Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy 30th Birthday to My Love.

Today, is my husband's birthday. Today, Nick turns 30.

What a milestone! I feel so honored to be alongside him on this day.

Nick and I have been together since we were 15 years old. This birthday makes it official: literally half of our entire lives have been spent with one another. That fact is a little mind blowing. It also makes me feel so very blessed.

In spending half of your life with someone, you go through many different seasons with them. Lately, as in most seasons, Nick has been my rock. Sometimes I take a turn being the rock but, honestly, it's almost always him.

I found a new (to me) song recently that I can't stop listening to and, every time I listen to it, I think of Nick.

And Then You by Greg Laswell

How my thoughts they spin me 'round
And how my thoughts they let me down
And how my thoughts they spin me 'round
And how my thoughts they let me down

How my dreams they spin me 'round
And how my dreams they let me down
And how my thoughts they spin me 'round
And how my thoughts they let me down

And then there's you
Then there's you
And then there's you
Then there's you

How my love it spins me 'round
And how my love it's let me down
And how my thoughts they spin me 'round
And how my thoughts they let me down

And then there's you
Then there's you
And then there's you
Then there's you

You know I know the tune well
I've written it all myself if you can't tell 
With a melody that climbs and then falls, then falls, then falls 
Without you, without you 

How my days they spin me 'round 
And how today it sets me down 
And how my days they spin me 'round 
And how today it sets me down 

Alongside you 
Alongside you 
Alongside you

The song is a little dark and, beautiful.

Sometimes life is dark and, then there's Nick. My light.

He's pulled me through so much in the 15 years that we've been "Nick and Kalyn". Through our teenage years; our college years; navigating new adulthood; beginning our careers; buying our first home; grieving a miscarriage; starting a family and now, waiting for what's next. It's not always pretty but, he's always there. There's always Nick; my light in the dark, the one who always makes me laugh. The one who never lets me get lost along the way.

I am so proud to see my husband turn 30 today. In a lot of ways -- in the best ways -- he will always be a teenage kid in my eyes. However, before me today, stands a man. A man who, above all else in this world, loves his wife and daughter. A man who is God fearing. A man who is beyond generous and kind. A man who is strong in all the ways I admire. A man that can cook and bake, even better than his wife.

He is a hard-working and, honest man. He is a craftsman; a talented musician. And, as his daughter is being raised to believe, he is a man that can fix anything. {Okay, she believes it because it's pretty much true.}

In being with him for half of his lifetime, I can say that I always knew he'd become the man he is today because, he's always been this kind of man. He's funny, smart and insightful. He's everything I need and, I'm so thankful for all that time we've had together. I am so proud to be with him for this milestone birthday and, I pray for the opportunity to be with him for his next 30 years.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Eve + Christmas Day 2017

On Christmas Eve, my family dressed up for a beautiful Christmas Eve service at the Warner in Erie. Piper said she felt like a princess for "Jesus' birthday party". Even now, many days later, she still talks about Jesus' birthday party at the Warner. It was such a special service.

That evening, we went to a Christmas exchange for Nick's mom's side of the family. There was so much good food there. We all ate way too much, yet again, and had so much fun with our family.

Piper opened up her Christmas PJ's from Nick and I that evening and didn't end up taking them off until 24 hours later. It was a very comfy Christmas Eve and Christmas morning for Piper.

At this party, Piper had a little anxiety about opening gifts in front of people. She stuck by her Nina most of the night and only opened gifts when she didn't realize people were watching her.

Piper also came up to me a few times throughout the night asking to take a break in Nina's room, where we just sat on the bed and relaxed for a bit. I think she was a little tuckered out from our fun weekend! 

After all of the commotion died down, she did much better. The adults played games at the table while Piper watched Beauty and the Beast with Papa in the living room until it was time to head home.

When we got home, we put some cookies and milk under the tree for Santa and Piper went right to bed. That is, after she snatched one of Santa's cookies. Haha.

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is putting Piper's gifts under the tree after she falls asleep on Christmas Eve. And, leaving a little room for the gifts from Santa too, of course.

As soon as I heard Piper roll around in her room on Christmas morning, I jumped out of bed and went in to get her. I was the little kid jumping on the side of the bed saying "Santa Came! Santa Came!" Piper was so excited, she jumped out of bed to run and grab her dad, too.

Piper was so excited to see that Santa ate his cookies and drank his milk. She opened all of her gifts, some of her favorites being a pink camera, trolls and, a fish tank for her room!

After we were done opening gifts at home, we headed over to my mom's to open gifts there. 

Piper spent some time playing with her new toys {one of her favorites being a baby doll from Gigi}, then, we went to my dad's and ended the day at Nick's grandma's house.

It snowed a lot that day, making it hard to travel but, we were so happy to visit with our family on Christmas day.

And just like that, after many days of celebrating Jesus' birthday, Christmas was over. 

It was a wonderful year.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Eve-Eve 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Saturday was Christmas Eve-Eve. It started snowing that morning, giving us great hope for a white Christmas.

We took Christmas Eve-Eve nice a slow. We savored every minute of that peaceful morning and the feeling that Christmas brings.

I always want to remember how the house smelled from the lit fireplace and peppermint candles burning in the kitchen as I wrapped the last of the Christmas presents. I want to remember how beautiful the snow looked outside the windows as it fell heavy and soft, covering everything in sight. I want to remember Piper's sweet anticipation of Santa coming soon.

We made a caramel apple heath dip, an old favorite, to take with us to a Christmas exchange with my mom's side of the family that night.

We had a lot of fun at the Christmas exchange that night.

We all ate entirely too much and we were all too spoiled at the Christmas exchange. After exchanging gifts, we played table games together until it was time to go home.

Piper went to bed easily that night after all of the excitement.

While our house was quiet and dimly lit from the lights along the fireplace and our Christmas tree, Nick and I decided we couldn't wait any longer to exchange the gifts we got for one another.

I surprised Nick with a few gifts, the biggest surprise being his new guitar that he had been wanting for many months now {ever since he began playing guitar for our church's worship crew}.

Gifting this guitar on Christmas, when we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, was extra sweet because Nick will mostly be using this guitar in worship at church.

I was completely in awe with my gifts from Nick, all of which he picked out entirely himself.

Much to my surprise {and despite insisting that I didn't need one}, Nick spoiled me with a beautiful leather purse for Christmas. Over the years, Nick has bought me all my designer purses aside from one. He continues to surprise me year after year with how much he knows my style and taste for these sort of things. 

Nick also picked out a few other things that meant so much to me. Like, a beautiful dainty little necklace to help ease my anxiety and stress. I hadn't ever heard of these necklaces before; it was a total surprise and one of my favorite new necklaces that I own. 

He also got me some new journals for prayer and checklist keeping.

Sometimes I think my guy knows me better than I know myself.

With Christmas falling on a Monday this year, our celebrations were extended throughout the entire weekend. I'll share all about our Christmas eve and Christmas day, tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve 2017

Before too much time passes, I am going to take the remainder of this week to recap our Christmas.

I am going to start with Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve. Hah, is that funny or what?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas weekend started last Friday for us. I always want to remember how Nick and Piper baked cookies that evening while I wrapped gifts in the dining room. We were all listening to Christmas music and the house smelled like baked ham. In those moments, it just seemed like Christmas had officially begun. 

Nick's dad came over to our house for dinner that evening. We had ham, mashed potatoes and green beans.

We decorated some sugar cookies for our dessert and then had little gift exchange afterward.

Piper got a Princess Poppy doll from her Grandpa Larry and she loved it. 

It was so nice to spread Christmas out this year with our family. Since we started celebrating on Friday, there was no rush for anything. We spent the rest of the night relaxing with some wine while Piper played with her new doll. It was a wonderful night.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Winter Family Photo Shoot - 2017

I hope your Christmas was wonderful and blessed.

This week will be spent winding down from Christmas and gearing up for the new year. I plan to share a little recap from our Christmas sometime this week but, as I work on writing that post up and gather all of the pictures from the weekend, I figured I'd leave you with a few pictures from our family photo shoot a few weeks ago.

These pictures warm my heart so much. There are still days when I wake up and look at that beautiful little Piper Grace in amazement that she's my daughter. I am still in awe that I'm the mother to such a beautiful, smart and sweet little girl. Each year with her just keeps getting better and better.

I wish I could freeze time right now but, I am excited for what's ahead.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

I Can Feel 2017 Winding Down

I can feel 2017 winding down, even amidst the holiday rush. 

With Christmas parties and holiday prep in full swing, my weight-loss goals are falling to the wayside, naturally. If this sounds familiar to you, I am here with the reminder that "it's okay". 

Now is the time to savor this season & joyfully anticipate what is to come in 2018.

While 2017 isn't sealed yet, we only have a few days left in the year. I am not thinking much more weight-loss progress will be made this year and that is okay. After all, despite not losing weight these past few months, I still have come so far in this year overall! That's what motivates me. That's what inspires me for 2018.

In 2017, I lost around 20 lbs. That's an amazing accomplishment for me; especially while battling PCOS. 

While there's a little voice in the back of my head saying, "You could have done better than that. You could have lost more.", there's an even louder voice in my heart calling out, "You're following your dream! You're losing weight while living your life! You're doing it!"

If you're interested in seeing a more-detailed list of my weight-loss this year, you can check out all of my weekly weigh-in's in the section above or by clicking the link in this sentence. 

I'll be sure to continue updating my weekly weigh-in's list for the final weeks of the year, too.

And, if all of this sounds final, it's not. I'm just not sure how often I'll be updating now that holiday prep is in full swing. I'm not taking an official blogging break but, I won't be posting a full Monday - Friday again until the new year. 

However, if by chance this is the last thing you hear from me for a while {I know we're all busy this time of year}, I will declare that I am so proud of the progress made in 2017. I am so proud of all of you who have stuck with me and shared all of your goals and accomplishments, too. And, finally, I am looking forward to making and reaching some big goals in 2018.