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Our backyard today…..we’re getting more snow tonight. olivias  birthday and quelf 077

Thank you, Donna, for making Olivia’s lemon cake!!!  olivias  birthday and quelf 076

  I still can’t believe Olivia is 12!!!!!!!!!!!  When I started my blog, she was only 9….where has the time gone?????? 

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Maria and Tim, I couldn’t have pulled off the surprise without your help!   Thank you!

olivias  birthday and quelf 099 Olivia made a “rice creation” at dinner! 

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I couldn’t help but smile as I plopped this piece of randomly cut cake onto a plate and then realized it was a pretty good “thumbs up!”  I just love when God shows up to remind me that Nick is doing great…

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Loved this gift bag!!! 

Cameron, you know just how much Olivia adores pigs!!

olivias  birthday and quelf 204 Some of Olivia’s friends who were able to brave the snowy weather met us at Tres Hermonos tonight for a little surprise birthday party..thanks for coming, guys!

We threw this party together quickly, so please forgive me if your child did not hear about the little get-together.  We would have invited more if we would have had more time to get in touch.

In the midst of great sadness here in our small town, it is bittersweet to celebrate a birthday.  I’m learning more and more every day about the reality that God longs for us to cherish every minute while being fully aware that no extra minutes are promised. 

What we have in this very moment is truly

all that we have (here).

So for today, we cherished the minutes of Olivia’s 12th birthday as much as we could while both keeping in touch with and carrying with us the heartache of our friends who are grieving the loss of their daughter.

Painfully aware of the fragile nature of life and yet faithfully and joyfully clinging to the Hope and Promise of Heaven,