A vapor that vanishes away…

As I sit here this morning with my coffee and my bible and my beloved journal I ponder just how short our lives really are. This is not a post about morbidity to depress you. On the contrary, it is about living life fully; using the time we are given to live the life we were gifted with.

I have discovered The 17:18 Series a few months ago. Go ahead. Add it to your list of things to Google. It really is an incredible, and yes simple, way to learn, digest, process the Word of God. You literally transcribe the Bible. As you do, it gives you time to chew on each word that flows from your pen and lands on your paper. This morning I was writing out James 4:8-14. Verse 14 is appropriate for today, my 38th birthday.

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

We are just vapors. And though the days are sometimes long and this life feels at times that we’ve lived several lifetimes, truly we here for just a short time. I’ve been here for 38 years now. I have no idea how much longer I will be here. No one does. Our days are numbered and mortality is 100%. I have no worry about my future, after death, for my assurance is in Jesus. But I do ponder this: Am I living fully NOW? Am I living out, in this short little vapor of a time, my passions, my faith? Am I making a tiny little difference in this gigantic universe?
Does my life matter?
And who does it matter to?

As I reflect on 2013, dream about 2014 and celebrate my 38 years here on earth, I invite you to do the same…think about your life as a vapor. What and who do you want to be remembered as with your SHORT time here?

And now on to my favorite moments/photos from 2013.



iphone-5untitled-2Texas-2-2Texas-4Opal creek-24DSC_5196DSC_5256untitled-4untitled-1212013-10-02_0003DSC_18572013-12-14_0011View More: http://justinandmary.pass.us/artofauthenticposingoregonView More: http://justinandmary.pass.us/artofauthenticposingoregonHappy New Year!

Christmas 2013

A recap of our Christmas this year…

Christmas Eve is usually at my sister’s house with my side of the family. We have the famous Morton’s Steak, baked potatoes and smoked salmon stuffed jalapenos. We have chaotic present opening with 9 kiddos ripping open their gifts and this year, ended with a game of scrabble. And let’s not forget pumping Jo full of Infant Advil to keep her fever down and semi-happy. Poor baby.




And this would be Mitzy, my grandma’s dog. She graces our presence each year and loves the kids and commotion.




Christmas Day we head over to Tad’s side of the family and have a day of eating more yummy food, playing games (Risk is always the boys’ favorite), making cookies and watching movies.


A day of firsts…

Today was a day the boys have been working towards for four and a half months. They work out at Impact Athletics about 9 hours a week, perfecting their twists and turns that happen HIGH in the air. Harness? Nope. That’s old school apparently.

Their first meet. Their first time performing for a large crowd and judges. Their first taste of victory. They both walked away with 2 medals, totaling 2 golds, a silver and a bronze.

So proud of them!

{Their team}

2013-12-14_0001{Max below on the double-mini}

2013-12-14_0002{Mitch on the double-mini}

2013-12-14_0003{the crowd and other participants}



{Mitch doing his trampoline routine}


{Max on the trampoline}


{the medal giving begins…Mitch takes first}


{Max takes the gold}


{Dad assumes role as a medal giver and gets to give both boys their medals}


{two very proud boys}



Thanksgiving 2013

We ran away with some of our bestest friends this year for Thanksgiving. We celebrated early with family and then got ourselves 900 whole square feet of beach house in Rockaway and crammed 11 of us into it for 3 days. It was fabulous! And a little secret about the Oregon coast is that the weather is FAR better in the fall that the summer! Gorgeous sunny skies and no wind…which means FUN beach photos of course 🙂


The gang.

DSC_1895 DSC_1891 Her first time running on the beach…of course she loved it and so did I. Such JOY coming from this girl.


Ruby and Mitch are my two hunters. They will spend hours beach combing and showing me their finds. I know I only have a few more years of this with them, so I want to catch these memories and freeze them forever through the lens of my camera.

DSC_1874 DSC_1866

My three girls. Teen, child and baby. Sigh….they grow up so darn fast.


How on earth did she get taller than me? Yes, I hear you saying that I’m only 5’2″…but still!


Life long friends for sure. They really have no choice…their moms are life long friends too.

DSC_1844 DSC_1836

Super thankful for this girl. We’ve ridden the bus together as kids, grown up as “farmer’s daughters”, and now get to do adult life together, being just a 15 minute drive from each other.


And this guy? I love him. He (who was only going to have 2 children when we married 18 yrs ago) is the best dad ever.


DSC_1823Just one of those snapshots that makes me smile.