magic bottles I was sleeping better and enjoying my pregnancy in every aspect. Just an fyi, sleeping while your pregnant is no easy feat. Cause I was LARGE! Lavender and my pregnancy pillow were my two besties. Also shout out to Super B’s and Ningxia Zing for literally helping me survive pregnancy. #youtherealmvp

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Fast forward to the night I was induced. When we went in I was excited and nervous and Dean was of course making me laugh the entire time, but as I was getting changed and into my hospital bed I was hit with a huge wave of fear. I am not good with needles and I was being poked and prodded and covered in IV’s and monitors. I started to get very uneasy and after the nurses left our room I was just a puddle of tears. It was all incredibly overwhelming for me and not what I expected. I wasn’t feeling heard with our first nurse and this was very stressful for me. Dean definitely caught on to this and without me knowing he filled my diffuser with Peace and Calming, Orange and Stress Away. Peace and Calming and Stress away for emotional support and Orange for courage. After this he got down in front of me on the floor while I was sitting on the side of my bed in tears and just covered me in prayer. Can you say #husbandgoals because I surely can. I was feeling so much relief over the next few moments. Within the next few hours God brought us a new nurse (who may have been an actual angel), an epidural and a spirit of confidence and peace. From that moment on my delivery was probably one of the most incredible memories I will ever have. Praise God!

We have been using oils in our home since we brought Blair home on all of us. Blair sleeps 6-8 hour stretches at night, is an incredibly happy child and Dean and I have enjoyed every moment of parenthood.

So though I may have thought oils were a joke in the beginning, they have proven me wrong consistently and brought us abundance in many aspects of our life. So HOW could I possibly not share something that has changed our life in such a positive? Its impossible. I won’t stop because I know that these little bottles work, I know that they have improved our life and if I can bring any of that abundance or joy to another family while also giving them the option to bring SAFER products into their homes and lives then I am so blessed to be able to do that and I thank God every day for that blessing. Jesus brought oils into our home for a reason and I’m so grateful every day to him.

 

Because you know…

 

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Blair

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After 13 days of parenthood it seems we finally have the time to share Blairs story. Let me just preface this by saying the reason I haven’t had time is not for the reasons you would think.

Most parents of newborns or parents of any children would tell us the following…

“get ready to never sleep again” or “i don’t miss those days” etc etc etc, and the FIRST question we have been asked CONSTANTLY in many different forms is “how is she sleeping..?”

People are then subsequently floored when we tell them that we have to wake her up every morning and she’s sleeping 6-8 hour stretches every night #thankyouessentialoils #seriously but more on that later!

Anyway if you know me at all you know I love my sleep so the reason I haven’t had time is because Blair and I are sleeping pretty much constantly and when Im awake Dean and I spend our time basically staring at her. I can’t complain though cause HOW COULD YOU NOT STARE AT THIS FACE!

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Ugh. Anyway, WE HAD A BABY! I won’t go into too much detail about Blairs birth story because Im sure you don’t want the play by play but I will give you a synopsis.

We went into the hospital Wednesday June 28th at 10pm to start an induction. We were a day and a half from my due date and as the weekend came close Dean was about to go on duty for 3 days and our OBGYN wasn’t on call for those days so we figured it was much safer to induce and make sure I wasn’t having this baby on our couch by myself, especially because Blair seemed like she had no intentions of making an appearance anytime soon.

So while we were waiting on a room at the hospital that evening Dean and I went out to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants around 8. While we were eating we got a phone call telling us to come in and thats when I started to stress a bit. I had all of this excitement about finding out the gender of this baby and who they were going to be, and some stress about what having a baby was even like. So as we left the restaurant and drove home to get all of our stuff and say goodbye to the pups we were of course joking and wondering what was about to happen. The joking continued as we checked into the hospital and got ready to meet our baby. We got some mixed emotions from the nursing staff as not everyone understands Deans humor. I had cervidil at midnight and an epidural around 6am (all hail the drugs ladies). Once I had my epidural they told me to get some sleep which Dean and I both did. My nurse who was AN ANGEL came in every few hours to move me around and help me progress in an attempt to avoid Pitocin which worked like a charm. Praise God, and great nurses! I woke up from my last nap around 2 and my nurse came in to check my progress and told us it was time to call the doctor because I was 9.5cm and ready to go! Dean basically flew off the couch and into survival mode which now when I think about it is so funny because he was dead asleep 5 minutes before.

Our OBGYN came in and got ready to go and after 10 minutes of pushing we had a baby! I couldn’t see anything so of course I’m waiting for Dean to tell me if it was a girl or a boy and when he told me it was a girl all those months of wondering and questioning were so incredibly worth it, especially hearing it from Dean.

Within moments I watched my husband transform from the goofy, laid back guy I married into a Dad. A man who had never held a baby was rocking my little girl around our hospital room like he had been doing this for years. In those first few moments of Blairs life I was seeing two people I had never met before. I was seeing him in a way you would only understand if you have had a child with someone. Even 13 days later he continues to shock me every day. In 13 days I have been taken care of, catered to, and loved in such a new way. Dean has taken the role of dad as seriously as he has taken the role of husband and for that I am so lucky and so blessed.

A couple days before I went into labor I stumbled upon a verse from Esther.

“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” -Esther 4:14

See God knew I was feeling unsure. I was feeling weak and full of worry. I don’t usually describe myself or see myself as a particularly strong person and I was struggling with the thought that I wouldn’t be able to handle childbirth. I was letting the enemy fill my head and my heart with lies to diminish who I am and what I am capable of. God could see this and in those days before Blairs birth he sent me this verse and filled me with a fire and confidence I have never felt before. In addition to this what I didn’t know was that God was preparing Dean for this as well. Dean was solid. He was every love language wrapped in one human being. He was words of encouragement during labor, physical touch in the moments right after, acts of service when I was stuck in a hospital bed for 2 days, quality time since he has been home with us, and he gave me the best gift I’ve ever gotten in our daughter Blair.

During the duration of my pregnancy Dean and I heard a lot of things from a lot of people. Things that gave us the impression that people had children and thought their lives were over. Advice that seemed to come in such a negative form. We heard these comments so often and it was so disheartening so I would like to address it from the Burtons point of view. Parenthood is literally the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced. I hardly have words to explain how my heart feels every day that I wake up and realize what my life has become. A life I don’t deserve that God has blessed me with anyway.

 

 

Mastering Pregnancy

 

View More: http://photographybyashleymarie.pass.us/burtonbump

 

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Gosh its been a long time since I have written anything. I wish I could tell you that its because I forgot but honestly being pregnant is a full time job. I mean that in the best way possible! However it really kicked my butt in the beginning and now at 34 weeks I feel like I finally have a handle on it. Perfect timing right? That seems pretty standard for me. I like to tell my friends that I’m a sort of organized hot mess. That my life is organized in an “only Kathleen can figure it out” type of way. Good thing my husband is one of the most organized and structured humans alive or else I’m convinced I would be lost. Seriously God did me a solid when he created Dean.

Nevertheless the Burtons are having a baby which is seriously SO CRAZY. Sometimes I genuinely can’t wrap my head around the fact that I married the goofy Tin Man from high school who I met in EIGHTH GRADE YALL! Its wild to me that Dean is the man who God chose for me because if you would have told me that 10 years ago I would have genuinely laughed at you. Thank goodness Gods plan is so much better than ours.

Pregnancy seriously wrecks you in ways you never knew you could be wrecked. This must be a small taste of motherhood because I swear I feel like such a different person today than I did 8 months ago. In the midst of my everyday all day “morning” sickness (ha! morning! what a joke.) I have never felt more myself. I was telling my sisters once that all of the self conscious (typical girl) thoughts I had before about what I looked like vanished. God has given me such a spirit of joy throughout these 8 months. My florida friends could probably tell you that I laugh at myself a lot, and aside from a couple “pregnancy moments” where I needed a good cry I have never felt more carefree. I don’t know about everyone else but people have been SO kind to me during pregnancy. Who doesn’t want random strangers complementing you? I probably look like a whale but seriously who cares because people lie and tell you you glow and thats pretty darn great.

Pregnancy has taught me a lot of things and opened my eyes VERY wide to realities of life. One of the most amazing things I have been able to witness is honestly just Dean evolve as a husband and an almost dad. Ive said it before and Im sure ill say it again but he has such a heart of service and it has shown so much this year. I haven’t been able to help as much around the house and do as many things as I used to do but he has really stepped up to pick up the slack, and honestly pick up ME. I know I’m GROWING the human but thats pretty much it. Dean’s basically killing it at #dadprep and I couldn’t be more grateful to be his wife.

Just the other day we were watching TV and out of nowhere I leaned forward and threw up all over the floor. Like EVERYWHERE people. Im pretty sure the dogs were horrified as they looked like I had just told them they would never see peanut butter again. I was frozen in shock at what I had just done, Dean starts yelling “GO TO THE BATHROOM” because apparently that thought didn’t cross my mind, so as I rush to our powder room Dean grabs the dogs, puts them in their crate and runs to the kitchen to start cleanup. As I continue this incredibly attractive act of “emptying my stomach” Dean is GAGGING while he cleans up the floor in the living room (god bless tile) and we are both DYING laughing because what has just gone down was both shocking but hilarious.

LET ME TELL YOU LADIES. I know this world tells you to find a man who will romance your pants off with gifts and lavish dates and all the most romantic phrases you can find but let me be the first to tell you that as great as the romance is, NOTHING is better than a man who will literally clean up your puke. You can tell me all day how important flowers and candlelight dinners and walks on the beach are but until that man also commits to holding your hair over the toilet while you puke your guts out and THEN tells you how awesome you are after I am convinced that the latter is best. I don’t know if its more years of marriage or pregnancy but you start to really appreciate different qualities in your spouse. Qualities that are ADMIRABLE. Dean is constantly showing me how committed he is to our family. I never doubt that we are in this together and that feels pretty good y’all.

Our church friends joke that Dean and I remind them of two labradors. That we are goofy, happy creatures who just laugh and smile a lot. I think people could definitely see this as an insult being compared to a dog but you know how I see it? I see JOY! I see full hearts and so much love, and if you know us at all we actually OWN labs and they seem to fit just perfectly in this house.

Regardless, pregnancy has been a journey for the both of us and as it comes to an end I look back and see the things we have gotten to experience together, the ways we have grown, and the struggles we have overcome and I am so proud to welcome a child into our messy life. I could cry thinking of the ways Dean will make this baby laugh as hard as I have laughed. The wonder of the newborn stage that Dean has NO knowledge of but I know without a doubt that he will love, and the anticipation of witnessing another person truly look at Dean and love him the way that I do absolutely wrecks me. In the best ways possible.

So have I mastered pregnancy? HA! I wish. But Dean? Dean has it pretty much down.

 

South Florida Coffee

Since working in a coffee shop I have obtained a taste for delicious quality coffee. (Though no coffee will ever compare to Thanksalatte for me) Once I discovered that south florida has SO many places to try I went on a bit of a coffee binge, oops! Luckily my sister Kelly was in town and she enjoys coffee AND adventure so off we went! I will continue to add as I try more but I love to share my local findings with you! So here we go!

Sip Java Co.,  Fort Lauderdale

Try the Serendipity (mocha and cinnamon) or an Angeleno (milk, espresso, agave, ice shaken)! They are delicious!

http://sipjavaco.com

The Alchemist,  Wilton Manors

Try the bulletproof coffee (syphon coffee, organic coconut oil, grass fed ghee, blended) and the food truck next doors crepes! (nutella obviously)

http://www.thealchemist.cafe

Roasting Buddies,  Pembroke Pines

A shop that roasts their coffee beans daily and right in the store! Try the breakfast Brio’s (chicken caprese is my favorite!) and pair it with a Bombon glass (sweetened condensed milk, espresso, whip and chocolate)!

http://www.roastingbuddies.com

Brew Urban Cafe,  Fort Lauderdale

This is more of a “hipster” hangout place thats great if you want a low key spot to grade papers, read, or enjoy some time with just you and your coffee. They use local Beans from Wells Coffee Co. The cinnamon vanilla latte is to die for!

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https://www.facebook.com/brewnextdoor

 

 

#shoplocal #localcoffee #brewurbancafe #sipjavaco #thealchemist #roastingbuddies #latte #espresso #coffee #milk #southflorida #southfloridacoffee

Home sweet florida home

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Lets start this post by saying that the home we currently own is absolutely the home that God wanted us to buy. There are so many reasons that we feel this way but we will start at the beginning to give you the whole story, because its a good one.

So here we go!

When we decided to humor the idea of buying a home we weren’t really committed to the process, see these days its not common to buy when you are as young as we are and they don’t really educate you on what buying a home looks like when you’re in high school so we went in pretty skeptical. For the most part when Dean and I are on the fence of a big life decision we try to leave it up to God to guide us so we don’t do something he doesn’t want.(we also hate making decisions so we always let Him take that stress) plus, Gods plan always blesses us WAY more than our own.

The way this works for us we have found is that if we are moving in the right direction things sort of fall into place, however, if we are veering off the right path God seems to put up a roadblock at EVERY turn (which we are always grateful for!) So we decided that this shouldn’t be any different. We came up with a list of what we wanted and what we needed in a home and if those needs weren’t met then we weren’t supposed to buy. A much easier concept for us to accept as opposed to the realtors we had worked with who thought we were crazy. Sorry guys!

So in May we decided to bite the bullet and start a search and hoped God would pave a way for us! What we discovered however was that finding the perfect house is HARD! Surprised? HA so were we! But unlike a normal home search we needed to find a house that wouldn’t be our forever home, just a temporary one. Within two months we had put multiple offers on homes that either ended up having issues once we got to the inspection, or just rejected our offer outright. God seemed to be telling us that he was not thrilled with this path and we were definitely feeling discouraged. Dean and I sat down and talked about our options because we needed to be closer to base but were feeling that buying was not happening for us and decided to start looking at rentals again. At this point we were halfway through July and Deans brothers and sister in law (Alyssa) were at our house visiting. We saw a rental listing posted by a fellow coasties friend who is a south florida realtor and called to see if it was still available. We had met this woman before once at a friends party and so when she told us the rental was taken we asked if she had anything else. Once she found out we had been looking to buy previously she decided right then and there that she was going to find us a house. (meanwhile Dean and I rolled our eyes because we didn’t think anyone could find us what we wanted) but we humored her. I sent her a few listings Alyssa and I had found the next day and she sent me some back. One home I sent her had only been on the market for 24 hours and I told her, this is it, I want it. So she called the owner and OF COURSE there were more than 10 offers on the house and people offering over the listing price. I couldn’t stop thinking about this house so Alyssa and I decided I needed a break from all of the stress and she took me shopping. While we were searching the racks at TJ Maxx Joelle called me and said “If you want this house I can get it for you, but you need to come and see it right now.” So of course Alyssa and I ran out to the car to pick up the guys at home and off we went to see this house. I was a nutcase the entire drive and I told Dean that if this wasn’t it that I was done looking because it was too much for me. We arrived at the house and I walked through the front door and did a lap throughout the house in about a minute and thirty seconds. Yup, I wanted it. I told Joelle and she walked us through our next steps.

In the weeks following EVERY single detail fell into place. All of our needs, so many of our wants, and a realtor who literally FOUGHT for us. She took all of the stress and made it her mission to make us happy. There is no doubt in our minds that God placed this home in our laps. We prayed for weeks for him to provide a home that he wanted us in, and for him to reveal that to us and he PROVIDED in ways we never could have imagined. Our home is beautiful, and the layout is so well setup for the girls to run and play and have space. It is cozy but spacious and THE LAUNDRY IS NOT IN THE GARAGE WHICH MEANS NO LIZARDS. Praise God Y’all!

You see, even though we had to endure a season of uncertainty and waiting, God came through in a way we never imagined and blessed us with more than we asked for. I will be the first to say that my level of patience is not something to brag about and sometimes a huge stumbling block for me. Hopefully I can learn from this experience that Gods timing is always better than mine, and brings exactly what I need when I don’t even know what that is.

We are praying that God blesses our home so much and uses it to his glory.

And to all of our family and friends who encouraged us during this process we are SO GRATEFUL for you and the love you have sent us! We can’t wait to have visitors!

And last but not least we would like to send a special shout out to our realtor who is AMAZING. Dean and I can not stop singing her praises because she works so hard and was a true blessing in this process. She is driven, inspired, and so passionate about her job and for that I will recommend her to anyone and everyone. Joelle WE LOVE YOU! ( Find her info below and let her know we sent you!)

 

“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15

Joelle Eisner

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joelleeisner@majesticrealtyllc.com

Majestic Realty LLC

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5219086

Where are you from?

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When people find out we are new to the area, their first question is always “Where are you from?” Normally this wouldn’t be a difficult question, but military life is very nomadic. This makes the question harder to answer without completely confusing whoever asked us.

I usually have to lay out our entire history in a few minutes just so they can understand. Even then it can be overwhelming for civilians, which to be honest, is understandable. Then we will get one of two reactions; a blank stare or a look of “Woah, that’s intense.”

We were born and raised in Maryland. Which means we are Old Bay eating, crab loving, singing “OH” during the national anthem Marylanders who love our home state. Then we started this life of constant relocation and it changed everything. I always thought that I would move around and yearn for time back in my home state but I started to fall in love with these different places which was so confusing to me. I felt like I was betraying my roots and I shouldn’t love these places nearly as much. It took me a long time to realize that moving around could be amazing. I could let myself love and appreciate each new home for all of the things God gave us when we lived there. He has continuously blessed us in each place with exactly what we needed at that time.

When we moved to Cohasset, on the south shore of Boston, it was my first time not living at home. Dean and I waited to move in together until we were married and after he left for bootcamp. So for the first couple months of married life I was still in my parents house. Our first move was a big adjustment for me so I was constantly praying for God to bring me company, friendships, a church etc. He answered this in a huge way by leading us to a church where the youth pastor and his wife became incredible friends of ours. When I moved to Holly Springs, outside of Raleigh North Carolina, to be with friends while Dean was at training school God placed two jobs right in my lap. Jobs that came with friends and family who were an amazing support system while Dean was gone. This group of people filled my life with Jesus and encouragement in a time I was desperate to soak that in.

I never expected these places. I never knew you could love a town, or a city or miss everything that comes with it. Miss a cup of coffee that you can’t get anywhere else, or a drive down a beach covered in snow, a table surrounded by family laughing and picking crabs, a dish from a restaurant you don’t have the luxury of stopping in whenever you have a craving for steak tips or a smore in a jar. These are things you don’t know you will miss because you’ve never had to miss them when you live in one place. These are things that make your home a home.

This is why answering the question “Where are you from?” is so difficult. So many places become home that really none of them are. You start to realize that home is your husband, and your dogs, and soon your children. Home is your telephone because it connects you to the places you no longer can love close up.

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A lot of the time this is a frustrating situation because starting over means your new place isn’t home yet. I always have trouble initially because leaving the people and the places I love is incredibly hard for me. I am someone who will invest my whole self where we live and that is SO HARD. I love people so fiercely that when I leave I feel an ache in my heart that can be overwhelming. Loving Jesus gives me the ability to have that ache because it means that I am lucky enough to have so many people in my life to love. So many amazing memories with people who become family. I treasure these people and as hard as it is to lose everything you have, God gives our family the ability to have it multiple times and to grow our family in a way most people can’t. For that I will call my family blessed.