Saturday, February 29, 2020

Today marks 12 years since we said hello and goodbye to our little Brenham boy. 
It’s important to me that I share about his life in hopes of keeping his memory alive, and to validate the significant role he plays in our family’s lives. 
My wish is that even in death his life will impact others, and I carefully try to do that in a way that gives glory to his Maker, and brings hope and encouragement, not sadness, to those who may be facing loss or grief in some form. But the reality is that with such a devastating loss I sometimes, this year especially, find that difficult to do. 
Can I give God glory even when I’m mad, and disappointed in how He chose for this story to unfold?
Here’s what I know is true: God can handle my bitter disappointment. It’s human to struggle. It’s human to nurse a broken heart with Oreos. But the best, most redeeming, exciting thing I could ever imagine, from the smashed up, broken place that I’ve been, is for something beautiful to blossom out of that pain. 
And that beauty is Jesus! That hope is Jesus! He so graciously gives us the ultimate gift of Eternal Life and the promise of forever with Him in Heaven where we’ll be reunited again with our precious boy! 
Sorrow may last through the night but JOY comes in the morning!
To Him be all the glory!

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Jovie Breann, you are 6 years old!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Jovie, you are 6 years old! It's really unbelievable how fast you're growing up!

You are sweet and sensitive. 
You are kind and smart. 

You love to play with your dolls and do crafts. 
You love to help mom any chance you get. 
You love school and learning new things. 

You are very observant. 
You are very helpful.

You love fruit and crackers. 
You love meat and cheese.
You love yogurt and chocolate. 

Jovie, every day with you is a joy! We love you so much and are so blessed to have you in our family!

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Señorita Jovie's Birthday Fiesta

We celebrated our little Señorita with a Fiesta party!

I love any excuse to wear this awesome dress and eat tacos!

The invite:

Taco bar with all the fixings!

She received so many great presents including some AG accessories, art supplies, a caboodle, Scruff-a-luv, pool toys, jewelry holder, unicorn earmuffs and stuffy, slime toys, and more!

Jovie requested ice cream sundaes for dessert

Thanks to all our family who helped us celebrate her!

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Jovie's 6th Birthday

We had a super special few days celebrating Jovie's birthday. We had a Christmas party the night of her birthday, Robb and I took her out to her birthday dinner Thursday night, the 12th.

She chose Applebees, and ordered her long standing favorite, grilled chicken breast with A1!

On Friday I brought her McDonalds lunch to school. 

She opened her new American Girl doll, Blaire before heading off to the Christmas party. 

Saturday morning we took a girls trip with both Grandmas to Chicago to visit the American Girl store!

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Happy 6th Birthday Jovie!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Having a December baby wouldn't have been my first choice, but it's actually pretty fitting that our littlest miracle was born at such a special time of year. 
The JOY and LOVE she has brought to our lives is a GIFT every day!

Praising God for her life and for sending His son so we can celebrate the many blessings He's given to us. 

Happy 6th Birthday Jovie!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above..."
[James 1:17]

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Rietman Thanksgiving Cruise

Thursday, December 12, 2019

We are so thankful for the awesome time we had cruising to the Bahamas on the Disney Dream with the Rietman family!

We flew into Orlando on Saturday, November 23 around 3:00pm and checked into our hotel, Holiday Inn Waterpark near Disney Springs. 

We LOVED the T-REX resturant on our Disney World trip last year and couldn't wait for the opportunity to eat there again! 

It was just as good as we remembered! We polished off our plates in no time!

After dinner we checked out the Christmas Tree Trail, I love this comparison of Jovie from last year to this year.

We finished off our night in Disney Springs with some cupcakes from Sprinkles where we ran into the Roelofs!

Sunday we were excited to hang out at the hotel pool and enjoy the fun activities there!

Gray and I won the water balloon toss contest, our lucky prize was getting a balloon filled with blue food coloring popped over our heads. Yay ;)

Later in the afternoon we left our hotel to head to Port Canaveral and meet up with the rest of the family at another hotel.

We had a fun experience at a nearby pizza place that had the kids make their own personal pizzas!

Monday was CRUISING day! 
We enjoyed the continental breakfast at the hotel, and then we were off to the port!

We boarded around 11:30 and our first stop was...the lunch buffet, quickly followed by the pool! 

 Sail away deck party!

Dinner time! 
Disney Cruise Line does a rotational dining plan with their 3 resturants. The first night we ate at Animator's Palate. 

Hot Chocolate station 

Mickey's Tree Lighting 

The nightly entertainment is one of my favorite parts of Disney Cruises, we wrapped up our first night watching The Golden Mickeys. 

 Tuesday we woke up in Nassau, Bahamas.
We caught a picture with Fancy Nancy, and had tickets for the Frozen Gathering. 

We got off the ship after breakfast and took a little walk to a nearby beach to spend some time snorkeling and playing in the sand. 

That night was formal night, we all got dressed up and enjoyed a delicious meal at The Enchanted Garden. 

 To wrap up the night we watched the Beauty and the Beast musical. 
Jovie received some "pixie dust" while we waited. 

Wednesday was our day at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. 

The kids LOVED the kids club on the ship, and even more so on the beach, so Robb and I were grateful to have some alone time and even got to relax in the adults only portion of the island, which was beautiful!

 We got back on the ship around 2:30, a crew member welcomed us back with cold towels, and ice cold water!

The ship was nearly empty so the kids used that time to swim and go on the slides

The theme of that night was Pirate night, the kids loved getting dressed up in their pirate attire!

We ate at The Royal Palace, and watched Frozen II for the nights entertainment!
We wrapped up the night with a pirate party and fireworks at sea!

Our last day, Thursday, was an at sea day. 
The kids spent ample time at the pool, and kids club, and also snuck in a round of mini golf with Grandpa and Grandma and the cousins. 

We ate Thanksgiving dinner at The Royal Palace, and then the kids hit up the pin trading event, which was a highlight of the trip for them! 
We watched the Believe musical and then went back to the room to pack up for our departure the next morning. 

 Friday morning we had one last breakfast on board and then said goodbye to the Disney Dream.

I had arranged for a 15 passenger van to pick up our group and take us to the airport so we were very surprised to see that we had been upgraded to a coach bus, all to ourselves!
We rode in style back to the Orlando airport to catch our flights back home 

Thanks Mom and Dad for such an amazing trip! 

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