Month: December 2012

A Look Back at 2012

I try to keep things light on this blog, but I never want to give you the impression my life is perfect. Because it’s not. This past year I went to two funerals, cried with friends at bad news and disappointments, got flat tires on the side of the road, and there were a few days all I could do was take a deep breath and remind myself this too shall pass.

That said, oh how the Lord has blessed us this year. Even through the trials, I have seen His provision and faithfulness in our lives, and I can happily say I trust Him more than I did this time last year, probably the greatest blessing I could ask for.

But enough chatter, let’s look at some pictures! Here are twelve photos to highlight this year:

1. I went to Nashville with my MIL and SIL.

2. We celebrated our first anniversary (and, might I add, looked a little too matchy-matchy…)

3. I celebrated the life of my grandmother with my whole family. One of the best weekends of the year.

4. We went on two spring beach trip weekends with friends.

5. Dupree came to live with us for three months over the summer, a decision that was hard and rewarding.

6. During the summer I took a lot of fun weekend trips visiting friends.

7. A sweet baby was born, the first of my closest friends.

8. I got a new job.

9. We moved to another apartment.

10. We took a week-long beach trip with my family.

11. We adopted our sweet pup Leia.

12. We took a wonderful trip to Disney with J’s family.

Whew! That was a good year. Now, let’s get on with the next one, shall we? :)

How was your year? Looking back, what blessings and lessons did you learn? 

PS -I set some intentions for this year and am happy to report I succeeded in them all. Yay.

Snippets of my Christmas

Whew, what a fun Christmas! These past few days are what memories are made of. All of the laughter, the food, the general merriment of it all left me nostalgic in the moment. J and I both went back to work yesterday, which is refreshingly quiet and calm, but we are still in vacation mode as our dear friends come this weekend to celebrate New Years. This really is the most wonderful time of the year.

How was your Christmas?

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

I love the anticipation of Christmas. The gifts, the fun, the goodness that is to come. This moment — right now — is my favorite part of the season:  on the cusp of a break from routine life to enter into a week of rest, celebration and togetherness with my favorite people.

I will be taking a holiday blogging break to enjoy some rest and fun with my family. I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday, and a very merry Christmas. xo, Ginna

Happy Anniversary to my Parents

This is is my favorite photo of my family, taken in 2010 at a cancer-free party for my mom.

My parents are celebrating 31 years of marriage today. They haven’t had the perfect marriage, but I think they’ve weathered the storms of life perfectly. They know how to be silly, to be kind, to put up with each other’s quirks and love their kids well. They’ve taught me the value of hard work and communication. They’ve showed me how to love sacrificially, give generously, and throw parties with ease. My mom once told me the best way parents can love their kids is to love each other, and in that sense they’ve been the best parents ever.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
Can’t wait to celebrate this weekend. xo

2012 Finances: How Did We Do?

Y’all, in exactly two weeks we start a brand new year. Can you believe it? This year has flown. I always get excited about the new year. New goals, new dreams, new plans! As I was going through our finances to help create goals for the new year, I decided it would be fun to peak back at this past year and see how we fared.

In 2012:

+  We paid off J’s student loan
+  Our tax refund helped boost our savings (and allowed us to buy an iPad)
+  We started a travel fund from my grandmother
+  We finally fully funded our emergency fund!
+  I got a new job
   We fixed lots of car repairs
+  We moved (and should save over $500/year)
   Our savings took a hit when we adopted our new puppy
+  And so far we have doubled our net worth since January*

Wow! It’s really amazing to see how time and effort go a long way. Slow and steady, my friends. Slow and steady.

How did your finances do this year?
Did your net worth increase or decrease in a year?
What big financial milestones did you hit this year?

*Our net worth has doubled mainly due to no debt, matching 401(k)s, increased savings, and the stock market doing increasingly better this year.
(photo credit

Prince of Peace

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Like so many, I am shocked, horrified and heartbroken for the events that occured in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. I found myself on the brink of tears through the entire weekend thinking of those precious children taken in an instant of fear, and the pain that remains in the hearts of parents, grandparents, siblings, friends.

It’s easy to question the goodness and soveriengty of God when things like that happen.
If God is in control, why would He let something like this occur?
If he had the power to stop it, why didn’t He?
How can a good God cause such pain in this world? 

I think so often we forget the brokenness, depravity of this fallen world we live in. Things like this don’t happen because God isn’t in control, they happen because this world is corrupt. God gave men and women free will, and as soon as Adam and Eve sinned, humanity has been separated from God and darkness has filled the earth.

But thank God this place is not our home. We were made for a heavenly realm where there are no tears, no sorrow, no hatred. And we will one day enter in that place of peace through believing in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who bore our sin upon himself and gave us His righteousness to be called sons and daughters of the Most High God.

I don’t know why God allows some things to happen, but I do know that this too shall be made right. Justice will be served, and one day He will come to reclaim this world for his own and Goodness will reign forever.

May the God of peace comfort the homes of Newtown, and may we honor the memory of these lives by loving each other.

Five Things Friday

1. Who needs prayer? I am running for two hours tomorrow and would love to spend that time praying for you! Comment or email me your requests and I promise they will be lifted up during my 12-mile jaunt.

2. When I got back from my vacation, I had over 1,000 unread blog posts in my Google Reader. Overwhelming! So I decided to mark them all as read and start from scratch. But I couldn’t miss a few of my favorites, so I went back through to see what I missed. Some include my real life friends (hey guys!), Ashley Ann, Posie Gets Cozy, Oh Sweet Joy (she’s having a boy!), A Cup of Jo, Kendi Everyday. Which blogs do you get excited about every time you see they have a new post? I’d love to know which ones they are! (And it’s really okay if you don’t say mine… I love finding out new ones!:)

3. J sent me this link on famous photos turned self-portrait the other day. Pretty funny to image these classic photos as if they were taken from a phone. :)

4. Are there any Hobbit fans out there? I just started reading the book about a week ago and am halfway done, so I assume I’m good for the movie that comes out this weekend (considering they’re breaking the book into three movies… still curious to see how they’re going to do that). Anyway, for any of you fans out there, here’s a cute Hobbit print for you:

5. I am over-the-moon excited about this weekend. Remember my massive to do list? Each line is (hopefully) getting slashed this weekend as I organize my home and Christmas list. This is my last weekend before the craziness and excitement of Christmas comes, so I have got some serious work to do!

What are you up to this weekend? Have a great one!