Saturday, December 31, 2022

{December: Wrapping Up Well}

Before we headed out for a few days to be together as a family, I caught these two silly ones.  AJ calls this her "stinky feet" pose.  

To wrap up 2022 well and begin 2023 together, we rented a cabin in the mountains of Clayton, GA and snuck away to rest, reconnect and refresh.  The Gamecocks were on playing their bowl game so the boys quickly made themselves at home while the girls played at the more gorgeous little dining space ever. So many windows looking out over the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It was breathtaking. 

One thing I definitely have to blog about is AG's comment going up the mountain.  As soon as we hit the first curve, she dramatically threw herself to the side and said, with her pointer finger up, "I not dead!".  Sweet girl thought there would be only one mountain and was quite impressed that there were far more than that combined.  She is so funny! 

We had lots of hot cocoa around the island together. 

And the girls somehow snuck a selfie on my phone that I just loved finding. 

Scott showed off his incredible fire building skills and kept us warm and toasty. 

We let all diet rules fly out these gorgeous windows and ate our hearts out.  

We walked around downtown a little after Scott and Wyatt went to play golf in the morning.  Wyatt was really excited to play bent grass greens.  They had a really good time together. While the trio and myself spend a lazy morning together.

We were staying at the very top of a mountain that was quite intimidating to drive up.  It was highly recommended that we have 4WD to make it even up.  I can't imagine doing this in the snow.  It just kept going turn after turn.  Well,  AJ begged to hike so we decided to hike the mountain we were staying on.  She ran the entire way up while Scott, Luke and myself were bent over in pain.  It was more than we realized! But, we made it! 

The last sunset of 2022 was glorious! 

For our New Year's Eve dinner, everyone got their favorite...the trio got chicken nuggets and Mac & cheese.  Scott grilled delicious steak dinner for Wyatt, me and himself.  We wrapped it up with ice cream and cookies and more hot cocoa! 

Beginning 2023 in the best way...time with Jesus.  

The girls picked up an embroidery kit in town the day before and stitched nonstop for days. 

I did some goal setting...well, more of a reflection and direction time actually.  Some things were encouraging to process and some very painful.  I truly never imagined I would be in the place that our family is a year ago and having to write down intentions to find a new church home and community for both Scott and me as well as Luke and the girls is just a lot.  Especially when our actions didn't lead to this heartbreaking change of course in our lives.  God has been so kind to reveal that we are moving in the right direction...His direction...through giving both Scott and me scripture to affirm it separately.  It's so neat to have him share something with me that the Lord gave him through Matthew while God had lead me deep into Isaiah with the same message.  We know that God can use anything and we are trusting that He will use the last incredibly painful 6 months to redirect our family in the way we should go.  We are ready and willing and listening for His voice to lead.  

We began our morning by having Luke recite Psalm 1 to us as he has it memorized.  Blessed is the man...

We got checked out by lunch and took one last family photo from the porch.  What a view! 

Then, we gave AJ a real hike and went to visit Warwoman Dell.  It was an easy hike and one that AG could do.  Perfect! 

Bear, of course, took to going all the way down to the waterfall himself.  He even tried his hand at rock climbing very briefly until we were all yelling that it wasn't a great idea.  

We stopped on the way home and picked up my Christmas present! A sauna!  With my autoimmune disease, I struggle with detox pathways and sweating is hard.  I walk/workout nearly every morning and am so grateful for the health to do so.  But, I know that there are many benefits to a sauna that would go beyond what I can accomplish in my workouts.  Temperature regulation is difficult and I'm nearly always freezing (yes, sweatshirts at the beach in July are a thing for me).  I've been researching them for years and then my best friend got one a few months ago.  She finally encouraged me to take the plunge! This will be a tool to help with healing and finding it at a steal on Facebook Marketplace was icing on the proverbial cake.  

And then there was this...a ROOSTER!  My precious AG has 10 hens...and now not one but two roosters.  Mr. Ernie was taking care of our house/dogs/chickens for us while we were away and he heard of a couple roosters about to be killed so he took them in.  And now they are at our house making friends! Thankfully, they have been pretty chill with the kids but one wrong move and they will be dinner.  This guy is pretty though!  The kids named the roosters "Shane" and "Beamer" in honor of the Gamecock's football coach.  It's not very often we have a season this good {and beat Clemson!!!} so they had to! Here's to lessons learned in 2022 and letting God lead in 2023!  His plan is always better. 

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