Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

T'was the Night before Christmas and all through the house,
People were sprawled out on air matresses, praying the children would stay quiet as a mouse.....

We had the honor of hosting Christmas this year. 
And it was chaos, food, presents, screaming monkeys, noise and fun all wrapped up in one big package.

Everywhere you turned there were children and dogs and laughter and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

The last of our family trickled out yesterday and I was in a deep funk brought on by the sudden quiet and realization that it would be at least six months to a year before we're all in the same room again.

So without further adieu, I give you the Roberts Family Christmas 2013.
(Also known as a plethora of pictures starring Ellie Kate......)

The Christmas Eve Play:
Emma Grace was Mary. Isaac was Gabriel, Joseph, the three wise men, the shepherds, and the Inn Keeper. 
(Look closely. We even had the star of David.....or Nana's flash. We take this stuff seriously around here.)

The Audience.
(Great child care right here.)

This was the year of the Bike.
And I love Isaac's face here as he sees his uncle's refinished BMX Schwinn Predator.
That's a sweet ride right there. (Thank you, Uncle Aaron and Popeye!)


"Is this for me?!"

We busted out the china for our awesome Christmas Dinner.

The 26th was busy busy busy. We started out at Kevin and Allisen's house for brunch and the Fischer Family Christmas. I was a terrible photographer. I only took three phone photos. Here they are. Savor them......

Then we headed back home to the arrival of my brother's family. All eight Roberts cousins in one place. It was rare and so much fun!

And my favorite Family Photo.
Guns Up.

Some random snapshots:

I'm not an expert at reading body language, but I'm pretty sure Lainey is saying "get your #$%ing camera out of my face, Aunt Rachel!"

These two were the King and Queen of laundry. They kept that stuff going.

We all fell hard for Lil' Miss. Amajah.

A trip to Orvis with Popeye. Stuffed Puppy Fun!

All in all, it was great. Owen did amazing. He lost it a few times, but I think staying home helped him cope with the chaos a bit better. Plus he had his Lukie and he loves him some Lukie. I already miss my sister something terrible. I love me some sister.

Thank you Livingstons and Roberts for traveling to Raleigh and making this a Christmas we'll never forget!

Oh and Mom, you left some screaming monkeys here......I'll ship them to you..... :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Because of Jesus

Tis' the Season, right?

And so it seems only fitting to tell you a story that is still being written. A story that is changing lives. A story that starts with Jesus and will end with Jesus and is Jesus in between.

You see, we are blessed because Isaac loves Jesus. That is his decision. And on his own, he wanted to share Jesus with a friend named Kyrail. And when I say these boys pestered me to go to church together, I mean they pestered the bejeezus out of me. Because honestly, sometimes I didn't have the best attitude about being responsible for an extra child on an already stressful morning. But pester they did, and so last year around this time, we began a tradition of picking Ky up on Sunday mornings to join us at church or having him spend the night so he would already be here to go with us. And through this, we got to know Ky and his mom a little bit better. And we invited Sherena, his mom, to church with us but she never came.

Ky? He LOVED church! He would get on stage and help lead songs. He would run in giving high fives and hugs to his leaders and new friends. He was a light. He always had a smile on his face and he usually had a basketball in his hands.  The two loves of his life were sports and his mom. And he would go home and tell Sherena what he learned at church.
And then like life can do, everything changed in an instant and his life was taken from those who loved him.  And it was beyond horrible. There are no words to describe a woman grieving her child. No words. And the phone call I received that day will forever be etched in my brain. The keening and the longing and the heartbreak was beyond describable.
And in that hopeless situation, we were all asking WHY?!
And we don't know why.
But thankfully, when there are no answers, there is Jesus. 
And because of Jesus, Ky's story doesn't end there.
You see, what Satan intends for evil, God will turn to good. 
Did you hear that? 
What Satan intends for evil, GOD WILL TURN TO GOOD.

And amidst this gut wrenching grief, Sherena decided she was going to start going to the church her son loved. She comes every single week and she brings people with her because according to them, she just shows up to get them. They don't have the choice to say no. And they fill up the first two rows and she LOVES it. She says church helps her every week and she loves the music. She will often ask what a song was so she can listen to it throughout the week. That's Jesus right there. Nothing but Jesus.

And amidst all this grief and pain, an unlikely friendship has formed. You see, we are different as night and day, and without Ky, I doubt we would find ourselves sprawled out on her bed one night watching tv and talking about life and relationships and death and Jesus, always Jesus. But out of the heartbreak of an unfair world, an unlikely friendship is growing and changing me. Changing the way I look at the world.

And this new friend of mine who has become a huge blessing to me?

She has a heart of gold.

She has taught me what it means to face the unthinkable and continue to get up and carry on and love everyone around you.

These two women, mother and daughter,  who both lost their sons, grandson, and brother in that terrible wreck?
They have taught me the true meaning of laughter through tears. 
They miss their boys something fierce, and at times their grief threatens to engulf them, but they keep coming back to each other and to Jesus. And they're making it.

And this little light, Kyrail's baby sister, came into this world last Friday.

And oh my word people. 
I. am. in. love.

Sherena and Devin asked me to be her godmother.
And I'm not exactly sure what that means but I hope it means I get to spoil the snot out of her because that's what I plan to do! Spoil her and help her learn how special her brother was and teach her that because of him, Jesus lives in her family.

You see, Jesus was a gift. The Gift. And amidst a season where we are so busy we can forget the reason that we're celebrating, people like Sherena and Janice and Amajah are here to remind us that without Him, without his saving grace, without his forgiveness, without his everlasting and abundant love, life wouldn't be worth living. 

So if you can give anyone, any gift this season.

Give them Jesus.

Nothing will change their lives more.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Card......

I LOVE getting Christmas Cards!

And I love creating them, but it just ain't happening this year. And I've made my peace with that.  We tried taking pics for them (back when I thought I could do finals and Christmas cards at the same time ha ha ha ha).......this was the best pic we got. Just ignore the chain shadow on Todd's face and pretend Owen's eyes are open.

And know that we wish you a Very Merry Christmas! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Diva Grace

She's nine, people.


As Isaac said this morning, "Emma Grace, you're halfway to 18."

Holy Crapballs.

I feel like there's one of those sand timer thing-a-ma-jigs and we just realized half of it has emptied.

So I did what any sane mother would do, I chalked this day full of all kinds of talks to get a start on the next nine years:

Topics We Discussed:

*Choosing a spouse
*Potty Training your Toddlers
*Caring for Teenagers
*Career choices
*Saving for college
*Choosing the pet that's right for you.
*How to handle rage
*Surviving your teen years
*Oh.....and whether or not Obamacare works.

Okay just kidding on most all of those. 

There was a brief discussion on childbirth, but she quickly moved on when the word "privates" was mentioned.

However, we did spend her birthday dinner trying to convince Todd that getting a Newfoundland puppy would really be a great fit for our family and our tiny concrete back yard.

It was quite humorous.

But his answer seems to be a firm NO!

Anywho - 

Happy Ninth Birthday to my sweet, sassy, hard working, stubborn and funny "halfway to 18" but still little to me, girl!

I love you more than my pajamas and one day (in about 12 years)  we'll pour us some wine and discuss all topics mentioned above.

Until then, ssssssllllllllloooooooooowwwwwwwwww down on this growing thing and enjoy your lego friends that are littered all over the living room floor.


Thursday, December 5, 2013


Seven years ago today, this happened.

Everything I thought I knew about love was tested and found to be lacking.

Love is a choice. It's a verb. It is not wrapped up in biology and genetics.

And this little boy?

He is easy to love.

And he gives it back ten-fold.

Love you, Isaac David! 

We are blessed.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Poor Blog

Are you there, Blog?
It's me, Margaret Rachel.

(Okay, if you didn't get that intro, then you are clearly neither female nor my age.)

Anywho -

HELLO people who still read this!
 (Hi Mom and Mom-in-law)

While, I have not been busy blogging, we have been super busy. So here's a quick photo recap. Excuse the excessive amount of selfies. They're just fun sometimes. I don't know why.

In no particular order.......I give you November:

Took the dogs to the vet.
They're great.

Except the brown one is really old.
And we were told to enjoy her.

So I'm trying to do more of this:

Because I love them.
Like really love them.
Like a lot.

And then?
We hosted a baby shower while Todd was out of town.
The kids just lllooooovvvvveeeedddddd doing chores

while I turned this epic fail

into this:

And it was still pretty much an epic fail because nobody ate it at the shower.

Long story short, let's just say there was some confusion......
and multiple cakes.

But that's neither here nor there.

This girl is about to turn nine this week.
I have been parenting for almost a decade.
And I still don't know what the heck I'm doing.

This boy is just a CRAP TON of cuteness balled up in one little body.
Literally makes me smile EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And I totally busted this one sneaking a snack in the pantry.
It was the happiest freaking day of my life.

Hellz to the yeah, Owen!
Sneak away!!
You go on with your bad self!

Let's see........I chopped my hair off.
(Well, I paid someone to chop my hair off.)

I don't know if I like it curly or straight.
Feel free to vote.

And I got to go on a few dates with this handsome fella.

And my awesome sister-in-law.....

Oh and my parents came into town for a few days and my mom helped the kids make teacher gifts.
They turned out so cute and SO much better than anything I could have come up with! Thank you Pinterest and Panze. Together, you are a force to be reckoned with!

And last but not least? We finished November with a trip to the beach for Thanksgiving.
Yet another bad selfie of me and my m-i-l goofing off while shopping with Allisen.

T'was fun. T'was fun indeed.

We had an awesome trip, celebrated the diva's birthday, and laughed more than I've laughed in a long time.

So basically?
Life is busy but good right now.
Like really good. 
Like" pinch yourself are things really going this well?" good.

And to make things even better......

My sister will be here in 21 days!
Awe yeah!
Bring it!