scenes of christmas

This has been a magical Christmas season so far.  I have loved having a revolving door of family around. I have loved happening upon little Christmas scenes around the house.  The children can hardly keep their hands off of the nativity puppets my mother made nearly 25 years ago.  I've had to chase down the little sheep more times than I can count.

On Sunday I drifted off to sleep while mom and Michael and John talked in the living room while the children ran and jumped about the living room.  At one point I heard Evaleigh bounding through the hallway singing "Jingle Bells" and I woke with a smile clear across my face.

Our joy school Christmas program didn't exactly go off without a hitch. Evaleigh wouldn't do her angel part because she was feeling shy and Avett wouldn't put on his shepard costume. But it still filled my heart with joy.

I love making memories with my babies and husband.  

Evaleigh Joy Murphy Barbie

Evaleigh is so fun. Just a really good time.  She is always saying the best things and being so willing to give service or help out.  

The other night we were reading family scriptures and I chose to read in Helaman 14 about Samuel the Lamanite prophesying of the birth of Jesus Christ. 
 In verse 8 I read "And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life."  And she yelled, "everlasting LICE?!"  John and I looked at each other and burst out laughing!! It was a supposed to be spiritual family moment turned hilarious.  

She also insists these days that her name is Evaleigh Joy Murphy Barbie. 

She has a very specific bedtime routine that consists of every little thing in its perfect spot in her bed. Me blowing crazy kisses to her that jump around in her hand. Her bunny blanket only over her feet and the soft blanket on her body. He door must be cracked to a specific width. And on and on...  We love our crazy slightly OCD girl. 

I LOVE her artwork these days.  She draws the cutest happiest faces!!

Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas 2015 from us.  This has been such a busy wonderful year for us.  There have been some twists and turns we didn't expect but also and incredible amount of blessings. We are so grateful for this time to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and all that that means to us. 

pink pig

One of our new favorite Christmas traditions is for my dad and Jen to take Evie to Macy's Pink Pig at Lenox Square Mall. She looks forward to it SO much! This was our third year doing it and it is just always so much fun.  The tradition is as old as my father and it is such a fun way to kick off the holidays.  Avett and Kate were so obsessed with Priscilla that we kept thinking they were lost only to find them trying to get back on her lap after we took the picture.  We rode around yelling "Bacon!!" at the top of our lungs and the kids all got a kick out of that.  

I just love making memories with my family! 

She's home!

After a year of my mother and her husband serving their mission in Independence Missouri, they are home!! We are so excited to have them back and Evie can't stand to leave her Momommee's side for a moment.  In fact she had a 30 minute break down after church today when we had to leave them there to be released.  I love seeing their bond, it is so sweet. 


thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving happened by accident this year, and it was fantastic! We originally planned on my family and Bekah's family together at Stock Gap.  But about 3-4 days before Bekah had the idea to meet up with everyone at our great Aunt Barbara's mountain house in Lake Toxaway North Carolina.  Then it just mushroomed from there, both of my brothers and their families came too and my father and grandparents and my aunt and cousin Sarah.  

When we got there my dad and Jen pawpaw and grandmaw had just left to take pawpaw to the hospital. Right before we had gotten there Pawpaw's dog and Sarah's dog had gotten in to a fight and pawpaw tried to break it up but ended up getting bitten and knocked to the ground.  He was completely fine but they took him in just to be safe.  We waited until 2:30 when they all got back to eat, except that we fed all the kids at 1.  We were all hungry but happy to wait!

The weather was perfect and the scenery was so lovely. My sister in law asked me to take pictures of the twins since they are graduating in May! I ended up having the sweetest conversation with them where they told me the things their parents have given them and taught them over the past 18 years.  It was incredible to hear them speak and gave me such great faith in the kind of men they will become.

It was a great day full of family togetherness. I loved meeting my new niece Maddison, it gave me baby fever to have another daughter. BIG TIME.  I still have faith that the timing of our next baby will be when the time is right.

I am so grateful for our blessing, there are so many, too many to even enumerate or count.  The Lord is so gracious to us and blesses us in a way that could never be repaid.  That is my prayer every night, complete awe of the beautiful and happy and blessed life we are living.


little mulberry

Today we went to Little Mulberry Park so John could play disc golf with a friend.  We enjoyed the drive up looking at all of the big beautiful homes and the scenery.  The kids played hard when we got there and John and I talked and wondered about what our first home would be like.  I love where we are now and I am so excited for our little family to move to Athens at the end of this year.  I look forward to cozying up in a little two bedroom apartment with the people I love the most. I think it will be a sweet time for our family and a time of growing closer together.

We have been loving this Thanksgiving break and have been soaking up each I other and family time. It's been a much needed break for us all.  


just some time

Several times tonight before we went upstairs to bed Evaleigh told me, "Mom, I just want to spend some time with you."  It was the sweetest request that I couldn't wait to fulfill. 

So we went upstairs after family prayer, which was the usual struggle of Avett whining that he wanted to pray as soon as Evie started to pray.  I am glad they love to pray so I suppose it's a good problem to have.  John put Avett to bed while and Evie and I laughed and snuggled and played and read books for a good 45 minutes.  I sat her on my lap and told her NOT to laugh, which of course was impossible.  She would say it to me and then we would bust out laughing.  

I loved every second of it.  It's easy to hurry through the last parts of the day, especially on the days when bed time is a welcomed time.  I know I tend to do that often but tonight was different and I loved it.  

She loves to say, "Mom can I tell you a whisper?" Then she leans up close and whispers in my ear, "I love you, you are the best mom ever you silly pot."  There's just nothing in the world like having a daughter.


Sheppard family reunion

This past weekend we drove 2 hours to Franklin, Georgia to Auntie Susan's new home.  She married George Watkins on Valentine's Day this year and now they live on 500 acres of beautiful Georgian land.  We arrived late which is why we aren't in the big group shot but we had such a beautiful time.  My great uncle Johnny and Aunt Lynn came from Australia and they have the kindest spirit about them.  Perhaps it is partly their charming accents but it is just soothing to be around them.  

We also had Glenn and Jackie Sheppard there from Missouri.  My great great grandfather Joushua Calvin Sheppard is Glenn's great grandfather.  (I hope I am getting this right!). They had two out of three of their children there, Trent and Krista.  Krista and her husband Mark live in Kansas City with their 3 children Arianna, Hudson, and Hunter.  Trent lives in Boston with his wife and 3 children.  We felt so happy to be around them.  Even through we may be distant cousins it instantly felt natural and genuine to be around them.  

I am so grateful for family ties and for keeping them and nurturing them.  I loved the common love we all shared for our Savior around the campfire last night.  John brought the guitar and we sang How Great Thou Art, Come Thou Fount, O My Father (requested by Aunt Lynn), and so much more.  John and I sang Murder in the City more beautiful than we ever have before.  I love taking our talents wherever we go and sharing them together.  I felt so proud to have my love by my side.

The children ran and played in piles of leaves, wrestled with the dogs, looked at the roosters, ran up and down hills and through the fields.  We had s'mores around the fire accompanied by John's guitar and a big white ring around the moon above us.

Later that night Susan, Cristy, Nanny, and Candy and I (some in the hot tub and some not) chatted on in to the night.  I didn't bring a bathing suit so I just hopped in in my pajamas.

Everyone brought their family history and we filled a room of pictures, documents, and family trees.  

I have grown to love family history this year more than any other time in my life. I am so thankful for where and who I've come from.  It is an honor to be alive.   

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