Happy New Year 2017

New Years came with such a happy heart for me this year.  Last year at this time, we were in the middle of a tough time with some close relationships in our lives really struggling.  I walked into 2016 with a sore heart and discouraged spirit.  There was a lot of uncertainty in 2016 and I knew I had a lot of work to do. Of course, expecting our fourth baby, I knew 2016 would also bring such blessings.  So we pressed on.  My word for 2016 was “more”, and my goodness that was the perfect word for me this year.  More babies, more love, more time with friends, more self love and acceptance, more God, more happy, more travel, more Mr. Miller.  That is exactly what I got this year.

2016 was a year that I know was so necessary for my own personal growth.  I was brought to some despair, but more importantly through despair.  I had a real trial in faith last year, but as I was willing to let God take care of it, He did.  I saw Him work hard in my life like I hadn’t before.  That trial really was a blessing because I feel my faith is much stronger now.

2016 was a year that my marriage became more solid.  I had to lean on my husband this year, and he never failed me.  I knew he was a good husband, but I didn’t know the depths of his faithfulness like I learned this year.  He is such a great partner for me.  He was able to gently call me out when it was necessary, extend such unconditional love to me when I needed it most, pick up and take care of things when I couldn’t, and celebrate along side of me at all the goodness.  We saw the highest of highs, and experienced some pretty low lows and we are stronger, and deeper rooted because of it.  We really grew, and grew together this year and I think that’s the trick for a strong marriage, growing individually as well as growing together.

My children blossomed in 2016, our family dynamic was blessed beyond measure with the welcoming of our boy.  We learned better the type of family we want to have, and that we are raising.  I was so proud of us this year, all of us.  We have never let the number of kids we have hold us back, and it felt so good to have such a year of fun times and travel and adventure with our FOUR children.  We had the best year together.  My biggest accomplishment and my greatest blessing is being the mother in this wonderful family.  I am so grateful.

Our friends became our family this year.  They rallied with us, loved us, encouraged us and set the tone for such a wonderful year.  This year was the year of our tribe.  I truly feel like we have found it.  It took us a while, and it’s even better than I imagined.  The friendships we have in our life are friendships of a life time.  I can’t thank them enough for loving us like they did this year. Whether it was a shoulder to cry on, a celebration to join in on, a late night conversation, our friends delivered.  They helped me grow as a wife, a mother, a woman.  I know God brought me these people specifically, and what a blessing they have each been to my life.  We are thrilled to be doing life with them.

It only made sense to have a couple of our bests over to ring in the new year.  We filled up the Miller Manor!  We ate yummy food, played Just Dance until we laughed so hard we cried, and talked and laughed until our kids were melting down.  We cheers’d to the new year (east coast time) and called it a very successful night.  And year.

2016, you were a growing year.  I am grateful you’re over, and grateful you came.  I am starting 2017 a better woman in so many ways.

 

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Christmas 2016

Christmas was so good to us this year.  I just know that having four little children in our home will go down as our very favorite Christmas memories.

One thing I was so surprised by this year was how fun it was to see little boy things under our tree!  This whole boy world is just so so new to me.  I’ve never in my life lived with a little boy until now, so each new detail is just so new and wonderful.  My heart was bursting at the little toy trains, wooden cars, non-pink fabrics… it was almost too much for me to handle.  Maj didn’t even know what to do with himself Christmas morning.  I think his favorite gift was a new “boo” (what we call favorite blankets around here).  He has gotten pretty attached to one of the girls pink blankets with silk trim around the edge, so Santa brought him a grey one so he can be seen in public with it. ;) He has taken right to it!  I have the blanketest kids, I swear!

This was the first year our big girls got different things from each other, and I worried a bit about jealousies creeping up, but of course I worried for no reason.  They were thrilled for each other and have been so gracious about their Christmas gifts.  My mama heart has been overflowing with love all week long.  The magic is still very much alive for our sweet girls, and I am milking every last drop.

Grae.. my goodness.  Our very own little “Cindy Lou Hoo who was not more than two”.  Mr. Miller and I have decided that there is nothing as magical as having a two year old at Christmas time.  For the weeks leading up to Christmas when we’d ask Grae what she wanted from Santa Clause, she would say “A present!” and when I’d push further and ask what kind of present, all she wanted was “Madam Gazelle” which is Peppa Pig’s school teacher.  OF COURSE, Santa delivered.  At the Christmas Eve party, she could hardly wait for her turn to sit on Santa’s lap.  She followed him around with the biggest grin she could muster.  Mr. Miller and I were absolutely dying over her adoreableness.  It was so fun waking her up Christmas morning to tell her that Santa Clause had come.  Each morning since, she asks “Mama, did Santa Clause come back?!” Oh we love that little girl.

Mr. Miller and I agreed that this was probably our favorite Christmas to date.  We really have grown into our roles as mom and dad, and so enjoyed having FOUR children to celebrate with this year.  We really enjoyed this holiday season, and my heart was really full ending the year this way.

 Mostly I’m just so grateful to be the mom of this family.

 

 

 

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Harlo Tidbits

It’s true.
My baby girl turned eight years old.  EIGHT.
What a milestone.
Harlo is probably the most interesting person I’ve ever met.
She is so complex.  She has the most beautiful soul.
Harlo’s favorite color is purple.
Her favorite food is refried beans or oatmeal (has been since she was 9 months old!)
Her favorite past time is definitely spent on the computer playing Roblox or Minecraft.
She’s got a real knack for all things computers/electronics.
Makes me laugh because she’s so her dad’s brain.  They just come wired that way.
She’s like her dad in so so many ways.  My relationship with her mirrors a lot of my marriage.
I understand Brady more since mothering Harlo, and I understand Harlo more being married to Brady.
They are such deep thinkers, sensitive hearts, incredibly intelligent, and both rely on sleep and downtime.
You don’t want to run into a sleep-deprived Brady OR Harlo.
Mothering Harlo has been such an incredible experience for me.
She has tamed me, and broken me in the best way.
I am more gentle, more understanding, more confident, more stable.
I have had to be these things for her, and I wasn’t these before.
Harlo has always been more of an introvert.
She loves to be home, in a nightgown, doing whatever.
It’s hard for me to get her to step outside her comfort zone – but Stella pulls that side out of her effortlessly.
Harlo has such a deep feeling heart, and I love this so much about her.
She just feels so deeply – for herself and for others.
Injustice really bothers her, and I know this is part of her purpose here on earth.
She is such a good girl, I only ever hear good things from her teacher.
She is very on task, minding the rules is of utmost importance to her, she stresses if she doesn’t get her homework done.
She has really really loved second grade, and because of that, I have really loved her in second grade.
She has the perfect teacher for her, truly.
Harlo lights up when she talks about her teacher, she genuinely loves her and it’s hard for Harlo to let people in that way.
I’m so glad she’s been able to open up in school this year – that’s been a struggle for us in years past.
This year she got to have a friend party and I let her choose each detail.  I loved what she came up with.
She wanted a minecraft cake, a party to play lazer tag and arcade games, a cute outfit and an american girl doll.
Just such a great mix in that girl, it’s so awesome.
I have loved how her personality and interests have developed.  I admire her surety so much.  It’s not something that comes as easy for me.
Harlo is so naturally good with setting boundaries.  It amazes me that something I am just now starting to grasp in my late twenties, she is so so good at at 8 years old.
I hope she doesn’t lose this about her. (Even though her digging in her heels is HARD for me at times.)
It’s not hard for her to tell me when she doesn’t want to do something, or what she doesn’t like, even when she knows it’s what I want her to do.
That is something that is SO hard for me (telling people what they don’t want to hear), and I look to her as an example.
One time when I was especially frustrated with her about something, Brady gently reminded me that we don’t want to push her too hard to be something/someone she’s not.. that I needed to bend, not force her to.  I loved that he said that, and it has really helped me.
I’ve really learned not to push her to be a certain way, and that surrender on my part has really blessed our relationship.
I always say that Harlo was sent to be strong enough to break me into what God needs me to be.  It’s not the other way around.
Harlo has such a sweet sense of humor, and just such a sweetness about her in general.
She really appreciates beauty in this world, and relishes in the fanciness of life.
I love adding special touches wherever I can, and Harlo eats it up.
Her birthday morning set-up has become such an important tradition to her.  So funny, because when I started it, I didn’t really think much about it, but now she’ll remind me “You have something special planned for me to wake up to, right mom?”
She can’t know how much it means to me when she remembers these things, it reminds me that I am her mother, that I am creating a childhood for her that has touches of magic, and that’s exactly exactly my hope.

(I made that banner for Harlo’s first birthday!)

It has been my pleasure watching her grow up into who she is, and even though this new age comes with a sting, I am so excited to see what this life has in store for her.  I know it’s going to be good.
I am so grateful for her.  For her strong spirit, for her gentle heart, for her zest for the things she likes and dislikes.
I hope hope hope that my appreciation for her will stand out from my difficulties in navigating life with her. (I am learning, my sweet girl! Thank you for being patient with me!)
I hope that she knows how much I appreciate her, how I feel like she saved me, how much I needed HER, in all the ways she is.

 Happy birthday, my darling angel.
You brought such purpose to my life.
I am better because of you.
I love you more than you could possibly understand, but one day I really hope you will.

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Atta Boy!

Last night Mr. Major Miller slept from 8:30pm – 5:00am.

That is a all-time record for this son of mine.

Atta boy, son!

Don’t you feel like a new man?

(Let’s do that again tonight)

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