March 16, 1997 . . . 15 years ago today . . .

We JOYFULLY welcomed "our"  (mine & Rick's) 2nd baby (and our family's 4th . . . we already had the 2 "big" kids, Nick & Ashley & "our" 1st, Tessa!)


into this world!

She came QUICKLY and has added SPICE to our life ever since!!  

15 years ago, I'd not have believed that we'd be celebrating this day without her Daddy "here" with us, yet, that IS the story God has written for us.

Despite the empty spot in our hearts and lives, today WAS a day filled with celebrating TAYA!  She has become a beautiful young lady, filled with love for her family, her friends and most importantly her LORD!

 She is giggly, goofy, and has a WONDERFUL sense of slap-stick humor!

I am thankful BEYOND words to be called her MAMA and I know that her DADDY felt the same about her!  She is a blessing to us and I'm anxious to see what GOD has in store for her as she continues to trust and follow HIM!

I've added a couple of pictures throughout the years, to share HER with YOU! ♥

TAYA JILL you are loved with an everlasting love - by your Mama, your Daddy, and JESUS!  Hold on to HIM throughout your life!  Remember to trust in HIM with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your paths!  (Proverbs 3:5 & 6)

Our beautiful baby girl! ♥
♥ no words necessary ♥

Camping at Wells park . . . this is one of my FAVORITE pictures . . . EVER!

The PARTY!! :) Lots of friends, lots of laughs, lots of LOVE! ♥

.... some traditions MUST go on  . . .  Daddy would have wanted that! ♥

It's GREAT to have an AMAZING friend who makes the most AMAZING CAKES! 

Isn't this one of the CUTEST cakes you've EVER seen?  And it tasted even better -  2 layer white cake with a raspberry & custard filling!

On  this, my "middle" girl's SPECIAL day, my devotional told me, "It is good that you recognize your weakness . . . that keeps you looking to ME, your Strength . . . the more difficult your day, the more I yearn to help you . . . anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts . . . when you look to Me and whisper My Name, you break free and receive my help!"   I had copied this portion this morning, and wa-la (is THAT how you spell it?!) . . . guess what???  I hit a "difficult" spot in my day . . . a spot that ALMOST reduced me to tears . . a spot where I had to STOP, DROP and ROLL . . . well, not really, but I had to STOP, READ and LISTEN . . . to these words of wisdom!  I had to CHOOSE to not let my anxiety wrap me up in myself, I had to CHOOSE to LOOK to HIM and whisper HIS NAME . . . to break free and receive HIS help!! And, guess what?  IT WORKED (well, duh, right?)


We came home to a quick supper of pizza, a quick mile run for me, and off to a youth event for the kids at a neighboring church . . . when we came home we enjoyed the delicious cake pictured above along with ice cream made by the local dairy . . . YUMMY!  Now, my living room is filled with 5 giggling teenagers, my parent's living room is filled with 4 "older" teenagers watching a movie and I'm snuggled in next to my "little bug"!! ♥  I can, again tonight state that LIFE IS GOOD.  Though there were many reminders today of the empty spot in our lives left by Rick's moving to HEAVEN, GOD helped to fill the empty places.  He gave us just the measure of love that we needed for today - just like HE promises to do!

Tomorrow, I'm PLANNING to run a 5K . . . my FIRST (I "on a whim" walked/ran one last year, but it was more walking than running and no training!).  I'm really nervous!!  I was greatly encouraged by a good friend today that, "It's only 3 miles . . . YOU CAN DO IT!"  . . . and, so, I'm committed to giving it my best shot!!  :)  I'll give you an  update tomorrow night! ♥

"A cheerful heart is good medicine"  Proverbs 17:22

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