Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Joy To My Heart

Right now I am so very thankful for Bentley. Even though he has been challenging his mama a lot over the past couple of weeks, he has not ceased to bring gratitude and smiles to our family.

Last November, we began sharing what we are thankful for every evening as we sat around the dinner table. It was precious to hear what came to the kids minds each night. Family members, friends, parks, the weather, emotions, etc. Jeremy and I were especially surprised how Bentley easily caught on and came up with original ideas of what he was thankful for (he had just turned 2).

Well, it's almost April and sweet Bentley has single-handedly carried on our thankful tradition for almost 5 months. And he's expanded it from just dinner time to just about ANYTIME the four of us gather together.

It often comes from out of the blue. He always says it in the most adorable way: he dips his head to one side and bobbles his head a little as he asks, "mama, what are you thankful for, mama?" Once we give our answer, he always follows it with a surprised look like we just came up with the best thankful answer ever, then he shouts "yay!" and claps his hands for us. Then he moves around the table...

"Harper, what are you thankful for, Harper?"

"Dada, what are you thankful for, Dada?"

(Everyone's name is repeated twice every time which lends itself to extra cuteness ;)

Most times when we ask Bentley what he's thankful for, he puts his finger to his chin, taps it a couple times and says, "hmm..." as if to reinforce there are so many things to choose from and he wants to pick the exact one to which he's most thankful for at that moment. Bentley's answer lately has often been that he's thankful for horsies, as the kids love spotting them on the way to Mimi & Baba's house.

I am so thankful for the joy this initiation from my boy brings... Every time he asks me... in my heart, I thank God for my little boy who loves to remind all of us to be thankful... Don't we all need that reminder in our life?

Bentley, you are a gift from God to our family... Your heart sparkles with the love of Jesus. You teach your parents so much and you're only 2... I love being your mama. I am so THANKFUL.

Friday, March 22, 2013

One TINY Request

Jeremy took a quick trip to San Diego earlier this week. As we drove him to the airport Harper asked if he would be finding a home for us during his trip... This was in fact on his list of to-do's.

Harper's one request??

"Daddy, can you PLEASE find us a purple home to live in?!?"

As Jeremy and Harper negotiated the terms of house colors during our drive, Jeremy managed to get Harper to agree to a purple bedroom... But then she slowly added colors to her room request and she landed on the simple fact she would like a rainbow room in our new house ;)

I think we can handle that.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I knew there were going to be challenges with this whole moving business. We've done it before. But we have never been in the "seller's seat" in a move...

The selling seat is an uncomfortable place to be. We not only know that big change is headed our way, but now that our house is staged... it doesn't really feel like ours as much.

Everything has been stripped away. All the clutter. All the family photos. All of our "character" pieces of furniture have been stored in the garage. A majority of the kids toys have been boxed up so our playroom can once again take on the look of an actual office. It's simple, simple.

I anticipated being uncomfortable at having to have my house looking perfect on a moment's notice. We have 2 kids. Need I say more?

But what I didn't anticipate is how much Jeremy & I are realizing we can do without. How much the kids can do without. They literally only have there favorite, favorite toys out. And they're good!

They've always been more outdoor, active kids anyways. But they've also always had lots and lots of entertainment options. Very rarely do you encounter times when life is really pared down to the necessities.

What has amazed me the most is Bentley. Harper has been in imagination world for a long time. Literally ALL the girl cares about are her kitty stuffed animals. She needs nothing more. But Bentley has not needed much either... He's just joined her imaginative world! They run around pretending with very little, singing and enjoying themselves thoroughly.

This evening, I gave them 2 spray bottles of water and 2 wash clothes and they kept themselves busy for almost an hour washing the deck windows and patio furniture. It's the simple things.

I have a feeling this time for our family could teach us a lot. I just want to not be too tired to glean from them.

This weeks lesson: Less is more.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's Official: The Swifts are Moving

Many of our family and friends already know... but it's official: WE ARE MOVING BACK TO SAN DIEGO!

Quite honestly, it still feels surreal to write that.

We've known about the possibility for some time now.  Last November was when Jeremy's work conversations and logistics started getting more serious and promising.  To skip over the grueling details, Jeremy's job and A LOT of God-confirmations is what's pushing us to move next month.

I will say, we truly believe God is the ONE who clearly orchestrated our move up here to Portland, and is the ONE who is moving us back South again.

Even though we are truly at peace that the Lord is in this decision... I would be lying if I didn't say this move is bitter-sweet.  Just like the last one.  But a cut just a bit deeper.

When we moved away from San Diego and all of our friends back in 2010, it was hard to imagine life any differently.  At the same time, we desperately missed our families while we lived in SD and we were excited to be even closer with them all.  Now the tides are in reverse.  The thought of being away from our families quite literally brings me to tears.  We have weaved our lives and our hearts together in the most intricate of ways.  Our kids ADORE each and every family member.  And we've made sweet, life-changing friends up here.  But... we are gaining all of our precious friends from down south once again!

Bitter.  Sweet.

As my heart has gone through varying moments of excitement and excruciating pain, I have desperately asked the Lord why... why can't we have both?  Why can't all of our loved ones live in the same place?  I'm not sure I've received a revelation, but the word sacrifice keeps being pressed on my heart.

Jeremy and I want nothing more in our lives than to follow and obey Jesus.  We haven't always done this well.  In fact, more often, we've lost sight all together.  But this is our hearts.  We want to be used.  Willing.  Moldable.  Movable.  And I think I've read a few times in the Bible something about sacrifice often being a part of the equation in following Jesus...

And this is where God has brought us.  To that place where He's asked us to stop talking and dreaming and actually put some skin in the game.  And we believe this entire decision has more to do with what God wants to do with us than a cozy work contract and a sunny, familiar city.

Our house officially went on the market yesterday.  Which again, makes me sad.  It was our first home.   It has held some of our most precious memories as a family.  But Jeremy and I have always wanted to be willing to let go.  Of our stuff.  Our ideals.  Our comforts.  I'm learning that stepping into your beliefs, words and dreams is much harder than when they all reside in your head and heart.

Our lives have been turned upside down.  And I think there's more processing to come.  But for now... it's official.  We are moving back to San Diego in mid-April.

And we're ready to take God up on His many, many promises.