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Wordless Wednesday: A tribute only family could appreciate

My husband has become somewhat of a novice home-brewer here recently... and with the passing of his father, his next batch has a new name... and a label to go with it.  Only those who knew him will appreciate the quirks of this label. ;)


Top Ten Tuesday: Things to be thankful for in times of grief

My blog has been silent for over a week - I had more important things to tend to.  My husband lost his father to cancer last Tuesday, I lost a wonderful father-in-law and our children lost the best grandfather they could ever ask for.  But through our stress and grief, we have found many things to be thankful for.  Better in-laws do not exist and the Seger extended family is top-notch.... they are simply the best.  Period.  How extremely lucky am I...

Thus, my top ten things to be thankful for in this time of grief.

1.  The coming of Spring.  Even with our loss, a new season and new beginnings are at hand.  To everything, there is a season.
2.  A large, strong, enveloping support system of family and friends who are always at our side.
3.  God's small miracles.  The 8th Seger grandchild was born exactly two weeks before my husband's father passed away.... and was named after him.
4.  God's great miracles.  Our family was told just before Christmas that my father-in-law's cancer had disappeared.  We enjoyed a joyful holiday season together and celebrated birthdays and new births with less stress and worry.
5.  Feeling the calm and peacefulness of prayer before and after our loved one's death.  To feel God's warmth around our hearts as we held hands and prayed together each day by passing day.
6.  The first thunderstorm of spring.  My father-in-law had hoped that it would storm or rain.... and miraculously enough it did.  We cracked a window, turned off the lights, and listened to the rolling thunder and pitter-pat of the raindrops together in silence.
7.  A new appreciation for those we take for granted.  I have the greatest husband in the world.  (sorry ladies.)  The past couple of weeks have only reinforced my belief in his outstanding character, faith and inner strength.  
8.  Reminders of how precious our family is to us. Time spent with each other is now more important than ever.  The past few weeks have given our family time to spend with one another, more time than has been possible for years.  Previous priorities now seem trivial.  "The most important thing to hold on to in life... is each other."  
9.  Reminders of how precious life is.  To live as though each day will be our last.  To hug our spouses and children a little more tightly at both the beginning and end of the day.  To say "I Love You" just because we can.  To know how great of an impact our lives have on others.
10.  Witnessing the miracle of death... the passing from one life to another...a homecoming to the glory of God.  Experiencing this miracle together has changed us...for the better.  And that in itself is something to be thankful for.

For more Top Ten Tuesday posts, visit ohamanda.com


Wordless Wednesday: The Little Things

Ever since I began following Layla Grace and her family's heartbreaking story, I have begun noticing my two year old a little more each and every day.  Sure, he is right smack-dab in the middle of the "terribles" and he tends to exert most of his energy lately by throwing himself on the kitchen floor and screaming his little blond head off.  Or by hitting and kicking mommy, daddy, or sissy.  Or by whacking the dog with daddy's brewing utensils (don't ask)... well, you get the picture.  These are not the easiest years of his life... for him or for those around him.  But recently I've begun noticing the unique little quirks about this little guy that I somehow have lost sight of in the middle of all of that.  

This photo was taken a couple weeks ago at a family wedding.  Everything about it screams Jake.  His hands neatly folded behind his back.  The way he attentively studies the other children out on the dance floor, wondering - hmm.... that looks like fun, when would be the right time to join in?  It's like an open portal into his personality.

Truth is, even though he has his not-so-good moments, he is mine.  And he is healthy.  And I love with all of my heart.  And I refuse to ever again take a moment with him for granted.  

Please take a moment to pray for Layla Grace and her family.  You can also follow their harrowing journey on Facebook and Twitter.


Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Signs of Spring

There's something thrilling in the air in our neck of the woods... and it smells like S.P.R.I.N.G.!  Temperatures that are at or above 50 degrees are a triumph here my friends.  Thus - my top 10 favorite signs that spring is on its way!  I'm so giddy I can hardly type..... it's been a long, cold, snowy Ohio winter people... let me have my moment :)

1.  Cincinnati Reds spring training has begun!
2.  My husband begins whining that he really, really wants to go disc golfing.
3.  Our enclosed porch is warm enough from the sun shining in that I can relax in a patio chair while sipping some   coffee on Saturday mornings! = Heaven.
4.  CYFAR conference planning begins for my hubby and I!  What do to in San Francisco this year?.....
5.  The Children's Place begins sending me tempting e-mails with too-cute-for-their-own-good spring outfits for the kiddos... must...control....myself.
6.  Spring Hill Nursery catalogs begin arriving in my mailbox and can start dreaming about gardening.  I have some great gardening adventures for this spring dreamed up in my head already!
7.  My husband and I once again become motivated to keep checking things off of our home-renovation to-do list.  Next up - painting and decorating our dim dark dungeon-like hallway.
8.  The wonderfully fresh smell that lingers in the air after the first warm-weather rain of the season.
9.  That glorious few days in March when the temperature warms up just enough for me to throw up all of the windows and relish the fresh, spring air that coaxes it's way into the house.
10. The kiddos are able to once again frolick in the yard each evening when we arrive home = bye bye cabin fever.... need I say more?

For more Top Ten Tuesday posts, visit ohamanda.com
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