We just had our first big snowfall of 2016 and it happened on January 12. We were beginning to wonder if winter would ever arrive this year. Now that the snow is here, and my hands almost froze off filling the van with gas today, I am missing summer. I was looking at some pictures through my phone today of our time last summer at the cottage and at home. What a reminder of how blessed we are to have a season where the sun beats down on you and warms you to your core. Here are some of the pictures from last summer that warmed my heart and made me long for summer again.
For over a year now our family has had the joy of Sheppard John MacDonald being a part of our family. After having our two little girls, I always knew I wanted one more kid. I prayed hard, and waited patiently for Matt and I to be in agreement. Finally we were both on the same page, and we began trying to have our 3rd child. This process was the beginning of a very difficult season of life for us as we experienced two miscarriages in a row. We were devastated each time, but were so thankful to experience the supernatural comfort and peace that could only come from our heavenly father. I went to a fertility clinic to inquire about the losses, and they discovered that I had a progesterone deficiency which was causing the miscarriages. I was closely monitored and given progesterone supplements. I got pregnant again right away and 9 months later we had our son, Sheppard. We named him Sheppard after Jesus, our Shepherd, who had walked so closely with us through the process of desiring a 3rd child!
We are so very thankful that the Lord chose to bless us with this boy. He is truly a joy to Matt and I, and his big sisters! We love you Sheppard. xo
This past winter was the snowiest, coldest, and longest winter that I can ever remember. Although it cause me to feel like I was going to go crazy sometimes, it really was a beautiful winter that we enjoyed so much! The girls and I spent a lot of time outdoors burning off steam and enjoying the snow. We got to go to a fun hockey game with my parents, and even had a family get-away time at the cottage.
Love this picture of the girls with their Daddy! The cottage was extra fun this year because the snowfall in Muskoka was record breaking. There wasn’t one part of land didn’t lie beneath at least 3 feet of snow. Although this made it a little difficult to get around at times, it made you feel like a kid again, and provided endless opportunities for play.
Check out this sweet video of Stella sledding at: http://youtu.be/rNUSwK0uqjE
So, despite this crazy winter weather we had, it was a very blessed winter indeed. I’m going to try to remember all those wonderful blessings when I’m feeling neck high in snow this coming winter. With snow, comes playful opportunities, and great memory making experiences!
The girls and I had the wonderful pleasure of going to Florida with Nana and Auntie Emma this year. We spent some time at the beloved condo, going to to beach, of course shopping, and DISNEY!
These pictures capture the wonderful bond developing between our two little girls as they become more than just sisters. They are truly best friends at this stage of life, and love to have each other as a best playmate.
Stella and Reese both adore playing in the sand. I’m not so in love with the sand, so I’m very thankful the girls have a Nana and Grandpa that love it just as much as they do.
Of course Disney was an absolute blast! The weather was rainy and chilly, but that did not stop us from having the time of our lives. We booked well in advance and had the opportunity to dine in Cinderella’s castle and personally meet several beautiful princesses. The girls were both enamoured with the princess and their experience dining in the castle, and still talk about it to this day!
Thank you Nana and Auntie Emma for making this trip so wonderful. We love you both so much! xo
This past New Year season (welcoming in year 2014), we went on a family cruise with ALL the MacDonald’s. This trip was amazing as it was the first time we were all vacationing together as one big family.
The girls had so much fun at each port being able to swim in the ocean and explore to their hearts content. The most beautiful beach we visited by far was in Antigua. Would love to go back there one day.
This is a pic of our family in the famous caves on the Barbados island. They are called the Harrison Caves, and they come highly recommended!
While visiting the caves, we discovered a GIANT snail that Reese was a little bit afraid of. She hesitated to get her picture taken with him, but eventually mustered up enough bravery to get this slightly awkward, but adorable picture.
Over this past year life has whizzed by at lightening speed. Going through my phone pictures has reminded me just how much has happened, and how much I’ve missed blogging about. In an attempt to catch up, the next few blogs will be way out of date from their corresponding info and pictures, but I guess it’s better late than never.
To begin, Christmas last year was wonderful. We had lots of family time, and Santa showed up in a big way. A little too big due to most of my shopping being done on-line. Let’s just say Santa will have to control his giving a little more this year as to not break the bank. Nonetheless, we has a fantastic Christmas, and are hopeful for the same this year!
Traditional family Christmas at the Keg with Hailey’s family.
Our beautiful Christmas tree.
The girls and I making Christmas cookies which turned out to be DELICIOUS!
The girls famous yearly photo with Santa!
On a Sunday afternoon, I come into the family room to see this.
I love my family.
Matt and I recently went on a weekend getaway to Montreal, and Stella and Reese had the pleasure of spending some time at their Grandma and Grandpa’s. Both Stella and Reese are absolutely crazy for their grandparents! My parents live in the country and have a wonderful dog and a few cats that they love to play with and annoy.
I’m so thankful that our girls have grandparents who are always so willing and thrilled to take them for a holiday. I know that when they go to my parents, they are going to spend most of their time outside in the mud and with wild animals, but I’m okay with that. They love every minute of it… and so do my parents. So blessed!
Stella has beautiful curly hair. She get’s it from her Daddy, but not many people would know this cause his hair is short and you can’t tell. However, when I met Matt, he had curly dark locks almost to his shoulders.
Stella desperately wants long hair like Rapunzel, so we are working on growing it out. It’s difficult for a 3 year old to understand that she can’t get super long hair overnight… or can she? Curly hair appears shorter than straight hair, so I got the brilliant idea of straightening her hair to create instant length. She loved the idea, and the results!
Although the length is still a LONG way away from Rapunzel’s, Stella’s new ‘long’ hair put a smile on her face. I love you my beautiful princess!
After many, many attempts, we finally have our almost completed family wall. I began this endeavor trying to create a “random” looking design with all black frames of different sizes on this wall. I hated how it looked. So, I would move a few frames around, trying to come up with a more attractive design. After making what seemed like several hundred holes in the wall, I took them all down and concluded that neither the harsh black frames OR the “random” design was jiving with me. I puttied all the holes, sanded and re-painted the wall, and started from scratch!
I found these beautiful frames on sale at Chapters that I fell in love with. They were a light wood frame, with a burlap fabric looking matte. I bought a few, thinking I would mix them up with a bunch of natural wood frames I had kicking around the house. After attempting a million layouts on the floor, nothing was working. I still didn’t like the mixing of frames. This is when I began to wonder if I suffer from some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder… every picture seemed out of place and it drove me nuts to look at it.
So, I went back to Chapters and got a few more frames to make a more geometrical layout design. I decided to add one art piece (wood shelving unit) into the design that I found at Home Sense simply because it was a close match in wood tone to the picture frames, and also had the burlap looking fabric on it. The similarities seemed to make the piece look like it belonged. I wasn’t sure what I was going to put on/in the shelving unit, but I would deal with that later.
Finally, I had come up with a layout that I liked. When I looked at it, it made me feel happy. I liked the order and perfect rectangle that it made on the wall. Note: I seriously think I must have a problem as this ORDERLY design was a breath of fresh air to my eyes.
Next, I had to decide what I would fill the wood shelving unit with. I went online to see if I could print some Instagram pictures. I quickly found out that you can order them for quite a decent price, and in the most perfect size for the shelving unit.
I’m quite happy with how the whole thing turned out. It makes me smile when I look at this wall and think of my family. The only thing I may add is wood lettering spelling “FAMILY” on the top or bottom (depending on the letter size), spaning the width of the design. This would add a little more height to the layout, filling up the wall a bit more.
Who knew that it could be SO much work and time to make a simple wall design like this!? Well worth it. So blessed!