Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Take one part joy and one part loss and mix. 2013 !!!!

This year has been overwhelming.
 Sometimes so overwhelmingly heart breaking that I didn't even recognize myself in my responses. 
And yet so many extremely joyous things happened for our family, too.

 6 years in a tiny two bedroom apartment finally paid off and what seemed so impossible throughout 
much of the journey became reality. Every thing about us gettin into this house is a miracle. The neighbor's are still shakin their heads in wonder ;)

We have filled this house to the brim with life.....

And we've made it a home. People who pass through always say the same thing,
"It feels like a real home."

The first night here my best friend could not help but dance uninhibited in our empty dining room.
It was tangible joy that night, felt by one who truly loves us......

This year we've made a house a home.....

We've played outside without steppin in other people's dog poo, which is totally a big deal if you were an apartment shut-in for most of your children's lives...

This year I taught a group of girls the importance of forgiveness.
I poured my heart into the teaching, hoping with all faith that they would see that it is life and death to us.
Months later, I was the student of my own teaching......

 We had some extremely trying times within our family when we took in a few precious members.
We opened our hearts and homes to be a safe place for them but found out in one of life's hardest classrooms that you cannot, as much as your heart wills it, change the course of another family.

 In our efforts to be a voice for those without one,
we put a wall between us and the rest of our family.......
 But that wall was being built by God for another reason we would never have dared to dream of.
As we became a fortified city and a unified team, the most rewarding gift from God was coming our way....

 Our life is now a safe place and goodness flows like a river through it. What a miracle that the little girl who was adopted 13 years ago would find us through this blog! God, I am so thankful for your continuing mercies and love.
If we allow Him, He makes beauty from ashes.....

 This year we lost most of our family relationships. 
And we have gained more than we deserve.....
 2013 saw my other half gettin sucked into the blog lifestyle...
 No longer merely a side liner in photos but an active member of Boo Bobby....
 And I've got to give a lot of credit for that to the box of toys The Goodwill Geek sent.
In the time we spent around the table over it's contents somethin happened.... he crossed over ;)
 I met some truly amazing bloggers this year and was given some awesome gifts.
The stuff isn't what really moved me. It was being thought of, being "known" like that by others out there....

I took a lot of photos with inanimate objects.
In 2013 they are now called "Selfies" and I can't stand the narcissism in that phrase ;)
Can't a gal just pose with toys ?!

 We celebrated birthdays in our home and were able to have real parties and gatherings for the first time!

 Hmmm. Realizing that Gabe apparently had no birthday. Cannot even recall it, not even a wisp!
 I wanted to meet a fellow blogger who I've really come to love and I made it happen!
Okay, that sounded a bit stalkery and weird. It totally wasn't like that ;)

 I did my first ever paid (sort of) photo booth, a venture that lived in my heart for quite some time.
It was a total hit and I am happy to say that I'm confident to move forward in it!

In 2013 we experienced some pretty tight hand to mouth moments in our finances. We dug in and just decided to push harder and some cool things happened in both of us. I got out from a blanket of lifelong insecurity and put myself out there for commissioned "artwork" and such........
 I also found out how shiesty people were when it came to handmade goods and services.
Oh my gosh, I've developed a shrewd business approach out of disgust alone! I'll be darned if I work for peanuts in 2014. I'm serious as a heart attack on this one....

 We strung our first Christmas lights. Woo Hoo!!
 Lay in our first snow! Even if it was faux snow...... ;)
 Had our first roller night :)

Was at the event of the year where I saw my mentor, Carmen Sifuentez become Carmen Maxwell.......

It was such an epic occasion that I got my hair did for the first time.
And at 31 years old. Some things just take time, folks ;)
 Was humbled beyond belief to lead a weekend youth retreat for S.O.S. Ministries.
And believe me, this was no craft and circle time event. There was true healing goin on within the hearts of these precious little girls.....

 This was also the first time I fell asleep smiling in all my life.....

So those were the highlights, folks. And some of the dumb stuff ;)
We took down all the Christmas flair, our first ever in this home of ours and I can speak for myself when I say that I am ready.
 For all the new beginnings that can possibly come my way.....
I'm not a resolver but more of a decider ;) Here's my Big decisions.
I decide to give honor and credit and glory to God for all things in my life.
I decide to spend only a fraction of my time on the endless rainbow ride we call Internet.
I decide to not let the family hurts jade me and steal my passion for child advocacy in the coming year.
I decide to organize the crap out of this house. It helps me perform better and that lends to prosperity.
I decide to hack away at my passion for a photo booth business. After looking online at what the Houston area offers I am certainly underwhelmed. There's definitely room for me and Jerome!
I decide to take better care of my family's health in the foods we consume.
I decide to love this man more than anything else. To respect him, honor him and make sure his sock drawer never goes empty again ;)


  1. I think have already said Happy New Year in one of your other blog posts if not i will say it again plus something else i have said...Thank You for sharing your family and your joys with not only me but with all of us. It's been fun peeking into that window and i can't wait to see what things will be happening in the upcoming year. Luck, Love and Blessing to you and the clan Laura. : )

    1. Happy New Year, John!! And thank you for being such a nice and gracious guy :)
      I wish all the best to you and your lady, what's your wife's name by the way? Feels like after all this time I should at least know that ;)

    2. My bride's name is KellyJo. : )

  2. happy new year laura huey! i love looking back at people's year, some of that stuff seems like it was SO long ago! here's to 2014, i know it is going to be a great year for you!

  3. Hot dang, what a year! Poor Gabe, no birthday, LOL! I hope Cookie Monster is settled into his new home.

    I like that you don't resolve to make resolutions, but rather take action and decide. All my resolutions of years past might as well be vague wishes. This year will be different. Ready or not here comes 2014!

    Happy New Year Sister!

  4. Extremely beautiful photos, Laura. Have a great 2014 so you can take more beautiful photos :D :D :D (I loved the skate rollers one)

  5. All of this made me so happy- 2013 was a whirlwind for you and I'm so glad I got to see it unfold.

  6. Wishing you and your family all the best for 2014!

  7. This post is really great Laura. There is so much I want to say to you about it... but I really, genuinely don't know where to start. You and I come from such different worlds but I see so much in common with you that it's genuinely eerie sometimes. Not just the superficial "stuff" stuff either, but the real human stuff. Some of your experiences over the past rollercoaster year are just completely outside of my possible imagining... but that's what I love about reading your blog. You make your world accessible and understandable to everyone. That's a true gift.

    The whole experience of reconnecting with your daughter after so many years, long after that hard decision of doing the right thing for her... that is so beyond my possible comprehension. But you relate it in a way that doesn't make it feel like a tabloid voyeurism drama-fest... you tell it like you're sharing a warm story with a friend over coffee. Your honesty and your optimism are refreshing and beautiful and NEEDED.

    And when your batteries need recharging, you fill them up with Jesus. And I'm not saying that ironically. You know where I'm at where religion is concerned. And I know where you are... and your spirituality and faith are a part of your personal fiber... and I find that inspiring too. Not in an "I'm-going-to-go-to-church-now" sort of way... but in a "This means something to her and she is expressing this in a way that is just absolute poetry" sort of way. You don't strike me as the type to have thump-marks on her bible... but plenty of dog-eared pages where loved, inspirational passages can be found.

    I keep looking at all the stuff I wrote above and wondering if its appropriate to say or if it makes sense... and I hope it does, and I hope it makes you realize how special this blog is and how special your story is, and how awesome it has been to get to know you.

    1. You just filled my heart up.
      And I've spent the last ten minutes writing, deleting, rewriting, rewording and deleting again.
      Gosh! Thank you. I'm teary eyed over the simple human kindness and the ability to connect with others in true friendship. It shouldn't be so amazing and rare but it just is.... I need to know if 2013 was also the first year you got your hair done. But only because it's ridiculously touching right now and I need to laugh cuz that's what we do!
      The Ash family is in my heart. For real.
      You show great respect, Derek Ash. So very gracious, friend. A lot of folks could learn from you.

  8. was that a shera puzzle i saw? i love He man and Shera!!!

    1. Yes! A very, very sweet blogger sent me that :) Her blog is called Diary of a Dorkette, you should go check her out. She profiles old toys from our childhood and all kinds of beautiful nonsense.....