December… where did you go?

So… December is pretty much gone. Wow. How? I’m not sure. Regardless… it was an amazing month! It was filled with traveling, friends, family, CHRISTMAS, Advent, eating, more eating, and so much more. In case you want a recap… really it’s just for me to process all that’s happened… here’s some pictures from our December:

December really started when Jacob and I flew to Minnesota for our Praying Pelican Missions Winter meetings. Ya’ll… I love my job and I adore the people we get to call co-workers. The staff live all of the country, from here in Alabama to California to Arkansas to Pennsylvania… EVEN DELAWARE (you forgot it was a state too, didn’t ya?) Seriously… they are the best. We talked about everything from taking care of our full-time missionaries better to what happens to a woman’s body when ya breastfeed… all interesting.

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This is our full-time staff here in the States. We have hundreds of part-time staff and staff within the countries we serve. Thankful for these people! 1525648_10100985897964576_8586560001024076073_n

Meetings… yep. Thankful for the vision, passion, heart, family that is sitting in that circle.

Our meetings were hosted in scenic Duluth, MN. It’s a super cute place… and super cold.

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This is the AMAZING Costa Rica staff – me, Laura, Nate (him and his family will be moving down to Costa Rica in June), and Jacob

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SNOW!!! It’s everywhere up there.10457481_10100988811785256_3165510534089758455_n

While in Duluth, Minnesota, I got to reconnect with my first team EVER from this summer. I got to hear them share about their experience with their home church and our PPM staff.  It was so great to be with them for a short time again. This group is absolutely amazing! 10846322_10100989309632566_3124253678426539175_nSome of the PPM girls with some yummy fudge and the lift bridge.

THEN… after a few days at home, Jacob and I escaped to Gatlinburg, TN, to celebrate FIVE YEARS of marriage. Can ya believe it? Some days it only feels like we’ve been married for 5 days… and others it feels like 50 years. I love marriage. I love my hubby. I wouldn’t want to do life with anyone else… and I don’t think anyone else could love me like Jacob does.

A retreat together for a few days was just amazing. I strongly encourage ALL married couples go off for time away TOGETHER a couple of times a year. OH MY GOODNESS… it’s so needed! I feel like a new woman after time away like that.

1555341_10101005767421026_8498359475322690039_nThis is the cute little cabin we stayed in. It was presh… complete with a fire place, heart-shaped hot tub, an outside hot tub, and swan towel animals. It was lovely.

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One day we went hiking/walking to this pretty waterfall (Laurel Falls). Don’t miss Jacob waving to the camera in the middle of the picture! Haha! 10891664_10101005767111646_7843500568312207177_n IMG_5044 IMG_5047

You like his model pose don’t ya?

I’m so thankful for the past 5 years… they’ve been the best. I’m looking forward to the next 50!

After a few days of just us, the family came up for the a couple of days. We had a great time walking the streets of G*burg, riding go-karts, playing arcade games, eating, playing lots of games, and just having family time.

10891695_10101005765859156_7615849868437069514_nThis is the HUMUNGOUS house we stayed in. It doesn’t look enormous in this picture, but people, this place was 4 stories! It just kept going! It was immaculate with the most exquisite decor! So thankful we were able to stay here because of my mom-in-law’s awesome co-worker!

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Me and mom drinking MAGICAL Hot White Chocolate. Seriously… so good! If you ever go to Gatlinburg, make sure to stop by “Coffee and Company” and order you some! You won’t regret it! f10888800_10101005764955966_5245500804985966803_n

The fells won the gingerbread house contest! Theirs was awesome… because Jacob is a perfectionist. Mine and mom’s… well, ours was quite special. 10888771_10101005764322236_599992417677806358_n

Go-karting was fun! I felt like I was driving Miss Daisy… my car was so stinking slow. Jacob lapped me! Ugh. Oh well!

THEN… it was Christmas… Eric’s FIRST Christmas with us! It was great… so great, in fact, I will let it have its own post. I went into this Advent season with so many expectations for what things were going to be like… and what I thought things should be like. Although not all my expectations were met how I thought they should have been and I didn’t do everything I wanted to make it all magical and not everything happened the way I planned it in my mind… IT WAS AMAZING!  It was a Christmas that I will never forget and forever cherish.

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