Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Stork is bringing a York!

Cheesy title, but I figured I'd never get to say that again.  My dear friend, Amy--York (in left hand corner) is 8 months along and I had the privilege of hosting a Baby Sprinkle celebration in her honor.

I particularly enjoy hosting showers because a mom-to-be is going through many emotions in the last trimester and when she is surrounded by people she loves and starts getting items for the new baby that make everything become REAL---she feels loved and ready.   Their new son may look like the cutie big brother below.

 And well of course, I love putting in the little details to make it special.  So proud of my flower arrangement.  It's gorgeous.  It's cheap.  It lasts a long time.  A striking combination of red astromeria and some Misty to contrast the red.  I bought the little water goblets for $.50 each at the thrift store and re-purposed them as vases.

 And they make the people in the picture beautiful.  Just kidding - they already are.


Remember the lovely table (which by the way got a lot of blog response, and even a future buyer)--the one recently purchased on Craigslist??  Here it fully used in all its glory.

Amy enjoys breakfast, so we made our theme a Le Madeleine-like brunch with mimosas, homemade scones, and other delectable delights.  A blazing fire is going on in two places on the main floor.

And part of the breakfast theme are the favors (which I forgot to give out--dumbie!) filled with turtle-caramel and chocolate biscottis, a Starbucks coffee-to-go, and some natural raw sugar.  If you are reading this and came to the shower, I will save one for you upon request.  Unless Karina ate yours. :-)

Congrats to the Yorks for this gift and for joining the Bringing Up Boys family! :-) We were so happy we could celebrate this new life.  Can't wait to meet him very soon!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January Catch-Up

Note to self:  When you are intentional about goals, be intentional about blogging about it!  Here's the January report and family update:

We kicked off New Year's Eve with good friends and good cheer.  I love these gals because they are just so fun---trying new things and just getting out there and being spontaneous.   Husbands are on the side admiring us. :-)


We are noticing that Micah is becoming quite the artist.  His teacher now notices too.  Check out his homework for our Christmas customs.    Monday - our tree and our trainset.  Tuesday is a picture of fruit soup - a Ring traditional meal.  Wednesday - Our church service and Thursday - National Christmas tree.  Well done, Micah!

Afterschool on cold days, I don't go out like I used to in the summer because Tristan and I can't hack the cold...but the boys still do.  Spotted:  Two brothers imagining in their back yard.

Spotted----son #3 wearing something identical to his dad.  So cute!

Daddy is working OVERTIME alot this past month, most of the time until 10:30 at night and on weekends, too.  But that's okay we're staying busy.   Here we made starfish pretzels on a Saturday that daddy had to work.  Yummy with sea salt and mustard.

And mommy found a new table.  Yes, another one.  One of our 2013 goals is to have regular Sunday brunches.   This Pottery Barn table and six chairs (on Craiglist) was exactly what we needed because it extends to 10 people very comfortably and the kids can mess up the table and chairs to their hearts delight!

I feel like I've been living the good life with a few birthday celebrations at the Ritz Carlton Spa and a dinner at the Melting Pot, but I think my favorite has been a nice date with Patrick at the Wine Kitchen in Leesburg where you get to try reds, whites, and sparklings!

As far as ministry goals go, be careful what you ask for:  I've spoken three times already this month and I'm feeling really excited about what the Lord is doing in and through these talks.  Always humbled.  Interesting timing - our Shepherd group (our bible study group in the evenings) disbanded and so we're praying about next steps, whether it's the right timing now to lead one.   We were also asked to mentor some newlyweds.    God is faithful to give you His will but instead of asking, "What's your will for my life?"   The question should be "What's your will?"  The answer is so much more clear.  He will show you what He's already doing and align you with His activity.  He is good!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Being Intentional

Goals, goals, goals....

Patrick and I retreated away for a full day before the New Year began, and we came up with some awesome goals for 2013---for our marriage, our children, and what our family values are and what are goals look like based on the foundation of those values.   It was exhilarating to do this with Patrick and to be on the same page, casting vision and dreaming for our future.  Instead of being reactive, we got to be intentional.

We got a lot of good ones up our sleeve.  What about you?  Are you dreaming up goals for your family, too?


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Year in Review---Jubilee

It's hard to beat 2011 with a new house, new church and new baby, but you know 2012 is right up there.  Looking back, this year was like jubilee-- a time of rest, a time for celebration, a release of indebtedness and experiencing freedom in the journey .  And out of this rest, comes a yes to new areas of ministry and growth.  This was a year of blessing for the Rings.

What sticks out in my mind is all of the new relationships we have made this year in just a short time. From our church to our new neighborhood, some of the people we've met yet this year, we've developed really deep and lasting connections.  It's so rare to have this, that I can only be grateful.

We focused a lot on freedom.  I'm so proud of Patrick as he's worked on really tough stuff this year and breaking free from the things that have kept him from experiencing joy.  I'm excited to see the chapter of this book fully revealed in time but for now just experiencing joy in the journey. Psalm 16:11 -You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Even from the start, he was intentional as we kicked off our 2012 by heading to a family retreat where we met other committed families who prioritize their marriage and their children first.

And for me, no one could have prepared me.  If you told me that I would be speaking at least a dozen times this year to women, I would have not have believed you.  Every time I got a new call to speak, my mouth would drop open and I would ask God "Why would you choose me?"  Humbled and excited about the prospect of blessing others, it was always me who would come home and crumble in a pile being the one who was truly blessed.

It hasn't let up yet as I'm scheduled to speak a handful of times from January to April this year.  So incredibly grateful to be able to do this!

Patrick spent a good portion of the year as the leader of our shepherd group.  In general, just taking the lead of our family.  He's really stepped up this year to fulfill the role that God has called him to.  Another milestone this Spring is that we stood publicly in front of our church and committed to raising our family to the Lord.

Also this Spring, we really enjoyed our time spent with Michael and Karen, who are like family to us.  They came to live with us while they were house-hunting.  It was wonderful to have them here, sharing meals and sharing life.  Our children adore them!

During the summer, we had a lot of mini-trips, focusing less on where we traveled, but who we were going to spend our time with.   The kids had time with all of their cousins from Michigan, from Virginia Beach, and even here when we "staycationed" in the area going to Lake Anna, Georgetown, Bluemont and Baltimore for some fun days.


Interesting thing to note this summer was a massive storm that caused a power outage in our area.  Many were out of power for like a week.  It was crazy hot outside to be without power.

This summer marked some really wonderful moments in our neighborhood, which was also another goal for us with neighborhood barbecues, Octoberfest, and our recent Christmas party.

Probably the most notable relationship built this year was Micah and Kelan, his best friend.  These two are inseparable.  They plan their own playdates by coming over and knocking on each other's door every day including weekends!

When the fall came around, another huge milestone this year was releasing Micah into the world.  He is absolutely loving and thriving in Kindergarten. 

To summarize this year, it was a lot about celebrations---every person in this family had a really special and creative birthday.   We had a wonderful anniversary and we spent many weekends being with friends and family.  We hosted a few events at our home that were quite memorable!

What an amazing year.  Like our kids who pop up ready to go at the end of bath time each night, we feel a little that way.  We're ready to to launch into 2013 and can't wait to see what God has in store for us!  It's going to a BIG milestone year.

Other notable things that happened this year:  O'Bama was re-elected as President, Whitney Houston died of a drug overdose, Hurricane Sandy did a lot of damage in the northeast, and there was a elementary school shooting in Connecticut.  Also Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour De France titles.

Let's RING in 2013!
Happy New Year!