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comparing the cuteness…

Fall is here and it’s glorious.

2012 has been hard. Like the kind of year that you have to consciously remind yourself to pray about your anxiety, take deep breaths, and resist the urge to give in to the stress.

Life is hard. And stressful. And beautiful.

And even though we are acutely aware of how much we have to be thankful for, 2012 has been the most difficult year for us to date. In many ways: business stress, financial stress, relational stress (several friends going through very difficult circumstances).

I am thankful to have two wonderful girls and a husband who loves me (and I, him). I don’t want to imply that everything is falling apart. We’ve had great days, we’ve had lots of laughter and love and hugs and kisses. But we’ve also had more weighty, burdensome days than ever before. We’ve had to pray with more faith and strive for more consistency than ever before. I’ve had to let go of many, many things that I would like to have, or things that I would like to fix around the house, or time that I wanted to be my own. I’ve struggled with how to be a genuine friend, how to be a helpful wife and business partner, how to prayerfully consider homeschooling Alana without having a heart attack. I pray that I am doing all of this with grace and not resentment. With contentment and not complaining. With faith and not panic. I pray that God is taking the person that I am and allowing me to be shaped into who He wants me to be. And isn’t it true that this kind of maturity is usually born through adversity?

Sometimes when things are rough, the happy days seem to glow even brighter. One bright spot for me is spending time with my girls. Yes, some days with them are more challenging than others, but I am so thankful that we have each other. I am so thankful for their sweet, amazing personalities and their laughter, their love, and their passion for life. I am thankful to be home with them, even though it means that I begin working when they go to bed. I wouldn’t trade these days with my girls.

I used to have the time and energy to take photos of Alana “just because” and post the photos on my blog. Now those times are few and far between and as a result, Sierra is a much less-often photographed babe. And my blog from the past year is rather sparse. But today (and this gorgeous fall weather has a lot to do with it), I decided to grab the “good camera” and take some photos of the girls just hanging out. No special occasion…just being together in the yard. Capturing moments, and cuteness. And taking photos of Sierra, my hilarious 21-month-old, wearing the exact same dress, tights, and boots as Alana in this blog post.ย (And hopefully my photos have improved from all of those annoying slanted/tilted photos that I used to think were “artistic.” Whew, looking back at those is rough).

And man oh man is it AWESOME to have all these clothes for Sierra to grow into that Alana wore (this same time of year) 3 years ago!

And thank you, babe, for grabbing these images of me and the girls…even though you were only outside to clean out the garbage cans ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate you!

  • Lacey Ames - October 15, 2012 - 11:36 am

    “I pray that God is taking the person that I am and allowing me to be shaped into who He wants me to be. And isnโ€™t it true that this kind of maturity is usually born through adversity?”
    SO TRUE!! I’m really feeling like God is totally working on shaping me at the moment too. More than ever before or maybe it just feels that way. Posted this all over FB today but it’s a great one! โ€œGod loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus. โ€ ? Max Lucado
    I’m very thankful for the people that he uses in “refusing to leave me that way” and you are totally one of them! Sometimes we have no idea the encouragement we are to others, and you are def. that girl! It’s hard to say, “Bring on the hard times!” because we’re human and don’t think that way. But the refiners fire makes things come out so beautiful when it’s complete!
    Love you SO SO much girl!!!

  • Emily - October 16, 2012 - 10:03 am

    This is beautiful, Heather. You are so full of grace. Thank you for being real and sharing your heart, as well as your beautiful eye. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sarah Becker Lillard - October 16, 2012 - 10:30 am

    Dearest Heather, thank you for this post. You & Rich are just full of light and love and Christ and it shows whether someone is just meeting you or has known you for years. There have been very hard things in this year for me as well – and very good things – it is good to know we are not alone. I am thankful for you & Rich, thankful for the fact that you just exist and truly make the world brighter. Take heart! Will be praying. love, Sarah.

  • Mom - October 16, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    This post made me realize how much I miss your posts! love seeing Sierra in Alana’s clothes. Time flies….

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