Thursday, January 1, 2015


The holiday season always seems to go by so fast!!  This year was no exception.  It was a December of mixed emotions.  At the beginning of November, Matt's mom went into hospice care, as treatment was no longer effective for her ovarian cancer.  She held on through the holidays and went to be with her Lord and Savior on December 28th.  We are thankful that we arrived on Christmas Day and were able to spend a few days with her, and we are thankful that her suffering is over.  She was a strong woman of faith and I couldn't have asked for a better mother-in-law.  She was so loving and treated me as one of her own from the beginning.  She was an amazing Grandma and I will always cherish the memories of her interacting with Hannah and Ethan.  Though their memories will be few, I'm thankful for the technology we have today and the many pictures we can share with them over the years.  She certainly has left a legacy of faithfulness, laughter, fun, and delicious recipes!  Though the sting of death is real and hard, the hope we have in the resurrection of Jesus has comforted us all, knowing that one day we will be together again!

We did have some fun times over the month of December and the kids continue to provide us so much joy!  We spent a day in Asheville at the Biltmore House and then church and dinner with my sister's family.  Hannah performed as an angel at the Christmas Pageant at church.  We spent a weekend at my parents for the Branen family Christmas, and while in the Atlanta area were able to see our dear friend's the Frey's and meet sweet baby Owen!  Then my parents came up for Christmas Eve, and we left for St. Louis on Christmas Day. Though our time in St. Louis was bittersweet, we shared some wonderful memories with family.  Hannah and Ethan absolutely adore their cousins, and it was a joy watching them all interact together.  We also had wonderful time with all of Matt's siblings and his dad. It was a time of reflecting on the wonderful life their mom had and enjoying everyone who was dear to her.